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Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS

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Reviews Views Date of last review
52 183348 Jun 27, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
88% of reviewers $228.09
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.45
9.75
8.9
efs55-250_f4is_586x225_1_

Specifications:
This telephoto zoom lens is designed with Canon's Optical Image Stabilizer technology while retaining compactness and lightness, in response to demands of photographers. This high zoom ratio lens is equivalent to a focal length of 88-400mm in the 35mm format (when used on Canon EOS cameras compatible with EF-S lenses), and the image stabilizer effect equivalent to a shutter speed about 4 stops faster than the same size lens without Image Stabilizer. In other words, if the slowest shutter speed you could formerly hold a 250mm lens steadily was 1/250th of a second, with Canon's 4-stop stabilization correction, you could hand-hold at shutter speeds as slow as 1/15th of a second. It also uses a UD-glass lens element to correct chromatic aberration for excellent image quality throughout the zoom range. This new EF-S telephoto lens with great features delivers excellent performance at an affordable price for all photographers.

• Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 55-250mm f/4-5.6

• Lens Construction: 12 elements in 10 groups, including one UD-glass element

• Diagonal Angle of View: 27° 50'- 6° 15' (with APS-C image sensors)

• Focus Adjustment: DC motor, gear-driven (front focusing design)

• Closest Focusing Distance: 3.6 ft./1.1m (maximum close-up magnification 0.31x)

• Filter Size: 58mm

• Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 2.8 in. x 4.3 in./70 x 108mm (maximum lens length); 13.8 oz./390g


 


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racoll
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Registered: Dec 1, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3010
Review Date: Jun 27, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $135.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp (surprisingly so!), lightweight, excellent performance overall, excellent price considering how nicely this lens performs
Cons:
Rotating front element when focusing, plastic mount; those are the only negatives I can think of...

I initially bought a copy of this lens for my father to mount on his Rebel as he thought lenses like my L-zooms were ridiculously heavy and expensive. I played with it a little bit and was very surprised to see that I liked the sharpness from it as much as I did from my big zooms! Bird shots taken with the 55-250 were as sharp, and sometimes sharper, than those taken with my 100-400, and it even gave the 70-200/2.8 IS a good run! I decided to buy one of these for myself to use on my 7D when I want a lightweight lens and don't feel like lugging the big lenses around. It's a superb lens, especially considering the price, but the performance it offers is outstanding at any price. I wish the front element didn't rotate and I wish it had a metal mount, but those are the only annoyances I can find with this lens, and neither is a big deal. This is a wonderful surprise from Canon. It's a great lens. Period!

Jun 27, 2013
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Viper_msk
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Registered: Jun 17, 2013
Location: Russia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 17, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $210.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, SHARP!!! - much sharper than you'd expect from a "cheap plastic lens", lightwieght, quite solid build for a "plastic bayonet cap", great IS
Cons:
Rotating front element, plastic mount

Well, I bought this lens just because I wanted to have something larger than 200 mm (already have 70-200 F/4 L) - and thought that I can afford $200 even if the overall quality is "far far away" from L's.

I was positively surprised by the overall image quality, especially sharpness. It IS sharp in the corners at 250 mm (or maybe I got a good copy). Contrast and colors are also good.

Of course it is "not an L", but, honestly, how many of us will be able to tell the difference by just looking at the pictures?


Jun 17, 2013
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noncho
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Registered: Dec 23, 2012
Location: Bulgaria
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 23, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good overall image quality for the price, nice zoom range, light.
Cons:
Slow, bad non-center image quality at 250mm.

I'm quite happy with the lens(I had 2 copies), best telephoto lens for the price. I'm using it even for birds.

Here are some pictures with it(click for larger):

http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=16004572
http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=16666772
http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=15176334





Dec 23, 2012
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kevindar
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Registered: May 6, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2262
Review Date: Aug 1, 2012 Recommend? | Price paid: $200.00

 
Pros: Sharp, light, good focus speed, cheap, good mfd
Cons:
color and contrast not L quality, but respectable for class. Built

Just an update. I received a second copy of this lens, Mark II as part of the kit. tried it out, and was really impressed by the results I was getting. I tried it on a t3i to do some hummingbird shots, and it performed very well, with fast focus, and sharp results. for the price, this lens is a 9.
Here is a large sample of a humming bird in flight at 250mm f8
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevindar/7619597136/sizes/k/in/photostream/


Aug 1, 2012
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Larry Koch
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Registered: May 3, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 5, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Price, image quality, stabilization, weight
Cons:
focus speed not as fast at USM

You will not, I repeat NOT, find a zoom lens at this price point that provides you with finer images. Sharpness is outstanding, and color/contrast very good, but if you need more, it is simply a matter of you working your camera or software a bit. Set yourself a nice custom picture style in your Canon menu, and get nice, punchy and sharp images with no post processing. I.S. works great. For approx 200 US Dollars, this is the best you will get. Just buy it already unless you plan to spend much more.

