Saturday, October 21, 2017

Canon 55-250mm IS STM F/4-5.6 Review

Quality optics, or a balanced budget - that is the question that plagues so many photographers not blessed with a vast disposable income or the professional capitol to justify the cost of high end glass for photography work. You can, of course, compromise with third party manufacturers such as Rokinon - give up luxuries like autofocus, zoom, and image stabilization for great image quality. Fortunately, if you’re looking for a good telephoto zoom lens that won’t break the bank, yet has awesome modern tech, there is the Canon 55-250mm IS STM.

This lens isn’t much to look at - on the exterior, it appears to be a very mediocre plastic kit lens. Thankfully, for the most part, this cheapness is only skin deep. The only major problem I have with the plastic construction (which seems durable enough as plastic goes) is that it extends to the lens mount. This compromises the integrity of the lens - do not expect it to last as long as even a plastic lens with a metal mount. However, that’s not such a big deal if you factor in the relatively inexpensive price tag.

Inside, it’s all quality: the optics are superb, with the only problem I’ve noticed being the significant amount of vignetting at the longest end. The glass is impressively sharp, and distortion and color fringing are markedly minor.

Image stabilization and autofocus are where this lens really shines: IS is effective and quiet, and the STM autofocus is similarly silent and impressively fast. This makes the lens perfect for video work and wildlife photography.

In conclusion, the Canon 55-250mm IS STM is amazing value for your money - even better if you get it at a much reduced rate as part of a kit (as I did when I upgraded to the Canon 80D this summer). Its optical prowess, snappy, silent autofocus, and image stabilization more than make up for it’s plastic design at this low (under $200) price range.

Check prices for the Canon 55-250mm IS STM F/4-5.6 on Amazon (affiliate link):