The version of this lens that the Horsham Photographer has is only a few years old but has been updated twice since that time. It is clearly an entry level telephoto lens for those that don’t have the luxury of going up a range or two. But, even this version, performs well within limitations for the price point.
The lens performs best in good light and when supported by a tripod but you can get good results hand held too; check out the three electoral candidates on this post, all taken hand held with this lens except Jim Duggan – that was taken using the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens reviewed here.
The advantages of this lens are:
- low cost; less than £150 from Amazon
- Light weight; less than 400g
- Acceptable image quality in the right shooting conditions
- IS – image stabilisation (turn off when on a tripod)
- Same front element diameter as the 18-55mm so specialist filters can be shared
The disadvantages are:
- Telescopic extension when zooming; some believe that dust and moisture can be drawn in but the Horsham Photographer has no experience of this. Use it sensibly and you should experience the same.
- Rotating front element – only a problem if using a circular polarising filter
- No tripod mount on the lens but a sturdy tripod will compensate for this.
- Focus can be blurry around the edges when fully zoomed. Get around this by getting closer to the subject and not filling the frame.
If you are looking to do some longer distance shooting but don’t have the budget for the better Canon lenses then this will suffice. It will definitely serve the purpose and, with some attention to technique, deliver good results. If you zoom out when you are not using the lens then the length shortens dramatically making it easier to handle. The latest version of the lens is the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM Lens with the stepper motor upgrade.