Nikon Lens


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Dec 28, 2007
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I have a Nikon D40x, I have been using the 18-55mm lens that came with the camera to death. (well it still works, but you know what i mean.)

I really want to start taking some street photography style images but my lens doesn't allow me to do so from a distance.

I have been looking at the 55-200mm VR lens. (I am in the states at the moment and can pick it up in store for the same price that i would cost me online at home.

do you guys think that a 200mm would be a good all round lens for me to use?
I am also keen to extend my Images into other areas. I need something that i can use for a range of shots.

thanks for your input.


here is my blog if you would like to see what i have been up to with my current lens.

Until you have a better handle on what type of photos are going to be your style and type, the 55-200mm is a decent enough of a lens. Combined with the 18-55mm, you will have a good focal length range.

When you upgrade your camera body, then start looking for more pro-sumer type lenses.
If that is all you can afford go for it but that lens is about as crappy as it gets.
If that is all you can afford go for it but that lens is about as crappy as it gets.

That was quite a useful tip you gave there.

I beg to differ on my opinion. For the money, it's okay, depending on your budget. It's certainly worth having a play around with at your local photo shop.

200mm at ~8 feet away

200mm at ~350 feet away.

Both of these have been cropped, but little if any post processing.

Certainly better lenses are out there, but look at the costs.
Forgot to add that if you really want to get out there, you can do like this guy.


"If that is all you can afford go for it but that lens is about as crappy as it gets."
What kind of advice is that?

kundalini thanks for your help. I will have a look around. do you have a blog/site that i can look at?

did you have a look at mine? I would be interested what you think. (unless you tell me that it is as crappy as it gets) :p

Thanks again to the both of you. :/

Forgot to add that if you really want to get out there, you can do like this guy.


Listen, just because you took a few good pictures with the lens does not mean it is not a bad lens. And remember you did not make the lens I am not saying anything about you personally when I say something about a particular lens. I am allowed to express my opinion and if teh OP did not want an honest opinion he should have just asked for the good reviews.
JIP is known for being critical about lens choices, and one has to respect his desire to share those opinions. I often do not agree with him, but always appreciate his input. You just have to learn how to parse through all the answers and more importantly, do the homework yourself on what your needs are, what quality level do you desire, and finally what is your budget is.

I don't really understand why people come here for general info, post and wait for responses. The answers are readily available for you without needing to wait for someone to answer in your thread. Whether it be by doing searches here, googling it, looking on sites like PBASE or FLICKR (as already suggested) or calling a local vendor, the answers are there if you want them without needing to wait for someone to offer their opinion here in this thread.

My process is like so; Let's say I am looking for a lens... this is basically the process I did for the last 4 lens purchases:

- I see a need (or want... lol), in my setup.

- I google reviews on the lens and collect a feel on if it gets good or bad results.

- I search here as well as look at pictures taken by this item on flickr and pbase.

- I post messages to people who own the lens, asking specific questions.

- If everything bodes well and I have decided to proceed, I look at pricing (which I should already have a general idea about from the reviews) and call my local vendors for quotes.

- I do online researches on pricing.

- I look to find out if I can hold the item in real life locally (test it out, see how I like it, etc...)

- If I decide to make the purchase, I decide from whom I wish to buy and just do it.

Seem like a lot of work? It should not, becuase first it educates you about your purchase and secondly it will result in you getting the best price and customer service for your hard earned dollar, but only IF you do your homework.

Opinions are nice, but I would NEVER make a purchase based solely on the opinion of someone without doing the homework myself. Their opinions are sincerely appreciated, but they are not me, and it is rare that two people have the same needs/desires/characteristics/budget as me.

As far as if the 55-200 lens is good for you... I cannot tell you.
- What is your budget?
- Can you afford something better?

As far as some opinions, Ken Rockwell (I know, don't start me on him... lol), says "The Nikon 55-200mm VR is excelent and very inexpensive. It's the lens bargain of 2007 at about $230"

Thom Hogan said:
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]" Drawbacks[/FONT]

  • [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Vignetting. We'd forgotten about it when we moved to digital SLRs, as the older lenses had much larger image circles than necessary, but with a small DX lens that barely covers the APS-sized sensor, it's back. [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Variable aperture[/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]. The big issue is that at 200mm this is an f/5.6 lens, which means that autofocus in low light can be compromised slightly. [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Build quality. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Build quality doesn't exceed the price point.[/FONT]
  • [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]What happened to AF-S? [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Much slower to focus than most AF-S lenses, and you can't manually override the focus.[/FONT]
  • [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Where are we?[/FONT] [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]No distance scale.[/FONT]
[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Positives[/FONT]

  • [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Very good optics. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Other than that vignetting, no fatal flaws worth mentioning, actually. Considering the price, good performance, and probably well-matched to the D40, D40x, D50 or D70s, or even D200 purchaser. The VR version is preferred, but the original is no slouch (and now an excellent value).[/FONT]
  • [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The 80-300mm for the digital world. [/FONT][FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Yes, the low-cost telephoto zoom is back in full force. If that's what you want with your DSLR, this is a lens you should consider. Just don't expect 70-200mm type autofocus performance. [/FONT]
  • [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Price/Performance exceeded . This is a sharper, more featured lens than you'd expect for US$250."[/FONT]
So... I've done 2% of your homework for you... you need to sit down and do the other 98% of the homework to find out if it is right for you or not.
I understand what you are saying. Info IS readily available on the net. However I thought i would write a post as well as looking on google and in the shops. I thought it would be worth asking some ones opinion that has actually had hands on experience.

Other than that it is a starting point for a conversation.

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