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Lens review

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED VR

6 November 2009
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

Savings can be seen in many places when it comes to the tested Nikkor’s construction. First thing that really sticks out is the extensive usage of cheap plastics – even the mount is made of it. The second serious flaw is the manual focus ring: positioned at the very end of the lens, small, uncomfortable, not allowing to achieve any accuracy and without a scale. Fortunately the zoom ring is a lot bigger and you can operate it with more comfort.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED VR - Build quality

There are two switches on the left side of the lens: one to change the focusing mode from manual to automatic, the second to switch the stabilization on and off.


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Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED VR - Build quality

The 55-200 mm model without stabilization weighed just 255 grams and consisted of 13 elements in 9 groups with two elements made of low-dispersion ED glass. The 55-200 mm VR lens has already 15 elements in 11 groups (but only one ED element). The amount of elements is bigger, a VR system was added, small wonder the weight increased (to 335 grams) and so did the physical dimensions. There are also disadvantages – the minimal focus increased from 0.95 to 1.1 meter. The construction is complemented by a 9 diaphragm blades aperture which can be closed down to f/22-32 (depending on the focal length) and a 52 mm non-rotating filter thread.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED VR - Build quality

The buyer will find a bayonet lens hood and a soft pouch included in box.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED VR - Build quality

When it comes to stabilization we were very curious how will it really perform. Our previous tests showed that stabilized sensors reach results from 2 to less than 3 EV and stabilized lenses- from less than 3 to less than 4 EV. How the Nikkor fares in this category? Let’s have a look at the picture below with test chart scenery crops taken at 100 mm and at exposure times from 1/125 to 1/10 s.

Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED VR - Build quality

When the lens works without stabilization the first traces of blur can be noticed between 1/100 and 1/80 s. With the stabilization switched on, sharp pictures can be taken up to 1/15 s. inclusive. We can extend the time of work about 7 times and it can be translated into near 2.8 EV efficiency. This result is similar or a tad better than the best results of stabilized sensors.