Canon EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS STM Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
|Compatible Mountings||Canon EF-S|
|Lens Description||250 millimetres|
|Max Focal Length||250 Millimeters|
About this item
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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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Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens
Canon EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 is STM Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Renewed)
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens
|Sold By||Amazon.com||M&K Camera||Best Seller Deals||Amazon.com||AAAA Universe|
|Compatible Camera Mount||Canon EF-S||Canon EF-S||Canon EF-S||Canon EF||Canon EF-S|
|Focus Type||Stepper motor||Micromotor||Manual Focus||Micro-type ultrasonic||Stepper motor|
|Item Dimensions||4.37 x 2.76 x 2.76 inches||4.25 x 2.76 x 2.76 inches||4.40 x 2.80 x 2.80 inches||4.80 x 2.80 x 2.80 inches||2.83 x 2.95 x 2.95 inches|
|Item Weight||0.83 lbs||0.86 lbs||0.16 ounces||1.06 lbs||0.53 lbs|
|Lens Type||Telephoto||Telephoto||Telephoto||Telephoto||Wide Angle|
|Maximum Aperture||5.6 millimeters||f/2||1.4 millimeters||4 millimeters||4.5 millimeters|
|Maximum Focal Length||250 millimeters||250 millimeters||250 millimeters||300 millimeters||18 millimeters|
|Minimum Focal Length||55 millimeters||55 millimeters||55 millimeters||75 millimeters||10 millimeters|
|Photo Filter Thread Size||58 millimeters||58 millimeters||—||58 millimeters||67 millimeters|
Fast and silent lens functions. Improved image stabilization. 55-250Mm focal length. Aperture: 1: 4-5.6. Warranty: one year. 6.7 in. L x 4.6 in. W x 4.3 in. H (1.2 lbs.).
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
SERIAL #801402795 FULL 14 DAY NO HASSLE SATISFACTION GUARANTEE AND A 90 DAY PARTS AND LABOR WARRANTY
Top reviews from the United States
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As always I have a lot to say, so let’s get to it!
Pros (so many!)
1. Sharp – Possibly the most important quality of a lens is its image quality. The clarity in this lens is easily comparable to lenses that are twice its price or higher, at least in the center of the lens. This is largely in part thanks to the single UD element included in the lens (same found in L class lenses). It’s hard to believe that this is a budget lens, since it punches well above its class. There are drawbacks though, which I will cover in the review. As far as IQ though, I will let the images do the rest of the talking there.
2. Price – I want to get some info out there; you should probably not pay full retail for this lens. New it list for 300 USD. Even at that price it is still cheaper than just about any comparable lens in this class for its quality of output. However, it’s just too easy to find it for less than that. Here are some of the different ways you can save money on this lens. If you are getting a new camera you can bundle it for an additional 200 USD. If you are ok with second hand, it can often be found used for 100-150 USD, maybe less. There are “white box” and “grey market” versions, usually around 150 USD. “White box” lenses are bundled with new cameras but sometimes are made available separately by sellers, while “grey market” lenses are from sellers outside your specific region; both are typically new-in-box and unused. Refurbs sell for 150 or less (sometimes called renewed on Amazon). Note - How you buy it affects the warranty. Bought new or bundled with a new camera from an authorized dealer is the only way to guarantee the warranty. If that matters to you then that is how you do it. Refurbs usually have at least some warranty (from Canon it’s 1 year, from others maybe only 30 days, maybe more). “White box” or “grey market” versions may or may not be covered (Canon’s discretion, use google for more info). A used lens has no warranty unless offered by the seller (not common). Because of the price being so low I wouldn’t sweat the warranty too much. I personally got mine refurbed from Canon for 130 USD. That is a great deal, and it came with full warranty (but that is a rare price). If you must have a warranty, 300 USD is still a fair price, and is still a bargain compared to pricier models. You might even find it a little less than 300 new, just be sure it is from an authorized dealer and is the retail version if this is the route you want to go.
