December 21, 2014, 12:25:44 PM

Author Topic: EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM  (Read 2003 times)

dcm

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EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« on: September 23, 2014, 03:44:48 PM »
Guess I should start the thread I suggested.  First a few pictures of the lens mounted on the M.  The lens pairs really well with the M, both size and balance. Packs small and is a nice complement to the 11-22. 

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EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« on: September 23, 2014, 03:44:48 PM »

dcm

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Re: EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2014, 03:46:25 PM »
Here's a few comparison images I took while visiting Rocky Mountain National Park this weekend.  Target is Long's Peak from Highway 7 about 4.5 miles away.  Early in the day so only a slight haze.  Used a tripod and 2 second timer to minimize technique issues.  Pixel peepers might notice some folks on the peak if you open the full size images. Raw images exported from DxO OP9 with no corrections.

M / EF-M 55-200 at 200mm

IMG_5862_dxo
by dvmtthws, on Flickr

M / EF 70-200 f/4L IS at 200mm

IMG_5870_dxo
by dvmtthws, on Flickr

6D / Tamron 150-600 at 300mm

IMG_1473_dxo
by dvmtthws, on Flickr
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dcm

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Re: EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2014, 03:50:37 PM »
I previously posted some close-ups taken with this lens in another thread.
http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=21518.msg431784#msg431784
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mackguyver

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Re: EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2014, 04:13:13 PM »
dcm, thanks for posting the photos.  I've been curious about this lens since it was announced and have only seen 1 test on a German site that gave it so-so marks.  From your photos, it seems like a great little lens.  The Longs Peak photos bring back some interesting memories, too.  About 20 years ago, a friend and I got a late start on our ascent and found out firsthand why they say, "Be off the summit by Noon."  We got caught in a terrifying thunderstorm just below the summit and ended up going down the southwest side of the peak, leading to a very long off-trail hike ending well after dark.

dcm

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Re: EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2014, 04:51:45 PM »
dcm, thanks for posting the photos.  I've been curious about this lens since it was announced and have only seen 1 test on a German site that gave it so-so marks.  From your photos, it seems like a great little lens.  The Longs Peak photos bring back some interesting memories, too.  About 20 years ago, a friend and I got a late start on our ascent and found out firsthand why they say, "Be off the summit by Noon."  We got caught in a terrifying thunderstorm just below the summit and ended up going down the southwest side of the peak, leading to a very long off-trail hike ending well after dark.

Thanks.  I did notice it is slightly softer in the corners compared to the 70-200 at a pixel level, but that was expected when comparing APS and FF lenses on an APS body. I still can't get over how small and light it is when I pick it up.

RNMP is an hour away so I visit regularly to hike and fish.  It is also a great place to photograph.  I have been to many high lakes and peaks, but haven't tried Longs Peak yet.  I know the feeling - I got chased off the mountain two weeks ago when a storm blew in early and I was above treeline. 
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mackguyver

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Re: EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2014, 12:17:13 PM »
dcm, thanks for posting the photos.  I've been curious about this lens since it was announced and have only seen 1 test on a German site that gave it so-so marks.  From your photos, it seems like a great little lens.  The Longs Peak photos bring back some interesting memories, too.  About 20 years ago, a friend and I got a late start on our ascent and found out firsthand why they say, "Be off the summit by Noon."  We got caught in a terrifying thunderstorm just below the summit and ended up going down the southwest side of the peak, leading to a very long off-trail hike ending well after dark.

Thanks.  I did notice it is slightly softer in the corners compared to the 70-200 at a pixel level, but that was expected when comparing APS and FF lenses on an APS body. I still can't get over how small and light it is when I pick it up.

RNMP is an hour away so I visit regularly to hike and fish.  It is also a great place to photograph.  I have been to many high lakes and peaks, but haven't tried Longs Peak yet.  I know the feeling - I got chased off the mountain two weeks ago when a storm blew in early and I was above treeline.
That's good information about how it compares to the 70-200 and for the price, that sounds really good.  I'm still playing around with the 11-22mm lens I picked up a couple of weeks back. 

That must be really nice to live so close to RNMP.  I'm sure you get to do lots of fun stuff, and I miss my days of living out there.  Longs Peak isn't a tough climb/hike, but even the hike has a few Class 4 sections and there are many false summits making it seem like a long climb.  Being above treeline in a thunderstorm isn't much fun - I'm glad you made it down safely.

dcm

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Re: EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2014, 01:46:01 PM »
There is one other aspect that I forgot to mention - battery life.  My current perception is less battery drain with the EF-M tele than the others, but I didn't shoot extensively with the others on the M.  This is logical but I don't have any hard data to back this up.  I do know I can hike for several hours and take a few hundred photos and some video on a single battery using the 11-22 and 55-200.  I always carry a spare or two, but seldom have to swap batteries.
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Re: EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2014, 01:46:01 PM »

axtstern

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Re: EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2014, 02:30:29 PM »
I have the same feeling: less battery consumption

However I believe that is because distant animals and plants do. Not ask me as often to show them their picture compared to the people I shoot with the 11-22

Beyond this I'm quiet disappointed. Picture quality is sub par compared to other M lenses.
it is the first EOS lens with a plastic bayonet that I ever bought.
I'm used to Canon charging way to much for the sun shade but for the 55-200?
A short plastic ring for 10% of the lens price and this device not even available for weeks after the  lens started to sell

Unfortunately is the only alternative the Tammy 18-200 which is heavy that it destroys any balance in the M

dcm

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Re: EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2014, 10:50:48 PM »
A few more comparison shots at closer range from this weekend.  Only using the EF-M55-200mm F/4.5-6.3 IS STM  and the EF70-200mm f/4l IS USM for comparisons this time.  These are handheld at 200mm so technique and IS differences may play a role, but they are still pretty close in my opinion.