Of course - my review assumes you are using a crop body, not full-frame.


Jul 5, 2012
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LeinadC
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Registered: May 11, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 15, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Range, relatively close focus, image stabilization, great value
Cons:
Slow, plastic mount

This lens complements the standard kit lens very nicely, because of its long focal length. It also features image stabilization, which is particularly useful at long focal distances. Recently, I discovered that it can focus fairly closely to the subject, which is great for shooting small objects.

On the downside, it is slow, so indoor usage is limited.

Overall, it is a great lens that offers tremendous value.

Here is a sample photo that shows its macro capability:

http://danielchen.smugmug.com/Photography/Flora-Fauna/22089857_TF9QC9#!i=1762971939&k=zPPNCpg&lb=1&s=A



Apr 15, 2012
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weput
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Registered: Feb 20, 2012
Location: Panama
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 21, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: cheap and capable, long range
Cons:
slow; but you get what you pay for

I paid 270 for this lens brand new after i checked tons of mixed reviews.
as someone else mentioned, this lens should be rated on 9 or above.
Focus is fast and tracks well... bit noisy and not as fast as a usm, but very usable for sports and birds photography, as long as there is enough light on the environment.

build quality... let's face it... you can't spec the durability of metal and environment seal of L series, however, polymer technology (plastics) has evolved enough to make us able to build car engines with it... so why complain?
benefits of plastics is the weight reduction and cheaper end user cost.

if i where a canon engineer i'll be thinking of building a ring type usm version of this lens




Feb 21, 2012
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kevindar
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Registered: May 6, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2262
Review Date: Nov 7, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Small and light, good sharpness throughout range. Good effective IS
Cons:
so so contrast. somewhat slow and noisy autofocus, cheap built

I purchase this as part of the promotion with a canon 7D, with intent to sell it. I already owned the excellent 70-200 f4IS, 70-200 f2.8 IS II, and 100-400 IS. However, I took it out one day when we were going to the beach, and enjoyed shooting with it. It is very light and small. sharpness is good, though color and contrast not so great. autofocus is a little slow and noisy, but that is all expected. I decided to keep it for now, as a nice beach/hiking light lens. dont expect miracles (L sharpness or color and contrast) just very respectable.
Here is a surfing shot from the beach
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevindar/6204903041/sizes/l/in/photostream/


Nov 7, 2011
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Januzzi
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Registered: Aug 22, 2011
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 22, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp,Great Price, Good Colors,light
Cons:
Non

I can recommend this lens! cheap and good
I have used the lens with the Eos 7d maybe other canon's give another result...






Here's a couple examples shot with the 55-250:


http://feds.nl/gal2/main.php?g2_itemId=21863

http://feds.nl/gal2/main.php?g2_itemId=21865

http://feds.nl/gal2/main.php?g2_itemId=19911

http://feds.nl/gal2/main.php?g2_itemId=19888

http://feds.nl/gal2/main.php?g2_itemId=19890


Aug 22, 2011
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danwanfur
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Registered: May 14, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 157
Review Date: Aug 19, 2011 Recommend? no | Price paid: $215.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Useful focal-length range, IS very useful, relatively fast (f/4.0) at 55mm, decent sharpness at 55mm, high maximum magnification (~0.31x).
Cons:
Poor color reproduction, relatively slow (f/5.6) and not sharp at 250mm.

Sadly, I cannot recommend this lens even though it's quite good for the price.
My main complaint with this lens is not sharpness or bokeh (neither of which are great) but poor color reproduction. Everything I shoot looks dull and lacks much contrast. While it is possible to post-process images to bring back some "life", poor color rendition is still lost information.
My recommendation would be to skip this lens and instead save up for a 70-200mm f/4L or 200mm f/2.8L II. For beginners I do recommend the 18-55mm kit lens and the 50mm f/1.8 II (both of which I previously owned).
I would suggest reading this review of the lens:
http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-S-55-250mm-f-4-5.6-IS-Lens-Review.aspx
Lenses I currently own: 10-22mm, 17-55mm, 100mm f/2.8L, 200mm f/2.8L II (all used on 550D/T2i).


