Hows the Canon 55-250?

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I'm thinking about getting a zoom lens to pair up with my 18-55 for outdoor portraiture. How does the 55-250 compare to the 18-55 image quality wise? (I'm satisfied with the image quality of the 18-55). I already have the 85 1.8 for general portraiture but sometimes I need the zoom of a long focal range to get different perspectives (such as zooming down from a set of steps or other obstacles not to mention at 250mm F5.6 you will have a good amount of background blur as well) or different distance perspectives. I'm not expecting L quality image quality or build for but for $200 or less a lens that can do straight F5.6 from 55-250 (400mm on crop body) is pretty darn good.

I think it's a terrific value, especially if you can nab it for under $200. (I pad $150 for mine on sale last August.) Unless you become ?very ?proficient at manual focus and tracking, you're not going to be able to capture any birds in flight; however, you still can capture some nice still shots of birds. AF can hunt on this lens, especially in low light or (e.g.) when trying to focus on a bird behind several branches. Everything that I've uploaded to the gallery so far was shot with the EF-S 55-250mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II. Here are five for your evaluation. IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911418909.jpg) Honeybee on Russian sage. IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911438911.jpg) Yellow swallowtail butterfy IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911488915.jpg) Northern water snake (?) IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911508918.jpg) ? IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911538920.jpg) Black vulture on neighbor's chimney. (I think it looks better monochrome.) The last two aren't as sharp as the rest, which is mainly my fault: the cardinal, because it was cloudy and shutter speed might have been set too low; the vulture, because I was hand-holding at max aperture and the light on the bird wasn't very good (also cloudy).

IQ is similar. It's a nice lens with some limitations. AF isn't the fastest. The front element rotates, etc. For the price, however, it's fantastic. I've taken some nice portraits with it.

Question Hoog, does the AF motor wind down on yours after you achieve focus. I noticed on my copy i can hear the motor come to a stop a second or so after it achieves focus which i've never heard on any of my other lenses. I can press shutter half way to get focus, then put the lens against my ear and still hear it coming to a stop. It doesn't seam to be affecting anything, but i haven't really taken any shots with it to test. Just got it a few days ago.

bchamble wrote: Question Hoog, does the AF motor wind down on yours after you achieve focus. I noticed on my copy i can hear the motor come to a stop a second or so after it achieves focus which i've never heard on any of my other lenses. I can press shutter half way to get focus, then put the lens against my ear and still hear it coming to a stop. It doesn't seam to be affecting anything, but i haven't really taken any shots with it to test. Just got it a few days ago.
What you can hear is the image stabiliser - it's normal. It starts when you half-press the shutter and stops two seconds after you take your finger of the button (not two seconds after it achieves focus). Some IS lenses are much louder than that, but you soon stop noticing it except perhaps in a quiet room.

bchamble wrote: Question Hoog, does the AF motor wind down on yours after you achieve focus. I noticed on my copy i can hear the motor come to a stop a second or so after it achieves focus which i've never heard on any of my other lenses. I can press shutter half way to get focus, then put the lens against my ear and still hear it coming to a stop. It doesn't seam to be affecting anything, but i haven't really taken any shots with it to test. Just got it a few days ago.
My 70-200f/4IS L does the same thing. Bit alarming at first for a £900 lens, but as Steve said, you get used to it.

bchamble wrote: Question Hoog, does the AF motor wind down on yours after you achieve focus. I noticed on my copy i can hear the motor come to a stop a second or so after it achieves focus which i've never heard on any of my other lenses. I can press shutter half way to get focus, then put the lens against my ear and still hear it coming to a stop. It doesn't seam to be affecting anything, but i haven't really taken any shots with it to test. Just got it a few days ago.
I concur with Steve on this one. I've never heard anything that sounded bad. I'm sure it's the IS an not an issue with the AF. Also, the AF is so noisy no this lens that you wouldn't have to put it to your ear to hear it.

It's a great lens. Here's a recent picture I took with it in cloudy conditions. IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911558923.jpg)

Thanks for the pictures and input guys. The photos posted look beautiful and I can't even tell them apart from ones taken with the 70-200L lenses. I will definitely be picking up one now. All the best.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/870177-REG/Canon_EOS_Rebel_T4i_Digital.html $741 for T4i + 18-55 IS II + 55-250 IS pretty sweet deal for $82
Sovern wrote: I'm thinking about getting a zoom lens to pair up with my 18-55 for outdoor portraiture. How does the 55-250 compare to the 18-55 image quality wise? (I'm satisfied with the image quality of the 18-55). I already have the 85 1.8 for general portraiture but sometimes I need the zoom of a long focal range to get different perspectives (such as zooming down from a set of steps or other obstacles not to mention at 250mm F5.6 you will have a good amount of background blur as well) or different distance perspectives. I'm not expecting L quality image quality or build for but for $200 or less a lens that can do straight F5.6 from 55-250 (400mm on crop body) is pretty darn good.