M/55-200
IMG_6080_dxo by dvmtthws

M/70-200
IMG_6083_dxo by dvmtthws


M/55-200
IMG_6110_dxo by dvmtthws

M/70-200
IMG_6108_dxo by dvmtthws, on Flickr


M/55-200
IMG_6137_dxo by dvmtthws, on Flickr

M/70-200
IMG_6135_dxo by dvmtthws, on Flickr


« Last Edit: September 28, 2014, 10:57:51 PM by dcm »
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dcm

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Re: EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2014, 08:35:19 PM »
A couple of handheld photos of the same subject near MFD at both 55 and 200.  DXO noise reduction only.

M/55-200 at 55

IMG_5342_dxo
by dvmtthws

M/55-200 at 200

IMG_5344_dxo
by dvmtthws, on Flickr
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 01:00:37 PM by dcm »
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dcm

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Re: EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2014, 08:58:50 PM »
And finally a few handheld portraits of the grandkid.  Crop and DXO noise reduction only. 

200mm

IMG_6078_dxo
by dvmtthws, on Flickr

200mm

IMG_6072_dxo
by dvmtthws, on Flickr

55mm (turned out better than expected, moving towards me on AF Multi, picked the nearest point for a pleasing effect)

IMG_6063_dxo
by dvmtthws, on Flickr
« Last Edit: September 30, 2014, 01:02:33 PM by dcm »
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dcm

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Re: EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2014, 09:21:40 PM »
I'm done with test shots for this lens now.  I think this telephoto (and my other telephotos for that matter) highlight the autofocus weakness with the M more so than wide angle lenses - my keeper rate is lower at 200 than 22.

The lens seems plenty sharp compared to the Ef 70-200mm f/4L IS and a good match to the EF-M 11-22mm on the M.   I think the lenses are ahead of the body and look forward to a new M body.  That said, the current M system is good enough for a lot of situations once you learn to work within its limitations.   I never expected the M to replace my 6Ds and L glass.
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dcm

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Re: EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2014, 08:38:18 PM »
A couple of cat photos taken while visiting the relatives.  I'm allergic so I keep my distance.  These are at 200mm on the M, indoors at ISO 1600.  Minimal processing (lens profile in LR).
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Re: EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2014, 08:38:18 PM »

NorbR

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Re: EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2014, 12:31:03 PM »
There does not seem to be a lot of information out there about this lens still, so I thought I’d share some impressions about it here. I’ve had it for a couple of months now, I’m just coming back from a trip where it served as my only tele, so I feel that I have used it enough to give some comprehensive info about it.

Apologies in advance for the lack of quantitative, dare I say scientific tests, that’s not what I’m up to (I’m just too lazy for that, let’s be honest). So I’m sticking with “impressions” about the lens; therefore, by definition, it is all subjective, and surely lacking in many areas. You’ve been warned.

Excuse also the quality of the pics included. Not all of them are keepers, but they’re here to illustrate some of the points I make. I tried to link to full size JPEGs for closer examination if needed (not very familiar with the forum interface yet, so I hope that worked fine …)

Build quality

Well, it’s plastic. All around. Somehow before I bought the lens, I’d read some early reviews disagreeing about whether the barrel was plastic or metal. I have no idea how there was even a discussion about it, because it takes one second holding the lens to realize that it’s not made like its EF-M cousins, but that the barrel is indeed all plastic (as is the lens mount, obviously).

Whether that’s a good thing or not, that’s up to you to decide. I will note that it’s not only plastic, but it’s fairly soft plastic. I’ve dropped this lens twice during my last trip (in 10 days … yes, I’m THAT clumsy). Both fairly minor drops, and both lens and body still work like a charm. But the lens is dented, in several places. Clearly it does not require too much force to make a dent. Maybe that’s a good thing after all, maybe that’s even why the lens is still working perfectly … But in any case: soft plastic.

There’s at least one undeniable advantage to this: it’s light. And pretty small too. It’s quite remarkable to have 320mm equivalent in such a small package. I bought it specifically to be my lightweight, travel tele, and from that point of view it does not disappoint.

As for other aspects of build quality, it’s very similar to other EF-M lenses. Same look, which for me is a good point, I think this EF-M lenses look pretty sleek, but YMMV. The zoom ring is nice and large and handles fairly well. And as usual with EF-M lenses, the focus ring is terrible, small and impossible to handle, with a horrible focus by wire. So this is not a lens for manual focusing, but if you’ve handled any other EF-M lens you know what I mean.

