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Nikon 55-200 VRII. Worth buying?

Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:06 am

Since I've recently bought the new Nikon 200-500 lens, my Tamon 70-300 is not in use so frequently any more. I was thinking about selling it and therefore buy the Nikon 55-200 VRII (146 Euros on Amazon) for shorter focal lengths. It is lighter, smaller and basically has the same usable long end as the Tamron (Tamron gets very soft at 230mm).

According to reviews the Nikon 55-200 VRII is a good performer. However: Can anybody share some experience with the Nikon 55-200 VRII with regard to aviation photography?

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Re: Nikon 55-200 VRII. Worth buying?

Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:31 pm

I've heard good things about the 55-200 mm VRII as well. However, I opted for the 18-300mm since I was looking for a walk-about lens for my non-aviation use (hiking, home/holiday pictures, etc). But the lower end range (18mm +) is great for ramp shots and other situations where I'm closer to the aircraft. So now I carry my D800 with the 200-500 mm and a D7100 with the 18-300mm.

Jehan Crew - Photo Screener
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Re: Nikon 55-200 VRII. Worth buying?

Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:38 pm

I have the 55-300 and I would also prefer the 18-300VR over it.
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Re: Nikon 55-200 VRII. Worth buying?

Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:22 pm

I had the VRI for a while. I know it's a different optical design, so I can't give absolute feedback, but while the Nikon 70-300 gets a tad soft above 200mm, the 55-200 got slightly more noticeably soft above 135mm.

That said, I just looked at the MTF curves for both lenses, and the VRII does look a bit better overall than than the VRI, as well as better than either version of the 18-300 - significantly better in the corners.

Based on that, I'd think it's probably worth a try if you're definitely interested in reducing the size and weight of your kit. It's impressively small and light. Otherwise, I'd personally probably keep the 70-300.
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Re: Nikon 55-200 VRII. Worth buying?

Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:04 pm

The real issue with the entire 55-200 series is slow auto focus. If you shoot predictable subjects like commercial airliners, then any of the 55-200 lenses would work fine. Trying to shoot an airshow would be different though, and in my experience about 35% of my shots of fast subjects were recorded out of focus. The Nikon 55-300 has the same slow auto focus as the 55-200, so avoid that. The 70-300 VR (FX) has been my go to lens for the past 5 years, which is what I would recommend as of 9/2/16. The image quality is superb from 70-215, and auto focus is quick in every situation. Finally, a new Nikon AF-P 70-300 DX was just released. Nobody has reviewed it yet, so it is unknown what the quality is like. Nikon promises faster auto focus than the older version however, which would really be something since the old version was already excellent. The AF-P sells for $400 with VR, the older FX version is $500 on amazon. Either of those is my suggestion, though wait for reviews of the AF-P version if you go that route.
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Re: Nikon 55-200 VRII. Worth buying?

Fri Oct 19, 2018 12:40 pm

Don’t waste your money.
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Re: Nikon 55-200 VRII. Worth buying?

Fri Oct 26, 2018 5:15 pm

Good shots Saeed! Looks like a good lens which might be considered as an option.
With best regards from Almaty

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