Just took the plunge with 55-200

Started 2 months ago | Discussions
Truman Prevatt
Truman Prevatt Veteran Member • Posts: 9,163
Just took the plunge with 55-200
6

The 50-140 f2.8 is all anyone could want from in a lens.

It is a fixed aperture zoom

It is fast for a zoom in that range

All the zooming is completely internal - the lens does not extend.

All the things I look for in a zoom.  On the other hand it is heavy and not the type of lens I would consider throwing in a bag and walking around with.  My 50-140 I use a lot but I often don't take it along because of the size and weight. Lugging that thing around on a hike would require either renting a Sherpa or buying a Yak  

I have looked at the 55-200 a couple of times. The faults I find with this lens are

Variable aperture

It is slower than molasses - outside on a cold day in Maine

The zooming is external - namely the lens grows as you zoom out.

All three of these I detest in a lens.

However, I just got mine and tried it out.  The huge benefit of this lens is it is about the size of my 90 f2 - even the same filter size.  From what I seen here and in testing of it is sharp enough (maybe not to the standards of the 50-140 but still very good) and has a nice rendering (for a slow lens).  This lens I will throw in my bag and take it with me a lot more often.

I took a shot of the light switch indoors at 1/10s using my H1 and the OIS/IBIS combination works quite well.  Outdoor shots were sharp with good contrast.

Given the price at B&H I decided to take a risk with it.  I'm quite pleased and I don't have to worry about what to feed a Yak 

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Truman
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57LowRider Veteran Member • Posts: 4,155
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200

Congrats! Like you say, it doesn't quite have the sharpness of the Red Label zoom or the 56 and 90 primes, say, but it's pretty darn good - I'd say it punches above its weight,.

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Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 26,479
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200

I just returned mine to BH - not sharp enough. That said, the lens has many pluses to it - like lightness! Enjoy yours.

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Steve Bingham

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Easychair Forum Member • Posts: 56
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200
2

Well over a decade ago I was shooting Nikon digital (APS-C) and picked up the 70-200 f/2.8 VR-II and was simply shocked at how amazing it was. I stepped away from photography for all intents and purposes for a number of years and only recently got back in by way of Fuji. I had the same reservations about the 55-200, but I knew that the 50-140 wasn't quite right for me due to the size. Plus I wanted that 300mm equivalent reach.

I bought the 55-200 and am very, very happy. I'm not a pixel peeper but the image quality wide open or close to it is very much acceptable to me. I do wish the zoom was internal, but that's a compromise that I'm willing to accept. At the (current?) sale price it's a great deal on a lens that balances size, weight, and image quality very effectively.

Truman Prevatt
OP Truman Prevatt Veteran Member • Posts: 9,163
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200
1

57LowRider wrote:

Congrats! Like you say, it doesn't quite have the sharpness of the Red Label zoom or the 56 and 90 primes, say, but it's pretty darn good - I'd say it punches above its weight,.

After a little more playing with it - it seems to tail off on the long end say above 150 to 160. Since I don't pixel peak - mostly print it should be just fine with the exception that it is slow. For the price I don't expect it to be as sharp or render like a fast prime.

That's fine.  I can make my wife happy this summer.  Heck I might even make her carry the H1 with the 55-200 attached 

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Truman
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Truman Prevatt
OP Truman Prevatt Veteran Member • Posts: 9,163
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200

Easychair wrote:

I bought the 55-200 and am very, very happy. I'm not a pixel peeper but the image quality wide open or close to it is very much acceptable to me. I do wish the zoom was internal, but that's a compromise that I'm willing to accept. At the (current?) sale price it's a great deal on a lens that balances size, weight, and image quality very effectively.

That's pretty much my conclusion.

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Truman
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allenhousephoto Forum Member • Posts: 86
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200

I just picked one up too! I had my eye on the 50-140 for quite a while but in the end I wanted something I can bring on trips, hikes, and bike rides. Weight/size won out in the end and I'm happy with the choice.

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Truman Prevatt
OP Truman Prevatt Veteran Member • Posts: 9,163
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200
1

allenhousephoto wrote:

I just picked one up too! I had my eye on the 50-140 for quite a while but in the end I wanted something I can bring on trips, hikes, and bike rides. Weight/size won out in the end and I'm happy with the choice.

I have the 50-140.  I took it on a long hike on my H1 in the Grand Tetons last summer - never again   .  For me the 50-140 is my equestrian sports lens be it race track, eventing, etc.  It is well built, constant aperture and fast for a zoom.  However, it is no lightweight.

