Build quality and handling
Shoehorned into a compact package, the Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX VR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED's diameter and minimum length are just 73 x 100mm, extending to a maximum length of 175mm complete with hood, at the longest telephoto zoom setting.
Weighing a mere 335g, the lens certainly isn't cumbersome, but build quality isn't particularly inspiring either.
Unusually in this class of lens, the mount for fixing it to a camera is made of plastic rather than metal, but it should still be quite durable. The rubberised and nicely textured zoom ring runs almost the full length of the body and operates quite smoothly, yet without any hint of zoom creep.
There's no focus distance scale and the manual focus ring itself is tiny and quite fiddly. At least it's placed at the forward end of the lens, so doesn't tend to get fouled by your fingers while rotating in autofocus mode.
At the Nikon Nikkor AF-S DX VR 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED's largest aperture settings of f/4-5.6, sharpness is merely adequate at short and medium focal lengths but it's impressive at the maximum telephoto length of 200mm.
This is quite unusual for a telephoto zoom lens, since sharpness normally drops off at the long end of the zoom range.
Vignetting is well controlled at all focal lengths, while autofocus is pretty rapid and very accurate. Like the larger Nikon 55-300mm VR, resistance to ghosting and flare is impressive.
Taken at 200mm, f/5.6