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Showing 1-10 of 1,326 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,582 reviews
on August 17, 2016
I'm definitely an amateur photographer and really only semi-professional. I work at an event center where we host weddings, concerts, large-scale community events, etc. and I'll sometimes take photos to use on our website or in print. I just got this lens today, and I can already tell I'm going to love it! It has a nice, manageable range for someone planning to use it for somewhat "everyday" use. I'll often take photos of performers up on stage or just strangers from afar while they're attending an event, so I can't always get up close physically to get a nice shot. It also has a great ability to get soft, creamy bokeh (blurred background) to help the subject stand out. It can go as low as f/4, which is plenty small enough for a blurry background as far as what I need. A fixed 50mm that can go to f/1.8 is nice for macro or portraits, but when I'm getting pictures of a choreographed jump rope routine, I don't want that narrow of a focus if they're moving in and out of that range! If you want something that's a step up from your kit lens without feeling overwhelmed by the size or range of a lens, I think this is a great place to start!
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on August 6, 2011
As a former professional photographer I know how important it is for pros to own the best. That's why Canon can ask and get $1500+ for their bestselling L-series zoom. Those who need pro-quality lenses should expect to spend that amount and far more. Those non-pros who have the money and just want the best, should definitely buy Canon L-series--why not? When I decided to sell my dated professional cameras (the "D" was on the other side of the model number) I did a lot of soul searching and researching before I decide where to go next. My lenses were still top quality and fit the newer EF bodies, but lacked modern technological advances like IS. I no longer saw a reason to spend $1000+ on a camera body and $1500+ on a lens. I didn't need video capability. Most of what I take goes up on the Internet, so 10-12 megapixels provides all the cropping room I need. I wanted light weight, good picture quality, and a reasonable price. I found it in the lowly but capable Canon XS (read my review elsewhere). I have no problem with the 18-55 kit lens, but I frequently used my older 28-105 USM lens instead, because it focused faster and was slightly sharper.

In anticipation of an upcoming hiking excursion on Kauai, I decided to pick up a new longer-zoom lens with image stabilization and I again set about doing my due diligence. What I found was that there just wasn't any good reason to go to Canon's middle ground when it comes to lenses. A wide array of testing and reviews showed that Canon's S-series 55-250 was not that far removed from anything short of an L lens -- except in price of course. I was almost embarrassed and feeling a little cheap when I ordered this lens. But now that I've had it for a couple weeks, there is no question in my mind that I made the right choice. I love the size and light weight. The stabilization works like a dream. I've always be a stable base for hand-holding a zoom lens, but I'm now shooting at 250mm 1/200 sec and getting tack sharp results. There is no question that his lens is worth far more than what I paid--thank you Amazon.

What do I wish this lens had that it doesn't? I suppose a metal attachment flange would make me feel more secure. A stop or two more speed, sure. But my only real complaint is the exterior focusing movement that I didn't have to deal with in my older EF USM lenses. The front of this lens moves around a lot, and even if you set your zoom and focus first, using a circular polarizer is a royal pain. For the same reason, I can't use a tulip hood, which is far and away preferable to the ET-60 "Dice Cup" Canon designed for the 55-200. (I did, however, just order one--what choice did I have?)

Is the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom Lens perfection? Absolutely not. Does it perform far above this old ex-pro's expectations? You bet it does, and for a price that is, in my opinion, way below its worth.

Addendum: I forgot to put in my two cents re: the noise mentioned by other reviewers. Noise levels may vary depending on the lens you get--I can't speak to what others are experiencing. However, my lens makes no more noise during focusing than any autofocus lens I've used or been around. The stabilization mechanism makes a mild, almost humorous crackling sound--kinda like paper being wadded up--but on my lens, there has to be dead silence around me in order to hear it. I never notice it under typical shooting conditions--and believe me, no one is more sensitive to noise than I am.
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on April 3, 2014
5 stars for the image quality considering the price!

If you are looking for an inexpensive zoom lens, this is the one for you! After much research, it seemed that this lens was the best in my price range. No, it is not as good more expensive L lenses, but I think that would be expected. If you want the best, you have to be willing to pay for it. But the 55-250 gives excellent performance for under $300!

We have lots of wildlife where I live, but I have never been able to get decent shots with my 18-55mm kit lens or 50mm because they don't reach the distance needed. Since I will be using my zoom lens less often and as more of a hobby, my budget was low...especially since I am looking to buy a prime lens for portraits where I hope to make money.