3. Great range of focal lengths – After crop factor this lens becomes 88-400mm effective focal length. (It’s a bit more complicated than that, but I want to keep it simple). This makes it good for some wildlife and nature shooting. Probably doesn’t have the range for what most would consider “birding”, and lenses that do are much more expensive. Birds in the garden though, it should be good. I’ve seen people use it for airshows as well, and I have even used it for outdoor sports as well as a zoo lens (needs good light to work well). I know there are longer reach lenses out there, but not at this price and quality. For fast moving subjects, see the cons section for some advice on how to use the lens best. Note – even though this is a crop only lens, the crop factor of 1.6x still applies to it. That is how I got the 88-400mm effective focal length. I know it can be confusing, as it sounds contrary to how it should be, and I have met more than a few that claim the contrary. In spite of what you may have read/heard, it is true. This is because the way focal length is measured is an industry standard and the size of the sensor is not part of the measurement. Just know that any lens on a crop camera will need crop factor applied to know its 35mm “full frame” equivalent. From there you might have a better idea for how you can use a given lens. It is generally considered a benefit for telephoto lenses, and a hindrance for wide angle lenses.
4. Close min focus – 2.79 feet, or .85m for those on metric. This is much better than most lenses in this class, which often have min focus distances closer to 4 feet. This turns the lens into a pseudo macro lens when using it from the closest focus and at full zoom. From the end of the lens you can get to within 2 feet of your subject and still focus normally. This is great for insect photos as well as flowers, or really anything small. Add an extension tube and now it’s even closer with even more magnification! (I recommend Kenko for tubes). The close focus also makes this lens useful for portraits, as you can get close to your subject and zoom in to create some nice compression, though with some focus breathing (it’s not my go to for this, but it can work is the point).
5. IS – 3.5 stops of image stabilization is great. For those not in the know, IS is used to counter the effects of hand shake when using a shutter speed that is too slow for the focal length of the lens. The longer the reach, the more pronounced the effect is (look into the reciprocal rule for more info). FYI, crop factor applies here. So when using this at its full reach, you need to use a shutter speed of at least 1/400 sec to avoid shake. If shooting action this isn’t much of an issue, since you will be using fast shutters anyway (probably at least 1/500 sec). Where this helps is for nature shooting. When you get into the shade and are trying to get a butterfly sitting on a leaf you might need to shoot at a much slower speed, which you can now do thanks to IS (potentially 1/30 sec at 250mm). Each full stop doubles the amount of light; 3.5 stops is potentially 12 times more light. This is a HUGE advantage, provided your subject is not moving quickly. IS is also great for video, as it stabilizes your footage, but I am not sure how many would be looking at this lens for video. Just mentioning it for your info.
6. Other stuff – Lightweight, much more so than other telephotos (It’s not much bigger than the 18-55mm). STM focus is silent for video, but not all cameras support silent focus. Base models like the T6 or T7 do not, nor do any cameras older than the T4i, but AF works normally otherwise. Rear focusing, so the front element doesn’t rotate during focus, good for polarizing and grad ND filter use (it does rotate slightly while zooming). 7 blade aperture makes 14 point starburst (sweat). 58mm filter thread is common, so filters are fairly well priced and can be shared with other lenses like the 18-55mm, if you are into filters.
Cons. Most this is just here for your information. If I remove a star I will explain why, but otherwise things that are part of the listed specs are not worth a star off. It is up to the user to know what they are getting and how to use it.
1. Limited variable aperture – The bane of all zoom lenses in the budget class (and even some in the non-budget class), this lens has a variable aperture. What this means is that as you zoom in you lose light through the lens. At 55mm it’s F4, at 100mm F5, and from 155mm and up it is F5.6. So you lose a whole stop of light zooming from the widest angle to the most zoomed angle (a full stop is either double or half as much light). Really only an issue if you are trying to shoot at max aperture and are zooming in and out a lot. If shooting at F5.6 or narrower, it doesn’t change. This is common to lenses like this, so it’s not worth a star off. Telephoto zooms that have a constant aperture (stays the same as you zoom) can cost anywhere from 1000 to 2000 USD or more depending on the lens. So for what this lens cost I think it’s a fair compromise. Also make note that F4-5.6 is not a bright max aperture, so you will want to be in good light while using this lens when shooting moving subjects, as described in the IS section. Again, it’s a compromise that comes with this class of lens.
2. STM is a little slow for action – If you want to shoot sports, this lens is not the most ideal, but it’s not useless either. However, you will need to have good light (indoor sports are pretty much a no go), and good technique. What I would do is set the camera to servo focus and high speed continuous shooting. From there, set the AF system to a single point (or a 9pt grid if your camera supports that). Then put the point on your subject and keep the focus engaged until you have a good shot. Using this technique with an SL2 at a youth soccer game I had no trouble getting good keepers. Unfortunately I can’t post those photos; Amazon has oddly strict policies in regards to photos that have children in them. If they ever change that I will get them on here.
