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View Full Version : Nikon 55-200 AF-S VR



achuang
06-25-2007, 06:32 PM
I'm thinking about buying this lens to replace my tamron 70-300. I know aparmley and George Riehm and some others have this lens. What do you all think of it? How is the AF speed and accuracy, sharpness, and effectiveness of the VR.
My uses for it would be mostly outdoors in all types of lighting and the occasional indoor use. I want to replace the tamron because it's horrible. Very soft at 300, the worst CA I've ever seen in a lens before and slow autofocus.

Rooz
06-25-2007, 06:40 PM
reg has it aswell and is getting some fantastic results. i think from memory andy has it aswell ?? haven't seen a disappointed customer yet.

btw: is the 70-300VR too pricey ?

achuang
06-25-2007, 06:52 PM
The 70-300 VR is about double the price of the 55-200. If I had the money I'd get the 70-300 but I don't think I can spend that much at the moment.

K1W1
06-25-2007, 07:06 PM
Camera Action in Elizabeth St have it on their web site at $399.00 (That's Australian dollars before anybody gets upset) which is only $50 more than what people want for the Sigma 70-300 APO.
I'm sure you could get a few dollars off by standing in front of the salesperson and waving some bills so in that respect I think it's a great buy.
If I were buying today I would probably buy it over the Sigma which really has been the main player in the budget telephoto lens area for some time now.

achuang
06-25-2007, 07:29 PM
Thanks K1K1, but I know that Teds have it on sale for $318 at the moment, it's the cheapest I've found it for. It's on sale until July 7 so I've got a bit of time. I'm just wondering about the difference between 200 and 300, whether I'll miss having the reach of 300mm.

Rooz
06-25-2007, 07:44 PM
Thanks K1K1, but I know that Teds have it on sale for $318 at the moment, it's the cheapest I've found it for. It's on sale until July 7 so I've got a bit of time. I'm just wondering about the difference between 200 and 300, whether I'll miss having the reach of 300mm.

$318 and retail at that...wow ! :eek:

1.4x tc will give you the extra reach with next to zero IQ loss when you really think you need it. besides, you can always crop a bit closer.

LR Max
06-25-2007, 07:51 PM
I've played with both and here is what I have to say:

If price or size is a major factor, than the 55-200VR is the way to go. The 55-200VR weighs about half the 70-300VR and about half the length.

However, for double the price (and double everything else) the 70-300VR will give you that extra reach. The 70-300VR seemed to focus a little faster than its younger brother.

That is all.

K1W1
06-25-2007, 07:57 PM
There are some good 55-200VR photos on Flickr

http://www.flickr.com/groups/nikkor/pool/tags/55200mmf456gvr/

There are also some interesting user reviews on Imaging Resource

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1088/cat/13

At $318 it has to be a worthwhile buy, I'm really tempted now there is always ebay in a couple of months if I don't like it.

achuang
06-26-2007, 12:40 AM
I just went to Ted's and tried it out. I could hear this high pitch noise while using it. But the focusing and VR seemed to work pretty well. I only had a couple minutes with it so it's hard to say but for the price it's pretty good.

achuang
06-26-2007, 05:29 PM
Thanks for all the advice and links everyone. Still deciding whether to buy it or not as I have about 1.5 weeks til the sale ends.

r3g
06-26-2007, 07:47 PM
Its a must have lens if you ask me. I have absolutely no gripe with it. AF is fast, pictures are sharp through the whole zoom range, bokeh is awesome. Also its not that heavy and VR is priceless..


Click my flickr link and check out the NBA shots. They were all taken with the 55-200. And if u look through the tags you can see all the others i used the VR for. I never thing twice about pushing it to full zoom, softness is no problem at all.

achuang
06-27-2007, 01:58 AM
Those are some nice shots there with that lens, I really want that lens now. My thinking is that I might just keep my tamron 70-300 just for those times when i need to use 300mm, but sharpness at 300mm is horrible, and so is CA over the whole range. Should keep both telephotos if i buy the 55-200 VR or just sell the tamron and use the money to pay for the 55-200? From what I've seen out of that lens it is far better than my tamron, so maybe cropping the images from the nikon lens may yield better results than the tamron at 300mm? And another benefit is that it's easier to take the smaller nikon lens into sporting events where telephotos aren't allowed. Any thoughts?