Definitely the best in class. Not truly "L" grade, but you'd have to pay for an L to do significantly better.

Sovern wrote: I'm thinking about getting a zoom lens to pair up with my 18-55 for outdoor portraiture. How does the 55-250 compare to the 18-55 image quality wise? (I'm satisfied with the image quality of the 18-55).
I've got 18-55 IS mkII and 55-250 mkI. the later is not that sharp as 18-55 but it's still decent lens to use. for its price there's really nothing to complain.
I already have the 85 1.8 for general portraiture but sometimes I need the zoom of a long focal range to get different perspectives (such as zooming down from a set of steps or other obstacles not to mention at 250mm F5.6 you will have a good amount of background blur as well) or different distance perspectives.
go for it!

Excellent lens, as good or better than your 18-55. I am assuming both will have IS? Accepting their limitations as you have, it's a great buy for the money. Only one better than it IMO, but dearer, Tamron 70-300SP VC. Dearer but well worth checking out before you buy.

happysnapper64 wrote: Excellent lens, as good or better than your 18-55. I am assuming both will have IS? Accepting their limitations as you have, it's a great buy for the money. Only one better than it IMO, but dearer, Tamron 70-300SP VC. Dearer but well worth checking out before you buy.
I was thinking hard about the Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 SP Di VC USD XLD when it was $349 after rebate last summer (and apparently last month, too). I probably would've bought it instead had the 55-250mm not dropped down to $150. Especially considering I savied $200, I'm content with the Canon 55-250mm. If I were to upgrade eventually, I'd probably look into the Canon EF 70-200 f/4L, which I've seen as low as $500 (or upper $400s) on sale for a refurb. My understanding is that a crop at 200mm > uncropped 55-250mm @ 250mm.

Thanks for the responses guys. Looks like this lens is quite the find. Cosndiering that it's only a stop slower than the $800 more expensive 70-200 IS F4 you basically get a straight F5.6 lens with a very long focal range. Of course the 70-200L lenses will be sharper but for me it's not worth saving up $1,000 or $2,000 for as I know that quality of light/lighting, and other factors play a bigger role than lens sharpness in image quality.

Sovern wrote: Thanks for the responses guys. Looks like this lens is quite the find. Cosndiering that it's only a stop slower than the $800 more expensive 70-200 IS F4 you basically get a straight F5.6 lens with a very long focal range. Of course the 70-200L lenses will be sharper but for me it's not worth saving up $1,000 or $2,000 for as I know that quality of light/lighting, and other factors play a bigger role than lens sharpness in image quality.
I am very happy with its sharpness. Even if you should upgrade, it makes a great lightweight back up tele you might want to bring when you do not want to carry around any heavier tele.

I was very happy with my 55-250. The image quality is excellent and on a par with my better lenses. I like the small size and light weight. Eventually I also bought the 100-400L. That is a beast to carry. I did like the extra reach but frankly any improvement in image quality over the 55-250 was minimal. Once I got the 100-400, my wife took over the 55-250. After a short time, I bought another 55-250. Now the 100-400 stays at home except for special uses.

Christoph Stephan wrote:
Sovern wrote: Thanks for the responses guys. Looks like this lens is quite the find. Cosndiering that it's only a stop slower than the $800 more expensive 70-200 IS F4 you basically get a straight F5.6 lens with a very long focal range. Of course the 70-200L lenses will be sharper but for me it's not worth saving up $1,000 or $2,000 for as I know that quality of light/lighting, and other factors play a bigger role than lens sharpness in image quality.
I am very happy with its sharpness. Even if you should upgrade, it makes a great lightweight back up tele you might want to bring when you do not want to carry around any heavier tele.
It's a great travel lens when paired with a 17-50 or similar. Very small, light, and very decent IQ for the price. Far better than any single superzoom covering the same range. I have the 70-200 f/4 L but the 55-250 is what I pack when traveling. Mark

Mark B. wrote:
Christoph Stephan wrote:
Sovern wrote: Thanks for the responses guys. Looks like this lens is quite the find. Cosndiering that it's only a stop slower than the $800 more expensive 70-200 IS F4 you basically get a straight F5.6 lens with a very long focal range. Of course the 70-200L lenses will be sharper but for me it's not worth saving up $1,000 or $2,000 for as I know that quality of light/lighting, and other factors play a bigger role than lens sharpness in image quality.
I am very happy with its sharpness. Even if you should upgrade, it makes a great lightweight back up tele you might want to bring when you do not want to carry around any heavier tele.
It's a great travel lens when paired with a 17-50 or similar. Very small, light, and very decent IQ for the price. Far better than any single superzoom covering the same range. I have the 70-200 f/4 L but the 55-250 is what I pack when traveling. Mark
Thanks for the input. It must be quite good if you use it a long with the 70-200L.

