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Showing 1-10 of 1,404 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,661 reviews
on March 21, 2017
LOVE LOVE LOVE this lens. I received this lens when I purchased the Canon T4i (from Amazon) and have since upgraded to a Canon T6i and KEPT the 55-250 lens as my only lens! Although the naysayers will say that this is a AMATEUR lens or that it is not "good glass",I am in approximately 20 magazines a year and I have had centerfolds upon centerfolds printed in national magazines, so don't let the cheap price fool you....This is an excellent lens and it really boils down to what my mentor told me years ago- "If you have the "eye" for photography, you will make great photos"
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on April 22, 2013
It is a cheap but great telephoto lens. Great for anything in less than 100 ft vicinity. I took fantastic pictures of my daughter playing soccer, birds on trees, squirrels etc..This lens does its job very well. IS-II means you do not have to carry your tripod everywhere with you. Most of my pictures were crisp, no blur. You will see some blur creeping in after 200 mm focal length.

I have also used it for Macro shots by zooming in on an object from 10 ft distance. You can get really close and get beautiful bokeh in the background. This is a must have lens for any DSLR starter. The only thing it won't let you to stand very close to object. You need to be at least 3-4 feet away to get a focus. For indoor close up shots 18-55 mm Kit lens works quite well.
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on October 27, 2012
I have just started to take photographing little seriously. And got my self a t3i with 18-55 IS II lens. However, taking pictures of animals and birds are not that easy with 18-55 for it's limited range, so I bought this one after a little research on other cheaper alternative, and I am glad that I went with this one. I am still experimenting with it as it's been only two weeks so far. Without tripod I was able to frame a few good good pictures as the built in stabilizer did a very good job. I will keep you updated as I get more time with it. Please buy this item from a reputed seller, I will recommend to get it from amazon.com instead of market place seller, even though you will be paying a little extra but, I can guarantee that worth it as I heard many measurable stories of getting counterfeit lens and used one from the marketplace sellers.
Update:(01/03/2013) It's been little more than two months since I bought the camera and the lens, because of the cold weather haven't got much chances to shoot outside. However while shooting a few indoor photo found out the auto-focus was taking little time, same thing happened to the other lens too(18-55mm), therefore, I think it's not the lens but the camera. I don't like to use auto focus feature as it doesn't give me the confident that I need. Over all I am still happy with the both camera and lens. I only regret that a few of my friends were able to buy the camera packaged with both lens only a month after I bought and saved more than 150 dollars. Well am still happy for them :P
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on March 2, 2010
I am new to DSLR photography having just moved from Canon point-and-shoot in September 2009. I purchased the Canon XSI with kit lens EFS 18-55mm and in the same order I bought the EFS 55-250mm. For the first couple months I used the full auto function and was disappointed in the results because they were not any better than the Canon PowerShot -- not bad but I expected more. Then I bought a DVD beginner course in DSLR photography for the XSI and started using the 'creative modes' and my pictures improved a great deal. I bought two more lenses the Canon EF mm50 1.4 and for some reason the competing EF mm50 1.8.

So for the last few months I have been taking many pictures with all four lenses in series starting with wide aperture and incrementally closing, which of course changes shutter speed and depth of field. Then I would use the shutter priority setting and play around with the white balance and the ISO setting. Then I carefully studied the pictures on my wide screen computer monitor and increased magnification to look more closely at the edges and color. I would try to determine for each lens the affect of aperture, shutter, ISO, white balance on the quality of the pictures.

I have found that I can get good and bad pictures from any of the lenses. However, the EFS 55-250 is probably the most consistent in terms of decent quality -- a little better than the kit lens. And of course it is a telephoto lens. The mm50 1.8 takes very sharp pictures but the mm50 1.4 can really take some beautiful color and the bokeh is wonderful. I like them all!

I guess that as I get more experience I could change my mind and of course there is still the wonderful world of the 'L' lenses.
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on February 9, 2011
I purchased a Sigma 18-250 zoom lens to replace my Canon kit lens (18-55)and this Canon 55-250 IS. After months of owning all 3 lenses I just now decided to do some testing/comparisons between the Sigma and the 2 Canons (cold winter boredom I suppose).

