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

Get Close To The Action

If you’re into your sports photography, then you’ll definitely be wanting to get close to the action for your shots – and this lens enables you to do just that. Here’s a shot I took, using this lens, of a football (soccer) game:

ISO 800, 1/1600 sec, f/4.5



Been asked to photograph your friend’s wedding? Well, the 55 – 250 is a pretty good choice if you’re looking to obtain some lovely candid shots. See this example I took a few months ago:

ISO 800, 1/125 sec, f/5.6

My Verdict

If you’re looking to extend the reach of your camera, then I really do recommend going for the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6. If, like me, you don’t have the money (or inclination) to spend $1000s on the very best lenses, and don’t really need the top-of-the-line quality that comes from these lenses, then, at only around $220 / £150, this lens is the one to go for.

You’ll get great, close up, detailed photos; they’ll be sharp; you’ll be able to get a great, blurred background, and you won’t break the bank either. I haven’t mentioned that it has Image Stabilisation, which means you can hand-hold photos at slower shutter speeds than normal – this is great, as it means you’ll be able to use the lens at its longest 250, and still get acceptably sharp photos when having a 1/125 sec shutter speed, or even as slow as 1/60 sec. At shorter focal lengths, you’ll be able to take sharp photos at even slower shutter speeds – fantastic!

The Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 is available at at Amazon US and UK

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  1. Abhishek /

    I read in some of the other reviews that it is slower since it doesnt have an USM motor? was it an issue with you?
    And also, is it slow with auto-focussing at over 200mm? Or can we just do it with manual focus?

  2. I’ve not found the focusing slow at all, and definitely no problem when focusing at over 200mm. I really recommend it if you’re looking for a good, reliable budget telephoto.

  3. Nazli Shah /

    What do think abt 18 – 200mm kit lens? Which is better, this or the 55 – 250 kit lens? Appreciate your expertise on this. TQ

  4. Hi Nazil. The 18 – 200 is a really good lens too, and has a similiar variable aperture to the 55 – 250 (although the 18 – 200 can open up a bit more at the wide end). I think they’re both good; the 55 – 250 has the advantage of a further reach, but 18 – 200 has the benefit of having such a large focal range – a lot of people get that lens so that they don’t need to change lenses much at all.

  5. Hi again, TQ for quick reply. FYI, I already have the 18-200mm and the 50mm (nice lens, small yet powerful). For wedding ceremony, what lens would you suggest for both indoor and outdoor?

  6. This lens came with my Canon 550D camera kit. Its my first DSLR.

    This zoom lens is fine, but sometimes I would like to be able to zoom in closer if my subject is too far away.
    What is the next (reasonably priced) zoom lens that you recommend I should consider next?

    Thanks, Maria

  7. There are a few budget lenses that go a little bit further, to 300mm, but you won’t see too much magnification over the 55 – 250mm if you go for one of those. Lenses longer than 300mm are generally not too reasonably priced, however, with the Canon EF 100 – 400 zoom lens about $1600 / £1200.

  8. Hi,
    I bought my 1st canon DSLR T2i rebel mainly to take family pictures and also for my two and half year old daughter. It is very complicated. I am having lot of problem specially when I am taking pictures at night indoor. It looks dull and dark. i just picked up the cannon 55mm/F1.8 lenses per your recommendations. Can you tell me few different kind of setting I should try with the new lens to get some good indoor pictures?
    Also to get a good photograph of the Christmas tree lighting (outdoor) with the family, what Aperture, shutter speed and iso should I use? Taking my daughter to a indoor Ice show and I have no idea how I can get some good shoot with lot of colors sowing.
    Also I played with some of the setting and now it is taking a while to take pictures and it kept on giving me the sign “busy”
    Also I need some clirificaton on shutter speed and aperture, are you able to help me with that or any other place where I can get a good tutorial? Thank you.
    Can you please help.

  9. Hi Immy. For lowlight, indoor photos, you’ll want to use the 50mm f/1.8 in Aperture Priority mode (AV) and choose a very wide aperture of around f/2.0 or f/1.8. You’ll probably also have to raise the ISOto ISO 800 or 1600 if it’s a really dark room. That should then mean you’ll be getting enough light through the lens at once to get a sharp shot, as your camera will also be more sensitive due to the high ISO.

    The ‘busy’ sign on your camera can mean it is writing the image to the memory card; if you take lots of photos at a time at the max file size setting (probably RAW), then you can get this sign coming up. Regarding aperture and shutter speed, you may find this article I did on shooting in lowlight useful.

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