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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Review: Canon EF-S 55-250 F4-5.6 IS STM

I picked up a manufacturer refurbished 55-250mm IS STM lens for the EOS M3 on sale for $141.36 after tax and shipping. There were a few reasons for this: the 50mm/1.8 that I had was not officially supported by the M3, with super slow focusing. It's useful to have a longer lens, and the 250mm is equivalent to a 400mm lens. While the M3 system has a much smaller lens, the EF-M 55-200, not only does that lens cost more (more than 2X more), it's also slower and has a shorter range.

This is an impressively good portrait lens. We brought it with us to Iceland, and at the 55mm end, even without being opened wide, you still get a nice background blur.
In fact, when I look at the Iceland pictures, whenever I see an outstanding portrait, it's almost always the 55-250.
For such a large zoom range, it's not very bulky, about equivalent to my 70-200mm/4L. Of course, that lens is much faster but doesn't have IS. Even with the 250mm range, however, I still had to resort to severe cropping for any bird pictures:
But that's OK. The M3 with its 24MP sensor lets you do a ton of cropping and still have great pictures. As an environmental portrait lens, it's also pretty great:

All in all, especially given what I paid for it, this is an outstanding lens. I highly recommend it, and it has earned its place in the camera bag.

(All photos by Xiaoqin Ma, except the first one)

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