I was not expecting too much because I was not paying for an L lens, but after using the 55-250mm for myself, I am extremely happy with it (considering what I paid for it), and very pleasantly surprised! I bought it over the 70-300mm because of the IS, and honestly, the extra 50mm wouldn't be worth it unless you used a tripod. The IS allows for handheld shots, which makes it great for a walk-around lens. It is plastic, but that means it is lighter than most other lenses of this focal length. Images with this lens are very crisp, and the bokeh is beautiful. At 250mm, you can easily capture birds in the trees and amazing close-ups of plants. I know some people have complained about slow auto focus, but that has not bothered me because I manual focus 95% of the time. You will probably need to correct color slightly in Lightroom, Photoshop, or GIMP, but I always edit my photos slightly anyways. I look forward to shooting even more with this lens!

Overall, this lens is the best bang for your buck!
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on July 15, 2016
This is my first telephoto lens and I am very happy that I get this one. I mainly use it to take pictures of backyard birds and it serves its purpose well. I'm usually 3-4 yards away from the subjects. While 250mm sometimes seems not enough to get what I want in an image it is still a very nice buy. I already know it's a 250mm, not a 400mm...so the rest of it comes to how the image shows when I take a picture.
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0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 8, 2017
Yes, it's a kit lens. But, that doesn't mean it makes crappy pictures. I've got 20x30 prints on my wall that impress friends and family that prove otherwise. It's got it's compromises, but if you're on a budget, it's better to have a lens you need than none at all. A lot of people whine about the plastic body, but that's never been a problem for me because I don't drop-kick my gear. For me, the biggest drawback may be the minimum f4-5.6 aperture, which, coupled with my camera, means I have a very limited aperture range contained within the len's sharpness (avoiding diffraction) and my camera sensor's limitations.

If you're a casual amateur photographer, this lens may be all you need. If you're an advanced amateur, consider this lens as a placeholder while you get the funds for something better. If you're making money regularly with your photography, you're not even reading this review. :)
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on September 11, 2016
For this price, you almost definitely will not find a telephoto lens with this kind of zoom, good image quality, and most importantly, image stabilization. Obviously you are not going to get the picture quality from this lens that you would get if you spent $500+ or more, however for the price is is a fantastic lens.

I mostly use this lens only for shots in the 100+ mm range, and closer to 200 usually. For a body I use a Canon Rebel T5, with no extra accessories. The image stabilization on this lens makes a huge difference when zoomed in to the 200+ mm range. As long as you are mostly still, you will get some great, clear shots from this lens. The picture attached shows this lens fulled zoomed to the 250 mm range. With good outdoor lighting, you will get some great shots with this lens.

Overall, you cannot beat the price for something like this. I would definitely recommend this lens for a non-professional photographer looking to get a nice telephoto lens.
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on March 30, 2016
My husband bought me this for my birthday last month. I have had a Canon Rebel T3 since 2010, and this lens has been on my wish list since then! It has taken us 6 years to decide that it was really a necessary lens to have - our kids have gotten bigger and started playing soccer and doing ballet, and the kit lenses just weren't cutting it any more.

I am thrilled with how easily I can switch out lenses. I love that this lens already feels familiar to me because it is so similar in design to the kit lens I have. It zooms very well, focuses impressively, doesn't shake as I'm using it, and overall helps me capture the shots I really want.

I'm glad that we got this Canon telephoto lens instead of finding a generic, cheap one.
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on November 10, 2015
For the price, you absolutely cannot go wrong. It's a great lens for a great price. This is a really good lens that is going for less because it has been replaced by a newer model. That's it. This lens was recommended to me by a couple of friends that have been using this one for a good couple of years now. This, at one time was an expensive lens. It beats out cold the cheap 75-300mm lens that comes with some of the kits. Now that is a cheap lens. There is no comparison. Again, for this type of lens, you can't beat it. This has the image stabilization and that makes a huge difference.
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on August 31, 2014
BUILD QUALITY
The lens appears pretty standard compared to the rest of the EFS lineup, which is very good. I've used older Canon kit lenses in the past which felt rinky-dink and cheap. Everything on the outside is a nice matte black plastic; it feels light but sturdy (similar to the old polycarbonate MacBooks). The autofocus and IS switches are clicky and well-made (they don't wobble or shift at all). Unlike some other cheap lenses, this one has no noticeable creep--both the zoom and focus will stay put even if the lens is pointed down. The zoom and focus rings are textured and grippy. The former is rubberized, while the latter is plastic with finer ridges...it may not look beautiful but the two rings each have a distinct tactile feel. One thing to note is that the mounting point is entirely made of plastic. I've never seen a non-metal mount; the plastic may be just as strong but it just looks cheaper and more fragile. Also, the rear lens cap doesn't fit snugly, so it spins a bit and then falls off cheaply.

