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Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens (discontinued by manufacturer)
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Price:$149.00+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


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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TOP 100 REVIEWERon December 22, 2012
I'm very pleased with this lens given the price. Although it won't give a Canon L lens a run for its money, it's reasonable fast and has a nice range. The build quality is very good for this price point. Both the zoom movement and focusing are smooth. The zoom marking are well-marked. While the mount is plastic rather than metal, this keeps the lens weight down, which is always something that I appreciate. Despite being plastic the mount and housing are more than sturdy enough for even the most avid amateur photographer.

The image stabilization works very well and is an essential feature to have unless you have rock-steady hands.

I find the image quality to be excellent at all zoom ranges except for when it's at its max range, but even then it's more than acceptable.

It's certainly not the best lens that Canon makes, but I don't think there's another zoom out there that can match this performance at this price. It's a great second lens if you have a crop sensor body (such as the Rebel series) and the 18-55mm zoom (which is a common kit lens). The pair provides a wide range of shooting opportunities at a very reasonable cost. Highly recommend.
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on July 5, 2011
This is my first telephoto zoom lens, and I have been having so much fun experimenting with the new abilities it gives me. It does a wonderful job at doing what it was designed for: taking quality pictures at a distance. So far, I have used it to take pictures of wildlife and pictures at a concert, and I've been quite happy with the results. Previously, my concert photos always had to be cropped way down, and the image quality was therefore not great; but with this lens, I finally have some true-to-life pictures. The same goes for pictures of wildlife (I've snapped shots of beaver, deer, muskrats, squirrels, chipmunks etc). With my 58mm lens, I could take pictures, but it was difficult (if not impossible) to get close enough for a high quality image. This lens gives me a much more crisp, clear image that I don't need to crop much.

As someone who only takes pictures as a hobby and for memory-keeping, I like that the zoom mechanism is plastic and lightweight. I want to be able to carry my camera on walks and not feel too weighed down.

The limitations of this lens are that you must be standing at several feet distance from the subject to focus: so if you want to catch a dragonfly on a flower, you have to back up a few feet and then zoom in for a close-up shot. I learned this the hard way! It is also slower to focus than the 58mm lens that came with my Canon Rebel T2i, especially in lower light. However, for me, it was most important to be able to take quality shots at a distance at a relatively reasonable price and this lens performs very well.
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on November 2, 2011
I was debating getting this zoom level with or without IS(I have a T2i). I'm very glad I got it with IS. You don't realize how much you shake hand held sometime and this can really help get a good image. I was expecting the zoom to be father but it's my first zoom lens. My point and shoot still zooms farther but of course doesn't get as good of images or have IS. This is really good for getting images of animals that would otherwise run if you got close. I have no real complaints about this lens.

One thing I will point out, it seems to be a slight issue with a UV filter on this lens when it is zoomed. You get some bad internal light reflections. This happens with a cheapo UV filter and a nice one I have. Only noticeable at night. I don't count off because the lens without a filter works great. Only reason I have a UV on it at night is to protect the bare lens front.
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VINE VOICEon September 15, 2009
The Image Stabilization feature in this lens is most useful when you are trying to capture shots without using a tripod. At zoom lengths of 250mm (35mm equivalent 400mm) the IS feature allows you to take shots that would be too shaky without a tripod. You gain 2 or 3 f-stops with IS.

In bright light the quality of the images taken is very, very good, even at the max end of the lens. With a little post-processing the images can be made even sharper.

At the price, this is excellent value for money, and provides a handy companion to your regular lens.

However...

- The lens is not as sharp as you would like. Sort of expected in a lens that is not the Canon 'L' series, unlike, say, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras,Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras, or the Canon EF 100-400mm f4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras.

- The build quality does not inspire a huge amount of confidence. If you take good care of the lens, and keep it in a bag when not in use, and do not go about knocking it against hard objects or dropping it, the build quality should not be a problem.

- This is an EF-S lens, so if at some point in the future Canon switches to full-frame sensors and the dSLR bodies stop accepting EF-S lenses, this lens could well become obsolete. As of now it does not look like the EF lenses are going away, so this is not as big a concern, for several years hopefully.

