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321 of 329 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent addition to our burgeoning camera bag
I have had my eye on the old model of this lens for a while. When I decided to take the plunge, I was dismayed to find this new one had just come out, at a much higher price. After reading what little I could find about it, I came to the conclusion there isn't much difference (I couldn't find any technical difference), and ordered the old one. But I then was informed that...
Published on 1 Sep 2011 by David P

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60 of 72 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars CANON EF-S 55-250 F/4-5 IS II
I read the full review of this lens in Canon magazines and thought this is the one for me, new lens released July 2011. How wrong can you be - attached to my Canon 50D off I went, not good results. The only way I can explain if that the lens is "soft focus" not sharp at all. Very disappointed. I did try this along side my Tamron 18-250 and the Tamron won.
I...
Published on 28 Aug 2011 by John


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321 of 329 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent addition to our burgeoning camera bag, 1 Sep 2011
By 
David P (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Lens (Accessory)
I have had my eye on the old model of this lens for a while. When I decided to take the plunge, I was dismayed to find this new one had just come out, at a much higher price. After reading what little I could find about it, I came to the conclusion there isn't much difference (I couldn't find any technical difference), and ordered the old one. But I then was informed that no stock could be obtained, and my order was cancelled. I couldn't be bothered to try and find another seller who still had some, so I ended up buying this new model instead.

The first review here said the results were disappointing. Well, I can't explain that - maybe a lens/camera combination oddity, or maybe the lens was faulty. We've only played with it for a day so far, but on our Canon 60D the results are very good. No problems with soft focus. At full zoom, you can see the IS working through the view finder when you press and hold to focus, and you can just about hear the lens as it works to steady the image - it is very impressive. Focus seems fast and accurate.

One very important point which may be of interest to astronomers and the like - holding the camera pointing vertically up or down, there is NO ZOOM CREEP at any setting, the lens stays zoomed exactly where you put it. Maybe this is a feature of the new model, or maybe I got lucky and mine is just tighter than usual, or maybe it is just because the lens is new and will ease up with use. It is not stiff to turn, it seems to operate very smoothly and is very easy to adjust. But there is definitely no creep at all on our lens at the moment.

We bought the camera with the 18-55 kit lens, and are now adding to the collection. We also just bought the 50mm f1.8 which is very cheap, but the results are stunning. We are equally pleased with this new zoom. Ours is certainly not going back!

UPDATE: People with Canon cameras that support Peripheral Illumination Correction (in other words, compensating for vignetting, or darkening of the images toward the corners), such as the 60D which we have, should make sure that they download the latest update to the EOS Utility software, and then use it to upload the correction parameters for this new lens to the camera. The cameras ship with data for many of the popular lenses pre-loaded, but for the more uncommon ones, or just new ones such as this, you will need to use the utility to update the camera. The difference it makes when you have done it is really very impressive. Consult the manual if you are not sure how to do this, it is very easy - but you do need the latest update to the software, as this includes the data for this new lens. When you have it loaded, test it by taking a picture of an evenly lit blank wall without flash, first with then without this option turned on. The difference is clearly visible. If you shoot in RAW, you can apply the correction easily afterwards in the DPP software, and apparently with even more control and therefore success. But if you shoot in JPG, then this option will make a very good job of correcting it in-camera.

If you select the option in the camera menus, it tells you what the lens that is currently attached is, and whether it has the data for it or not. If it doesn't have the data, it won't do anything, even if enabled.
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great companion for the 70D and more..., 9 Mar 2014
By 
Antoine Camilleri - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
Due to the fact that I already own the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Lens, which is a great performer, I was initially hesitant to buy this new lens, yet eventually succumbed to the temptation.

Having used both lenses, I do hope that this unbiased review can help you decide whether this lens fits your needs.

With the non STM version at around half the price, is it a worthwhile upgrade?

If you do video then I would definitely say yes. This is due to the super silent motor, better jitter free focusing and fixed front element. A perfect companion for the 70D.
This also proves beneficial for taking pictures. It was so annoying having to adjust the polariser filter every time the lens focuses.

So I will sum up the pros of the STM version vs previous version :
- Swift and precise focusing
- Manual focus override available even when auto-focus engaged when shutter is half way pressed. On older model MF needs to be selected
- Virtually silent lens thanks to the Silent Stepper motor. No lens noise is picked up during video
- Incredibly sharp throughout the zoom range (marginally better)
- Very good image stabilisation
- Lens barrel does not rotate when acquiring focus. Crucial when using polariser or graduated filters
- Construction feels a tad better. However, as on the previous version, the plastic mount is an eyesore!
I have not really noticed any difference in barrel distortion and pincushion effect, which, as on the previous model, are barely noticeable.

