A Great Zoom Lens for the Casual Photographer

Feb 13, 2012
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Light, small, high optical quality, image stabilization.

Cons:Somewhat of a plastic feel.

The Bottom Line: This is a great lens for casual to semi serious photographers.  For a low price it comes with two great features: high optical quality and image stabilization.


When i first got into taking photos more seriously, i went out, after some research, and purchased the Canon t2i.  It came in a package that included the 18-58mm lens.

After a few weeks with this lens i decided that i wanted a zoom lens to accompany my camera.  I wanted some type of lens that I, from the side lines, could shoot pictures of my brother player soccer.  I decided to pick up the canon 55-250mm lens.

The price
This is one of the most inexpensive and yet still very effective zoom lenses out there. For a price of 200 dollars on amazon, it is almost unbeatable.  Not only is it an inexpensive zoom lens, it is also an image stabilized lens which is rare for a lens of such a cheap cost.

Quality of Photos
The images that this lens takes are very sharp. I have shot pictures of my brother and his friends playing soccer and have not experienced any blur.  Even at full length zoom the shots are still very crisp and sharp.
The colors of the photos taken while using this lens are superb.  I can tell the difference between the colors and crispness of photos taken with this lens rather the the ones taken with my 18-55mm lens.

Image Stabilization
Image stabilization is very nice! The enhanced composition at 250mm is extremely pleasing. The IS (image stabilizer) on this lens can be switched off to conserve battery. I have not noticed a big difference in the battery life of the camera even when it is on.
This lens is also surprisingly quiet and the noise is only barely noticeable when taking photos in very quiet environments.
Canon said that this lens will allow a shutter speed four stops slower than required for a shake-free image.  This has been proven to be true, giving this lens yet another great feature.

Zoom
The 55-250mm covers a very good zoom range. It has an equivalent field of view comparable to 88-400mm.
I have found this very helpful when shooting things such a soccer games.

Size
This is a relatively small and very light lens. Weighing in at only 13.8 ounces, this lens is very easy to carry around.  The lens is 2.8 inches in diameter and 4.3 inches long. This size also allows for it to be put into a bag or comfortably carried in your hand while walking around.
The zoom ring takes up about half of the lens body and only requires a quarter of a turn to go through the entire range of focal lengths.
The focus ring is much smaller then the zoom ring and also only takes a quarter of a turn to go through the lens' entire focus range.

Ease of Use
This lens is very easy to use.  My mom, who has almost no experience with cameras, was easily able to pop this lens on the camera and start shooting photos of my brother and I passing the football. 
The auto focus feature allows for inexperienced photographers to not have to deal with manually focusing it and just trying to get the shot while allowing the camera to focus itself.

Physical Feel
The 55-250mm has a somewhat of a cheap feel to it.  It has a plastic mount which holds it to the camera.  Neither of these things have bothered me in the slightest but if you are a pro photographer, you may get annoyed with the build of this lens.

Focus
In my experience this is a good lens for taking shots of sporting events.  The auto focus is quick enough that you will catch that crucial moment and the manual focus is very easy and responsive. 
The lens is very easy to use with a manual and auto focus option switch on the lens and also a stabilizer switch next to it.
The closest focus distance for this lens is 3.6 feet.
This lens is sometimes a bit slow to focus in low and dim light.  Again, this hasn't bothered me because i am rarely in a situation where there is low light but it is something to keep in mind if your planning on shooting indoors often. 

Sharpness
The 55-250mm is impressively sharp even when it is set to its widest apertures.  When at its widest aperture ( f/4-5.6) the lens does show s very small amount of softness at the corners or in general. It is very hard to notice but it is sometimes there.


So far i have enjoyed this lens immensely and am happy with the purchase.  The only time i have noticed any type of blur in the photos was when i was taking shots of really quickly moving things really close to the lens (example: waving my hand in front of the lens).

The lens is very easy to use with a manual and auto focus option switch on the lens and also a stabilizer switch next to it.
I have found this lens very helpful when taking photos of things, such as the moon and sports players, that are at far distances.






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