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Canon 55-250mm IS
EF-S (2007-2011)

© 2013 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations

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Canon 18-55mm IS

Canon EF-s 55-250mm f/4-5.6 (obsolete, you can get the newest -II version for about $300, works on APS-C cameras only). enlarge.

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November 2013   Canon Reviews   Canon Lenses   All Reviews

DEAL: Previous model 55-250mm IS, refurbished for $160. Same great optics!

NEW: Replaced by the newer Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II.

NEWEST: Canon 55-250mm STM.


Introduction         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations

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B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

Canon announced this lens along with the new Canon 40D, on August 20th, 2007. It was the perfect tele zoom for the Rebel XSi, Rebel XTi and budget-minded 40D users.

The Canon 55-250mm EF-s was an inexpensive ($300 - 249 Euros) basic lens which adds image stabilization (IS), which I consider to be mandatory for sharp photos, hand held, at telephoto settings. This is the first Canon tele ever at this price with IS, and it focuses close: 3.6' (1.1m) at all focal lengths.

As an EF-s lens, it will only work on Canon's APS-C cameras. It will not work on 35mm cameras, it will not work on old 1.3x cameras, and it certainly won't work on full-frame digital.

I'm an IS addict, so I think this lens is a great idea for general shooting. I think every basic digital shooter ought to get one of these, especially since it's half the price of the next least expensive Canon 70-300mm IS.


Specifications         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations


Canon calls this the Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS.

   EF: Electronic Focus. All modern Canon lenses focus with a motor in the lens.

   -S: Only works on newer, small (1.6x factor) DSLRs, which are the 40D, 30D, 20D, 20Da (astronomical), Digital Rebel XTi, Digital Rebel XT and the original Canon Digital Rebel.

   IS: Image Stabilization, which means no tripod needed except at night. See Why IS Matters. Canon claims 4 stops, we'll see.


Focal Length

55-250mm. On the 1.6x cameras for which it is designed, it gives angles of view similar to what a 88-400mm lens would give on a 35mm or full-frame camera. See also Crop Factor.



12 elements in 10 groups.

A UD glass element to reduce chromatic aberrations (color fringes and halos).

Lead-free glass.

Canon rates the MTF thusly:

Canon 55-250mm IS MTF
Canon 55-250mm IS MTF
MTF at 55mm.
MTF at 250mm.



Canon claims circular.


Close Focus

3.6' (1.1m) at all focal lengths.


Maximum Aperture

f/4 - 5.6.


Lens Mount

Appears to be plastic.


Included Accessories

Just caps.


Optional Accessories

ET-60 hood.

LP1019 pouch.     



August 20, 2007 for ROW, 24 January 2008 for USA.



2008: $280 USA.

2007: $299 USA, 249 Euros.


Performance         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations

I haven't tried one yet. Prior experience suggests the Canon 55-250mm IS ought to be a winner. I'll let you know when I get my hands on one.


Recommendations         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations

Get today's newest Canon EF-S 55-250mm IS II instead. This lens is obsolete.


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Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.


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30 Sep 2013