Mon 18-Jan-10 11:46 AM | edited Mon 18-Jan-10 12:20 PM by Ramesses
I'm familiar with all the lenses and cameras mentioned. IMHO, there is not much of an optical quality difference between the two lenses. In addition, I do not think that the 70-300 VR is an overkill for the D5K. I had the D40 + 70-300 VR, a combo that I used a lot. I did not find the size and weight to be that overpowering. However, it was tiring shooting with the 70-300. The effective focal length with a DX camera is 450mm. Just to stabilize the image, shooting handheld, and close to 300mm, wore me down, after shooting for several hours. I do not have the same problem with other lenses, like the 70-200 VR, for example.
I also have the 55-200 VR and the D5000. I find the combo to be excellent and easy to use. When I got the 70-200 VR, I sold the 70-300 VR and kept the 55-200 VR. The latter is an excellent lens that does not take a back-seat to the 70-300, imho, but it is 100mm shorter (150mm DX format.) The biggest difference is built. You have to be more careful with the 55-200.
One thing that I forgot to mention with the 70-300 VR mounted on a DX body, it is the wide end. The minimum focal length is an effective 105mm. Many times, you are going to use the lens in a Zoo or something similar. I was always backed up against a fence, when trying to shoot regular pictures of the place, without changing lenses. I just could not get back far enough and all the people that get in front of you. The 55-200, starts ~82mm in DX format - big difference.