Will I take the 55-200 on horseback, nope. I will have my Pro2 with the 35 f1.4 plaster to my check held on by a strap just in case I take an unplanned dismount, a.k.a soil sample and you hope it is sand ranter than soil or at least soil rather than rock.  Riding an animal that evolved as something's lunch and that will often look out for their own hide rather than the rider's can make for some interesting times and at those times the last thing you want is a three or four pounds of metal flying around (most likely smashing you in the face) or landing on it with a thud.  I've been riding horses for about 66 years now and still as comfortable as I am and as good as I am in the saddle - you just never know when a horse eating humming bird might appear.    . I've had a horse stand 50 feet from a grizzly with a cub and they looked at each other and the bear went on across the trail and the horse then went on down the trail - no problem.  Then on the same horse I've had a pis*ed off mockingbird (probably close to a nest) come out of the bushes - and the horse come unglued.  I manage to stay on most of the time - but no one stays on all the time.

One time a Harley rider said to me, "I understand why we wear helmets, but why do you guys." I simply answered, "the bike's brain is yours, the horse has his own brain and often strange things they thing are going to eat them and we sit about 5 feet off the ground - not including throw distance."

But for a hike or bike ride - the 55-200 would fit the bill.

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Truman
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notchy
notchy Regular Member • Posts: 272
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200

57LowRider wrote:

Congrats! Like you say, it doesn't quite have the sharpness of the Red Label zoom or the 56 and 90 primes, say, but it's pretty darn good - I'd say it punches above its weight,.

Andy Mumford's test comparing the 55-200mm with the 50-140mm may have been non-scientific, but it produced some surprising results regardless:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaQtTKRRphI

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NewKen
NewKen New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200

I love mine - got some greats shots first day out.

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Chris Sargent
Chris Sargent Senior Member • Posts: 1,148
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200

I agree with this thread... the 55-200mm punches above it's weight... it's not going to quite compete with the red label zooms or primes but for most needs it's a great choice.. lightweight, great IS and contrast and sharpness are very good for an optic in this range.

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surfoxy
surfoxy Regular Member • Posts: 204
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200

Just got mine yesterday, and I’m pleasantly surprised with the sharpness and contrast. I wanted the 50-140 but it makes no sense for the travel application for which I bought the 55-200. Kind of glad I got this one!

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Chris

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Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 26,479
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200

Careful, Truman. For many years my wife was a great assistant . . . and then SHE got into photography and I was left to carry my own stuff. Yikes. Now she owns, and carries, a complete Nikon system, complete with three lenses (along with 3 Best In Shows)!

Anyway, I am sure you will love this lens. Maybe a little soft on the long end, but for 99% of any photography it will matter not. Enjoy. A lot of pluses for this lens. Nice post.

Truman Prevatt wrote:

57LowRider wrote:

Congrats! Like you say, it doesn't quite have the sharpness of the Red Label zoom or the 56 and 90 primes, say, but it's pretty darn good - I'd say it punches above its weight,.

After a little more playing with it - it seems to tail off on the long end say above 150 to 160. Since I don't pixel peak - mostly print it should be just fine with the exception that it is slow. For the price I don't expect it to be as sharp or render like a fast prime.

That's fine. I can make my wife happy this summer. Heck I might even make her carry the H1 with the 55-200 attached

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Steve Bingham

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Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 26,479
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200

Smart move!

surfoxy wrote:

Just got mine yesterday, and I’m pleasantly surprised with the sharpness and contrast. I wanted the 50-140 but it makes no sense for the travel application for which I bought the 55-200. Kind of glad I got this one!

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Steve Bingham

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jslade797 Regular Member • Posts: 128
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200

Hired one recently alongside the 90mm f2. Very impressed with the output - punches well above its weight!

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SeldomFocused
SeldomFocused Forum Member • Posts: 72
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200

I once had the 40-150 and absolutely LOVE the output from that lens.  But like many, I found it so very obtrusive to use while walking about, so I didn't use it as much as I really wanted to.  I did reluctantly sell it and I am very happy with my 55-200.   I take it everywhere I go - still a bit heavy, but I find it to be a comforting/quality feel type of heavy - if that makes sense.  I leave it permanently mounted on my X-T1 and use my wider, less often used lenses on my X-T10.

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third son
third son Senior Member • Posts: 2,379
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200
2

I think it has acceptable sharpness on the long end. All at 200mm....It's a fun lens to use.

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afwares Regular Member • Posts: 149
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200

Wow, nice shots.  I guess that's what we'd call getting a good copy.  Nothing at all wrong with that one.  Kudos on some seriously good shots, especially the peacock vaping.

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Jerry-astro
MOD Jerry-astro Forum Pro • Posts: 13,558
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200

third son wrote:

I think it has acceptable sharpness on the long end. All at 200mm....It's a fun lens to use.

Outstanding shots.  Really enjoyed the lens while I had it (replaced it ages ago with the 100-400).  Excellent work!

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Jerry-Astro
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Carl JF New Member • Posts: 14
Re: Just took the plunge with 55-200

Got this one from the Calgary Zoo in 2018

I love my copy. Definitely worth getting.

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