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Canon 55-250 is stm v Canon 70-200 L and 70-300 L IS

Discussion in 'Canon Conflab' started by Bazarchie, May 31, 2017.

  1. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Some reports say that on a cropped camera the cheap lens is better than the L lenses in terms of sharpness and image quality. I have just bought the cheap lens but have yet to test it, but is the claim just pie in the sky? From my experience L lenses are better than others on any camera.
     
    Done_rundleCams likes this.
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I suggest to get on and use it rather than wondering.
     
  3. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    There are four approaches to this, in my view.

    1. you can read a lot of opinion (which varies).
    2. you can read websites which carry out technical evaluations (which varies).
    3. you can try it yourself.
    4. you can not worry, and take photographs.

    I've tried all 4.

    For me, what works best is a mix of #2, #3 and #4. I avoid #1.

    I'm mostly bad at #4, but #3 and #2 get me through.

    I find DXO Mark useful because despite the flaws, it gives you a way to compare two lenses if you already have one of them. If you go to DXO Mark, you can find the lens you want, on the body you want (for most lenses, not all) and check out the results. I look at Measurements -> Sharpness - Field Map. I choose the aperture and focal length and the darker the green, the better.

    Here's the 55-250 STM on my body.

    1.jpg

    Here's the 70-200 f4 L on my body.

    2.jpg

    It matches my experience of using them both. I find DXO Mark helpful, others may disagree.

    My camera is a crop-sensor body.
     
  4. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    I suspect that most reports like that should be taken not just with a piece of cake but the whole damn gateau...:D

    My feeling is that at optimal apertures modern zooms like the 55-250 come pretty damn close to the expensive glass at the centre of the image but probably less so towards the edges (even discounting the 'sweet-spot' effect of full frames on APS). This is also likely the case when images are printed to typical A3/A4 size or viewed on screen where small aberrations are less obvious. Start printing to A2 and above or viewing at 100% and the differences are likely to be more significant. The other area where L glass generally offers advantages is when the lens is wide open - L glass tends to perform better wide open both at the centre and the edges than less expensive gear. On top of this the wide open is generally a lot wider than a 'normal' lens too.
     
    Bazarchie likes this.
  5. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Thanks Pete, a practical solution!
     
  6. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    And that's all born out by the images I posted. The 70-200 f/4 is sharp to the edges, the 55-250 is sharp in the centre.

    The real benefit, to me, of the L series lenses is some weather resistance (so I don't fear shooting in drizzle or spotty rain) and super-quick focus response. The 70-200 f/4 IS is blisteringly quick at focussing. I've not used the 55-250 STM so can't comment, but the one before it (which I had) was good, but not fast.
     
  7. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    These sorts of reports are very useful, because you can more quickly come to a conclusion on the credibility of the source. ;)
     
    Craig20264 likes this.
  8. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    I have my doubts about DXO Mark, but I didn't realise it could be tweaked in the way you suggest. I agree with your four approaches, just not disciplined enough to do it.
     
  9. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    It's not bad but memory says that, when first bought, I thought it slower than the 2.8 I was used to. I'll have to compare them. I certainly prefer carrying the F4.
     
  10. EightBitTony

    EightBitTony Well-Known Member

    It may well be slower than the f2.8, I couldn't stretch to that price so I don't know. But compared to the kit lenses, a Tamron, and the Canon 18-200, the 70-200 f4 IS is very quick.
     
  11. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Hi BZA,

    Obviously, if money is no object, I'd recommend the 70-300 (L) IS lens but I would recommend the EF-S 55-250 STM IS over the 70-300 IS lens

    Cheers,

    Jack
     
  12. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Thanks Jack.

    From my initial tests, I am quite impressed with the 55-250 STM IS particularly that it only cost £139. My first L lens was a used 300L IS and I was blown away by the IQ and autofocus speed compared with my other lenses. After that I kept to L lenses whenever possible. In the last couple of years I bought an efs 50 stm, efs 60 and two Sigma lenses zoom lenses. I am impressed with all of them so I can only assume the quality has improved recently. Most of the time I do not need a lens to be weather sealed, very fast or indistructable. However there are times where a fast L lens would be really appreciated and I always prefer to have the best. Must be a touch of GAS.
     
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  13. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    No problemo, BZA :) and, regarding weather sealed, all my Pentax kit (K-50 and DA 50-135) are sealed but I've been doing this
    for (over) 30 years ….. DPR_Me_1bysomeone-Feb10-08--1-1.jpg ……

    and my gear has never suffered any 'moisture oriented' damage :) …… plenty of other $hite induced damaged ;)

    As for the speed/ low light capabilities, generally, big buckaroos :eek: which is, generally, a solution to GAS :D

    Cheers,

    Jack
     
  14. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    What about the 70-300 IS Mk II? Supposed to be an improvement. The original was known as "the hidden L lens" when it first came out, a lens not to be sniffed at.
     
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  15. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member


    Absolutely, first time I used my copy I was surprised how much faster than my other consumer USMs it is - even on my antiquated D30...:eek:
     
  16. MJB

    MJB Well-Known Member

    My wife uses mkII 55-250mm IS on her 70d. The lightweight is needed due to a .minor disability in her arm, but the IS copes well with her tremor and it certainly focuses quick enough to capture larger birds in flight. The image quality is good enough in that combo to allow some heavy cropping at times, so softening at the edges isn't a huge issue.
     
  17. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    It's going back. Unfortunately not a patch on my 70-200L and that has no IS. You get what you pay for.
     
  18. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Good point, Nick, I'd forgotten about the IS Mk II :) and that is bad, on my part, considering I sold one a few months back :eek:. As for the original being known
    as the "hidden L lens", from one of my ex-co-workers and a few people who had, I think I would change that L to "ell" ;)
    Cheers,

    Jack
     

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