The Sigma looks and feels like a great lens, but as far as image quaility (i.e. sharpness), not so great in my tests.

I took identical photos with these lenses comparing variuous aperatures, focal lenghts, IS on/off, flash on/off, etc. (I was the same distance from subject, used the same subjects, used a tripod, etc.)

This Canon 55-250 IS is diffinately sharper than the Sigma, especially at the 250mm end where it counts the most to me. The Canon, though inexpensive and seemingly not built that great, took sharper pictures, hands down. The Canon peaked at around f8 for sharpness at 250mm (and it was pretty sharp), while the Sigma was around f10-11, and still not near sharp.

I didn't compare all of the image quality parameters, and perhaps the Sigma might fare better in others respects, but for me if I can't obtain relatively sharp pictures, the lens is, at best, only good for very general photography where sharpness doesn't matter.

Not only this, but at 250mm the Canon photos are obviously zoomed in further than the Sigma. There appears to be some where around 30mm differance. Either Canon has under rated their lens or Sigma has over rated theirs, or something. In any case the Canon gives you considerably more zoom than the Sigma. If you should happen to own both lenses as I do, try this for yourself to see if I'm just imagining this.

Also the Sigma did not seem to do any better than the Canon 18-55 IS kit lens, or maybe not even as good. But there wasn't a great difference on this end of the spectrum. The Sigma does OK here on this end. I might add, though, that the kit lense at 18mm was slightly wider than the Sigma at 18mm.

So now I don't know what to do. I guess I'm sort of stuck. If I don't care what my pictures look like the Sigma is an OK one-size-fits-all lens for vacations and long hikes. But why not just use my really nice point & shoot that takes better pictures and has an even longer focal range? Or I can just go back to changing my el-cheapo Canon lenses again.

Bottom line, the Cannon 55-250 IS lens is 5 star for what it is and what it does. Its not an L lens by any means, but for 250 bucks, give or take, its a pretty respectable lens. I've taken some pretty awesome pictures of birds-in-flight with this lens at 250mm! I might add here that pictures from this lens usually require a little post-prossessing, at least that has been my experience. This, however, usually involves quick, farely minor enhancements.
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on October 14, 2016
This is a fine mid-range, medium quality telephoto lens. Works well with my Canon EOS 40D camera. All the automatic features, including focus, work well. If you have an older Canon camera that doesn't need a lens with video support, this is a good choice. It's no longer being manufactured, however, so grab one while supplies last. The price on Amazon is about half what you will pay at B&H.
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on November 24, 2014
I love this lens!! It's an awesome zoom! I consider myself intermediate level hobbyist, and I do photoshoots for people at no cost to give them family photos with better quality than mall studios. This lens is perfect for those who want the off-in-the-distance look in their photos, and I don't have to be ridiculously far to achieve it.

It's also great for when I photograph landscapes like the wild bluebonnets out here in the Texas countryside.

I do not have professional knowledge, so for pro's I would recommend looking in to reviews on canon's site... for hobbyists and those that are just looking for a decent zoom, this is a great option!
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on December 11, 2012
At the time of purchase, I was trying to decide between this lens, the Canon EF 70-300mm IS USM, and the Tamron 70-300 DI VC USD (on rebate at the time). When I saw the Canon 55-250 IS II on sale, though, I decided to pull the trigger and save some money over the other options. While it's possible I could be achieving higher IQ with the others, I didn't miss it. I've managed to take some really great wildlife shots with this lens on my 600d. (You can view many shots I've taken with this lens in my gallery at DPReview.)

Pros: Excellent value, especially when purchased on sale or when bundled with a camera body (T3i/600d or T4i/650d). Its light weight and image stabilization (IS) makes hand-held shots easy at long focal length and medium shutter speeds (e.g. 250mm at 1/250). Bokeh is a pretty nice. Can use as a macro-like lens for photographing flowers and insects. 250mm max focal length on an APS-C (crop) body (e.g. 600d) is equivalent to 400mm on a full-frame body (e.g. 6d). Stationary targets are easy to capture.

