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Thread: Nikkor 55-200mmVR - how good can it be ?

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant mongo's Avatar
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    Nikkor 55-200mmVR - how good can it be ?

    With the next overseas trip coming up and not wanting to take any heavy expensive lenses, Mongo looked at alternatives. The Tamron 24-135 SP and the Nikkor 55-200 VR came to mind as pure travel lenses. Read really good and interesting things about both. So, Mongo bought both in as new used condition - Tamron $170) and Nikkor $150.


    The Tamron is intended as a one lens travel unit for when the D800 comes to be.


    In the interim, Mongo is taking his 11-18mm Tamron plus the 55-200mm Nikkor as a 2 lens travel kit with his D200 crop sensor camera. This should give effectively about 16mm to 300mm (with a missing gap between 29mm and 85mm). It will have to do for now.


    So testing the nikkor today, Mongo agrees it is a little slow but quite workable. The sharpness it is supposed to have - it has ! Processed the following more or less the same as any other image. Not bad at all for what Mongo needs for the trip and it does not matter if it falls off a cliff in the process - it is quickly and cheaply replaced.


    Much more on this lens (and the other one later - post trip). What do you think of the result for the intended purpose ?


    Details:- Nikkor 55-200mm VR @190mm; 1/800th @f10; ISO400; D200
    test-bird-55-200mm.jpg
    Nikon and Pentax user



  2. #2
    Ausphotography Regular Allie's Avatar
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    Well, it is certainly sharp enough and much too fine to throw off a cliff - does Mongo intend taking photos of Noisy Miners (Manorina melanocephala) while overseas or other birds off the cliffs he intends dropping the lens from?? If so, I would think it is more than adequate.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    As I remember the way it worked from a quick play with Andrew and Debs many years back.
    An honest a highly acceptable lil lens for the money

    ... and only because you've mentioned it now ..... just let me know which cliffs you plan on visiting. I want to be waiting at the base of each with the hope that one will fall on me!
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


  4. #4
    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant
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    thank you both for your unusual and delightful comments. Mongo is currently OS and has not flown off a cliff yet with this lens and now thinks better of it - so no cliffs for the immediate future. However, the files are in NEF RAW and he cannot examine the quality of the images until he return home and then he will report all. This will include which cliff (for those who may be interested) should they not turn out to be good images.

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    You have done a superb job with the image Mongo. I have the 55-200mm VR also and I think it is a great lens for both image quality and value with it best for shooting during the daytime/early dusk as you have done.

    This is proof that you don't need to spend a lot to get great images. It is sharp, the bokeh is great...you could tell anyone it was taken with a $1000+ lens and they would likely believe you I think. Who could tell?

    Thanks for sharing.

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    A. P's Culinary Indiscriminant
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    thanks Avalanche for looking in and for giving Mongo your take on this lens and Mongo's lens test. Believe Mongo when he tells you the lens' performance surprised him too !!

    Mongo agrees with you that the result looks like it came from something that cost a lot more that about $150 and light as to carry around.

    Ironically, Mongo has just about decided to sell it now that he virtually does not use it and to make room for other lenses.
    Last edited by mongo; 05-02-2013 at 2:17pm.

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