The Real Score on Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II
The Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II is absolutely a testament to the imaging giant's dedication to provide photographers of all skill levels with top-notch picture quality without breaking the bank. Apart from highlighting good focus speed and stabilization, this lightweight and compact telephoto zoom lens is specially designed to capture anything from plain portraits to somewhat trickier subjects, such as sports and wildlife, with relative ease and stunning detail.
Highly regarded by most serious photographers as a versatile zoom lens that easily matches or even surpasses its counterparts with its distinct combination of high image quality and powerful performance, the Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II also never fails to get any snapshooting aficionado closer to the action with its impressive focal range. However, before you prep up your credit card for purchase, make sure you check out the rest of this article to get the lowdown on this lens to make an informed decision if the Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II is really for you.
The Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II is not entirely a new line altogether. It is actually a beefed up version of the camera manufacturer's 55-250mm IS image stabilized telephoto zoom lens released in 2008. Although it still retains the hardy features of its predecessor, the Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II is slowly becoming a favorite among photography buffs who want more bang for their buck while also allowing them to stretch the aesthetic limitations of a telephoto zoom lens with each press of the shutter button.
While it can be purchased on its own, the Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II is also commercially sold alongside a variety of camera models like the EOS 60D, EOS 550D (Rebel T2i) as well as the EOS 600D (Rebel T3i). Given its accessibility and wallet-friendly features, this consumer-grade lens is perhaps one of the best options even the most tenderfoot photography enthusiast can get his or her hands on all in one package.
Why it's hot
Unveiled in June 13, 2011, the EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II scores 2 full DxOMark points higher than its older cousin when it comes to capturing images using a general-purpose telephoto lens. Combining impressive picture quality and stabilization with a variety of focal range options, this lens also has a unique capability factor that you only normally find in top-shelf models.
Who says that only pricey lens make great pictures? The Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II may be a few hundred dollars' worth less than your average high-performance telephoto zoom lens but it surely looks and works like one. At its simplest, this one's basically a professional-grade lens trapped in a consumer-grade body.
Akin to the bulk of Canon's more expensive lens lines, the EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II makes use of the company's trademark 4-stop compensation Image Stabilizer technology. Besides allowing the photographer to use shutter speeds up to 4 times slower than normal while keeping the possibility of any imaging imperfections like blurs and ghosting close to nil, this lens also gives the user complete focus and maneuverability in long distance environments without too much tweaking and readjusting.
Since the Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II is not as bulky and as cumbersome as its more expensive counterparts, it handles really well whether you're shooting a simple seaside portrait or perhaps capturing a shot of a triathlete crossing the finish line. Chromatic aberrations can be also controlled better with a consistent output every time you snap a shot.
Four words: it is really cheap. You really can't believe that this baby packs the Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) lens element and Super Spectra Coatings that reflects Canon's premium design philosophy when you see the price tag! Generally sold the globe across for just under $300, it's easy to see why more and more people are making the Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II their first choice when it comes to getting access to a reliably economical image stabilized telephoto zoom lens each and every day.
Why it's not
Sure the Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II may be 1/3 stop brighter than its predecessor but this doesn't automatically make it a better choice when it comes to working in environments with very minimal light sources. Its focus speed is also a bit slower than your average USM lens. Although it isn't as dependent on user tweaks to function properly like other lenses sold commercially, there still comes a time when you need to work on your camera or software to get the most out of your images.
While its unique versatility can be pretty much seen in its adaptability to work with focal ranges from 18mm to 250mm, the Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II is truly not the best in the bunch when auto-focus speed is concerned. It's not the quietest one either given its rather loud squeaks and whirs with each press of the shutter button.
Though it sports a more compact structure than the previous model, the Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II still retains the rather weak plastic composition of its ancestor that doesn't make it as tough as other lens models available in the market nowadays. Sure it may be a very feasible choice when you're looking for a general-purpose telephoto lens without the excessive rates but the trade-off is that you'll definitely spend more bucks on a high-end camera bag just to keep this one safe from bumps and scratches – or worse, total annihilation.
Three words: it's really cheap. With the Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II in your arsenal of photography tools, you really get what you pay for. Although most photography punters may say that this economical, all in one lens powerhouse may be an upgraded version of the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS, it really doesn't offer that much improvement as compared to the older telephoto zoom kit.
As starter telephoto zoom lens kits go, the Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II is truly a league of its own. Apart from helping you capture a variety of crisp images from portraits to action shots, it also integrates tried and tested Canon technology to ensure that you'll only get glare-free and high contrast images when the opportunity presents itself. On the other hand, while the EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II is a versatile workhorse, it lacks the aperture value and overall toughness that separates the good lenses from the great ones.
Amidst its imperfections, the Canon EFS 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II is still regarded as a top choice for beginners and mid-level photo buffs who want to have the look and feel of a professional telephoto zoom lens minus the excessive rates. If you consider yourself as a budding photographer or perhaps an imaging enthusiast who wants a versatile lens with a long focal length range, this one's certainly a steal.