Rooz
06-27-2007, 02:44 AM
i agree with you on all counts.
maybe reg can do some chops of the original images to simulate 300mm.

K1W1
06-27-2007, 04:59 AM
The more I think about this lens the more I suspect that my wallet will be lighter by sometime on Friday afternoon. At Aus$318 I actually can't see a reason NOT to buy it even if only as a walk around light weight lens.
I just noticed tonight that Thom Hogan has updated his 55-200 lens review to include the VR version. (http://www.bythom.com/55200lens.htm) Thom is a Pro photographer and is very through and not always nice to consumer lenses but overall it appears he thinks this is a good value for money product (with limitations).
I think I can see my wallet lifting off the table as I type. :D:D

K1W1
06-27-2007, 05:59 AM
Click my flickr link and check out the NBA shots.

Any chance of posting some decent sized images on Flickr? All the shots I looked at are tiny (only about 500 pixels wide) and you really can't tell anything from them.
How about a couple of full sized versions?

achuang
06-27-2007, 06:37 AM
Hey K1W1 what telephoto lens do you have at the moment? Are you going to replace it with this? Or do you not have a telephoto right now?
I'm really considering selling my tamron to fund the purchase of the nikon now, but really am unsure whether cropping the 55-200 image would be better than the tamron image at 300mm.

K1W1
06-27-2007, 06:58 AM
I have a Sigma 70-300 APO. I mainly use it for photos of my kids sports (Soccer and Netball) both of which are Winter sports and subject to low light.
Overall I've been quite happy with the Sigma (for what it cost, slightly more than the 55-200VR) but I try not to use it above 200mm as the quality drops. 70mm can also be a touch long at Netball sometimes.
Realistically the 55-200 for the same money has to be at least as good plus should focus somewhat faster and have the VR advantage.
Ultimately a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 HSM is Nikkor 70-300VR is on the shopping list but as with most things in life there are so many opportunities to spend money and so little time to actually use the toys that they may be a while off.

My Flickr site is here (http://www.flickr.com/photos/rreeve). Almost all the Soccer, Netball and Cricket shots are with the Sigma lens. Most of the Soccer and Cricket shots are originally at less than 200 mm and are cropped to some degree. For sports I tend to take slightly wider shots and work out what I want later in front of the PC.

r3g
06-27-2007, 11:07 AM
Any chance of posting some decent sized images on Flickr? All the shots I looked at are tiny (only about 500 pixels wide) and you really can't tell anything from them.
How about a couple of full sized versions?


You have to be logged in and click All Sizes. They get as big as 1000 pixels wide.

K1W1
06-28-2007, 01:32 AM
Well my lens is now attached to my camera and I've taken all of 6 shots. I'll copy them to my PC later this evening and see whether this VR is any good. :):)

achuang
06-28-2007, 01:47 AM
Well that was quick, you've already got the lens. Which teds did you get it from? I guess they had it in stock, the teds in chadstone I had a look at didn't have it there. Post some pics and let me know how it goes and what you think of it, i think it's pretty much set that I'll get the lens now. Hope you're enjoying it.

K1W1
06-28-2007, 02:10 AM
Teds at Knox.
They had none on display but three out the back on hold. One had been on 24 hour hold with no deposit since 22 June so after I tried it on a D80 I flashed the plastic.
It may be worth asking what the situation is regarding the other two because the sales girl was a bit vague about whether they were getting any more before the promo finishes.
Initial thoughts.
Like the size, smaller and lighter than the Sigma 70-300 but you would expect that.
Focussing seems quicker than the Sigma but you would expect that as well.
Zoom ring is much smoother than the Sigma but more "solid" than the kit 18-55.
The S in SWM does not stand for "Silent".

achuang
06-28-2007, 03:13 AM
I actually went to Teds at knox to try that lens out yesterday and they had one out on display.

