Canon 55-250mm IS II lens review: EF-S mount kit lens only gets minor tweaks, but still a nice bang for the buck


posted Monday, July 1, 2013 at 10:23 AM EST


We've just posted our Canon 55-250mm IS II lens review, the updated telephoto zoom kit lens for Canon APS-C cameras. Released in June 2011, the EF-S 55-250mm ƒ/4-5.6 IS II is functionally the same as its predecessor, but cosmetically it has been updated. It was designed specifically to fit on the EF-S mount and will not work with larger-sensor bodies. 

The Canon 55-250mm covers an impressive zoom range, with a 35mm-equivalent field of view comparable to 88-400mm. Zooms with this level of magnification typically become unwieldy at their longer focal lengths, requiring either a fast shutter speed to control camera blur, or as Canon has implemented here, some form of image stabilization. Canon touts its IS as being capable of letting the shooter take photos with a speed four stops slower than required.

The 55-250mm ƒ/4-5.6 is impressively sharp for a kit lens, even when set to its widest apertures. The sharpest performance for this sample is available in the mid-range, when set to 100mm and ƒ/8, where it is tack-sharp from corner to corner. However, it does show some issues in other areas optically.

Read our in-depth Canon 55-250mm IS II lens review on SLRgear for more details on the optical performance and handling of Canon's latest telephoto zoom kit lens.

Meanwhile, check out a few sample images below that our lens specialist Rob Murray captured with the lens: