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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars526
4.7 out of 5 stars
Style Name: EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II|Change
Price:£114.53+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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TOP 100 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.
2121 comments|381 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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.

○ 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.
22 comments|108 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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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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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on 18 February 2016
O.K this is not a professional lens. It is not aimed at that market anyway as it is specifically designed to fit amateur level crop sensor cameras. It's full frame effective range is about 88-400mm. I purchased this lens to complement the 18-55mm kit lens that came with my camera and due to the clarity of this lens it actually more than overlaps it at the wide end. In terms of definition and photo quality this lens is pretty sharp and the STM 'fly by wire' focus mechanism works quickly and accurately. The image stabiliser is very effective and noticeable when zoomed in. It works better in good light and produces good portraits at around 100mm. It should be noted that this lens is not really an upgrade from the previous 55-250 IS unit, but a completely redesigned replacement. It has a different lens set inside it and a different iris assembly. Canon seem to be upgrading many of their budget lenses at the moment and the price is kept down by making large volumes. It is certainly well worth the money as you will have to spend a considerable sum to better it.
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on 25 August 2015
I had this for a gift at Christmas, my son already had one and it was inconvenient to keep borrowing his. I have a Canon EOS 1100D and this is a great addition for an amateur photographer like me. It is easy to fit and doesn't weigh a ton. I'm thrilled with the results, but still learning the limitations of close-up pictures and my camera refuses to photograph when I get it wrong.
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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.
22 comments|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
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

+ 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

- 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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on 9 September 2011
I'll write my review in bullet points to save you time reading.

#I use this lens with my 550d along with 15-85mm & the nifty fifty.

# The IQ is on par with the 18-55 is kit lens. AF is very good for a lens at this price.

# build quality and design is great for my use - I don't use it in wet days or dusty Deserts, I value the light weight compact design & reasonable price. I don't want to walk around with a 1000+ £ lens that is heavier than my son.
Hope you find this review helpful.
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on 23 April 2016
At 120 pounds at the moment this lens is a bargain. Ive been using it now for 6 months on the eos 1110d and 650d. It performs well on both cameras, much better than the 4.0 to 5.6 rating would suggest, its better on the 600d as that focuses faster and takes shots much faster (I shoot in RAW). Initially I wondered if I would see a difference compared to the 300 at full zoom as I have been photographing a lot of wildlife and birds. My honest opinion is I think it is better and more user friendly that the 300. It is much lighter and I have found that I have been able to take great shots at full extension without using my tripod, just bracing my arm. The lens autofocus motor is completely silent which is great for wildlife (the 300 is a bit noisy and jerky on focusing), also great is that I often focus manual and this can be done with this lens set in AF mode, just focus with the shutter release half depressed. All in all a much better lens than the build quality and price would suggest.
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