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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 13 Jan 2012 (Friday) 12:14
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Replacing Canon 55-250

2 posts
Joined Sep 2008
Jan 13, 2012 12:14 |  #1

I have the reached the point where I am able to make another lens purchase. I currently have a Canon 50D with Canon lenses 15-85, 50 1.4 and 55-250. A large portion of my shots have been of family events, vacations and grandkids. I am about to retire and we are planning to do some travelling and I hope to be able to spend more time on outdoor and landscape photography. To this end I have just added a travel tripod combo (Feisol 3441T with Markins Q3T. I want to replace the 55-250 lens. The two options that I have considered so far that are within my budget are:

1) Canon 70-200 F4 IS


2) Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM (non-L) plus a Canon 10-22 or Tokina 11-16

So the delimna here is better glass, or additional range on the wide angle end?

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3,365 posts
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Joined Aug 2010
Location: MN
Jan 13, 2012 12:28 |  #2

Consider buying used and getting the 70-200 and the 10-22. If you haven't tried UWA landscapes, you're in for a treat, but it does take effort to learn to use UWA for really good images. Since you said you're primarily looking at UWA for landscape shots outside, the reports are the Tokina 11-16 has a difficult time with flare, while the Canon 10-22 is one of the best with flare control.

If you don't want to buy used, I'd suggest expanding your range into UWA and keep the 55-250 for awhile longer. I'm not sure the 70-300 non L is enough of an improvement over the 55-250 to make it worth the upgrade. The 55-250 really is quite good anyway.


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Joined Dec 2006
Jan 13, 2012 12:35 |  #3

This is more about your priorities than the quality of the glass. I personally would value the upgrade in the longer lens over an ultrawide, but thats me.

2,320 posts
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Joined Apr 2011
Location: Mass
Jan 13, 2012 12:48 |  #4

Between those two, 70-200f4L IS but if you want something with a bit more reach, the 70-300 non-l isn't bad but the Tamron 70-300 is a tad bit sharper at the 300mm range.

Canon (60D Gripped | 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS | 40mm f2.8 | 50mm f1.8 | 70-200 F4L IS| 430 EXII)
Tamron (17-50 f2.8 VC)
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1,149 posts
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Joined Feb 2009
Location: Potomac, MD
Jan 13, 2012 12:50 |  #5

I wouldn't get any of the 70-300 (non-L)s to replace the 55-250. There's not enough difference in my opinion. YMMV.

An ultrawide would be a nice addition. You could probably swing one and the Canon 70-200 non-IS (which is great for outdoor/landscape photography). (external link)

66 posts
Joined Jun 2011
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Jan 13, 2012 13:43 |  #6

I'd vote 70-200 f/4L IS; the 70-300 just wouldn't be that exciting of an upgrade if it were me. Your 15-85 is reasonably wide for a non-dedicated wide-angle lens too (although yes, I know that 10mm vs 15mm is a big difference still).

If UWA is the main priority for you, then get one and hold onto the 55-250 a bit longer--it's still a pretty nice lens value.

Canon T3i w/ Canon 17-55 f/2.8 - Canon 18-55 - Canon 55-250 - Canon 50mm f/1.8

Cream of the Crop
10,252 posts
Joined Feb 2005
Location: Austin, TX
Jan 13, 2012 13:58 |  #7

I agree what others have suggested. Look into the used 10-22mm market since many folks going FF and letting go of some great condition 10-22mm for $600. I love mine on the 7D.
I tested my 55-250 against my 70-200 f2.8L non-IS at comparable FL and aperture. Let's put it this way, the 55-250 has UNBELIEVEABLE value. :D


Canon | SIGMA | TAMRON | Kenko | Amvona

Cream of the Crop
10,249 posts
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Joined Aug 2007
Location: San Jose, California
Jan 13, 2012 14:35 |  #8

The 70-200/4 IS would be a wonderful upgrade to your 55-250. But...

Personally I'd want something wider than 15mm. So I'd likely go with the second choice.

What about buying used? Doesn't have to be a Canon 10-22 (though that's an excellent lens) either. The Tokina 12-24 is excellent (less prone to flare than the Toki 11-16) if 12mm is wide enough. It can be found used for around $400, which is less than the Canon 10-22 typically.

Alan Myers (external link) "Walk softly and carry a big lens."
5DII, 7DII(x2), 7D(x2) & other cameras. 10-22mm, Tokina 12-24/4, 20/2.8, TS 24/3.5L, 24-70/2.8L, 28/1.8, 28-135 IS (x2), TS 45/2.8, 50/1.4, Tamron 60/2.0, 70-200/4L IS, 70-200/2.8 IS, 85/1.8, Tamron 90/2.5 Macro, 100/2.8 USM, 100-400L II, 135/2L, 180/3.5L, 300/4L IS (x2), 300/2.8L IS, 500/4L IS, EF 1.4X II, EF 2X II. Flashes, studio strobes & various access. - FLICKR (external link) - ZENFOLIO (external link)

152 posts
Joined Dec 2011
Jan 13, 2012 14:38 |  #9

I skipped the 55-250 and went straight for a used 70-200 F4 IS and so far I love it. It is a superb piece of equipment.

