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- In short
- Main Specifications
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- Differences between 55-200 / 4-5.6GII VR and 55-200 / 4-5.6GII VRII
- My personal experience with the lens
- Prices / where to buy
- All Nikon DX Nikkor Lenses
- User Comments
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In this review, I will abbreviate the lens as Nikon 55-200 / 4-5.6GII VRII.
The Nikon 55-200 / 4-5.6GII VRII is an inexpensive telephoto lens for Nikon's DX-series crop cameras. Is a logical improvement on an older lens Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1: 4-5.6G ED VR IF SWM... Lightweight, compact enough for transportation (has a new lens parking system), with built-in image stabilization, and most importantly - with normal / good image quality (as for a lens of this class). It has good performance in terms of price / quality ratio. I'm not kidding - this is a really usable albeit 'dark / plastic' zoom telephoto. Of the serious shortcomings, only slow focusing, a drop in sharpness at 200 mm focal length and poor macro capabilities are striking.
Often such a lens can be purchased with the camera as one of the two lenses included in the so-called double kit. In this set, the total cost of the camera, Nikon 55-200 / 4-5.6GII VRII and Nikon 18-55 / 3.5-5.6GII VRII significantly lower than all three pieces of equipment purchased separately.
Nikon has been making cheap televisions for Nikon DX cameras since 2005. In total there are 3 versions of the lens class Nikon DX 55-200 / 4-5.6:
- Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1: 4-5.6G ED SWM [two colors: black / silver, country of origin: Japan / China], April 2005 - March 2007.
- Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1: 4-5.6G ED VR IF SWM, March 2007 - January 2015 (possibly longer).
- Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1: 4-5.6GII ED VR II, January 2015 - our days.
You can find its name on the lens case with golden lettersNikon DX VR AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1: 4-5.6GII ED', where the pointer' II 'stands near the letter' G '. In the name of the lens, written near the front lens, in a surprising way, the pointer 'II' has already moved to another place, and the lens began to be called 'Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm 1: 4-5.6G ED VR II'(+ swapped' DX '/' VR '/' AF-S 'prefixes). Usually, in my review, I indicate the name of the lens exactly as it is written on its body, in this case it became a mystery to me how to indicate the name correctly (the same situation with Nikon 18-55mm 1: 3.5-5.6GII VR II AF-S DX Nikkor) In brochures, and on the official website the name is used 'NIKON AF-S DX NIKKOR 55-200mm f / 4-5.6G ED VR II', since it is customary to write the modification number there after the lens name. In fact, there is no difference, but it is worth noting that in the case of two similar lenses Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 18-200mm 1: 3.5-5.6G ED SWM VR IF Aspherical и Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 18-200mm 1: 3.5-5.6GII ED SWM VR IF Aspherical manipulations with the designations 'GII' and 'VR II' misled people, forcing them to believe that the new version 18-200 / 3.5-5.6 has a new generation stabilization system. As a result, in the review, I named the lens 'Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1: 4-5.6GII ED VR II'.
Main technical characteristics of Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1: 4-5.6GII ED VR II:
|Review Instance Name||Name near front lens: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-200mm 1: 4-5.6G ED VR II ∞-1.1m / 3.61ft ø52. Name in gold letters Nikon DX VR AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1: 4-5.6GII ED. Inscription on the other side of the case: Made in Thailand 20484906|
|Front Filter Diameter||52 mm, plastic thread for filters|
|Focal length||55-200 mm, EGF for Nikon DX cameras is 82.5-300 mm|
|Zoom ratio||3.64 X (usually rounded to 4)|
|Designed by||for digital cameras Nikon DX|
|Number of aperture blades||7 rounded petals|
|Labels||focal lengths for 55, 70, 85, 105, 135, 200 mm, bayonet mount mark and hood mounts|
The lens is deprived of the aperture control ring, control is via the camera menu (G - lens type)
|MDF (Minimum Focus Distance)||1.1 m over the entire range of focal lengths, maximum magnification ratio 1: 4.35 (Kenny made a mistake in MRR)|
|Stabilizer features||4 stops by CIPA standards. The stabilizer monitors the movement of the camera while shooting panoramas. The second generation stabilizer.|
|The weight||300 g|
|Optical design||13 elements in 9 groups, including 1 low dispersion element (shown in yellow on the optical diagram). The presence of such elements is indicated on the body by the abbreviation 'ED'.