Aug 19, 2011
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platypus
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Registered: Oct 29, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 6, 2011 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Good colour, contrast and sharpness, effective IS, lightweight, good value
Cons:
Build quality so-so, at 250mm could be sharper

This is the my second review of this lens based on a second sample. This one shows a marked improvement in IQ over the first lens I owned. I used to own a 70-300 IS USM and this lens is nearly it's equal for about a third of the cost. Would certainly recommend especially to beginners on a budget.

Aug 6, 2011
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shroud72
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Registered: May 11, 2011
Location: Spain
Posts: 79
Review Date: May 21, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great lens for the price Great range, picks off where the kit lens leaves off Better quality then the kit lens Lightweight with 4 stops IS Colors are good for the price Lens is sharp except around 250 but still very acceptable
Cons:
Cheap plastic feel A bit soft at 250mm Not too much else at this price

Don΄t let the cheap price fool you, its a great lens if you follow the photography fundamentals and is capable of some amazing shots.
Build quality is a step above the kit lens and the image quality is about 2 steps above.
Its a great lightweight lens and I have used it as a Zoo lens and I find that it covers the range that I need when I go to the Zoo.
This lens will probably always have a place in my bag even though I have more expensive lenses, the price, quality and weight make it very attractive for me.

My favorite shots with this lens:
http://flic.kr/p/8pfi4H
http://flic.kr/p/8UXHu6
http://flic.kr/p/9vEuZC
http://flic.kr/p/9vrAnv
http://flic.kr/p/9umdaP
http://flic.kr/p/9vvQd2
http://flic.kr/p/9J7nsN
http://flic.kr/p/9ttgWD


May 21, 2011
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Julius
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Registered: Jan 26, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 934
Review Date: May 12, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $190.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, even wide open at every focal lengths including 250mm.
Cons:
I could mention a few but for the price you pay it is none. (Plastic mount, slower focus etc is expected)

This cheap plastic mount lens is an excellent walk around companion on any crop field Canon camera. It is light, compact and razor sharp at every focal lengths including 250mm, even wide open. The IS also works very well on this lens.
I use the 18-55 and this 55-250 cheap plastic mount lenses on my Canon 50D as a walk around setup. You do not even feel the weight of this combination in a small camera bag, however the picture quality these lenses provide are very comparable to my much more expensive setups.
For the price you pay, you cannot go wrong.


May 12, 2011
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radarbrat
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2278236630_d1b3852223_o

Registered: Mar 2, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Mar 2, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great Price, Good Colors, Unexpectedly Sharp, IS works great
Cons:
Slow Focus, Noisy Focus Motor, Hunts in low light

I bought this when I purchased my Rebel T2i (550d). They were offering the base T2i kit with the 18-55mm IS plus the 55-250mm for $850 new.

I was planning on purchasing only the body, but after seeing the offer, plus all the great reviews here on Fred Miranda, I decided to go ahead and get both lenses with the body. First wise move I've made in quite a while.

This 55-250mm IS is an amazing value. It's very sharp and colors are good. I did not really expect it to be usable at the long end, but I was very wrong.

I shot the MotoGP in Indy this past August with the 55-250 'cause it's the longest lens I have. I ended up with a few usable shots (my percentage of good to bad was not good), but it is a very challenging shooting envioronment.

Here's a couple examples shot with the 55-250:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/radarbrat/4987720291/in/set-72157624826050131/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/radarbrat/5445110852/


Mar 2, 2011
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dhphoto
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Registered: Feb 15, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 9676
Review Date: Feb 25, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Quite sharp, very cheap, very light, decent IS
Cons:
Not very well made, no full time manual focus, slow

Bought one of these very cheap and it has surprised me, it's quite sharp and has quite good contrast. It certainly does what it's supposed to do pretty well.

Much better than I expected, without being stunning.


Feb 25, 2011
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markhbfindlay
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Registered: Nov 22, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 46
Review Date: Jan 16, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Pocket rocket. It's sharp, cheap and featherweight
Cons:
front element rotates.

What can I say? it holds up sharpness-wise against anything including my 100-400L. IS is effective, it's so light it can be carried on my bike anywhere. And it beats the 70-300L hands down for sharpness (see my review there). All for £1100 less money. Only thing is - front element rotates, annoyingly including when fitting the lens hood. I guess it will break one day, but lets face it, it costs only about 190 quid to replace!

Jan 16, 2011
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Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
52 183348 Jun 27, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
88% of reviewers $228.09
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.45
9.75
8.9
efs55-250_f4is_586x225_1_


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