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Canon EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS STM Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
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- Focal length and maximum aperture: 55-250mm 1:4-5.6
- Closest focusing distance: 0.85m/2.8 ft.
- Lens construction: 15 elements in 12 groups
- Diagonal angle of view: 27 Degree 50 ft. - 6 Degree 15 ft.
- Rear focus system
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|Lens Compatibility Information: Canon EF-S lenses are only compatible with APS-C sensor DSLR cameras. Canon EF lenses are compatible with Canon full-frame and APS-C DSLR cameras.
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The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM telephoto zoom lens is a dream come true for photographers and videographers looking to add versatility and range to their lens collection. Compact and lightweight with Optical Image Stabilizer for up to 3.5 equivalent stops of shake correction, it extends the camera's reach significantly, capturing sharp images of faraway objects, even when handheld. It features Canon's amazing STM stepping motor and a newly designed high-speed CPU, rear focus mechanism and improved AF algorithm for high-speed performance, supporting Canon's Movie Servo AF for smooth, quiet and continuous focus adjustments. This lens features one UD lens element that reduces chromatic aberration, helping to achieve excellent image quality with high resolution and contrast. The front element does not rotate, ensuring easy compatibility with accessories like polarizing filters, and full-time manual focus is available even while in AF mode.
From the Manufacturer
EF-S55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
For photographers and videographers looking to add versatility and range to their lens collection, the new EF-S 55–250mm f/4–5.6 IS STM telephoto zoom lens is a dream come true. Compact and lightweight with Optical Image Stabilizer for up to 3.5* equivalent stops of shake correction, it extends the camera's reach significantly, capturing sharp images of far away objects, even when handheld. It features Canon's amazing STM stepping motor and a newly designed high-speed CPU, rear focus mechanism and improved AF algorithm for high-speed performance, supporting Canon's Movie Servo AF for smooth, quiet and continuous focus adjustments. The EF-S 55–250mm f/4–5.6 IS STM lens features one UD lens element that reduces chromatic aberration, helping to achieve excellent image quality with high resolution and contrast. The front element does not rotate, ensuring easy compatibility with accessories like polarizing filters, and full-time manual focus is available even while in AF mode. Enhanced coatings on the lens elements deliver excellent color balance and minimize ghosting and flare, and a 7-blade circular aperture delivers beautiful, soft backgrounds. The EF-S 55–250mm f/4–5.6 IS STM lens has a compact design thanks to a new six-group zoom system that provides a maximum magnification of 0.29x at the telephoto end and a minimum focusing distance of 2.79 ft./0.85m throughout the zoom range.
* Based on CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) standards. Testing performed using the EOS 7D digital SLR camera at a focal length of 250mm (400mm in 35mm equivalence).
- Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 55–250mm 1:4–5.6
- Lens Construction: 15 elements in 12 groups
- Diagonal Angle of View: 27°50' – 6°15'
- Focus Adjustment: Rear focus system
- Closest Focusing Distance: 2.79 ft. / 0.85m
- Filter Size: 58mm diameter
- Max Diameter x Length, Weight: 2.8 x 4.4 inches, approx. 13.2 oz./70.0 x 111.2mm, approx. 375g
Top customer reviews
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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.
Plenty of other sources can give you technical specs, so I'll talk strictly about real-world use, and I'll start with the bad. My one complaint about this lens, and the reason I would give it 4.5 stars if I could, is that manual focus sucks. This isn't a fault of this lens specifically; it's inherent to all STM lenses and anything else that is focus-by-wire. MF is fine for macro and for tripod shooting, but it takes a little practice and a lot of luck to use MF handheld, especially in the dimmer and smaller viewfinders of Rebel bodies. I have an f/2 lens with good MF for when I want to shoot in low light, but the lack of usable MF is sometimes frustrating when shooting wildlife.
