Canon 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Review: A fresh update to their kit tele-zoom adds faster, quieter focusing


posted Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 10:37 AM EST


Canon APS-C shooters in need of a lightweight, budget-friendly telephoto zoom should take note of Canon's refreshed EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens. We've just published our full review of this updated lens, and for a "kit" lens, this one's surprisingly impressive. 

Released at the end of 2013, this marks the third iteration of Canon's EF-S 55-250 lens. However, it's not a replacement for the 55-250mm EF-S IS II, as both are still available for sale. Notable improvements include incorporating the new STM stepping motor autofocus system for near-silent and fly-by-wire focusing, as well as adding internal focusing, which means the lens now has full-time manual override for focusing. The lens also has a newly designed high speed CPU, improved AF algorithm and rear focusing.

Despite the "kit lens" connotation, the new STM version of the 55-250 lens is quite sharp, even wide open at all focal lengths, especially in the center (there is a bit of corner softness beyond 200mm though). Other optical qualites, such as CA and vignetting are average to above-average for a lens in this category, and distortion is actually quite good for this type of lens as well.

To get all the details, head on over to SLRgear to read the full Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM review, complete with our in-depth report, final conclusion as well as our full range of test results and sample images.

The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens is currently available now for around $300, and can be purchased at one of our trusted affiliates: Amazon, Adorama and B&H. Purchasing this lens, or any other item, at one of these retailers helps support this site and keeps the reviews coming!

In the meantime, check out some sample photos shot by our senior lens technician Rob Murray using the lens with the Canon 7D. You can view more sample photos, plus download the full-resolution files, over at our Flickr page.

Canon 7D: 127mm, f/5, 1/125s, ISO 100, +1/3EV
Canon 7D: 172mm, f/10, 1/125s, ISO 100, -2/3EV
Canon 7D: 146mm, f/14, 1/125s, ISO 400, +2/3EV