Nikkor AF-S 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED DX - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published June 2006

Lens kindly provided for testing purposes by Tobias Jordan!


The Nikkor AF-S 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED DX is one of the most affordable tele zoom lenses in the current Nikon lens lineup. It is usually sold as part of a double lens kit package combined with one of the Nikon consumer DSLRs but it is also available separately for about 200 US$/€. As a designated DX lens it projects a reduced APS-C image circle and is therefore not compatible to full-frame SLRs. The field-of-view is equivalent to 82.5-300mm.

Similar to the AF-S 18-55mm the build quality is acceptable at best due to the extensive usage of cheap plastics for everything but the glass. The very broad rubberized zoom ring feels reasonably smooth with a slight increase in friction towards the long end of the zoom range. The tiny focus ring is located at the front of the outer barrel. However, this is really more a cosmetic implementation because the focus path is extremely short thus making it almost impossible to achieve an accurate focus via manual focusing.

As you can observe about the lens extends towards the long end of the zoom range using a rather unusual triple-cam design. At its 55mm setting it is extremely compact whereas it almost doubles in size at 200mm plus a couple of extra cm when adding the supplied petal-shaped lens hood. The front element does not rotate which is quite unusual for a lens in this price class - using a polarizer remains easily possible. Typical for all G lenses the Nikkor does not provide a dedicated aperture ring anymore. Surprisingly the Nikkor features an AF-S motor (silent-wave (ultrasonic)) but while this has the benefits of providing near silent AF the speed is comparatively slow.
The lens is available in a black and in a silver variant to match the body colors of Nikon's entry level DSLRs.

Equiv. focal length82.5-300 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/6-f/8.4 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction13 elements in 9 groups inc. 2 ED elements
Number of aperture blades9 (rounded)
min. focus distance0.295 m (max. magnification ratio 1:3.5)
Dimensions68 x 79 mm
Weight255 g
Filter size52 mm (non-rotating)
HoodNikon HB-34, petal-shaped
Par focalyes
Other featuresLens provides distance (D) information to the camera.

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