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Monday
Oct172011

Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Telephoto Zoom Lens Review

 

 

 

I'm probably well behind many of you out there when it comes to lenses, and Canon shooters may well have already used this lens, but it's my first Telephoto Zoom with Image Stabilisation, and I've got to say that I have been very impressed so far.

 

The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II is the big C's budget longer zoom, designed as a perfect accompaniment to the 18-55mm, which I reviewed a few weeks ago. Designed and built to a price, I picked up the two lenses together for about £160 from a photographer who was upgrading to L glass. The two lenses now have pride of place in my camera bag, replacing the 28-80 and my old M42 Hanimex 200mm. 

 

I haven't had the 55-250 that long, but I already love it's weight, size and image quality. Some of the photographs I've taken with the lens are below, and please feel free to click through the images to Flickr where you can look at the larger originals too.
Seagulls, Lee On Solent
Don't underestimate the importance of weight when considering your camera gear. This lens weighs just under 400gms, so it is a pleasure to carry it all day in a small camera bag. It feels just right on my 350d / Rebel XT, and it's action is smooth and quick.

 

I mainly use the Lowepro Photorunner camera bag, and my Digital SLR, the 18-55, the 55-250 and my spare batts and memory cards fit just right, without weighing me down too much.
View From Portsdown Hill Towards Portsmouth
Apart from the obvious feature of being able to get closer to your subject without moving your feet, the other main benefit of a Telephoto Zoom is the change in compression that the lens creates.

 

What this means in practice is that things look closer together when you use a zoom, perspective looks like it has been compressed, portraits are more flattering, and you can select portions from the vista in front of you to create different and interesting landscapes.
IMG_5132
If you've read any of my other lens reviews, you'll know that I don't get into the technical side of lens reviews, and all the photos you can see here have been post processed. I'm sure there are better, sharper lenses out there, but they will be much more expensive than the Canon EF-S 55-250mm, and this piece of glass is more than good enough for my photography at the moment.

 

Remember that the true magic of this lens is the Image Stabalization. Quite simply IS helps you take sharper shots when hand-holding, moving the elements around inside the lens to match your shakey hands at lower shutter speeds. Extremely helpful!
Sunset Over Fawley
Thanks, Rob.

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