Sovern wrote:
Mark B. wrote:
Christoph Stephan wrote:
Sovern wrote: Thanks for the responses guys. Looks like this lens is quite the find. Cosndiering that it's only a stop slower than the $800 more expensive 70-200 IS F4 you basically get a straight F5.6 lens with a very long focal range. Of course the 70-200L lenses will be sharper but for me it's not worth saving up $1,000 or $2,000 for as I know that quality of light/lighting, and other factors play a bigger role than lens sharpness in image quality.
I am very happy with its sharpness. Even if you should upgrade, it makes a great lightweight back up tele you might want to bring when you do not want to carry around any heavier tele.
It's a great travel lens when paired with a 17-50 or similar. Very small, light, and very decent IQ for the price. Far better than any single superzoom covering the same range. I have the 70-200 f/4 L but the 55-250 is what I pack when traveling. Mark
Thanks for the input. It must be quite good if you use it a long with the 70-200L.
Well, not 'along with' but 'instead of'. If I'm local, especially if doing portraits I'll use the L glass. The f/4 is very lightweight compared to the f/2.8, but the 55-250 is lighter still and packs easier. Mark

I have that lens and got pretty good results as long as I stayed within certain limits. Not full tele and wide open. Subject not too far requiring much cropping. If the image takes up less than 40-50% of the frame then there's a large dropoff in quality. One of its great attributes is the light weight when hiking. I finally gave in and ordered a 70-300L. I borrowed a 70-300L from a camera store and shot comparitive shots from their parking lot. I wanted to see if the weight without a tripod is excessive and the difference in image quality. It's definitely heavier than my 55-250 and 15-85. I shot at 1/1000 sec, full tele and wide open. The 70-300L was stunnig. I cropped using 22% and 7% of the frame and the results were great. I shot a balcony of an appartment building a few blocks away as well as a restaurant sign two blocks away. It was excellent. Obviously the 55-250 didn't come anywhere close. Just stay withing the bounds of what I described above and it's fine.

Myer wrote: I have that lens and got pretty good results as long as I stayed within certain limits. Not full tele and wide open. Subject not too far requiring much cropping. If the image takes up less than 40-50% of the frame then there's a large dropoff in quality. One of its great attributes is the light weight when hiking. I finally gave in and ordered a 70-300L. I borrowed a 70-300L from a camera store and shot comparitive shots from their parking lot. I wanted to see if the weight without a tripod is excessive and the difference in image quality. It's definitely heavier than my 55-250 and 15-85. I shot at 1/1000 sec, full tele and wide open. The 70-300L was stunnig. I cropped using 22% and 7% of the frame and the results were great. I shot a balcony of an appartment building a few blocks away as well as a restaurant sign two blocks away. It was excellent. Obviously the 55-250 didn't come anywhere close. Just stay withing the bounds of what I described above and it's fine.
55-250 is my only tele lens and I like it when I use it occasionally. It is definitely better than 18-55 kit lens IMO, but after using 15-85 here is what I see it lacking. A good focus and contrast/color is not there and this why I am interested in getting a 70-200 F4 L . Having said that, I got extremely sharp pictures from it wide open (it was calibrated by Canon during a repair work) Here is one. ? IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911578926.jpg) IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911588928.jpg) ? IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911588929.jpg)

maadfw wrote:
Myer wrote: I have that lens and got pretty good results as long as I stayed within certain limits. Not full tele and wide open. Subject not too far requiring much cropping. If the image takes up less than 40-50% of the frame then there's a large dropoff in quality. One of its great attributes is the light weight when hiking. I finally gave in and ordered a 70-300L. I borrowed a 70-300L from a camera store and shot comparitive shots from their parking lot. I wanted to see if the weight without a tripod is excessive and the difference in image quality. It's definitely heavier than my 55-250 and 15-85. I shot at 1/1000 sec, full tele and wide open. The 70-300L was stunnig. I cropped using 22% and 7% of the frame and the results were great. I shot a balcony of an appartment building a few blocks away as well as a restaurant sign two blocks away. It was excellent. Obviously the 55-250 didn't come anywhere close. Just stay withing the bounds of what I described above and it's fine.
55-250 is my only tele lens and I like it when I use it occasionally. It is definitely better than 18-55 kit lens IMO, but after using 15-85 here is what I see it lacking. A good focus and contrast/color is not there and this why I am interested in getting a 70-200 F4 L . Having said that, I got extremely sharp pictures from it wide open (it was calibrated by Canon during a repair work) Here is one. ? IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911578926.jpg) IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911588928.jpg) ? IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911588929.jpg)
Are you shooting RAW? I've seen other photos posted with the 55-250 and they don't seem to lack contrast to me. Your first photo has a ton of detail.