Rooz
06-28-2007, 04:03 AM
I tried it on a D80 I flashed the plastic.

lmao you have NO control mate. :D

K1W1
06-28-2007, 05:44 AM
This is not by any means a wonderful photo but it's completely unprocessed (except conversion to jpeg).

55-200VR @ 80mm
ISO200
f4.5
1 second exposure hand held!

The box is about 1.5 metres from where I am sitting.


http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1194/647096349_bf67875eb9_b.jpg

achuang
06-28-2007, 06:11 AM
1 sec handheld is crazy, you must have the hands of a surgeon. I don't think VR did that alone, that has to be your stable hands too. Nice shot showing what VR can do. I'm going to go into to Teds at knox and buy one tomorrow, or at least put a deposit on one and ask them to hold it.
You must live pretty nearby knox if you went to teds there. Any favourite photo locations in the area?

Enjoy that lens, i hope they still have some in stock.

K1W1
06-28-2007, 06:14 AM
Any favourite photo locations in the area?



Check the Dandenong Ranges Group on Flickr.

I did take the photo sitting down with my back braced against the back of the chair but there is no way I could get anything like that without VR at 1 second exposure.

r3g
06-28-2007, 01:29 PM
1 sec handheld is crazy, you must have the hands of a surgeon. I don't think VR did that alone, that has to be your stable hands too. Nice shot showing what VR can do.


No kidding. VR starts to let me down around 1/4" indoors.. :(

tcadwall
06-28-2007, 02:02 PM
VR alone won't do it, but if you set your lens at 80mm (reasonable tele but not 200mm either) and you relax, and brace your body as K1W1 did, you might be suprised... Of course 1 second is quite extreme and something we can all appreciate! Really though, like when firing a weapon, pull the trigger slowly, and hold it down to burst a few, one of the 3 might make the grade.

Alex D80
06-28-2007, 07:53 PM
Been reading here and am going to piggy-back from this thread.

I have an 18-135 kit lens that came with my D80. How much better is the 55-200 VR or the 70-300 VR. Is it worth the expense. I am new at this dSLR. How much more zoom will I gain by going up to a 55-200 or 70-300. I keep on reading how most of the Nikonians praise these lenses.

dxrocnxj
06-28-2007, 08:21 PM
this one is 250 at bh photo.
and the new sigma lens which is the same is 150 at bhphoto.
is the nikkor that much better for the extra 100 bucks?

r3g
06-28-2007, 08:29 PM
this one is 250 at bh photo.
and the new sigma lens which is the same is 150 at bhphoto.
is the nikkor that much better for the extra 100 bucks?


Well seeing as the Sigma just came out no one really knows how it performs against the Nikkor. But if it is equal or better Im going to be kinda pissed.

dxrocnxj
06-28-2007, 08:32 PM
haha i agree, but at least i didnt buy it yet.;)
just kidding, ill probably buy the sigma, but ill definitley let you know how it is!

r3g
06-28-2007, 08:35 PM
Well now that i think about it that lens would be compared to the non-VR model (which costs around $180 last time i checked) anyway. The non-VR doesnt even compare to the VR so i dont see the sigma being better then the VR at that price. Though it would be a nice alternative to the slow AF and crappy feel of the non-VR.

aparmley
06-28-2007, 08:36 PM
Been reading here and am going to piggy-back from this thread.

I have an 18-135 kit lens that came with my D80. How much better is the 55-200 VR or the 70-300 VR. Is it worth the expense. I am new at this dSLR. How much more zoom will I gain by going up to a 55-200 or 70-300. I keep on reading how most of the Nikonians praise these lenses.

Hey Alex. I don't have any hands on experience with the 70-300 VR but I do own the 55-200. I choose the 55-200 simply based on price. What made it really easy is that this lens was getting good reviews. The difference between 200mm and 300mm really isn't all that much, but there is a difference. How much you weigh the difference may determine your choice if money is no factor.