I use this lens primarily on the trail for wildlife, macro-ish shots, tighter landscapes, and occasional portraits. Some would say it isn't tight enough for wildlife, but the reality is that proximity trumps telephoto reach every time, and the light weight and compact size of this lens make it easy to move closer to your subject. Those same characteristics also make it easy to carry all the time, so I always have it whenever I happen across a fellow creature on a hike. The very close focus and good bokeh make it a good closeup performer, and equipped with a 500D closeup lens it is quite a usable substitute for a proper macro lens, making it a great lens on the trail.
It has outstanding technical image quality, so you can crop quite a bit and still get decent results - when shot properly, crops will often be limited by noise before sharpness. The stabilizer is absurdly effective, and autofocus is snappy and precise.
You might hear complaints that it has a plastic lens mount, and although metal is always better, this lens just doesn't weigh enough that the plastic is a problem - I have dropped it on the ground several times and it's fine.
The plastic filter threads go completely unnoticed by me - I use Xume adapters on it full-time and I would recommend them for this lens if you plan to use it a lot. Speaking of which, you have to stack an unreasonable number of filters to create any problems.
All of the attached photos were taken with a T1i and edited in LR from raw. All handheld with IS on except the one of the deck, which was on a tripod with IS off. The crystal-looking one (a solar panel actually) was taken with a 500D at 250mm almost at MFD. The closeup of the lizard were taken at 250mm MFD without the 500D. The woodpecker was cropped to ~50%, the rest were cropped only slightly.
Look at those animals' eyes!
If you're even considering this lens, just buy it. Get an off-brand hood, a good polarizer, and maybe a quality closeup lens, and go shoot!
BUILD is light duty and, at a slender 2.8” x 4.4,” similar in size to a typical Micro Four Thirds telezoom. Fit and finish are very good with quality plastics, sturdy switches, smooth turning rings and a wobble-free nested barrel. The weak point is probably the plastic mount.
OPTICAL QUALITY: This lens is sharp across the frame and compares well to my EF 70-200 4L IS USM, a four times more expensive lens! Yes, it exhibits slightly more light falloff and flares more easily than the L zoom, but is impressive nonetheless.
FOCUS: A rear element focusing group is driven by a stepping motor (STM) and is peppy, accurate and sure-footed on my 70D and 80D. However, it’s less sure-footed on my SL1 in low light due to the lessor AF system of the Rebel (only one cross point). The front element doesn't rotate or extend during focusing, allowing easy use of polarizing filters.
This zoom was designed with video in mind and the STM drive is silky smooth, just the right focus speed and perfect for pulls and movie servo. Focus is silent to camera mics as is the image stabilization (IS). The focus-by-wire manual focus (MF) works without switching out of AF mode: grip and turn the ring with the shutter button half depressed.
ZOOM: The zoom ring is large, covered with ribbed rubber, well damped and doesn’t creep. It’s also very smooth when rotated. A nested barrel extends considerably—adding about 2 inches in length--when racked out to 250 mm.
IMAGE STABILIZATION: Because this lens is so light, it’s tricky to hold steady compared to my EF 70-200 4L IS USM. Nevertheless, the IS feature insures I almost always get a sharp picture, even three stops below my normal hand held shutter speed at 55mm, e.g., 1/15 sec. At 250mm I can only squeeze out two extra stops, e.g., 1/60 sec. I do a stop or two better with my heavier EF 70-200 4L IS USM due to less bobbing around!
LENS HOOD: Use a hood to protect this lens from stray light, doggie noses and raindrops. A hood is not included but the optional Canon ET-63 Lens Hood is pricey at 25 shekels.
FINAL BLURB: This an ideal telezoom for travel and weekend sports shooters. Considering the cost and performance ratio, this is a truly excellent telezoom. I love the petite size, zoom range, AF speed/smoothness and sharpness of this lens. Coupled with my 80D, it makes a wonderfully versatile, nimble and lightweight travel combo. I feel confident to shoot in most situations and bring back sharp images and videos.
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