« on: June 14, 2011, 12:58:56 PM »
Post here from someone who actually owns a 55-250 and shoots a lot with it.
It's one of the great bargains in the Canon lineup. 250 mm, 300 grams, 300 bucks. Great lens for travel and hiking, stuff where every gram counts.
AF is buzzy but fast and accurate in strong light. On a 7D in servo mode I had no trouble at all keeping up with fast skiing action. But indoors or if the light is flat, forget it. This is a function of aperture, not the type of focus motor.
Sharpness is impressive given the price of the lens. It's the only consumer telephoto lens I haven't been disgusted with. And trust me I've tried quite a few over the years. It's not quite as good as my 200/2.8 L, but it's close. Even wide open the shots can be printed quite large, and withstand strong cropping.
Bokeh is not bad at 250 mm f/5.6. Circular and nice distribution of light. 55 mm is not bad either, but the intermediate focal lengths give doughnut shapes. Once you know this limitation you can work around it. This isn't a primo portrait lens, but it isn't meant to be either.
Build quality is cheap. But it's adequate. The plastic mount only has to support 300 grams. If you put it in a padded bag it'll survive months of backpacking, no problem. I do a lot of backcountry skiing and I find plastics easier to deal with in extreme cold. FWIW on one day at -30C/-20F plus snow my Tamron 17-50 autofocus motor seized (lens shot fine in MF, motor unseized once warmed up) but the 55-250 kept on ticking.
Looks like Canon's announcement is just a cosmetic change, like the 18-55 mk2 announced earlier. Nothing to get excited about, nothing to get upset about either.