Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II Lens Review

Review Date : Mon, 18 Feb 2013

Author :

Canon EF-S 55-250mm f4-5.6 IS II product shot 2
Canon EF-S 55-250mm f4-5.6 IS II product shot 2 Canon EF-S 55-250mm f4-5.6 IS II product shot 1

The Canon EF-S 55-250mm is a versatile tele-photo zoom lens that delivers some excellent lab result. Find out more in the full What Digital Camera lens review

The Canon EF-S 55-250mm is a versatile lens, although it is unfortunately unsuitable for use on full-frame camera bodies. The layout of Canon lens follows a familiar pattern; there is a narrow focusing ring at the front of the lens and a wider zoom ring across the middle of the barrel, with a pair of sliders adjacent to the lens mount to change focusing mode and to activate the image stabiliser.


Canon EF-S 55-250mm f4-5.6 IS II product shot


Unfortunately, photographers with larger hands may find it hard to cradle the lens without touching the focusing ring, which rotates in AF mode and therefore needs to be left unobstructed.

Focusing speed is good but the mechanism is clearly audible which can be a distraction, while the image-stabilisation system is quite the opposite; completely silent and very effective in use.

A bayonet-fit lens hood can be purchased separately as an optional item but is not supplied with the zoom.

As mentioned, the lab tests (MTF testing) returned some excellent figures for Canon lens, which exceeds 0.3 cycles-per-pixel at both the 55mm and 135mm settings, falling only slightly short of that level at the longest 250mm focal length. Optimum performance was obtained at f/8 for all three focal lengths.

However, there is obvious colour fringing right across the zoom range, as was clearly visible on a high-contrast test target. Real-world testing, on the other hand, was much more encouraging.


The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II produces excellent and visually satisfying results for all but high-contrast subjects and that makes this lens a great proposition for owners of Canon APS-C DSLRs

Philip Andrews

Phillip Andrews

Philip is a Senior Lecturer in Photography & Digital Imaging, and an Adobe Alpha tester. However, he is best known as one of the world's leading authorities on Adobe Photoshop Elements. He is also a best-selling author of 18 books on Elements and digital imaging. Philip will be discussing news from Adobe and sharing his Photoshop, Elements and Lightroom techniques. To learn more great Elements techniques from Philip visit his website.

Price as reviewed



Overall Score 88%