55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D

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losifanatic Regular Member • Posts: 212
55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D
2

Well about 4 years ago I gave my daughter my 70d and all my lenses.  My most used lens was the 55-250 stm. Super sharp and good colors with quick auto focus. Only complaint was wishing it had a little more reach.

So l got myself a 90D for Christmas with the 18-135 usm nano lens. I would say its optically the same as my old 18-135 stm but much much fast auto focus which is very nice.  Anyways back to the topic l am looking at getting a zoom and trying to decide if l should get the stm again or try the 70-300 usm is ii with its super fast auto focus.

So does the 70-300 have as good color, contrast, and sharpness as the 55-250? Is it worth the twice the price?

Any insite would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

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tdbmd Regular Member • Posts: 369
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D
1

I had one of the older 55-250, but it was a kit version and not the STM version.  I currently have the 70-300 II and it is, IMO, a great lens for the money.  Noticeably better in AF and IQ than the 55-250 that I previously owned.  AF is blazing fast.  Here is a backyard photo taken with it and the old original 7D

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Michael Thomas Mitchell Forum Pro • Posts: 12,158
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D

losifanatic wrote:

Well about 4 years ago I gave my daughter my 70d and all my lenses. My most used lens was the 55-250 stm. Super sharp and good colors with quick auto focus. Only complaint was wishing it had a little more reach.

So l got myself a 90D for Christmas with the 18-135 usm nano lens. I would say its optically the same as my old 18-135 stm but much much fast auto focus which is very nice. Anyways back to the topic l am looking at getting a zoom and trying to decide if l should get the stm again or try the 70-300 usm is ii with its super fast auto focus.

So does the 70-300 have as good color, contrast, and sharpness as the 55-250? Is it worth the twice the price?

Any insite would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

If I were in your situation, I'd be asking myself the following questions:

Is size/weight important? That is where EFS lenses really shine if those elements are important. And there may not be a single answer for you. For instance, I love the 55-250 on my 80D when I'm traveling exactly because it's smaller, lighter and cheaper (theft risk). But where cartage is no issue, I'll prefer a bigger 5D/7D/1D body and big L glass. The 70-300 is a mid-range zoom compatible with full-frame. Much of its size and weight won't even be "used" by the APS-C 90D. But if that's not much of a concern for you, then skip this question entirely.

How beneficial are the extra features, such as manual focus override, digital display, and an extra stop of stabilization? I don't remember the last time I took over physical focusing from the lens, so it's not much of a consideration to me. Extra stabilization is always welcome, but it's not such a large leap between the two as to find it essential. Likewise, the extra focal length is welcome, though hardly significant, especially with 32 million pixels available for cropping. Is the IQ better on the more expensive lens? I don't know. There are charts and graphs available which will say. But it is not as if the 55-250 is deficient in this category. To the contrary, the interest is filled with testimony praising its optical quality reflecting far above its price point. I have had no complaints in that regard, so I wouldn't be looking at a 70-300 from the perspective up and IQ upgrade, myself.

How important is budget here? First in absolute terms: what can I best afford? And second in relative terms: is the advantages/disadvantages net worth equal to twice the price? For me, not so much. I keep APC-C bodies alongside full-frame gear specifically (although not exclusively) for their size/weight benefits. For instance, at any given wedding I might keep a 5DIV with a standard length L zoom as a main camera and a 7DII with either a 70-200/4 IS L or a 55-250 STM, either one an appropriate substitute for a second 5D and the much larger/heavier 100-400 IS L, while still offering the same basic results. Smaller, lighter, less expensive... what's not to prefer?

I would bet that the 70-300 you're considering would perform beautifully on your 90D. The two together are probably a technical marvel. If size, weight and price are of little concern, then absolutely go for that lens. If they are, however, then you won't be let down by the 55-250. It's such a damn good little lens, despite its lower cost.

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OP losifanatic Regular Member • Posts: 212
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D

Just wanting to make sure that the 70-300 isnt a downgrade in image quality compared to the 55-250 stm. I loved my 55-250 stm lens as it took beautiful and sharp pics.  So if pictures quality and sharpness are very close but l can get better auto focus and a tiny bit more range I'm all for that

Also one other question the 70-300 doesn't focus to infinity so can you take an in focus pic of the moon with it?

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Ray UK Contributing Member • Posts: 808
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D
1

losifanatic wrote:

Also one other question the 70-300 doesn't focus to infinity so can you take an in focus pic of the moon with it?

The 70-300 certainly does focus to infinty, not quite sure where you found that information but is wrong.

I haven't got a 70-300 so I can't do a direct comparison but I do have the 55-250 stm and have found it to be quite an amazing lens and very sharp throughout the range even at full aperture. All reports I have read state that is sharper than the 70-300, this sems to show in this comparison:

https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=1077&Camera=963&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=1&LensComp=856&CameraComp=963&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=1&APIComp=1

OP losifanatic Regular Member • Posts: 212
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D

Ray UK wrote:

losifanatic wrote:

Also one other question the 70-300 doesn't focus to infinity so can you take an in focus pic of the moon with it?

