366 of 374 people found the following review helpful
on 30 March 2009
As a D40 owner, i was somewhat disappointed to find that i was limited by which lenses i could buy. Thankfully most of the zoom lenses that Nikon produce are AF-S and thus will autofocus fine.
Now, i was sorely tempted by a 70-300mm VR lens, but the price was simply to high to justify (as a keen amateur!). So, i ended up getting one of these instead - and it's possibly my favourite lens at the moment (i also have a Sigma 28-70mm f/2.8, Nikon 50mm f/1.8 and the Nikon AF-S 18-55mm kit).
I didn't have much chance to mess around with it at home (not much to shoot) so i took it with me to London this week to see how it performed. The first thing i noticed was how sharp my pictures were coming out. I've had a lot of use focussing manually with the 50mm, so nice automatic focussing was a pleasure! It's not the fastest in the world to focus, but it's good enough to get a bird in flight without too much of a problem.
The actual zoom range is great, if you hunger after something a bit longer than your kit lens then you won't be disappointed. With a zoom of around 4 times, if you own the 18-55 kit lens you'll have 10x optical zoom to play with, (200/55 = 3.6). Whilst the actual magnification isn't a large number, the actual focal length trounces most consumer cameras. Put simply, i was getting a bit of flak from my friends about "only having 3x optical zoom and not being able to 'get in further'". This lens shut them up nicely.
Get VR if at all possible, it compensates for your hand shaking slightly when you take your photos and lets you get down to slightly lower shutter speeds/smaller apertures if you need them.
Size wise it's small, a bit longer than the D40 kit lens and it comes with a handy lens hood. You'll need to get a clear filter to protect the front element - it'll take a 52mm diameter filter.
If you can afford it then i'd say get the 70-300, but this is stonking value for money!
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on 7 November 2013
I ordered this lens to go with a new Nikon D3200 (my first DSLR, a present from my wife).
I was a bit dubious, having been brought up with film rather than digital, and an ingrained distrust of zooms. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the kit lens (18-55 zoom), and by the high proportion of positive reviews for the 55-200, so went ahead, partly influenced by the incredible value for money.
I've only been using the equipment for a few weeks, and haven't done any 'scientific' testing, but early results are very impressive, so very pleased with the purchase.
Biggest advantage of choosing this lens is that it's a match for the 18-55 kit lens, especially in the way it handles. AF/Manual switch, VR switch, zoom ring and focus ring all work in the same way and are similarly located on the two lenses.
(From past experience, Sigma and Tamron make excellent lenses, but it can be confusing switching from the camera manufacturer's lens to an aftermarket lens, however good the quality.)
Another advantage is that the filter thread is the same (52mm) so there's no need to duplicate filters in different sizes.
All things considered, a very good buy. At this price, an ideal way to add versatility to that first DSLR outfit. And, if first impressions are to be trusted, equally suitable for the really experienced enthusiast.
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 27 November 2009
I bought this lens to compliment my 18-55 VR lens which came with my Nikon D5000. It's a very good buy but after a few weeks I decided that I would prefer the 18-200 VR lens to replace my 2 lenses and I also bought a very fast 35mm f1.8 lens for poor lighting situations. The 18-200 is certainly the most used but it is expensive! VR works brilliantly on the Nikon lenses and you won't really realise just how good it is until you turn it off and compare the results. When it's on, it means that you can use a slower shutter speed hand-held and it works so well. If you are thinking of buying the cheaper 55-200 lens without VR I would advise you to spend the extra money. Your hand is probably not as steady as you think it is!!
207 of 218 people found the following review helpful
on 24 September 2007
If you own a Nikon D series SLR with its stock autofocus DX series zoom lens rated at 18-55mm new style (equivalent to 27-83mm old style), this is the obvious next step purchase. Rated at 55-200mm new style (83-300mm old style) it's small, light and really does cut out camera shake to allow genuine "point & shoot" at its higher focal lengths, giving you a "tripod-less", perfectly matched combination of two autofocus Nikkor lenses covering a full 18-200mm (27-300mm old style). Just perfect... and, for the price, stunningly good value.