- No USM (Ultrasonic motor), so the time to focus can be slow, especially if the lens has to hunt.
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on April 2, 2010
I love this lens because:

--> It's affordable.
--> It takes great, sharp pictures throughout all apertures, throughout all focal lengths. I find myself using this lens a lot at 55mm, and 250mm, with no worries.
--> Quick focusing compared to the cheaper Tamron/Sigma lenses I've demo'd
--> Superb optical image stabilization, especially at 250mm
--> Solid feel (for being light).
--> Precise, and responds accurately to input

I considered the Tamron 18-270 (and other 18-200's/250's), but after reading a lot of reviews and speaking with experts, quickly realized that there are no 'miracle' all-in-one lenses, and changing lenses in the field is a necessary evil. I'm glad I didn't sacrifice image quality for laziness.

I highly recommend this lens to beginners, but only being an f/5.6 @ 250mm, I sometimes find it a bit 'slow'.

UPDATE:

After owning this copy for two and a half years, it's not quite as crisp as it once was (could have to do with me dropping it onto concrete from about 2.5 feet); however it is still very usable. I ended up using it for a lot of macro work along with Canon's 25mm extension tube. I find I rarely shoot less than 250mm, and it's done an awesome job for the price. We recently upgraded to the 100-400mm L, and that really helped me appreciate the value in this 250. I also shoot the 70-200 f/2.8 frequently, and find this little guy to render great pictures given its size, weight, and price.

The bottom line: If you're a beginner, you NEED this lens.
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on April 3, 2016
I assembled a camera outfit from discontinued products because I wanted to limit my expenses, start with one lens and buy new components. I am extremely pleased with this lens. It is very easy to use, lightweight and well constructed. The auto focus feature is faster than I expected and the manual zoom is smooth and fast. Manual focus is available at the flick of the switch and is easy to use. The stabilizer feature is switch selectable but I have left it on. This lens works well in available light conditions.
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on October 15, 2017
I have a Canon T5 that came with 18-55mm and 75-300mm lenses. I found myself having to constantly change lenses depending on what shots I was taking. No telephoto ability with the lower powered lenses and missing close-ups with the higher powered lenses. The 55-250mm lenses was recommended for better all around shots unless all I was doing was taking close-ups or long range shots. Since I have put it on my camera I haven't had to change the lenses even once. It is great for the larger range of shots and the resolution makes up for the minor difference in the telephoto capability of the longer range lenses. Good choice for amature birding and nature shooting.
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on September 9, 2009
I purchased this lens, Canon EF-S 55-250 f/4.0-5.6 IS Telephoto Zoom lens due to its stabilization. I also have a Canon f/4.0 70-210 Telephoto Zoom lens I have had for 20 years but I have had difficulty at higher zooms in holding it anywhere near steady enough. I have only had the new lens for 2 months and have found it to be excellent at low to mid range shots but a little soft (as indicated in other reviews) at high zoom (200-250). But the stabilization has been great.

I am strictly a novice but I consider it to be a reasonable buy, even with the lens I already owned. My older lens is better on a tripod I think because it is f/4.0 for all ranges. As I am semi-retired I don't have a lot of spare cash but this was still a good deal. If you need a lens for this range and can't afford $600 I would recommend the Canon EF-S 55-250 IS wholeheartedly.

On a sadder note, I was photographing my brother-in-law sawing wood. I changed lenses and did not put away my 55-250. Naturally it fell off a 4 foot table onto the concrete floor. I had a rubber lens hood on it and it has apparently protected the lens. The hood completely folded even with the lens edge but I can find no scratches (I did have a protective filter on it). Pictures at all ranges appear to be fine. Strong recommendation -- buy a hood!! Also I have to remove the wood dust from the lens before I really use it again. Really dumb.
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on November 13, 2010
I purchased this lens to replace my Canon USM 28-200mm lens which for some reason has been taking slightly soft photos lately--just enough not to look sharp and clean. I use a Canon Xti digital SLR. I enjoy taking (thousands) of pictures of my son's soccer team and posting them to the school's web site. This lens produces sharp, vibrant photos in full, bright sun. I've gotten some really fun action shots. It is very light weight and easy to use, but I still use a mono pod for additional stability. I have not noticed a reduction in battery life due to using the image stabilization...I used it in sports mode (a lot of auto focusing while following action) and taken over 300 photos at a game with plenty of battery life to go. Unfortunately, it does have trouble with low light. Picture quality is markedly reduced on cloudy days. I do miss having the 28-55mm range included, but that's not a huge complaint. The extra 50mm at the long end is worth it. I have not yet used the lens anywhere other than the soccer fields. Overall though, I'm very pleased with it, especially at it's reasonable price.
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