I find the performance of the 55-200 very exceptable: Here are two photos I purposefully snapped (and I stress the word snapped) tonight to post as samples for Pete:

160mm | 1/200 | ISO 400 | f6.3
Shot Jpeg
slight exposure adjustment in lightroom (v1.1) with these sharpening (basically none) settings:
Amount: 0
Radius: 25
Detail: 1.0
Masking: 0

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1118/653127132_39d340d9a5_b.jpg (http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1118/653127132_39d340d9a5_b.jpg)

Everything identical to the above image except I shot at 200mm and boosted the saturation just a tad.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1099/653124664_bea51b0541_b.jpg (http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1099/653124664_bea51b0541_b.jpg)

dxrocnxj
06-28-2007, 08:38 PM
i actually just looked it up, a lot of people said its far from high quality build and pretty soft when wide open.also, they said the lens hood actually warped after a few minutes in the sun and the focus ring is too tight. i think the hundred bucks is well spent with the nikkor VR model.

r3g
06-28-2007, 08:41 PM
Interesting. I owned it for a little less then a week until I got my VR and as far as image quality goes it was fine. Only gripe i had with it was the AF speed really, i can live with a not so solid feel.


@ aparmley - Those are some pretty sweet shots to just be snaps. :]

dxrocnxj
06-28-2007, 08:49 PM
@ aparmley - Those are some pretty sweet shots to just be snaps. :]

agreed. :)

XaiLo
06-28-2007, 08:58 PM
Nice pics apmarley... that's pretty impressive. :)

achuang
06-28-2007, 09:35 PM
Nice shots there aparmley. I just bought the 55-200 VR today and so far it seems quite a bit sharper than my tamron. And the VR is useful, it's nice not to have to follow the 1/focal length guideline. I went in to the same store K1W1 bought his from but they were sold out, even though I went to try out the lens 2 days ago. He must have gotten the last one, so I had to drive out to fountain gate to get it.

K1W1
06-28-2007, 11:33 PM
Glad you got one.
Lets see some pics. :):)

achuang
06-29-2007, 12:35 AM
I'll take some shots with it in the next few days, then i'll post some up. It's funny how most of the other camera shops have it for close to $400. We got a good deal. I tried to see how slow i could handhold a shot at 200mm, but i couldn't get close to the 1 sec at 80mm. The best I could get at 200mm was about 1/20th.

aparmley
06-29-2007, 11:21 AM
Thanks for your comments guys. Its a cheap fun little lens.

firstdigital
06-29-2007, 02:08 PM
newbie question! is this lens compatible with the D70s? i need to make sure before i pull out the plastic. thanks

K1W1
06-29-2007, 03:55 PM
newbie question! is this lens compatible with the D70s? i need to make sure before i pull out the plastic. thanks

It's compatible with any Nikon DSLR including the D70s.

coldrain
06-30-2007, 03:22 AM
It's compatible with any Nikon DSLR including the D70s.
Almost... I do think the Nikon D1 is an 1.3x crop factor camera, isn't it? ;)

K1W1
06-30-2007, 04:28 AM
The lens will still mount and focus.

D70FAN
06-30-2007, 08:44 AM
Almost... I do think the Nikon D1 is an 1.3x crop factor camera, isn't it? ;)

Nope, 1.5.

To my recollection, Canon is the only mfr. with that sensor size.

Alex D80
06-30-2007, 07:58 PM
I find the performance of the 55-200 very exceptable: Here are two photos I purposefully snapped (and I stress the word snapped) tonight to post as samples for Pete:


Nice SNAPS. Sharp quality.

I like my 18-135 kits lens, but, is like everything in life, I want more of it. And I was thinking that the 55-200 VR or 70-300 VR would give me quite a bit more. I may need to go by the local shop and look thru the viewfinder to see how much more they grab compare to my 135.

Are the 55-200 VR and 70-300 VR very sharp at their max zoom?

Alex D80
06-30-2007, 08:01 PM
Thanks for your comments guys. Its a cheap fun little lens.

Since you have the same setup as I do, D80 w18-135 kits lens, and now you have added the 55-200 VR. Can you do me a huge favor and take some shots at max 135 and 200 of the same object to see the difference.

I would really appreciate your input on this.

Thanks in advance.