Image of optical circuit clickable
|Lens hood||Nikon HB-37, bayonet type, plastic, same as lenses:|
|Transportation||With a soft cover CL-0915|
|Manufacturer country||Thailand, inscription on the lens 'Made in Thailand'|
|Period||From January 5, 2015. In August 2016, supplemented by a model Nikon DX AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm 1: 4.5-6.3G ED VR|
|Current prices in modern online stores|
In the very first version Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1: 4-5.6G ED SWM used 2 low-dispersion elements in the optical scheme, in the next two versions - only one.
Nikon 55-200 / 4-5.6GII VRII assembled in Thailand. The lens uses a plastic lens mount (onfoto nakosyachili in their review), such a mount is the first sign that a user from the simplest Nikon Nikkor line of lenses is in front of the user.
Nikon 55-200 / 4-5.6GII VRII - lightweight, compact, with parking system to reduce physical size during transport.
The focus ring is plastic, without rubber inserts, the zoom ring is coated with rubber.
The retractable part of the frame of the case consists of the spirit of the sections (actually three, but it takes a long time to explain). I have not noticed spontaneous lengthening of the frame of the case, but perhaps this can begin to occur when the zoom mechanism is worn out.
When changing the focal length, the rear lens moves in the middle of the lens body like a pump - it draws in and pushes out air. This behavior of the rear lens is called 'vacuum cleaner effect', which can increase the amount of dust that accumulates in the camera. From the side of the rear lens (when it is deepened), the lenses are visible loops, boards and other filling of the lens.
There is a bayonet mount mark and a mark on the case for quick installation of the hood. The lens uses a very strong (!) Plastic hood Nikon HB-37 (Made in China), which is fixed in special grooves located near the front lens of the lens. The hood can be installed in the opposite direction for transportation. In this position, access to the focus ring is lost. The lens hood moves with the trunk of the lens.
Nikon 55-200 / 4-5.6GII VRII has a second-generation Nikon VR image stabilizer that can compensate 4 stops by shutter speed. In values excerpts this means that you can shoot at shutter speeds 16 times longer than what a lens without a stabilizer requires.
Important: VR II (VRII) marking has nothing to do with the generation of the stabilizer. The 'II' prefix simply indicates the second version of this lens. Due to the fact that the abbreviation 'VR' is the last abbreviation of the full lens name shown near the front lens, there is a false impression that the prefix 'II' refers to the abbreviation 'VR'. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the lens, as evil, still uses a stabilizer of the second generation. At the time of this writing, the vast majority of Nikon lenses use a second generation stabilizer. The third generation could only be found in Nikon N AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1: 4G и Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm 1: 2.8E. The first generation can only be found in very old televisions, for example in Nikon ED AF VR-Nikkor 80-400mm 1: 4.5-5.6D.
To enable / disable the stabilizer on the lens there 'VR ON / OFF' button. I was able to take pictures without grease and hard work at 200 mm focal length and 1/15 of a second. Unlike more advanced lenses, such as Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 16-85mm 1: 3.5-5.6G ED VR SWM IF Aspherical, this lens does not have the ability to switch stabilizer modes.
There may be some twitching in the viewfinder when turning the Image Stabilizer on and off, this is normal and should not be feared. The stabilizer is activated by pressing the focus activation button (usually half-pressing the shutter release button).
The lens can track the movement of the camera during panorama shooting. In this case, the stabilizer will suppress vibration only in the direction perpendicular to the movement of the camera.
The stabilizer works well, but during real shooting it seems that the Nikon 55-200 / 4-5.6GII VRII stabilizer practically nothing in comparison with the previous version G vr (which also uses a second-generation stabilizer, but can only compensate according to the instructions for 3 steps shutter speed).
To start using the lens, you must first unlock it. To do this, you will have to press a special button that holds the lens in the 'L' position ('Locked' - 'Locked'), located on the zoom ring and rotate it toward the 55 mm mark, after which a slight click will be heard. To fold the lens, just press the button in exactly the same way and turn the zoom (zoom) ring in the opposite direction. When folded, the lens is shorter than in the working one.
On camera Nikon D80, D90, D700 and, most likely, on many other old cameras, when folded, the camera “does not see” the lens, but in the value field aperture 'F—' error blinks. Also, when folded, nothing is visible in the viewfinder.
On camera Nikon D3400, and most likely, on many other modern cameras, when the lens is folded, the camera displays the message "Before you start taking pictures, rotate the zoom ring to lengthen the lens."
Nikon 55-200 / 4-5.6GII VRII focuses thanks to 'SWM'-motor (Silent Wbird Motor - quiet wave motor) and refers to the lens'AF-S'type (with built-in motor focusing). Nikon 55-200 / 4-5.6GII VRII uses compact 'swm' motor.
