Don’t forget, you can also watch the Tamron 55-200mm video review.
Not quite classed as a telephoto lens, but with a greater focal range than most standard lenses, the Tamron 55-200mm is a good all purpose addition to your kit bag. Tamron produce lenses for a number of camera manufacturers, and this lens is available with either a Canon, Nikon or Sony fitting. The Ld abbreviation in the title stands for “low dispersion” and is a reference to the technique that Tamron use to coat the glass inside the lens to reduce chromatic aberration. The DI stands for “digitally integrated” and means that this lens is ideally suited to a digital camera as opposed to a film camera. the II signifies that this lens is designed for use on an APS-C cropped sensor camera, and therefore is not suitable for a camera which has a full frame sensor.
Tamron 55-200mm lens construction
Weighing only 300g this lens is light and easy to carry around. The body of the lens is plastic and it has no external buttons or switches. With a Nikon digital camera, the switch between auto focus and manual focus is often found on the camera body itself rather than the lens. Focusing in on a subject with this lens is typically rather noisy and not especially fast. Even though this lens has the word ‘Macro’ in the title, it’s not really a decent Macro lens. Much better Macro results can be achieved with the Tamron 70-300mm Macro lens for example. The minimum focusing distance of the 55-200mm is 0.95m
Tamron 55-200mm sample photos
Below are a few examples of photos taken with the Tamron 55-200mm. These photos are un-edited and hopefully will provide a good idea of the sort of picture quality that can be expected when using this lens. It is worth comparing and contrasting the images below with sample photos taken with Tamron 70-300mm. The photos below were taken with a Nikon D80 digital camera.
Alternative lenses to the Tamron 55-200mm
Alternative lenses with the same focal range include the Nikon 55-200mm, Canon 55-200m and Sigma 55-200mm. The Nikon 55-200mm is very similar in terms of size and weight to this Tamron, however it has the added benefit of an AF/MF switch on the lens body. It is also possible to get a Nikon 55-200mm with vibration reduction (VR) which is Nikon’s image stabilisation technology, this naturally is more expensive. Canon no longer produce a 55-200mm lens, so they can only now be picked up either second hand or refurbished. Designed with a USM motor, they are typically quicker and quieter to focus in. The Canon 55-200mm has now been superseded by the 55-250mm IS lens.
Cheap, light and portable with decent image quality makes this lens an attractive option. In terms of capabilities however, the Tamron 70-300mm is preferable due to its greater focal range and superior macro performance. The downside to the 70-300mm would be its increased size and weight however.
Current best prices for the Tamron 55-200mm.