A minor point which is worth noting is that finally Canon has changed the lens cap design. It is now a pinch (snap on) lens cap, which is so useful when you have a lens hood attached. These types of caps can be bought separately at around each.
Again Canon does not include a lens hood with this lens. Not a deal breaker. After all Canon only includes hoods on their L lenses as far as I'm aware.

Considering that this lens houses 15 elements in 12 groups when compared to the 12 elements in 10 groups, it is incredible how Canon managed to reduce the weight, albeit by 15 grams. The STM version weighs only 375 grams. Probably the increase in elements plays a role in the marginally superior image quality over the non STM version.

Considerations:
- An EF-S lens mount is limited to crop sensor cameras, so they will not work on full frame ones should you decide to upgrade. Only EF mounts are compatible with full frame cameras.
- The lens is actually an 88-400mm zoom. Being only compatible with crop sensor cameras, I wonder why they call this lens 55-600mm.
- Lens body is all plastic, which makes it light, yet even the lens mount and filter tread are plastic. So if you change filters often this should be taken into consideration. I would have loved to see a metal camera mount on this superb lens.
- I feel that the price difference between the STM version and the older non STM does not really justify the improved performance unless your primary use is for video.

Taking all into account, I do think that this lens is still expensive given the all plastic body. I have tested other offerings by other manufactures and whilst they held the edge in build quality, the Canon delivered better results. Hopefully the price will drop once sales pick up.

As far as image quality is concerned I really cannot fault this lens. It just takes amazing photos which are on par with far more expensive lenses that I have used, meriting a 5 star "Highly recommended" rating.
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92 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent addition to the kit lens., 12 Jan 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Lens (Accessory)
I purchased this lens to complement the 18-55mm lens that came with my Canon 600D. I also purchased the Canon EF 50 mm f/1.8 II Lens.
I am a keen amateur photographer who enjoys photographing a wide range of subject; wildlife, landscapes, architecture and also my cat, dog, daughter and wife!

This lens is perfect for most of the above. It provides the reach needed to photograph birds and other wildlife without disturbing them.

Some reviewers report that this lens is soft, I have not seen this myself. Having been using the lens every day for the past 2 weeks all the images I have are sharp with great colours.
The autofocus works quickly and quietly, although like most sub £500 lenses it will hunt for focus in low light conditions.
The image stabilisation is as good as the 18-55mm and enables the lens to be used handheld in less than ideal conditions.

For the price, this lens is a no brainer for beginners/amateurs that need a zoom lens.
Sure, you won't get the performance of something like the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Lens but if you are just starting out or even if you've been snapping away for a while and need more reach then for the price it's perfect for what it does.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Improved in some ways, but there are alternatives at this price, 15 Mar 2014
By 
Mr Baz - See all my reviews
(#1 REVIEWER)    (No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)   
I was curious to try this lens, having used a few STM lenses from Canon with my 70d
The lens is an update to the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Lens. After a week of field shooting I've come to conclude the lens is good, but better matched for video users (thanks to the STM update), it is better than the older version but at a fairly hefty price hike

Pros
+ Build is somewhat improved over the IS II version (better quality plastics feels somwhat better in the hand) but it still has a plastic mount
+ STM motor is very quiet/silent and won't be heard during video recording, AF speeds are a bit quicker with less micro adjustements over the older version, at the 200/250mm mark AF speeds are a bit slower than at other focal lengths (still ok though)
+ 58mm filter (common size) and non rotating front element
+ Full time manual focus (note that you have to half press the shutter to overide focus, you can't just grab the focus ring)
+ Somewhat improved sharpness over the IS II version, sharp in the centre at all focal lengths, 100mm shows some improvement stopping down (seems to be the weakest focal length across the range) Edges and corners improve stopping down a little
+ Vignetting is better at the 200-250mm focal range (was more of an issue on the older version)
+ Compact and lightweight
+ Quite good close up ability 1:3.4 (0.29x). at the 250mm end

Cons:
- Has a plastic lens mount, not really acceptable for the price point
- No lens hood supplied (add on purchase)
- Bokeh isn't amazing, some outlining in areas, it's by no means bad, just average would likely benefit from more than 7 diaphragm blades

For video shooters as your primary interest I would say yes go ahead and get this (for example using the 70d's excellent on sensor phase detect AF)
If you have the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Lens, and shoot stills mostly then it's not really worth the upgrade (it's improved optically but not so much you are likely to notice), or if you're on a budget get the older version, and they're available very cheaply second hand too.

