Canon 55-250mm IS
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The Canon 55-250mm EF-s is 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 the 40D, 30D, 20D, 20Da (astronomical), Digital Rebel XSi, Digital Rebel XTi, Digital Rebel XT and the original Canon Digital Rebel. It will not work on film, it will not work on professional 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.
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.
IS: Image Stabilization, which means no tripod needed except at night. See Why IS Matters. Canon claims 4 stops, we'll see.
A UD glass element to reduce chromatic aberrations (color fringes and halos).
Canon claims circular.
3.6' (1.1m) at all focal lengths.
f/4 - 5.6.
Appears to be plastic.
August 20, 2007 for ROW, 24 January 2008 for USA.
2008: $280 USA. 2007: $299 USA, 249 Euros.
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.
For the price, I expect this Canon 55-250mm IS EF-s to become my top lens suggestion for everyone on a budget who needs a tele lens for Canon digital. The older Canon 75-300mm telephotos without IS cost a little less, but since I know how critical IS is to sharp photos in real-world photography, I'd spend the little extra for this 55-250mm.
Even if IS is a mystery to you, the fact that this lens focuses so closely is another reason I can suggest it so strongly without ever having seen one. Canon makes no junk.
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