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Difference Between Nikon 55-200mm and 55-300mm

Nikon 55-200mm vs 55-300mm

If you are a starting photographer who’s already tired with the kit lens that came with your camera, you are probably looking for a camera with a bit more zoom to get farther shots without having to move very close to your target. For this, you have a number of lens options that include the Nikon 55-200mm lens and the 55-300mm lens. Obviously, the main difference between the two is how far you can zoom into the subject. The 55-300mm clearly beats the 55-200mm as the focal length is proportional to the zoom capability of the lens. The 55-300mm lens covers the entire range of the 55-200mm lens plus a little bit more.

Of course having the ability to zoom from zero to infinity anytime is great to have. But all benefits have their corresponding drawbacks. For the expanded zoom range of the 55-300mm lens, the primary drawback is weight as it weighs more than twice the weight of the 55-200mm lens. If you just hold the 55-300mm lens for a short while, you may think that the weight is not all that bad. But when you add that to the camera and carry it around all day, you will why many photographers like to have lightweight gear. At times, the added weight is necessary; like when you are shooting wildlife outdoors where you can’t really control your subject or close the distance quickly. But if you typically shoot people in not so large areas, then carrying a lighter lens like the 55-200mm may be the more comfortable choice.

And then you need to consider the cost of the lens itself. The 55-300mm lens is also way more costly than the 55-200mm lens from Nikon. So unless you have deep pockets, you need to think carefully if you really want to spend the extra dough for the 55-300mm lens or if the 55-200mm lens is good enough for you. Or you can get the 55-200mm lens and then spend the extra cash on another lens with much longer focal lengths. That way, you have a choice of lenses to suit your needs at any given time.


  1. The 55-300mm lens can zoom in much closer than the 55-200mm lens can
  2. The 55-300mm lens weighs more than the 55-200mm lens does
  3. The 55-300mm lens is more costly than the 55-200mm lens

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  1. Very helpful article, thanks for the practical advice!

  2. Very helpful advice indeed!

  3. Useful basic information, thanks. Would like to see a side-by-side comparison of photos taken at maximum zoom for each lens from the same position.

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