The 70-300 certainly does focus to infinty, not quite sure where you found that information but is wrong.

I haven't got a 70-300 so I can't do a direct comparison but I do have the 55-250 stm and have found it to be quite an amazing lens and very sharp throughout the range even at full aperture. All reports I have read state that is sharper than the 70-300, this sems to show in this comparison:

https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=1077&Camera=963&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=1&LensComp=856&CameraComp=963&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=1&APIComp=1

Wow thank you. Thats exactly what I was looking for.

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Dave
Dave Veteran Member • Posts: 5,643
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D

Did you ever find yourself wanting for more reach when shooting with the 55-250?
How often did you shoot with it at its wide end?
Do you shoot sports, birds-in-flight, or other action?

Answers to those questions will guide your decision.  I considered the 70-300 II and 70-300L for tennis and travel.  I thought the 70-300 II produced excellent results (plenty sharp) and was very impressed with how quickly it focused.  Durability and dust and water resistance ultimately drove my choice.  Had the 70-300L not been an option, I imagine I would have been happy with the 70-300 II.

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Lemming51
Lemming51 Forum Pro • Posts: 15,223
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D

Michael Thomas Mitchell wrote:

If I were in your situation, I'd be asking myself the following questions:

Is size/weight important? That is where EFS lenses really shine if those elements are important. And there may not be a single answer for you. For instance, I love the 55-250 on my 80D when I'm traveling exactly because it's smaller, lighter and cheaper (theft risk).

Ditto me and my 55-250 + 40D.

... The 70-300 is a mid-range zoom compatible with full-frame. Much of its size and weight won't even be "used" by the APS-C 90D. But if that's not much of a concern for you, then skip this question entirely.

Besides the little longer reach to 300mm, one extra feature that comes from using the full-frame lens is less light fall off/vignetting.

https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Lens-Vignetting-Test-Results.aspx?Lens=1077&Camera=979&FLI=3&API=2&LensComp=856&CameraComp=736&FLIComp=4&APIComp=1

(the 70-300 is on a full frame body, but there is smaller box to show the effect on a "crop" body)

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OP losifanatic Regular Member • Posts: 212
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D

Well I ended up ordering a tamron 100-400.  I know I am giving up a little in auto focus speed compared to the others but im hoping that the extra zoom range will make up for it

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gipper51 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,200
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D

losifanatic wrote:

Well I ended up ordering a tamron 100-400. I know I am giving up a little in auto focus speed compared to the others but im hoping that the extra zoom range will make up for it

I think you'll be pleased. By all accounts that Tamron is a pretty good lens. Just be aware, the size may surprise you when it arrives. Compared to your old 55-250, it's about twice as long and 3 times heavier. Your camera bag will certainly gain some heft when you carry this one around. The 70-300 IS II splits the difference between the two.

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MikeJ9116 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,828
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D

Here is how I see the strengths of each lens:

EF-S 55-250mm STM

  • $200 lower price
  • Sharper
  • Half the weight
  • Smaller size

EF 70-300mm II

  • Better build quality
  • Somewhat longer reach
  • Faster AF
  • Can be used on FF cameras

For me this would be an easy decision because I have APS-C and FF cameras so the 70-300mm II would be my choice.  However, if this wasn't a concern then I would pick the 55-250mm mainly for it being half the weight and sharper.  I am at a point where I just don't want to carry a heavy lens all day on the camera or in a backpack.  I do own the EF-S 55-250mm STM and I love it on my SL2.  Between the EF-S 10-18mm, EF-S 15-85mm and EF-S 55-250mm STM I cover about anything I care to shoot on a day trip or vacation.  I usually carry the EF-S 55-250mm in a jacket pocket or a large pants pocket and keep the 15-85mm mounted on the camera most of the time.

IMO, the 50mm extra reach of the 70-300mm just isn't worth the weight, size and sharpness penalty.  For the money you save you can pick up the EF-S 10-18mm and have a kit that will cover an equivalent range of 16-400mm in a small compact package.

If you are shooting fast moving subjects then the 70-300mm might be your best choice.

jrkliny
jrkliny Veteran Member • Posts: 4,330
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D

When it comes to telephoto lenses, we always seem to want a bit more reach.  Unfortunately that typically means a lot more expense and weight for a marginal gain.  There really is not going to be much difference between 250 and 300mm.

Personally I am very happy with my 55-250 STM.  I have it either on the camera or on my belt pouch for almost all of my outdoor photo sessions.  It is much better than a bigger lens I would not carry.  In any case if I wanted more I would not buy the 70-300.  Putting a FF lens on a APS-C camera is a waste of weight and money.  You are paying much more for the lens size that the crop sensor cannot use.