Cons: Auto-focus is not particularly fast, making moving targets (e.g. birds in flight) a challenge. It has a tenancy to hunt for focus, struggling to find focus on, e.g., a bird amidst tree branches. (In such a situation, I often revert to manual focus, although this can mean I miss the shot.) Images are on the soft side (much more so compared to Canon L glass). It's slow (f/4.0-5.6), so it's not suitable for indoor shooting except in the best light or with high ISO (3200+).


If you are in the market for a budget telephoto lens for your APS-C camera body in 2014, I have to recommend the newer version of this lens (EF-S 55-250mm IS STM) instead. Image quality looks vastly superior to this one, and it's a no-brainer when bundled with the T5i/700d or 70d. If you see this lens offered for an all-time low, you can consider it, but I still probably would recommend the STM version of this lens instead.

If you want to shoot moving targets, I recommend spending more on L glass. For indoors, you're probably looking at the 70-200 f/2.8. For outdoors, you have a lot more flexibility, so you might consider anything from the 70-200 f/4L USM (an exceptional value as the cheapest L) to the new 70-300 IS USM L to an ultra-expensive 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM.

Note: This is an EF-S lens, which means it only fits on APS-C camera bodies: T2i, T3i, T3, T4i, T4, T5i, T5, SL1, 60d, 70d, 7d.

Edit: This lens is still performing wonderfully after a year of ownership. I have multiple photos in my gallery on DPReview's website if you'd like to check them out.

Edit 4/2014: Rewrote the review. Lowered initial rating of 5 stars to 4 stars in light of the release of the latest version of this lense: the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM, which is quite superior.
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on July 10, 2014
This is an amazing lens! I use this primarily for wildlife/nature photography (birds and other animals that you can't get too close to) and it has not disappointed! The images are super sharp (even at the maximum zoom) and the color and clarity are amazing! This is one of my favorite lenses. It is really versatile, and I have even used it for some portrait and event photography (though I prefer my 17-85mm for that). Still, this lens does amazing things. I have captured some great moments with this lens, and the IS is awesome, especially for hand-held wildlife photography. I've been able to capture excellent action shots (birds in mid-flight, etc.) and this lens captures those with sharp clarity. I would highly recommend this lens for anyone who needs a telephoto lens and maybe isn't quite ready to spend the money on L series. Its a great starter lens and I've been nothing but pleased with it.
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I'm a beginning photographer and I have had this lens along with my Rebel T3i for nearly a year now. For a beginner, this lens has been an excellent complement to the kit lens and has given a lot of versatility when I started out the DSLR photography. If you are newly entering the world of DSLRs from the world of point-and-shoot cameras, you will notice that your standard DSLR kit is probably lacking something that your old point and shoot had: zoom! This lens along with the kit lens will give a very wide focal range without totally destroying your budget for your new-found hobby.

Having added different lens to my bag now, the 55-250 now seems a bit cheap quality-wise but when I first bought, all that I really cared for as a beginner was the telephoto capabilities. It does perform fairly well for being a budget lens and while I have considered upgrading it, I can't justify jumping into the next price range (which is a huge jump).

Performance-wise, it does great. I've taken pictures of wildlife, portraits and tripod night shots and this lens performs well. However, knowing what I know now, I would say that the contrast on this lens can be a bit soft (nothing that a little photoshop tweaking won't fix).

The image stabilization works very well and it doesn't have a noticeable drain on the battery. One this with the IS though is that it has to be turned off for tripod shots, otherwise it will make tripod photography very blurry. Autofocus is very fast and decisive with this lens.

Construction-wise, the lens is still holding up. It has the same quality as the kit lens so it is OK. Nothing fancy with this lens. It is pretty light which is great for travel.

Overall, it's a great lens for beginners and probably the best and perhaps only telephoto lens that you can get at this price range.
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