Important: this lens will automatically focus on all Nikon DSLR cameras.
Despite claims that the focus motor is silent, noise is present during actual operation. This noise will affect the sound quality during movie shooting using the microphone built into the camera.
Auto focus speed is highly dependent on the selected focal length. Focusing speed at 55 mm focal length average, with an increase in the focal length, the focusing speed decreases significantly, the lens spends a lot of time focusing by 200 mm of the focal length, and the focusing speed at this value of the focal length can be considered low. The lens travel time for focusing from infinity to MDF and back is about 55 mm less than 200 mm. Focus speed is independent of camera orientation.
On the lens housing you can find focus switch 'A - M'. In position 'A', auto focus works, and in position 'M' - manual focus. During auto focus, the focus ring rotates and cannot be touched. To perform manual focusing, the lens must be switched to 'M' mode. The lens does not have a constantly manual focus control mode M / A or A / m.
The focus ring is paired with the front retractable body frame. During focusing, the front and rear lenses remain stationary, as the lens uses internal focus. You can easily use any filters, for example polarizing or gradient. The focus ring rotates approximately 60 degrees. When extreme positions are reached, the focus ring abuts. The ring is narrow, not rubberized and quite uncomfortable.
When used on a camera Nikon D90 (with unpretentious Multi-CAM 1000 focusing system) the lens behaves well, rarely focuses incorrectly. I had no problems with focus accuracy and focus. On camera Nikon D90 I checked the presence of the back and focus front at different focusing distances and different values of the focal length (infinity and MDF as well). Pictures taken using the Live View mode (which does not suffer from back / front focus) were used as a measure. Focusing accuracy using the central cross-shaped phase sensor completely coincided with the Live View mode.
The minimum focusing distance is 110 cm (the distance from the sensor / focal plane of the camera to the subject). With such an MDF, the maximum magnification factor is 1: 4.35 (you can shoot a weak macro).
- There is no depth of field scale, focusing distance and mark for working in the infrared spectrum. There is nothing at all, except for the focal length marks.
- During tests focus shift (shift-focus) was not noticed.
- There is a strong effect of 'Focus Breathing' (changing the viewing angle during focusing).
- Nikon 55-200 / 4-5.6GII VRII has no special focus problems in Live View (tested on Nikon D90).
- When changing the focal length, focusing is almost not lost.
- The lens does not have a hard stop (hard infinity mechanical stop) which allows you to accurately and quickly focus the lens to infinity under any external temperature conditions.
- Unknown compatibility with teleconverters.
The main differences between 55-200 / 4-5.6GII VR and 55-200 / 4-5.6GII VR II
- Version G vr 8 years older than the newer version.
- The GII VR II version is 35 grams lighter.
- The GII VR II version has a lens parking system ('L' button), which allows the lens to be slightly shorter during transport than the previous version G vr.
- Version G vr uses one pull-out section while changing the focal length. The retractable frame of the GII VR II version consists of two parts.
- The GII VR II version has a more powerful image stabilizer that allows you to compensate for 4 steps by shutter speed, against 3 steps in the version G vr.
- Versions use different optical schemes. In general, the image quality of the newer version is significantly better than the previous one.
- The versions have different countries of manufacture: GII VR II - Thailand; G vr - China.
- The GII VR II version focuses noticeably slower than G vr (here's the improvement!).
- The letters 'IF' and 'SWM' have been removed from the GII VR II hull.
- Versions use a different number of microprocessor contacts (most likely due to different compatibility with teleconverters and different stabilizer power).
- In the GII VR II version, the focus ring moves when the focal length is changed (not very convenient), in the version G vr the focus ring was in a different place and remained stationary while changing the focal length. In addition, the version G vr the focus ring was much larger, which made manual focusing much more convenient.
With image quality, almost everything is in perfect order. I was pleasantly surprised by the excellent sharpness at a fully open aperture of 55 mm focal length in the center of the frame. With increasing focal length, the sharpness in the center on the open aperture drops slightly, but remains at a decent level. When you close the aperture, sharpness decently increases. The worst sharpness is observed at 200 mm of the focal length at the edges and corners of the image on the open aperture.
Chromatic aberrationsVignetting and distortion are present, but their level is negligible.
In the blur zone, you get even circles of blur due to the rounded diaphragm.
The lens, for both dark and budget televisions, shows good performance in terms of image quality.
Pictures from Nikon D90. The photos in the gallery below are shown without processing, the conversion of the source RAW files by the original Nikon ViewNX-i utility without making additional adjustments.
