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Old Jul 3, 2007, 8:14 PM   #1
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OK, I currently have a Sigma 70-300 non APO Macro II that I like the reach on, but it seems really soft at anything above 200mm. I can even see it through the viewfinder that it is getting soft when I zoom out that far.

I had a kit lens 55-200 that I traded on a 50 f1.8 and now looking back on it, the 55-200 seemed alot sharper.

I have tried the 70-300 VR in the shop, and really like the IF and focus control ovveride features, as well as the non rotating filter ring. I have not tried the 55-200 VR, but cannot see that it would be in the same ballpark when it comes to image quality.

Has anyone benchmarked these against each other? I think that I am really in love with the 70-300 (course I can't afford it right now) but if the 55-200VR is even close, I would think about picking that up instead. Heck, I could even get a 1.4 extender and really reach out there.

What do you think??


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Old Jul 4, 2007, 4:07 AM   #2
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If you need the extra zoom 70-300mm VR is a very good lens. No, I wont trade it for 55-200mm VR. Since you came to this forum just look at the previous 55-200mm talk.

You will see some of my examples plus others using 55-200mm VR and the 70-300mm VR. I am not saying 55-200mm is bad, is good money value. but if you can afford the extra buck, go for 70-300mm VR.
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Old Aug 4, 2007, 4:28 AM   #3
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As oftoday, I have both the 55-200mm VR and the 70-300mm VR and I can say that the 55-200mm gives a VERY good result and apart from the bit of extra zoom that the 70-300mm has, its image quality (to the eye)does not seem to be any better. The 55-200 is a budget lens with a body and mount made completely out of plastic but it really gave me a shock when I saw what it was capable of. For that price, you have to give it a try. I am sure it will open many owners eyes.

In todays User Pay world, "cheap and nasty" can apply to much of the cheaper end of just about all user products, be they DVD players, televisions, even hand tools and yes, some digital cameras and lenses. You usually get what you pay for,,but the onlyrelationshipthe 55-200mm VR has to "cheap and nasty" is the pricetag which really is "cheap",probably purely proportional to its injection moulded plastic construction. As far as "nasty" goes,, when you compare price to results,, it doesn't appear to have any relationship...
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Old May 27, 2009, 7:40 AM   #4
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This is what I came here to ask, so rather than creating a new topic, I'll bump this one up...

Any other opinions of the 55-200 VR vs the 70-300 VR?

I've been working on a deal with someone on a 55-200 vr on craigslist, but if it falls through, I might just splurge for the 70-300 instead...
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Old May 27, 2009, 10:10 PM   #5
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i went with 18-105 with 70-300 D90 combination. i tried my friends 18-55 and 55-200 and to me it was just too short at 55mm. i found myself needing to switch a lot of times. the 18-105 gives me 90% of my shots and the 70-300 for some long range shots when needed (stage recitals, animals at the zoo etc.). image quality between the two were pretty much comparable. i went with convenience and extra reach. very much happy with my choice. why did you sell the 50mm 1.8? i'm thinking a prime lens is next in list. 35 or 50 1.8s.
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Old May 31, 2009, 9:45 PM   #6
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I ended up getting the 70-300... Hope it works out nicely for me! I'll post any good results I get with it!
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Old Jun 16, 2009, 12:33 PM   #7
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is this the Nikon AF-S VR 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED Lens your talking about, ive seen good reviews on this lense
how are you guys finding it?
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 12:04 PM   #8
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I really like my 70-300VR, but it is a big, heavy bastard that doesn't balance very well on my D40. Let me rephrase that. When I pack it around by the neckstrap, it is an awkward setup, and I usually just end up holding the lens barrel in my left hand anyway.

Last edited by KDKarlson; Aug 23, 2009 at 12:41 PM. Reason: Eye kan't spel
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Old Aug 23, 2009, 12:34 PM   #9
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I have both lenses. The Nikon 55-200mmVR is small, compact, and very convenient. The Nikon 70-300mmVR is a larger, longer, lens. It is good if you need more reach, but it gets much less use than my Nikon 55-200mmVR lens.

I think it in the actual day to day use, that you often find the better, and more practical answer. Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
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