UP FRONT
The lens cover has push-button release on the outside, not in the middle. I would have preferred a middle release to facilitate removing the cover with a filter on, but oh well. The EF-S 55-250 IS II takes 58mm accessories. If you plan on using a polarizing filter, you will encounter problems since the forward part of the lens rotates with the focus. That will change the polarized-ness unless you find a way to keep the polarizer still. IIRC, the STM version of this lens doesn't have that problem.

USING IT
The focus works very swiftly and my 70D's tracking makes shooting moving targets quite simple. The F4-5.6 range is quite usable, since I can still pull of some nice bokeh in front of my subject and/or behind it (if the subject is closer). Of course, autofocus isn't nearly as smooth as the newer STM lens, but it's completely sufficient for photo work. Videographers may prefer the silent stepping motor in the new version.

Overall, I'd say this lens is a good buy. On the cropped APS-C 70D, the lens provides excellent range for all kinds of photography and the photos I've got have pleasant color and quality.
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0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
The Canon EF-S 55-250mm is a perfect choice if you shoot mostly wide angle shots and don't want to blow a ton of money on a telephoto zoom lens that you only use occasionally. This lens offers you reasonably sharp photos at a very, very good price. Here's a more indepth evaluation of this lens.

- Sharpness
The sharpness is on par with that of the 18-55mm kit lens. In the right conditions, it's almost (but not quite) pro-grade. For a budget lens, it's really about as sharp as they come. I think it's safe to say in terms of sharpness this lens will satisfy all but the most fastidious of prosumers.

You best bet for seeing how sharp this lens is is to seek out professional review sites that show you a 100% crop of pictures taken with this lens and then decide for yourself.

- Chromatic Aberration (CA)
In bright sunlight, where chromatic aberration is most pronounced, the chromatic aberration on this lens is barely noticeable and probably imperceptible to the untrained eye. In more even lighting, this lens shows no signs of CA.

- Auto-Focus (AF)
The auto-focus is fast enough for still subjects, but for very fast-moving subjects, it's a hit-or-miss. I gave this lens a good workout shooting cheetahs running close to their top speeds at the Animal Ark, Reno, NV (OT: cheetahs can run at speeds of 70 mph or greater). Most of my shots came out blurry (and that's not due to motion blur) because the auto-focus wasn't fast enough.

Like the kit lens, the auto-focus has trouble in lowlight conditions. It also has trouble with surfaces that lack texture. The motor whirs back and forth trying to lock on to a focus. It can be a little annoying at times.

- Image Stabilization (IS)
The image stabilization is amazing, even at 250mm. Interestingly, you can hear a click when the image stabilization mechanism kicks in. For handheld shot, especially at the 250mm end, the IS is immensely helpful for steadying your shots. I'm very impressed. (Bear in mind, too, the rule of thumb: the shutter speed should be at least as fast as the reciprocal of the focal length.)

- Internal Focus (IF)
The lack of IF would not ordinarily be a problem unless you're using circular polarized filters. The turning of the barrel throws the filter out of adjustment, so you would have to readjust the filter after the subject is brought into focus.

- Build
In terns of build quality, the lens is built a lot like the kit lens. There are complaints that it looks plasticky - maybe so - but it doesn't look cheap to be sure. It's lightweight but it feels well-built and sturdy. The zoom ring feels tight, but not overly so, so there is no zoom creep.

- Alternative
Just FYI, the Canon EF 70-300mm is reputed to be sharper than this lens. You might want to give this lens some consideration if the focal range is right and if you can afford to splurge a little.

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I suspect the Canon EF-S 55-250mm is the best mid-telephoto zoom lens you can get at this price. For the budget conscious, and for people who need telephoto zoom only once in a while, this lens is a very good choice.
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