126 of 135 people found the following review helpful
on 19 June 2009
I am strictly an amateur photographer who likes to record my real passion, travel, so I bought this lens 2 months ago. I can't comment on long term durability, however I have just come back from 2 weeks travel in Alaska where it performed faultlessly. It was constantly swapped with the standard lens on my D40 which I used to shoot over 1100 images of landscapes and wildlife. The lens coped well with experimental shots of birds in full flight at maximum zoom and produced suprisingly sharp images. Bears, seals, moose and other more static subjects filled the viewfinder nicely and left me in no doubts that I had done the right thing to buy this in addition to the standard 18 - 55 lens (which is great for the huge landscapes and close shots of plant life). My only regret is that I can't afford the 300mm VR Nikon lens but for half the money this is a real bargain.
Lens changes were quick and the plastic lens mount won't be a problem if you are careful and patient with your equipment.
The bigger lens does add some weight to the camera but I found the VR system worked well to stabilise camera shake even on maximum zoom. The lens' AF worked well even on the camera's auto settings; I am still exploring the manual settings being a DSLR newbie. Overall I am really happy with the lens and would recommend it to other amateurs looking to extend their camera's (and their own) repertoire.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
I've had this lens for just over a year now and feel able to comment after a fair bit of use on the Nikon D90 and 3000.
The Nikkon 55-200mm is an entry level telephoto type lens that has auto focus and vibration reduction capabilities. It compliments the 18-55mm kit lens on the D3000 nicely and is ideal for portrait, wildlife and sports photography plus day to day use at the lower end. The build quality of this lens is definitely reflected in the cheap price but don't let that put you off as it is adequate enough as long as you look after it. When zooming in and out the movement is smooth with no creaks or juddering. On a big plus side its quite light in weight which when walking around (Hill walking/climbing) for upto eight hours makes a big difference. I've had brilliant shots from Derbyshire, The Lakes and Snowdonia. The vibration reduction feature is brilliant in my experience. At full zoom it really comes into its own and there is a very noticeable difference with it on, far better quality pictures optically and clarity is excellent. You will notice that as you half press the shutter release your image will suddenly stabilize, great stuff. There is some softness and fringing at the edges at 200mm but. . .more often than not your subject will be central at full zoom therefore this won't be a problem!
Standing approx 1metre away and at full zoom you can get some cracking macro shots with detail. I've taken some great shots of butterflies, bees and other insects/flowers during the summer. This is also a great portrait lens. Stand back, full zoom with a wide aperture and you get a sharp subject with a nicely blurred background. I took this kind of shot of each person (with my partner) at my partner's 50th a few months ago to make a montage. Even cropped they're sharp which is down to the VR function when on full zoom. I've sent quite a few copies out and they were all very impressed thankfully! I whizzed around each person like lightening and this lens was a pleasure to use.
So, yes I really like this lens! At this affordable price (compared to the 70-300mm) you're getting great functionality as an avid home photographer. Like for like its not 'that' different to the 300mm except in build quality and of course zoom! With a great auto focus and vibration reduction, lightweight too you can't go wrong in my opinion.
If you're happy with the 18-55mm and 18-105mm kit lenses on the D3000 and D90 then I'd definitely go for this.
If. . .you're thinking of astronomical photography (connecting this to a telescope) I'd go for the 70-300mm!
Hope this helps, good luck!
