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392
4.6 out of 5 stars
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Lens
Style Name: EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS IIChange
Price:£139.00+Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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348 of 357 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 1 September 2011
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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81 of 83 people found the following review helpful
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 hope that this 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 thanks to the super silent motor, better jitter free focusing and non rotating lens barrel. 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 more precise focusing
• Manual focus override available even when auto-focus engaged with the shutter half way pressed. On the older model MF needs to be selected
• Silent Stepper motor does a great job in providing smooth and silent operation. 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, is 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.
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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100 of 107 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2012
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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147 of 158 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2011
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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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 15 March 2014
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 19 November 2012
I've tried a few copies of this lens and the previous version of it too (this is mostly a cosmetic re-badge of that lens)
For the outlay which is really not very much, it's surprisingly decent overall in performance. My quick fire pro/con list follows

Pro's:
+ It's pretty sharp, better than you would think at this price point. But again I feel the older version is a tad sharper at the tele end (they are both quite good though)
+ Nice price, it's a very affordable tele zoom option for most people. Even more so in a bundle kit price
+ The IS works well with this lens and it's important to have this for the target price/market. Canon say 4 stops I won't argue here but it varies depending on the user!
+ Plastics used are not bad at all really I've seen worse, but I can't help feel the older model was a little better here. Focus ring is a bit tighter on this one v the older one, but could be sample variation
+ Light..as are most zooms of this type.
+ Covers a very useful range of around 88-400mm
+ Out of focus rendering pretty good, taste driven but I think satisfactory for most users.

Cons:
- Plastic lens mount. Predictable for this type of lens, but I wonder if folks were asked to pay another £25 odd if they would do that for a metal mount? I would myself.
- AF noise, whilst not overly noisy this clearly is not a USM lens and it shows. Standard micro motor here AF speeds are nothing special but par for the course with a lens in this price point.
- Some optical weak points, sharp yes but vignetting is notable, and there are some CA issues to deal with too. Distortion is not too bad
- Front element rotates, could annoy if you use CPL filters.
- No hood. Canon have a thing about lens hoods or lack of, whilst this is pretty cheap a bit of moulded plastic isn't expensive to make.

Overall a fairly solid lens and quite easy to suggest to someone who wants to get started with an affordable don't break the bank tele zoom. I'd love to see a few improvements in here such as a metal mount (even if it means a price increase). My first enounter with this lens it was easy to dismiss it as a cheap consumer zoom and I had pretty low expectations from it on an optical level. It can surprise you with it's sharpness which is really quite good across the range. Granted it's not razor sharp at the tele end, but still it performed above my expectations. Well worth checking out if you are on a budget and just want to start shooting more at longer focal lengths. You could do a lot worse than add this to your 18-55mm IS kit lens. And even if you have another tele zoom this could find a place for a light carry around small kit.

Overall 4/5 for me
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2014
I recently purchased the Canon EOS 1100D with the 18-55 lens, and was looking to add a new zoom lens, so I decided to purchase this one. I have just used it, and had very good results, I cannot understand why some are having their photos soft, all of mine have come out lovely and sharp, the colours are great too, I find this lens to be quiet in operation, and it's zoom is excellent. Some complain about being plastic, well, it's good quality, I would not want a metal one, as this to me, would add a lot more weight, and believe me, it's heavy enough. So I give this lens 5 stars for both the excellent picture quality, sharp, and excellent colours, and very good zoom, and also 5 stars for the quality of build. Amazon's price and delivery were excellent too. Thanks for reading.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
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
on 10 October 2013
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
on 14 October 2014
Bought this to replace my old mark 1 ef-s 55-250 is. Its a massive improvement on what was a fairly decent lens to start with.
The STM focus is silent and fast. The stabiliser is way better than the original as well. The correction data was easy to add using the EOS utility (having first signed up to the Image gateway system) and is effective in correcting the fall off at longer lengths and wider apertures.
And it's a real bargain at its current price - be aware the price fluctuates for some reason, I found it cheapest at weekends and at night, so keep an eye out on price changes. I paid £185.
My son has a 70-200 f4 and this lens is as good (in all practical terms - I don't pixel peep around the edges and corners!) and I think the IS outweighs the narrower aperture, making it a much more usable lens.The close MFD is great and is really useful for things like flowers, butterflies and dragonflies, etc.
Well worth the upgrade for the price I paid.
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