Sovern wrote:
maadfw wrote:
Myer wrote: I have that lens and got pretty good results as long as I stayed within certain limits. Not full tele and wide open. Subject not too far requiring much cropping. If the image takes up less than 40-50% of the frame then there's a large dropoff in quality. One of its great attributes is the light weight when hiking. I finally gave in and ordered a 70-300L. I borrowed a 70-300L from a camera store and shot comparitive shots from their parking lot. I wanted to see if the weight without a tripod is excessive and the difference in image quality. It's definitely heavier than my 55-250 and 15-85. I shot at 1/1000 sec, full tele and wide open. The 70-300L was stunnig. I cropped using 22% and 7% of the frame and the results were great. I shot a balcony of an appartment building a few blocks away as well as a restaurant sign two blocks away. It was excellent. Obviously the 55-250 didn't come anywhere close. Just stay withing the bounds of what I described above and it's fine.
55-250 is my only tele lens and I like it when I use it occasionally. It is definitely better than 18-55 kit lens IMO, but after using 15-85 here is what I see it lacking. A good focus and contrast/color is not there and this why I am interested in getting a 70-200 F4 L . Having said that, I got extremely sharp pictures from it wide open (it was calibrated by Canon during a repair work) Here is one. ? IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911578926.jpg) IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911588928.jpg) ? IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191911588929.jpg)
Are you shooting RAW? I've seen other photos posted with the 55-250 and they don't seem to lack contrast to me. Your first photo has a ton of detail.
Yep, I am shooting raw and increase the contrast in PP. But compared to 15-85, I see it lacking little bit color/contrast and focus is only Ok. Again, overall I am happy with 55-250 and no intention of selling it as it is a great travel lens as others noted.

A fair amount of my tele photos are wildlife while hiking. The big attraction of the 55-250 is its weight. However, I took a bunch of useless photos of bears that were up a hill some distance away but some combination of focus and lack of sharpness made them useless. I went to a camera swtore and tried using the 70-300L for close to asn hour. I wanted to see if I could ude it hand-held as it's quite a bit heavier than my 15-85. I think I was ok. I shot some duplcates using the 70-300L and 55-250. When I crop and blew them up there was absolutely no comparison. But, what would you expect when comparing those two lenses. I ordered the 70-300L and should have it in a day or two.

Myer wrote: A fair amount of my tele photos are wildlife while hiking. The big attraction of the 55-250 is its weight. However, I took a bunch of useless photos of bears that were up a hill some distance away but some combination of focus and lack of sharpness made them useless. I went to a camera swtore and tried using the 70-300L for close to asn hour. I wanted to see if I could ude it hand-held as it's quite a bit heavier than my 15-85. I think I was ok. I shot some duplcates using the 70-300L and 55-250. When I crop and blew them up there was absolutely no comparison. But, what would you expect when comparing those two lenses. I ordered the 70-300L and should have it in a day or two.
The 70-300 looks good but 70-200 is even better IQ wise from what I've seen for not much more.

Myer wrote: A fair amount of my tele photos are wildlife while hiking. The big attraction of the 55-250 is its weight. However, I took a bunch of useless photos of bears that were up a hill some distance away but some combination of focus and lack of sharpness made them useless. I went to a camera swtore and tried using the 70-300L for close to asn hour. I wanted to see if I could ude it hand-held as it's quite a bit heavier than my 15-85. I think I was ok. I shot some duplcates using the 70-300L and 55-250. When I crop and blew them up there was absolutely no comparison. But, what would you expect when comparing those two lenses. I ordered the 70-300L and should have it in a day or two.
Also 70-300 is $350 more expensive for slightly better IQ :/.

The 70-300 doesn't come close to the 70-300L. And about the 70-200,, I wanted more than the 55-250. Not less. You mention 70-200 but there are several. They're very big and heavy I think.

Myer wrote: The 70-300 doesn't come close to the 70-300L.
Difficult decision...because the 70-300L is also a lot heavier (1.05 kg). For that weight and price, I would rather step up with the 100-400mm L IS (1.36 kg)...to get that extra reach.
And about the 70-200,, I wanted more than the 55-250. Not less.
My 55-250mm L IS is nevertheless a great back up if I do not want to carry the heavy 100-400mm L IS. With 360 g, it can go everywhere.
You mention 70-200 but there are several. They're very big and heavy I think.
The 70-200mm f4 are not quite as heavy as the 70-200mm f2.8 - 760 g for the 70-200mm f4 L IS. This is lighter than the 70-300mm L IS with 1050 g. As far as I recall posts here, everyone who haves them, loves them.

I've been able to get decent BIF (Bird in Flight) shots with my 55-250. Here are two of my best -- from a moving boat no less: ? IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191912018932.jpg) ? IMAGE(http://dpzen.com/dpzattaches/dpzattaches7//201409191912038935.jpg)

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