BTW I was able to pick up my mint copy of the 70-200 F4 IS for $800 so if you take the time to find a good deal you might be able to save a couple hundred and possibly fund both lenses.

That being said, if you can only pick one - only you can decide which type of photography you value more - wide landscape (which your 15-85 should do fairly well already) or telephoto. Good luck have fun on your travels.

My flickr (external link) | 600D gripped | Σ17-50 2.8 OS | 50 1.8 | 70-200L f4 IS

2,320 posts
Likes: 6
Joined Mar 2008
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Jan 13, 2012 14:38 |  #10

I used to own the 70-300 non-L, and I wouldn't recommend it as a replacement for the 55-250. It isn't an upgrade; what you are getting is a bit more reach (the equivalent of a couple of steps backwards), at the expense of the 15 mm on the wide end, which makes the lens much more versatile.

I now own both the 70-200 f4 IS and the 55-250. The 70-200 is a considerable upgrade in terms of focusing speed - which is why I bought it - and build. It also has better contrast and colour rendition, although these can both be corrected easily in post-processing for the 55-250. If you photograph a lot of moving subjects or sports, the 70-200 is a worthy upgrade from the 55-250. Having said that, the 55-250 gives tremendous value for money: I kept mine even after buying the 70-200, as my vacation/hiking lens, when I don't want to carry the heavier and more expensive 70-200. It never lets me down and has produced many of my favourite images over the years.

As for the wide angle: your current lens is already fairly wide (15 mm). While an UWA would give you more scope, you might find you don't actually use it that much.

I'd suggest a third option to consider: a fast prime or a macro lens. Your existing lenses are both fairly good, and a prime or macro would significantly increase your creative possibilities for outdoor photography. I absolutely love my 60 macro. It offers constant f2.8, plus close-focusing capability and incredible sharpness. It does a terrific job on portraits, landscapes, close-ups, long exposures ... you name it, this lens can do it. It's tailor-made for crop cameras, and a lot of fun to use. However, there are a lot of other very nice prime lenses out there. Just a suggestion!

Gear: Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24 f/4, Canon 24-105L f4, Canon 70-300L, Canon 60 macro f/2.8, Speedlite 580 EXII, 2x AB800

Website (external link)

1,290 posts
Likes: 9
Joined May 2011
Jan 13, 2012 15:15 |  #11

Considering that you already have 15mm covered, you may want to think about the Sigma 8-16mm. Seems to be very highly regarded, and the widest zoom out there. (Nothing wrong with the Canon 10-22 either, of course.) The 70-200 f4L IS is also a great choice.

Which to go for first depend on what focal lengths you are using currently. I can only say that I had the 55-250 and 70-300 IS for a while, upgraded to a used 70-200 f4L IS, and now consider that my best lens.

Tools: 70D, 10-22, Tamron 24-70 VC, 70-300L, 135 f2L

1,602 posts
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Joined Mar 2011
Jan 13, 2012 15:24 |  #12

I'd say keep the 55-250 unless you're planning on going full frame. I'd go the route that gives you something you don't already have and get the 10-22.

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Canon 1D markIV - Canon 1D markIII - Canon 6D
Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L - Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L - Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L - Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS - Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L - Canon EF 500mm f/4L

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54,092 posts
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Joined Aug 2006
Location: Deep in the heart of Texas
Jan 13, 2012 15:27 |  #13

When you look at all the pics you have taken with the 55-250, where are you mostly living. If it's at the 250 end nearly all the time, then the missing range is gonna be noticed. You might look a little more into the 70-300L. It's a surprisingly decent lens.

Not sure why, but call me JJ.
I used to hate math but then I realised decimals have a point.
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Checking squirrels nuts
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Jan 13, 2012 15:39 |  #14

i just picked up an UWA and wow. i didnt know what i was missing.

Canon 5d mkii | Tamron 24-70/2.8 | Canon 85/1.8 | Canon 135/2L
Olympus EPL7 | Panasonic 20/1.7 | Olympus 45/1.8
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Joined Dec 2006
Jan 13, 2012 15:45 |  #15

mike_311 wrote in post #13699669 (external link)
i just picked up an UWA and wow. i didnt know what i was missing.

Just be aware that the novelty can wear off pretty quick. Dont get me wrong they have some uses, but the initial wow factor fades.

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Replacing Canon 55-250
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