Support Cameralabs by shopping at my partner stores or buying me a coffee!
Buy me a coffee!

Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
  Latest camera reviews

Lumix G80 / G85
Olympus OMD EM1 II
Sony RX10 Mark III
Sony RX100 Mark V
Nikon COOLPIX B700
Sony A6500
Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500
Nikon COOLPIX B500
Lumix LX10 / LX15
Fujifilm XT2
Nikon D3400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Ricoh GR II
Canon G7X Mark II
Canon SX720 HS
Canon EOS 80D
Olympus TG Tracker
Nikon D500 review
Canon EOS 1300D / T6
Lumix GX80 / GX85
Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X70
Lumix TZ80 ZS60
Sony A6300
Canon PowerShot G5X
Lumix TZ100 ZS100
Sony A7s Mark II
Sony RX10 II
Lumix FZ330 / FZ300
Sony RX100 IV
Canon G9X
Fujifilm XT10
Nikon COOLPIX L840
Canon SX530 HS
Olympus OMD EM10 II
Canon SX410 IS
Panasonic Lumix GX8
Olympus TOUGH TG860
Sony A7r Mark II
Canon PowerShot D30
Olympus TOUGH TG4
Canon PowerShot G3X
Canon EOS 5Ds
Nikon COOLPIX S9900
Sony HX90V
Canon EOS T6s 760D
Panasonic Lumix G7
Panasonic Lumix SZ8
Canon EOS M3
Olympus EPL7
Samsung NX3000
Panasonic Lumix GM5
Nikon D5500
Panasonic Lumix GF7
Olympus OMD EM5 II
Nikon COOLPIX S9700
Canon SX710 HS
Panasonic TZ70 / ZS50
Sony Alpha A7 Mark II
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Fujifilm X100T
Nikon COOLPIX S3600
Sony Alpha A5100
Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
  Best Buys: our top models
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories

Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
  DSLR Tips

Nikkor AF-S DX VR 55-200mm f/4-5.6 G ED Gordon Laing, August 2007

More results : Outdoor /
Resolution / Corner sharpness / Fringe and macro / Geometry / Vignetting

Outdoor scene: Nikkor DX 55-200mm VR vs 70-300mm VR with Nikon D80

To compare real-life performance we shot the same scene with the Nikkor DX 55-200mm VR and 70-300mm VR using a Nikon D80 within a few moments of each other using the camera's best quality JPEG and lowest ISO settings. Both lenses were set to a focal length of 70mm and the tests performed at f8, followed by the maximum apertures of each model. VR was disabled for each lens.

The image left was taken with the Nikkor 55-200mm VR and D80 at 70mm f8; the original JPEG measured 4.38MB. The crops below are taken from the bottom left, middle and top left sections of the originals and reproduced here at 100%.

The sets of crops below immediately reveal the DX 55-200mm VR as delivering lower contrast to the pricier 70-300mm VR when both lenses are set to 70mm f8. While the 70-300mm crops are undoubtedly punchier though, there's little if any extra detail resolved. Both lenses appear to deliver roughly the same degree of detail in this particular test, which is impressive for the DX 55-200mm VR considering its budget price.

As you'll see in our studio resolution tests on the next page, the resolving power of each lens appears to be limited by the D80's 10 Megapixel sensor, although it will be interesting to retest each lens with higher resolution Nikon bodies to see if differences emerge. Before moving onto the next page though, scroll down further to see results with each lens with their apertures wide open.

Nikkor DX 55-200mm f/4-5.6 VR
Using Nikon D80 at 70mm f8
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR
Using Nikon D80 at 70mm f8
Nikkor DX 55-200mm VR at 70mm f8 - crop 1
Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 70mm f8 - crop 1
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
Nikkor DX 55-200mm VR at 70mm f8 - crop 2
Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 70mm f8 - crop 2
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO
Nikkor DX 55-200mm VR at 70mm f8 - crop 3
Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 70mm f8 - crop 3
f8, 100 ISO
f8, 100 ISO

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Below are crops from samples taken with each lens opened to its widest aperture; the composition is identical to the one above allowing direct comparisons. If anything the DX 55-200mm VR appears to deliver slightly higher contrast here at 70mm when opened to its widest aperture, and there's certainly no undesirable artefacts as a result. Indeed if you look very closely to the right side of the first row of crops, you'll see a tiny amount of blue fringing on the white chimney on the 70-300mm VR sample which isn't apparent on the cheaper lens.

So overall, a good result here for the DX 55-200mm at 70mm, although with tests performed at the longer end of the optical range we noticed some softening and coloured fringing in the extreme corners compared to the 70-300mm. To be fair though, the 70-300mm VR is more expensive, bigger, heavier and corrected for full-frame bodies. So the results here are testament to the quality of the DX 55-200mm VR - it's a class act for the money. Now let’s have a look at the studio resolution results.

Nikkor DX 55-200mm f/4-5.6 VR
Using Nikon D80 at 70mm f4.2
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR
Using Nikon D80 at 70mm f4.5
Nikkor DX 55-200mm VR at 70mm f4.2 - crop 1
Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 70mm f4.5 - crop 1
f4.2, 100 ISO
f4.5, 100 ISO
Nikkor DX 55-200mm VR at 70mm f4.2 - crop 2
Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 70mm f4.5 - crop 2
f4.2, 100 ISO
f4.5, 100 ISO
Nikkor DX 55-200mm VR at 70mm f4.2 - crop 3
Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 70mm f4.5 - crop 3
f4.2, 100 ISO
f4.5, 100 ISO

Nikkor DX 55-200mm VR lens results continued...

Outdoor / Resolution / Corner sharpness / Fringe and macro / Geometry / Vignetting
If you found this review useful, please support us by shopping below!
All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ Best Cameras / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs