The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II lens is one of the most popular lenses the company has. Most can buy the lens separately or in kits as this is usually the additional camera that comes with bundles. It is also a go-to lens due to its cheap price, telephoto zoom range, compact size, and excellent performance.
Although, there are some set-backs from the lens. It does not work for full-frame cameras, so you will have to get the next size up if you are looking for a telephoto lens like the 70-200mm f/4. Additionally, the 55-250mm lens does not work best under intense climates whether it be heavy rain or sandstorms.
Regardless, the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II is a great start to your telephoto lens collection and has many attributes that will create incredible photos.
If you have used Canon lenses before, the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II one has a similar layout to it. It has a narrow focusing ring that can be found at the front of the lens and a wider zoom ring along the middle. There are also sliders on the sides of the lens mount that allow you to change the focusing mode and turn the image stabilizer on and off.
When holding the lens, you will notice it does not weigh as much, especially for its zoom range. It is made of more plastic than metal which can be troublesome as the lens mount can wear out faster but keeps the lens light. Even though it is made of plastic, it is a sturdy material and still has a solid feel.
The lens is also not weather-sealed so you would have to be cautious with dust and moisture. A lens hood does not come with the lens but it is available for purchase. Though, it does come with caps.
The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II in Use
The focusing speed is good on the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II, but it can be a distraction as the mechanism can be heard clearly. But when it comes to the image stabilization system, it is completely silent and effective when in use.
When using autofocus, it is precise and quick even with its lack of an ultrasonic or STM motor. If you intend on using manual focus, it can be easily changed with a small switch on the side of the lens.
When shooting at 55mm with its maximum aperture, the sharpness is clean at the center of the frame and stays consistent towards the edges of the frame. As you stop down, the sharpness enhances especially towards the edges of the frames. You will notice clarity is at its best when shooting at f/8 with this focal length.
At 135mm, the sharpness improves throughout the frame from the center to the edges – even at maximum aperture. Just as in the 55mm focal range, f/8 will give you the best clarity across the frame.
When the focal length is all the way at 250mm, you can still expect impressive performance. Again, the sharpness is excellent throughout the entire frame but stopping down to f/8 only improves the sharpness and creates more consistency from the center to the edge.
When shooting at the wide focal lengths, you will notice some barrel distortion. As you move to longer focal lengths, you will see pincushion distortion. It is not something that is extremely pronounced but still visible.
While shooting at 200mm, there is some curvature along the focal plane. This will cause the focus settings to be different for objects that are placed in the center than those that are in the corner of the image. Either can be perfectly focused but not at the same time in one frame. Though, this can be adjusted with a higher f-stop.
How Do They Compare?
The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II has great perks about it. As mentioned, it is one of the most popular lenses Canon has and its features are the reason behind it. Unfortunately, this lens does not work with the full-frame bodies that many professionals use. The Canon 70-200 IS L is an upgraded version of the lens but with a drastic cost, the actual price.
|Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II||Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM|
|Body Compatibility||APS-C bodies only||APS-C, 1.3x, and full-frame bodies|
|Weight||13.8 ounces||26.7 ounces|
As mentioned, the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II is one of the most popular Canon lenses. It is obvious as to why since it has a huge zoom range with its lightweight and compact size. Not only that, it is affordable. Most use the lens for sports, portraits, or wildlife photography, but it’s not only limited to these types.
It also has an impressive image stabilizer but its lack of a decent USM type autofocus motor sets the lens back from its greatest potential. Its micro motor autofocus does have consistency and accuracy but its slow speed can make it challenging to capture fast objects.
The lens’ resolution is impressive but has visible color fringes in both focused and out-of-focus parts of the frame. There is also a curvature in the focal plane along with barrel and pincushion distortion depending on the focal length, but it is not as noticeable.
With the good and bad, the lens gives you what you would expect for the price. Its image quality is great but if you want perfection, you will have to invest in a pricier lens especially if you have a full-frame body. This version of the lens does have better image quality than its predecessor but the zoom ring is a bit weaker and easily manipulated. Overall, the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II is a great addition to your kit.