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VINE VOICEon October 9, 2013
Canon has a truly immense selection of telephoto lenses.

Under $1000, you have your pick of a number of variants and if you have an APS-C camera (Rebel, 60/70D, 7D, etc)this new EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 STM will give you the best combination of focal range and image quality. It is stunningly sharp throughout the range, incredibly quiet, quick focusing, and the front element is stationary during focus

What other options do you have that are IMO not as desirable?
70-200mm f/4L - Good optics, but lacks Image Stabilization which is key for long telephotos. Focal range starts off a bit too long for APS-C.
70-300mm F/4-5.6 IS USM - Good from 70-200, but is soft from 200-300mm and the front lens moves during focus. Also noisy as it MicroUSM. Focal range starts off a bit too long for APS-C.
75-300mm f/4-5.6 III - Overall a pretty terrible lens compared to any of the above, stay away from this one
55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS - Relatively sharp, though not nearly as good as the new 55-250, has front focusing, and is much slower/noisier in focusing.

So overall under $1000 this lens is your best bet. The only disadvantage I can think of is that the mount is plastic instead of metal, though given the light weight of the lens I don't think that will be too much of an issue over time. Another negative is that the hood (ET-63) is sold separately for $25 and it is all plastic, does not even have felt lining like the inside of most Canon hoods. Overall though, this lens is your best bet under $1k if your camera is APS-C/EF-S mount.
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on September 22, 2013
Pictures are sharp all the way through focal range, and colors are true. Fast silent focusing. I would buy again and recommend to my friends. Using on a Canon 70d. The hawk photo was taken at 250mm, very over cast day, shutter speed 320, f8, and 1600 iso. The butterfly was taken at 250mm, shutter speed 400, f5.6, and 100 iso.
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on May 12, 2015
Pixel peepers may disagree, but I would argue that there is no significant difference between the image quality output of this sub-300 dollar lens and a "professional grade" lens priced at or north of 1000 dollars when mounted on an APS-C body with apertures set equivalent.

I think people who own APS-C bodies (Canon Rebels, 70D, 7D, etc) often assume a common fallacy when they begin to covet expensive lenses such as the Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS II: that "professional" glass will consistently yield significantly sharper images. I know I did until I did some testing and found that for the majority of use cases this is simply not true. Most of your pictures will be viewed by others at a resolution and size where the human eye simply cannot objectively discern a difference in sharpness between pictures taken with this lens vs. a professional lens (stopped down to the same aperture and mounted on the same camera body).

So please APS-C camera body owners, do not go down the gear acquisition rabbit hole of buying expensive lenses without truly assessing where the value resides. Understand that what this lens does not provide is the ability to shoot at low apertures. That is the primary gain of mounting a more expensive EF professional lens on your crop body. Low apertures are beneficial for low light situations and subject isolation (fyi. even f5.6 produces really good shallow depth of field at 200+ mm that would satisfy most non-commercial applications which the Canon 55-250mm IS STM can do). But if low light photography and fancy super blurry backgrounds is really your thing, then instead spend those big bucks towards a full frame camera. Your APS-C body with that expensive lens is the wrong combination for that application.

Of course others will praise the build quality/ruggedness and weather sealing as other values of a more expensive, professional lens.... whatever... I feel a lot less nervous taking this cheap lens on rugged adventures, knowing at most I'm out a few hundred bucks vs. thousands in the unlikely event that I damage my gear.

So if you have a legitimate need to shoot 70-200mm at f2.8 or even at f4 then by all means pay the extra thousand bucks for a fancier lens than this one. Please understand that it's not a significant image quality gain, but instead it is actually a gain in versatility. Otherwise know that the Canon 55-250 IS STM lens will give you brilliant, sharp images within its very reasonable aperture limitations at a price that is affordable.
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on November 5, 2013
I recently dropped an old 70-300mm I'd been using for the past 12 years (ancient, off market, no IS, etc) and needed a replacement.

After reading a ton of reviews, I had narrowed my search down between this lens and the 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM. Unfortunately, my finances don't really allow me to drop $1300+ on a lens so I decided to order this one first and give it a try.

I'm very impressed! Surprisingly so for the price of this lens. The photos come out crisp and IS is a huge advantage for me, especially since I shoot the majority of my photos hand-held (as well as occasionally from moving vehicles).

It's remarkably quiet. As in... not just whisper quiet, but I haven't even heard a whisper. The focus AF is smooth.

I only have two complaints really.

1) I'm experiencing a bit of vignetting. I don't have any filters or hoods to create this effect, so it's definitely the lens. It can be a bit distracting in (and detract from the aesthetics of) certain shots.

2) The AF searches a bit sometimes before finding its focal point. Since I do a good deal of shooting from a moving vehicle, this can be a bit of an issue.

All in all, though, it is an excellent lens. I haven't had a chance yet to compare it to the 70-200mm f/4 L IS USM, but when or if I do, I'll be sure to update my review to include my thoughts on the contrast between the two and if I think the jump in price of nearly 1K feels like it's worth it.
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on January 7, 2014
Am living away from home for a time, and my 60D is not with me. However, I've coupled the 55-250 STM with EOS-M, and this lens simply rocks it. Not only are images steady, well saturated and natural in color, but the lens focuses just as quickly as the EOS-M 18-55mm lens. That's saying a lot. The EOS-M is a camera that struggles when it comes to autofocus speed, and this lens does better than a couple of other Canon EF-S lenses I've used on it with an adapter. It's light-weight, well-built for a lens in this class, and it focuses swiftly and accurately at all focal lengths.

It doesn't require much stopping down for sharper images, either, which is a real boon. Wiith a max aperture range of F4 to 5.6, it is a relatively slow lens. However, I've had a couple of fast (and very expensive) lenses that required stopping down to 5.6 or narrower to get a sharp image. So in my estimation, this one's not really that much slower than the fast competition.

