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The compact and affordable EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5 6 IS offers powerful telephoto performance Its 4-stop Image Stabilizer with automatic panning detection effectively suppresses blur in low light The EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5 6 IS is a telephoto zoom lens combining powerful performance with high image quality With a focal length equivalent of 88-400mm in 35mm format, it is ideal for photographers seeking an affordable, versatile lens for general-purpose telephoto photography To combat the effects of camera shake, the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5 6 IS incorporates Canon's latest 4-stop compensation Image Stabilizer technology This allows the use of shutter speeds up to 4 times slower with no perceptible increase in image blur Automatic panning detection automatically turns off the Image Stabilizer in either the horizontal or vertical direction when following moving subjects The EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5 6 IS employs a Canon UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) lens element to suppress the effects of secondary chromatic aberrations - for crisp, sharp, high-contrast images without fringing throughout the zoom range
Canon EF-S telephoto zoom lens - 55 mm
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f4.0-5.6 IS
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I have spent years suffering with an old Tamron 28-200mm zoom lens and had got used to crappy results. I was therefore not expecting much from this budget Canon lens. It therefore came as a very pleasant surprise when I reviewed the first few dozen photographs I took while testing out the lens's capabilities in relatively poor light (right at the end of the day). The results are truly amazing. The pictures are pin sharp. I managed to capture pictures of birds in flight where the individual hairs on the feathers are clearly distinguishable. The build quality is leaps ahead of the poor quality 18-55mm lens that came with my 20D. At this point I can honestly say I'm a very happy bunny indeed....
This is my third lens for my 550D. The 18-55mm kit lens has done some stellar work and the 50mm 1.4 has been brilliant so why do I need another one?! Well, it's the question of zoom. It's not always practical to get closer to your subject - for instance, you wouldn't want to join a lion in its enclosure would you? Sometimes you want to be discreet and just leave people to their own business. I know how hard it can be trying to photograph my niece and nephew as they have a tendency to hide when the camera is out!
Build quality wise, this lens is along the lines of the 18-55mm kit lens. It is plasticky but quite heavy. The zoom ring is surprisingly very smooth and there's hardly any lens creep.
Now, there's one thing that no one has mentioned in their review - this lens uses a fair bit of power from the camera battery. You can hear it humming virtually all of the time. Of course, considering the number of bits of glass inside the barrel, it does need power to align and focus. Just be prepared to carry a spare battery with you or use the lens sparingly.
In operation, the lens is noisy when focusing but after all, this is a cheap lens but don't let that put you off. The picture quality compensates for the build quality of the lens and the output is very good - in fact, I would hasten to say it is better than the 18-55mm kit lens. Pictures taken in well lit areas will demonstrate how sharp this lens is at 250mm. I was taken back by the results of being able to ascertain the title on a book. The built-in image stabiliser is definitely worth having if you're taking photos at maximum zoom. However, this lens doesn't excel in low light conditions but after all, it isn't really designed to perform in low light unless you use a flashgun.
This is an excellent lens for someone beginning in DSLR territory. You get a lot of lens for not much money but be aware that it is noisy and drains the battery.
I bought this lens to extend the range of my system beyond 55mm, and it partners the awesome EF-S 17-55mm f2.8. It's (obviously?) an EF-S lens, so won't fit a full frame DSLR. Probably a good idea to check this if you don't know.
The 55-250mm is a compact lens at 55mm which extends substantially when fully zoomed out. It is sturdily built and feels well enough put together, with no slack in the zoom or focus - it is distinctly superior to the 18-55mm EF-S that came with the camera. It doesn't have the softly damped movement of the 17-55, nor the ultrasonic motor (nor its weight and bulk) but a clue to why this is the fact that the 17-55 costs about five times as much.
The Image Stabilisation works very well indeed. It is an almost endless source of fascination to half-press the shutter button on my camera and see the viewfinder image instantly stabilise, even at the long end of its zoom range. It makes handheld shooting very viable in distinctly poor light.
One or two reviews on the web suggest the autofocus on this lens has been problematic for some, but it has worked quietly, quickly and accurately for me. I suspect these difficulties are experienced because of the shallow depth of field of any telephoto - I tend to use it with only the central focus point active and in single shot mode, as using the hyperfocal distance creatively is crucial to getting the best results from any long lens. The front of the lens does rotate when focusing, so be careful if you are using a linear polarising filter.
I am very pleased with the results, and the quality of this lens is not hopelessly overshadowed by the superb 17-55. Images are sharp corner to corner, there is no apparent distortion or significant chromatic aberrations.Read more ›
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It's only very recently that I have progressed from a 4mp compact to a 'proper' camera (Canon EOS 300D) so using manual settings etc is still a steep learning curve for me. It has to be said that with the IS (Image Stabiliser) feature on this lens, taking a clean picture at long zoom is like cutting warm butter! To begin with my kit lens is the plastic 18-55mm lens which does the job nicely for a complete novice but it doesn't take long before you want more (push it more!). I invested in a second hand Sigma 28-200mm lens which had trouble speaking to my camera body. Not sure why, but most times I tried to use it I got greeted with "Err 99". Rubbish in the field (although in fairness I hear that sigmas have to be rechipped commonly with canon bodies and I'm told it's not a bad lens), and quite aggravating due to the number of shots I'd miss out on. So I figured time to get a general purpose zoom that would take up somewhere where the kit lens leaves off. Image then my surprise, when I find that Canon had brought out an IS (image Stabilised) lens that carries on right where the kit lens leaves off! It's advertised as being RRP £240 but I got mine on a well known auction site for £140 inclusive of postage, although paid a little bit of import duty when I received it. Well, on receival I was impressed that for a plastic mount/general construction it seems fairly sturdy (albeit lightweight). As far as the zoom range goes, this one goes to 11! Going from 55-250mm is a boon, and includes a lot of popular ranges. Sure, the lens system doesn't quite have the Nasa like clarity of the L-series glass, but I've got 5 kids to feed and that sort of gear sadly is out of my range for now. This lens is an excellent intro to DSLR telephoto I think.Read more ›
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