Image stabilization

As on other EF-M lenses, the IS on this lens works flawlessly. Efficient, and remarkably quiet.


200mm, 1/30 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400

One note that is not really about the lens, but more about handling: I found it significantly harder to handle the M at arms length (no VF, so framing on the back LCD) with this telephoto. Even with IS I consistently needed to stay at faster shutter speeds to retain good sharpness, compared to, say, my 70-200 IS on my 6D (and I mean differences larger that what the crop factor accounts for). To be clear, this is not about the IS system of either lens, but it is just about handling. Probably a personal thing too, but I can be pretty steady with a DSLR and a mid-size lens in my hands, and clearly I find it much harder with the small M and EF-M lens held at arms length. Something to keep in mind.

Sharpness

No MTF charts here, but I can give a general impression. A word about my personal expectations with this lens: when it was announced, there was a lot of disappointment about it being f/6.3 at the long end, but I never really cared about that. On the other hand, I was somewhat disappointed that it stopped at 200mm. I had hoped for specs closer to the EF-S equivalent, so up to 250mm. So when ordering this lens, I was wishing for something truly usable throughout that (somewhat limited) focal length range, and therefore I didn’t want to see the quality drop off significantly at the long end.

Well the good news is, I don’t see that at all. To me sharpness remains pretty even throughout the range, up to and including 200mm.


200mm, 1/100 sec, f/8, ISO 400

Keep in mind that I didn’t go measuring sharpness into extreme corners at every focal length … But I’ve had other lenses that get noticeably worse at the long end (an older EF-S 55-250 and particularly the EF 70-300 IS), and it did not take any pixel peeping to notice. This EF-M lens does not show that.

On a less positive note, I would add that while sharpness remains consistent throughout the zoom range, it’s not that great to begin with. It’s good, though. Just not great. Not the spectacular sharpness of the EF-M 11-22, or that of the 22 stopped down a bit. It’s comparable to the EF-M 18-55 (so if you’ve used that, you’ll know that it’s perfectly fine).


184mm, 1/250 sec, f/8, ISO 400

Contrast

Probably the weakest IQ trait of this lens. I find the images out of this lens consistently lacking in contrast, looking slightly veiled, and requiring a contrast boost in post.


55mm, 1/200 sec, f/8, ISO 100

Colors also come out noticeably muted. I’m really not a saturation whore, in fact most of the time I like a slightly desaturated look. But with this lens, I find myself bringing the saturation up on almost all the pictures. Something to live with I suppose.


85mm, 1/200 sec, f/8, ISO 100

Chromatic aberrations

Pleasant surprise here, CA is very nicely handled from what I’ve seen. Now I haven’t tried to push it particularly, but I’ve shot it in a variety of situations, and have never seen anything really objectionable.


200mm, 1/250 sec, f/11, ISO 100

Flare

I’ll mention flare, although I’ve rarely encountered the issue in my shooting (and haven't gone looking for it). I think it’s less relevant with a tele anyway, where it’s much easier to avoid flare-inducing situations in the first place.


75mm, 1/125 sec, f/5, ISO 250

But generally speaking, I haven’t seen anything too horrible in terms of ghosting, but more of a tendency to veil and lose contrast. But this is a bit too anecdotal to draw any real conclusion.


55mm, 1/100 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200

Bokeh

Quick word here as well, for two reasons. First, it takes some serious testing to really find out the out of focus characteristics of a lens (I hate when I see reviews drawing conclusions on bokeh from just one picture, when it depends so much on the type of background, patterns, distance from subject etc.) Second because this might not be a major factor for a 200mm f/6.3 lens used on a crop sensor.

So I’ll just say this: when needed, and when proper attention is paid to the background, a very pleasant blur can be easily achieved. Bit of catseye shaping in the below example, I suppose, but nothing major in my book.


153mm, 1/200 sec, f/5.6, ISO 160

Conclusions

It’s a bit hard to summarize everything, for a lens that has pretty clear strengths and weaknesses. I’ll say this: to me, this is the first EF-M lens that is not a steal for the money.

To elaborate a bit, I think every other EF-M lens offers some of the best price vs quality values in the whole Canon lineup. The 18-55 is optically not the best, but it's more than decent, and at the price it’s currently going for, it makes a great normal zoom for the M. The 22 is really a remarkable value as well, cheap and optically excellent. And the 11-22 … well I could write pages about how great that lens is. But I won’t. The point is, each of these lenses, although each in its own way, is imho a fantastic value for the M system.

The EF-M 55-200 to me does not reach that “friggin’ steal” level. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, I think it’s absolutely fine optically, and being so small and light it makes a great travel telephoto. But it does have noticeable shortcomings, and it’s not THAT cheap …

Personally I’m happy to have it for those cases that I want to travel light and still be able to get some reach in my pictures. But whenever I want optimal IQ, I’ll be reaching for something else.
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Re: EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2014, 02:06:43 PM »
dcm,

Thank you for the images from the mountains. It's not that good for me, I'm still waiting for some great small prime like 135 2.8.

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Re: EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-6.3 IS STM
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2014, 02:06:43 PM »