So I just received this lens 1 week before they announced the new 18-200IS from Canon and now I am even happier about not waiting. I now have the 18-55IS and 55-250IS combo (along with the nifty 50/1.8 ). There are three reasons I like this choice: Weight, portraits and macro which I’ll lay out now.
1. The 18-55IS and 55-250IS combo weighs 5 grams less than the 18-200IS. My wife really likes the lightweight option of just using the 18-55 with my 350D/XT and on my small rebel 350D/XT I agree that more lens would feel too front heavy.
2. With the 55-250IS, I get the 55-70 f4 boost. A lot of people who have shelled out the big bucks for the 17-55/2.8 and 70-200 series say they don’t notice the 55-70 missing window. Well for me I would. When I was shooting film, I used the 90-110 focal lengths a lot. With the 55-250, I find that most of my shots are55-70 (ie 90-110 on crop sensor) or they are over 230. I don’t know what the f stop layout is going to be for the 18-200IS, but the Nikon version goes to f4.8 @50mm and I’m guessing the Canon will jump f stops just as fast. F4 is good for keeping all of the face in focus and still doing a decent job of blurring the background.
3. This lens does a good job at macro too. With a reproduction ratio comparable to what Sigma labels ‘macro’ and with IS, this means if you are walking around and spot a macro shot you want to capture and didn’t bring your tripod and a 1:1 macro lens, you are still not SOL. I’ll post some hand held macro shots below. ( I have a close up filter for it, but that lowers the DOF so much that you pretty much have to use a tripod with it)
So anyhow here are the images:
250mm f5.6 1/1000” iso 100. I boosted vibrance and sharpened the image a little in PS elements and well as cropped about 20% out to get rid of a yahoo standing to the left that didn’t work in the frame.
(The Democrats are in town for their convention. While this picture does not necessarily reflect my political view, the anarchists are just so photogenic.)
65mm f4 1/1250” iso 400. I boosted vibrance and sharpened the image a little in PS elements as well as added 1/3 stop exposure. (On this one and the next one I forgot to lower the ISO to 100 BTW after shooting some macro shots in a little wind)
70mm f4 1/400” iso 400. straight out of the camera.
Now for some macro shots and these are all hand held to show the IS abilities:
250mm f5.6 1/125” iso 200 straight out of the camera.
250mm f5.6 1/100” iso 200 straight out of the camera.
250mm f5.6 1/60” iso 200 straight out of the camera.
250mm f8 1/25” iso 200 straight out of the camera. This is pretty much the lowest hand held limit I would want to play with but still not bad. Practically I wouldn’t go below 1/60” with out expecting a 50% miss rate with my hands.
I love this lens for the price. It does good with macro and portraits, but I will be getting the 60/2.8 macro to improve both those areas once I can budget it. Although I see a 28/1.8 or at least a 35/2 as my next lens purchase.