All original Nikon DX telephoto lenses
- Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1:4-5.6G ED SWMarel 2005
- Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1:4-5.6G ED VR IF SWMMarch 2007
- Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1:4-5.6GII ED VR IIJanuary 2015
- Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 55-300mm 1:4.5-5.6G ED VR SWM HRIAugust 2010
- Nikon DX AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4.5-6.3G EDAugust 2016
- Nikon DX AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm 1:4.5-6.3G ED VRAugust 2016
A list of absolutely all lenses of the Nikon DX series, as well as a lot of useful information on lenses and cameras Nikon will find here.
GII VR II is an expected update from the previous version. We have increased the resolution to work with 24 MP cameras, improved the gimbal, made a parking system and reduced weight. In general, everything is better (except for focusing speed). The GII VR II is a great inexpensive way to shoot telephoto shots.
My thoughts for those who are rushing about choosing:
- don't change old G vr to the new GII VR II
- I recommend GII VR II to buy in double kit sets (when they sell the camera with two lenses at once)
- in fact, the GII VR II is only suitable for shooting outdoors, preferably in good light. Sometimes with it you can shoot in the studio
- I'm really very good and warm about GII VR II, for $ 140 it's hard to find something with a similar resolution
- Nikon 55-300 / 4.5-5.6G, generally better than the GII VR II, but I would not overpay for the extra 100 mm of focal length and settled on the GII VR II version. For those who want a more 'serious' lens - look towards the full frame Nikon 70-300 / 4.5-5.6G VR or Tamron DI SP 70-300mm F / 4-5.6 VC USD A005NII
- the cheapest televisions for Nikon cameras with a stabilizer in the secondary market: Nikon DX AF-S 55-200 / 4-5.6G VR (first version), Sigma AF 70-300 / 4-5.6 DG OS и Sigma 50-200 / 4-5.6 DC OS HSM. Cheaper for Nikon SLR cameras to find nothing
- 55-200 range partially overlaps with lenses Nikon 18-105 mm f / 3.5-5.6G VR, Nikon 18-135 mm f / 3.5-5.6G и Nikon 18-140 mm f / 3.5-5.6G VR, I would not buy the GII VR II as an add-on to the specified universal lenses
- Nikon 18-200mm f / 3.5-5.6G VR и Nikon 18-200mm f / 3.5-5.6GII VRwhich completely cover the 55-200 mm range is noticeably worse by 200 mm of the GII VR II focal length, but there’s no point in buying them in addition to the GII VR II
- for modern Nikon cameras that support AF-P lenses, instead of GII VR II, I recommend getting Nikon DX AF-P Nikkor 70-300mm 1: 4.5-6.3G ED VR.
Real prices for Nikon DX AF-S Nikkor 55-200mm 1: 4-5.6GII ED VR II in popular online stores can see here, or in the price block below:
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An accurate list of all Nikon DX Nikkor lenses
- 10.5 mm/2.8G AF Fisheye [gold ring]
- 35 mm/1.8G AF-S
- 40 mm/2.8G AF-S Microphone
- 85 mm/3.5G AF-S VR Microphone
- 10-20 mm/4.5-5.6G AF-P VR
- 10-24 mm/3.5-4.5G AF-S
- 12-24 mm/4G AF-S [gold ring]
- 16-80 mm/ 2.8-4IN AF-S VR [gold ring]
- 16-85 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR
- 17-55 mm/2.8G AF-S [gold ring]
- 18-55 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S [black / silver]
- 18-55 mm/3.5-5.6GII AF-S [black / silver]
- 18-55 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR
- 18-55 mm/3.5-5.6GII AF-S VR
- 18-55 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-P
- 18-55 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-P VR
- 18-70 mm/3.5-4.5G AF-S
- 18-105 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR [Thailand / China]
- 18-135 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S
- 18-140 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR [Thailand / China]
- 18-200 mm/3.5-5.6G AF-S VR [Japan / China]
- 18-200 mm/3.5-5.6GII AF-S VR
- 18-300 mm/3.5-5.6G VR
- 18-300 mm/3.5-6.3G VR
- 55-200 mm/4-5.6G AF-S [black / silver, Japan / China]
- 55-200 mm/4-5.6G AF-S VR
- 55-200 mm/4-5.6GII ED VR
- 55-300 mm/4.5-5.6G AF-S VR
- 70-300 mm/4.5-6.3G AF-P
- 70-300 mm/4.5-6.3G AF-P VR
Nikon 55-200 / 4-5.6GII VRII is compact, lightweight and inexpensive. I recommend it as an addition to the standard lens of class 18-55 / 3.5-5.6.