View Full Version : Most Logical-nikkor 55-200vr Vs. Nikkor 70-300vr

07-12-2007, 12:49 AM
alright well for starters, i am a college student on a college student budget and i'm looking to extend my range with my d40, and it looks like the VR is the way to go but for general shooting purposes which lens should i purchase.

the 55-200 VR or the 70-300VR?

07-12-2007, 12:54 AM
Well the 55-200VR needs no introduction on this board. As for the VR70-300 ive never used it, but if its quality equals or passes the 55-200 id get it. Every now and then i find myself in a situation wishing i had another 100mm of zoom left. I believe i read somewhere that the quality of the 70-300 drops drastically after 200mm though so it might not be worth it. Whats the point if you cant use the whole zoom range. o_O I could have read that about another x-300mm lens though.

07-12-2007, 02:42 AM
You may have 'read' that quality drops after 200mm on the 70-300mm but have you used it yourself? Thought not ;)
I have some AMAZING shots taken handheld at 300mm with that lens so that statement is completely false IMO.

However the 70-300mm is not a "general shooting purposes" type of lens. In many cases 70mm will be too much and you'll want something much wider.
Unless by general shooting you mean birds and wildlife and all things zoom-worthy.

07-12-2007, 03:41 AM
alright well for starters, i am a college student on a college student budget and i'm looking to extend my range with my d40, and it looks like the VR is the way to go but for general shooting purposes which lens should i purchase.

the 55-200 VR or the 70-300VR?

if your on a tight budget then the 55-200VR is the way to go. if you have a little more cash to throw around the 70-300VR is the one to get.

you do lose some quality in the 70-300 after say 240mm though its not as bad as some critics make out. but thats pretty common in consumer zoom lens' . ie they lose some IQ fully extended.

the other consieration you need to give is tha tthe 55-200VR is HALF the weight and size of the 70-300. thats a pretty big difference.

07-12-2007, 03:57 AM
You have 18-55 already get the 55-200 now.
If you regularly need something longer than 200 after some experience then you can look at something like a 80-400 or a straight 300mm telephoto.
I have now had two 70-300 lenses and although I swore that I never missed the 55-70 gap after a short while I have realised that I was wrong also I worked out that I infrequently used the 200-300 range.

07-12-2007, 06:19 AM
Just thought I would point out what should be obvious. Since the focal range of these lenses is actually quite different on the digital body, the 55mm-200mm is approx. a 83mm-300mm film equivalent. And the 70-300mm is approx. a 105-450mm equivalent. The longer the range, the more compromises that take place in IQ. But not all things are equal. I would suggest trying out both, but if you really are on a tight budget, I agree with the advice to get the 55-200mm VR. It is a lot of bang for the buck. The other lens is good, but I tend to believe that if the 55-200mm doesn't satisfy you in some shots, it is less likely that you will find the range the reason. It will likely be the aperture limitations, or something. In which case, you have already saved money for a flash, or you have saved money toward upgrading to faster glass.

07-12-2007, 06:22 AM
When you say general shooting purposes will they be general shooting indoors or outdoors. If it's indoors, a lens that goes to 300mm isn't usually much use so the 55-200VR may be suitable. If it's outdoors and you've got the cash for the 70-300 then get that as the extra 100mm will probably be quite welcome. Choose based on your shooting needs and budget, you can't really go wrong with either one. I'm sure you'll be happy with whatever you choose.

07-12-2007, 08:26 AM
There are more differences than just focal range and price to consider. The AF-S on the 55-200 VR is reportedly much slower than on other AF-S lenses. Also, you can't manually override focus just by turning the ring on the 55-200 VR. You have to actually flip a switch to be able to MF. This might not matter to some people, though. Thom Hogan shows a good example of when you might want quick MF in his 55-200 VR review. Another consideration is build quality, but then the 55-200 VR is much lighter than the 70-300 VR so that might not matter either.

I had considered downgrading to the 55-200 VR for its size, but at our family reunion last month I found myself using 200mm+ a lot. The IQ might drop a little past 240mm or so, but I still got some amazing pictures of the kids tubing at 300mm. I was very impressed with the contrast, saturation and sharpness even wide open. I didn't lose any shots because of IQ and gained a bunch because of the longer range.

07-12-2007, 09:01 AM
It's all in your shooting style and preference my friend, personally I live at the long end. Image quality between the two is going to be minimal. As Kellie noted the switching to manually swithing to MF with the 55-200mm VR. And if money is no issue then the only real consideration is size, wieght, and zoom. I run around with the 70-200mm pretty much permantly attached to my camera it's relatively the same size of the 70-300 VR and has nearly twice the wieght and I really don't find the weight to be an issue. So it's compact kit vs zoom. A lot of times you will not be able to compensate for that extra 100mm by simply moving forward. hth :) happy shooting