A winner. Birds better be on their best behavior, 'cause I'm out there sneaking shots when they aren't looking.

Happy with my EF-S 55-250mm STM lens. I highly recommend it for the beginner and enthusiast photographer.
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on November 5, 2013
This version of the 55 250 joins the 50mm f1.8 "Plastic Fantastic" as the "Plastic Fantastic Zoom." IMHO this thing shoots way, way above its price and it's silent to boot. Just don't expect plastic to take the abuse a pro lens will tolerate. Be careful with it!! There are online reviews that support my fine experience.
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on July 1, 2015
Let me first say that I have not used L Glass lenses, yet. I have read that other reviewers said that the 55-250mm is approaching the crispness of L or as good. Someday hopefully I will get to SEE what everyone is talking about with the L factor. If I go someplace to take pictures, I find that I keep the 55-250mm on the my T5i most of the time, even for grabbing a few quick flower shots.

At zoos, I never take it off. From two to three feet it take a nice clear flower pic with some bokeh to boot. In fact, I recently used it to get some bee pictures, and it was amazingly better than my 18-55mm. Well, getting close to bees is tricky, and this allows you to step back a little. I turned off the IS so that the lens would instantly focus on my busy little subjects. In Yosemite just recently, I found that switching lenses happens more often, but usually at one site one particular lens stays on 'til you move on.

VIDEO(the good): Video is amazingly clear. This will get you close to band members at a concert. Sound through the supplied microphone is just OK at best, and accessories are available for better sound. Always go into the menu and turn on the wind attenuator, because wind WILL ruin the moment every time when outside. The STM is very quiet to non-existent noise. I have had video on cameras, and older vidcams, and this blows away all the ancient options for getting home movies or your fave action sequences. Once loaded to your HDTV, via optional HDMI cable from camera, you will be treated to jawdropping visuals. Many times the video helped back up some crummy still shots I took. The best video feature is the Snapshot. This will take 2 or 4 second clips from your trip or event and stitch them all into one movie. Read the manual so you know which icons to hit after each clip is finished to secure it in your current album. The video is definitely HD. At zoos it is awesome, because you can snap pics and throw a video clip into your album at any time and go right back to snapping pics.

VIDEO(the not so hot): I am still at the beginning stages of learning the video, and want to try a little video on manual focus. The reason for this, the lens had a tendency to hunt for focus a little too much. If your subject moves near a tree that is situated more closely to you, the 55-350mm may focus on the less interesting tree instead of a deer or family member. I'm thinking that getting into focus and then switch to manual may solve this issue by keeping the focus at that designated distance. I've had this camera for 1-2 years and am always learning something new. Don't read the manual once, keep reading it, and you will keep learning, because the camera does a lot, and really well! I'm also thinking that the IS may be some of the hunting for focus issues. When I try these out, I will update as needed.

PHOTOS(the good): This lens takes some ridiculously sharp pics at all stops along the MM range. I just got my first great nature bird photo with this on a recent trip to a Nat. Forest, an Osprey. I can now see that advantage of a 400mm from 50 yards, a little less cropping. For $300 dollars this is a great alternative to the fancy L Glass Canon lenses. You will not not be disappointed with pictures or video you take.

PHOTOS(the not good): As long as you have some good light this lens will perform wonderfully. I noticed that the minute the light drops the coloration and focus drop off quite a bit. Many state that this is where your full frame or L Glass lenses keep performing solidly. They gobble up more light than the APS-C camera and lenses. Using the supplied T5i flash(not available on more expensive camera models, usually) does do a nice job at giving you that little bit of extra light for the shot. Telephoto shots, forget the flash, unless you are close enough.

I initially went to a pro camera shop to see if they had some of these at an attractive rate, NOT. These guys were so stuffy on L Glass that the STM lenses wouldn't dare even make their display case. Missed sale! Went to some big box store, and check out lenses, BAM, done.. Our California government is incenting people to burn gas and build big boxes again, really?! I'd really rather stay at home and Amazon shop.

BOTTOM Line: Just buy it. I got the original package with just the 18-55mm lens and later adding this 55-250mm opened up a whole new world of picture taking from the 18-55mm. I just recently took some moon shots from my frontdoorway and they were amazingly fun and clear. I sent them to all my friends and gave them some links to read about the two main craters and their history. FUN!
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on November 16, 2014
The lens is really good - great value for money. Sharp, clear, fast and silent. I do not think I need a more expensive zoom.
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on December 6, 2013
The only way to out do this telephoto lens is to spend much much more for expensive heavy L-glass. I have lots of L-Glass but I use this with my E0S-M when I want a light rig that has reach. GREAT SHARP LENS. Well worth the money.
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on October 28, 2014
I have just replaced my original 55-250mm mk1 with this latest STM lens and I can tell you it 's well worth the upgrade. First of all, the new STM lens resolves better even wide open. I can attest that it 's almost as good as my other 100-400L lens in terms of image quality and I hardly can tell the difference from the images captured by the two. The STM lens itself has a plastic mount which is okay to me as it 's not that heavy. I have been using my plasticy 55-250mm for many years until now and there was not a single worry from me on the lens mount. The new STM lens also has a non-rotational frontal element which can be important if you want to mount a CPL filter. Its STM motor is also a lot quieter and faster than the conventional AF motor of the old lens. Its build quality is no slough either. I think this is one of Canon 's best value lenses for the price that you pay. I am very happy about my purchase. I no longer need to haul my heavy 100-400L for birding if I want to travel light without sacrificing image quality. Just go out and get it if you are still on the fence. This lens is 5 stars for me.
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