3. Focus by wire – This only effects manual focusing. It means there is no mechanical connection to the focusing gears from the focus ring. Not a big deal on this lens since I would think most will use it exclusively in AF mode. I only mention it because I don’t know even one tog that prefers focus by wire over mechanical. It’s just not as precise, but it is serviceable. It’s one of the trade-offs of STM focus. Also, as a result, there is no focus window. Not a big deal on this. It does have full time manual, which means you can be in auto and still use the manual focus ring. Just “wake” the camera by activating the focus, and then turn the ring.
4. Crop only – This isn’t so much a con as it is just for your information. The most common question I answer is “will this work on my camera”. Here is a list. It works on all Rebel models, all mid-ranges from the 20D to the 90D, and the 7D. It does not work on full frame models (1D, 5D, 6D) so sorry full frame users (for those models look into the EF 70-300mm F4-5.6 IS II USM). For the mirrorless cameras, if you have the adapter that allows the use of EF and EF-S lenses it will work on any mirrorless camera, even the full frame models like the R and RP.
5. Other stuff – All plastic design, even the mount. Not a big deal since it’s so light and the mount is made from poly-carbonate (nearly unbreakable). No lens hood is included, and the Canon version is expensive (I suggest Promaster hoods). Barrel extends during zoom, common to this kind of lens. It does rotate slightly during zoom (but not during focus), so don’t set up a polarizer or grad ND until after you set your focal length.
What a great lens for its price! I’ve heard it referred to as the best telephoto lens for less than 1000 USD and I agree, so long as you are using a crop sensor camera. All the features come together in this perfect storm of price to performance ratio that just can’t be beat in this class, especially if you are considering one of the many options available for 500 USD or less (what I consider budget class). If you are looking to either get your first telephoto lens or upgrade from one that might have come with you camera, then I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest the 55-250mm IS STM for a crop camera, unless you needed something more serious. I did not find any reasons to remove a star from this lens, so 5 stars.
Other suggestions/comparisons – as always, I would like to offer some suggestions/comparisons for other lenses you might have seen and/or might be considering. These are all in the under 1000 USD category, which makes them direct competitors to each other. Most are under 500.
Vs the EF 75-300mm F4-5.6 USM – This is the most common telephoto lens that gets bundled with new cameras. If you have followed me for long you will know that I do not care for it. The 55-250mm outclasses it in almost all categories except overall reach. The IQ of the 55-250mm is so much better; you can crop in post much more than the 75-300mm is able to do and retain good IQ. As a result, the 50mm advantage really isn’t one. If you have the 75-300mm and are not getting what you need, the 55-250mm STM is just a great investment. It even outperforms the “USM” focus motor the 75-300mm has, since it’s the out of date and cheap version of USM, which is slow and inaccurate. There would be no scenario where I would suggest the 75-300mm. If it’s all you can afford or comes bundled with your camera for almost nothing or free, you can try to make it work. But even the older IS II version of the 55-250mm is a better choice for roughly 100 USD most the time. The 75-300mm in my opinion is the worst lens in the Canon line up, while the 55-250mm IS STM is possibly the best budget class telephoto.
Vs the EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS II – Ok, I know this seems like I am talking about the same lens, but I assure you I am not. The IS STM model is the latest version of the 55-250mm, and it has some important upgrades. For one, it has better overall optics and lens coatings, so it has sharper images and better contrast as well as color rendition. It has improved IS, so slower shutter speeds can be used to counteract shake. The older IS II lacks rear focus, so the front element rotates during focus, making filter use more challenging. Focus is even better on the STM model; usually STM is a little slow, but the IS II uses DC micro-motor, which is out of date, slow to focus, less accurate, and overall mediocre. If you don’t have a telephoto lens and are looking for one, then put your money into the IS STM model, especially if you can find one for less than 150 USD. If you need to be really frugal and can find the IS II for 50-100 USD, it’s not so bad for a super budget lens, and would be better than the 75-300mm. For a beginner, it’s a good enough lens to learn with and even get some decent photos, but I would suggest putting that little bit more into the STM model. It’s not much more expensive, but is a better overall lens.