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MikeJ9116 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,828
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D

jrkliny wrote:

When it comes to telephoto lenses, we always seem to want a bit more reach. Unfortunately that typically means a lot more expense and weight for a marginal gain. There really is not going to be much difference between 250 and 300mm.

...and any difference for the OP can be made up by cropping the 32mp image.

Personally I am very happy with my 55-250 STM. I have it either on the camera or on my belt pouch for almost all of my outdoor photo sessions. It is much better than a bigger lens I would not carry. In any case if I wanted more I would not buy the 70-300. Putting a FF lens on a APS-C camera is a waste of weight and money. You are paying much more for the lens size that the crop sensor cannot use.

If a person has a FF camera then buying the 70-300mm would make a lot of sense.  I bought the R a few months ago and opted for the RF 24-240mm lens which has been surprisingly good and, for me, negates the need for a lens like the 70-300mm.  Other than the sharpness, the thing like most about the 55-250mm STM is its very low weight and small size.  IMO, this lens is an amazing piece of work by Canon's design engineers.

nolten Contributing Member • Posts: 786
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D

I think you'll be pleased with that lens on the 90D.  I would suggest that you save and also get a 55-250 STM.  The two complement each other in many ways, weight, wider, close focus on the STM vs longer reach.

I have the 55-250 STM, 70-300 IS II, Sigma 100-400 Contemporary, and Canon 100-400 II + 1.4x3.  I also have 80D, 90D, and M6II among others.  I find all of these to be excellent lenses in different weight categories.  I think my 70-300 IS II is a bit sharper than my 55-250 contrary to another poster but hardly worth arguing about.  The AF OTOH is so much faster with the 70-300; I've missed wildlife shots with the 55-250 while it was finding focus.  I assume your Tamron has some form of USM AF so this shouldn't be an issue.  The Canon 100-400 is the king, but you always know you're carrying it.

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TeeJay626 Regular Member • Posts: 392
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D

I know the OP already made his choice and got the Tamron 100-400, but I can also chime in.  I had both the 55-250 STM and 70-300 II at the same time, on my 77D and now my 80D.  Both are very good lenses.  The AF on the 70-300 II is amazing, and also the IS is better.

As far as sharpness goes, my 70-300 II was marginally sharper than the 55-250.  Both produced excellent images and I was happy.  I personally also thought the color rendition on the 70-300 II to be slightly better as well.

In the end, I traded in my 70-300 II and my 77D to get a like new 80D from my local shop.  I also purchased the 100-400L II, so no need to keep the 70-300.  I still have my 55-250 as it's an excellent lightweight lens which pairs nicely for any hiking I may do, and I don't feel like carrying the weight of the 100-400L II.  Also, I picked up the 55-250 STM a couple of years ago from Canon's refurb site when they had them on sale for around $120.  Too good to pass up!

I'm sure you'll be very happy with the Tamron.  I've never used it but heard good things about it.  Enjoy!

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tdbmd Regular Member • Posts: 369
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D

I have the 70-300 II and previously had one of the older versions of the 55-250.  Not the STM version which it sounds like is much better but I do a fair amount of sports and the much faster AF on the 70-300 is appreciated.  And it is noticeably sharper than my old 55-250

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MikeJ9116 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,828
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D
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The STM version is a much better lens than its predecessors.

OP losifanatic Regular Member • Posts: 212
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D

My tamron will be here tomorrow.  Very excited about it.  With that said my brother bought a 55-250stm to go with his t7 and doesnt like it. He said the auto fucus hunted to much and was slow(I never has that issue with mine and my 70d) . He has the kit lenses also (18-55 and the 75-300 ) i was surprised he like his 75-300 kit lens more than the 55-250stm. Well he just got the a tamron 70-200 f2.8 for Christmas. I am going to ask him if he would be willing to sell me his 55-250stm.

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nolten Contributing Member • Posts: 786
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D
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I've used my 55-250 with both my granddaughter's SL2 and my 80D and the AF was much faster with the 80D. Its better still with my M6II - haven't had my 90D long enough to report but it will be at least as good as the 80D.

The problem I found with the 55-250 was that if it couldn't find an initial focus it would rack all the way to MFD and then back out. This can seem very slow when you are trying to capture a moving critter. With stationary objects, even a butterfly sitting on a flower, its not an issue. The better AF cameras more often drive the lens in the right direction while the SL2 always seemed to drive it the wrong way. I don't know where your brother's camera would fall on this spectrum. Still I find it a convenient alternative to the 100-400s.

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MikeJ9116 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,828
Re: 55-250 stm vs 70-300 usm is ii on a 90D
1

If he is using the 55-250mm STM for live view focusing then it will hunt due to the lack of DPAF with the T7's sensor. I would say any issue with AF using the 55-250 STM is coming from his camera and not the lens.

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