Other alternatives include the Tamron 70-300 Di VC, it's a heavier lens by some margin and a bit more expensive, but has much much better build quality, a metal mount, comes with a hood, has quiet (but not 100% silent) USD AF, and you have a long warranty period as well as potential to use it on full frame. For not much more of an outlay. Tricky choice if you do stills mostly I'd look at the Tamron as your best option. Both lenses are good optically overall. If you can get a bundle kit deal with this lens that's the best way to pick one up.
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146 of 157 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent choice for beginners, 12 Oct 2011
By 
This review is from: Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Lens (Accessory)
After buying my Canon 600D recently (which came with the standard 18-55 lens), and after a lot of research, I decided to purchase this lens, and I can honestly say that I have not been disappointed in the slightest!

I am only a beginner enthusiast/hobbyist but it's user friendly enough for me to use and the results are very pleasing. I would definitely recommend this lens to any beginner/budget minded photographer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A satisfactory addition to my camera, 19 Oct 2013
By 
Noel (Belfast, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Lens (Accessory)
Over a year ago I bought a Canon EOS650D which came with an 18-55ES lens. So I needed some sort of longer range lens and after a lot of searching and reading of reviews I settled on this Canon lens. It is a natural fit and an extension to the lens I already have. I bought it a couple of months ago and have been experimenting with it in preparation for my holiday in a few days.

There are lots of things I like about it, first of all the physical factors. It does not weigh a ton, it's pretty light. This is important to me on walking holiday where I will be carrying day after day round my neck or on my back. It makes it easier to balance and hold still when taking pictures with the lens fully extended. It's full extention length is about 17cm but it reduces to less than 11cm when fully retracted so it's small enough to leave it on the camera when packing it into my carrying case. With my previous SLR the weight of camera and lenses became too much to haul around for days at altitude and I ended up leaving the heavy lens at home and missing out on photo opportunities.

I have had mixed results with the quality of photographs taken with it so far. I have experimented with garden shots of flowers and birds, zooming in on them. In good light the results have been excellent, sharp and clear with good colour. When enlarged the shots retain their quality and I have been really pleased with them. However even with some cloud cover, not dusk or darkness, just a cloudy day, rather than a blue sky, then the lens (or I) struggle to capture a decent shot from a distance. I have experimented with all sorts of permutations and combinations of settings on the camera, using programs and over-riding those with manual settings but have not overcome the problem.

I like to take long range shots of some feature or features in a landscape and that was one of the reasons to buy this lens, for isolated villages or fields in mountain landscape. The issue I have experienced so far with this is blurring around the edges of the picture. So I am not sure how things will go when it faces the real challenge of clear blue skies above 5,000 metres in the mountains.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Lens, 5 Sep 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Lens (Accessory)
I bought this a few days ago and managed to get some decent use for it at the Paralympics last night.

It is brilliant. I am very much a novice at SLRs and only bought my Canon 600D a few months ago.

One thing as per previous review, it is nice and tight, it doesn't "zoom creep". but not stiff enough to stop you from getting the right zoom you want straight away.

The other thing is after a few hours of constant use yesterday, the camera does start to feel a bit heavy. but the lens is quite light though.

I would def recommend this for a novice/recreational photo taker, its very reasonably priced vs the next grade up of canon lenses.

Final thing, I have a lowe pro bag, Nova 160. The camera with this lens on it fits comfortably in the bag and the 18-55mm lens fits in the side well.

Happy snapping!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!, 17 April 2014
By 
A John (Uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
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I love this. The quality of the pictures produced is excellent, and the image stabilisation is far better than previous 200mm lens (1 canon and 1 sigma).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Value, 10 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Lens (Accessory)
Did lots of research before buying this to add to my existing 1100D and 18-55mm combo. Just returned from a cruise where it has been given a very full trial and have to say i am delighted with the stability, sharp focus and all round fabulous performance for the price. Am no professional but like to think i know how to compose a good shot ..... this is a real value for money lens.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing lens - gives your camera a new lease of life, 30 Aug 2014
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Bought this lens for my ageing Canon EoS 350D, I already have a Sigma 28-300mm lens without IS and have never been happy with the photographs from it, they were never as sharp as I would like even on a tripod, for sporting events even with high shutter speeds the pictures were either blurred or soft. Switching to this lens was like having a whole new camera, images are super sharp and virtually every shot is now in focus thanks to the IS. It's not as flexible as my other lens with less wide angle and slight less telephoto but the results are in a different league - hard to believe it's the same camera. I cannot recommend this lens highly enough for action photo's, I probably need to upgrade my camera sometime soon, but for now the results I get having added this lens mean I can put that off for a while - Highly recommended.
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Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Lens
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