Vs the EF 70-300mm F4-5.6 IS II USM – Another great budget class lens, this adds better reach as well as faster focus, with nearly identical IQ (the 55-250mm STM is just a hair sharper). All the same advantages (IS, good IQ, UD element, silent focus), same disadvantage (variable aperture). The 50mm extra reach might not be a big deal unless you do wildlife, in which case it might not be enough depending on what you want to do. The nanoUSM focus has snappy fast speed for action shooting, but is still silent for video. The real drawback here is the price comparison. New, this lens is anywhere from 450-550 USD. That is quite a lot more than the 55-250mm STM, which can be had for hundreds less. I feel like in most cases the 55-250mm is a better value, unless you know you need that additional reach and/or faster focus. I like to call it the best outdoor sports lens for under 1000 USD from Canon, and it can also go on a full frame if that matters to you. For the value, get the 55-250mm. If performance on a budget is more your style, the 70-300mm IS II is a good choice. Note – there is an older version of the 70-300mm, and it’s not really worth the money anymore. It’s about the same price new, and is outclassed by the IS II model in all categories. I wouldn’t even bother with a used one, since it is such an old lens and there is no way of knowing how old any given copy is. The small savings wouldn’t be worth the risk when the IS II model can be had for 450 USD if you wait for a sale price, should that be the lens you want instead of the 55-250mm (which I think is the better value for a crop camera).
Vs the EF 70-200mm F4L USM (non-IS model) – Full disclosure; once the 55-250mm IS STM and the 70-300mm IS II proved to be such good performers, I quit suggesting this lens. Not that it is a bad lens, but for 600 USD it cost more than the other two lenses and just doesn’t offer enough at that price anymore. Both the other lenses are cheaper, have IS, longer reach, silent focus, and good IQ. The 70-200mm F4 has great IQ for a lens that was released in the 90’s, has L class build quality, and a constant F4 aperture. Other than that, it really has no practical advantage over the other two lenses. But, for a long time it reigned as the “best bang for the buck” lens, and was many shooters first serious lens. I mention it since I have seen them used for under 300, and I know it works well. For any crop camera, the 55-250mm is still the better option, as it can be had for much less money, produce as good a photo, and has IS.
Vs the EF 70-200mm F4L IS USM - the original IS model. Since the release of the mkII version of this lens, the mkI has reduced in price on the used market. Still too expensive new to be a budget lens, but used I’ve started to see them for 600 USD or less. For that price it is a great bargain for a very sharp zoom that has 4 stop IS and a constant aperture. It outclasses the 55-250mm in all categories except overall reach and price. Price is a big factor though; since the F4 IS is 300-450 USD more expensive than the 55-250mm. That could be another lens or maybe two, depending on the lenses. At the same time, it was a 70-200mm that was my first serious lens, and it changed the game for me. Since I am sure this lens will keep coming down in price, I mention it as an option. I would still think it better to get the 55-250mm to learn with, but if you are getting to the point that you are outgrowing budget lenses, a good used copy of the F4 IS would be a good place to move it on up. Warning though, L class lenses are addictive!
Keep in mind this is not a review of these other lenses, only a commentary on why I would suggest one over the other. There are many things that can be said about any of them, and not everyone has the same needs or budget. I just want to help people make a good choice for their money.
Lastly, if you are a beginner and are not sure of what lenses to select, I am going to put a list here of 4 lenses that I suggest to just about everyone that is getting started learning photography. This is a list for people with a crop sensor camera, as described in the review. Each lens here is highly rated, offers something different to your kit, and is affordable.
1. EF 50mm F1.8 STM – After crop this is an 80mm effective lens. Combined with its wide F1.8 aperture it is just about perfect as a portrait lens. Creates the coveted “bokeh” effect, and the low cost vs high performance makes it a lens that just about everyone should have.
2. EF-S 10-18mm F4.5-5.6 IS STM – Best wide lens for crop sensor Canon cameras. Widest you can get without spending more than twice the price. Great for landscapes, architecture, real estate, or really anything requiring a wide angle. Fun lens to use.
3. EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS STM – Lens under review. I think I’ve said all I can about why it belongs in your bag!
4. EF-S 24mm F2.8 STM – Adds a fast F2.8 aperture in a standard wide lens on a budget. Good general use lens, compact, great for travel, and sharp!
That’s all I got! All that is left is to check out the images. Thank you for reading my review. If you found it helpful please remember to hit the helpful button and thanks again!
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.
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.
Top reviews from other countries
Now coming to the performane of the lens. This lens is a real beast. Its auto focus is damn fast and super silent. It is much better than IS II. The focus ring is very smooth.
Reviewed in India on April 20, 2019
Reviewed in Canada on October 10, 2017
Reviewed in Canada on August 9, 2019