207 of 223 people found the following review helpful
on 26 May 2007
Announced in March 2007, this is one of Nikon's latest DX lenses for digital cameras. I have been using this lens on my D40. Compared with the 18-55mm kit lens, this lens not only extends the zoom range, but it also delivers sharper photos. As far as I can tell, it is the same lens as the previous 55-200mm lens, but with Vibration Reduction (VR) technology which is essential at high zooms. When you press the shutter half-way, the VR is activated and you can actually see a visible difference through the viewfinder! The lens makes a humming sound while the VR system is active. I would recommend that you don't go for the old non-VR lens - pay £100 extra and get one like this with VR. It will make a big difference. The only problem is that now I have experienced the 55-200mm VR, I have started to crave for the 70-300mm VR! The VR system does drain the battery life, so be careful about this when you are out and about - every time you depress the shutter button half way to focus, the VR is activated. Also, I have noticed that when the VR does kick in, it causes a degree of camera shake which may be significant if you have perfectly framed your shot. So for these reasons I have given 4 stars rather than 5.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 1 June 2010
The main attractions of this lens for me are -
1. It complements the kit (18-55mm) lens that came with the Nikon D3000 DSLR camera to give me reasonably broad zoom coverage
2. It allows auto-focus and has vibration reduction (image stabalisation). My hands are a bit shaky so this is useful to me. Nikon build these features into the lens rather than the camera body.
These coupled with the fact that it was selling for the cheapest price advertised by any retailer with a good feedback record made my mind up. It arrived very promptly and was well packaged (though I did end up collecting it from a DHL depot, that's not the vendor's nor Amazon's fault).
In use it has worked flawlessly so far. It's a lightweight plastic lens with a rubberised effect coating on the barrel, made in China of course, and has given me very pleasing results. I gererally use it for static landscape style photos so I can't really comment on its suitability for action shots.
I dislike the fact that the lens cap isn't tethered to the lens or camera but that's a minor point.
Note that this lens is F4.0-5.6 and not F4.5-5.6 as described.
I'd like to buy one or two other Nikkor lenses but they either massively overlap the coverage I already have or the prices are prohibitive for an improving "snapper" like me.
129 of 139 people found the following review helpful
on 1 February 2008
A great lens for a tiny price! This is an excellent lens to really take you a step further into the world of digital SLR photography.
I've owned the D40 for about 7-8 months and I finally decided that I'd like to be able to pick out features and have a bit more flexibililty with zoom. So after reading around I decided upon this for it's ability, but mainly becasue of the price tag! A quality lens for this much money is a nobrainer. The VR is essential, especially in low light situations and i've got excellent results with it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Often sold as a "twin kit" lens with camera bodies and the also respectable 18-55mm kit lens.
For the modest asking price, it will certainly meet the needs of users who wish to experiment with longer focal lengths, but want to do so in a wallet friendly way.
I've used a few of these over the years and they've all been good overall. But I'll list my pro's and cons and I usually do to help highlight the main points quickly for buyers.
+ Good price/affordable even if you're on a limited budget
+ Overall good optical performance, the lens is good over it's range delivering decently sharp images. (Useful 82.5-300mm equivalent)
+ It's lightweight as you expect for a kit lens (around 335g)
+ VR is present and works as you would hope (I'd say around 3 stops but this can vary between users)
+ 52mm filter size is common for Nikon lenses, filter thread does not rotate during focus.
+ Comes with a hood and bag as per usual Nikon bundle (take note some other makers)
+ Distortion is minor and mostly well controlled (some slight barrel at 55mm, moving to some pincushion above 120mm, but again not that much)
+ CA not really an issue, again well controlled and minimal
- Plastic build and lens mount (usual for this type of lens though)
- Small focus ring for manual focus, no full time manual focus over-ride (like the 18-55mm VR)
- Autofocus not as fast as some AF-S lenses it's not horribly slow, but it's no speed demon either (acceptable for the price I would say)
- Some vignetting at 55mm wide open and appears stronger again at around 130-200mm.
For the price not much to complain about really it's a good deal and delivers good quality images through it's focal range.
One tip, get used to "not" picking up your camera by the lens with these lenses or else you might have an accident and put pressure on the plastic lens mount.
For shooters looking for a good started telephoto lens at minimal cost this is probaby the best first choice if the range and lens speed suit. Obviously this isn't a fast lens, though the VR can help you out a bit, don't expect miracles though.