Canon reveals EF-S 55-250 F4-5.6 IS STM kit-friendly zoom lens

Canon has released a version of its EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 lens that uses its STM stepping motor. STM lenses are designed for movie recording, with the goal of providing smooth and silent focusing. Unlike its predecessor, the STM version of the 55-250 has internal focusing. You’ll be able to pick up the 55-250 STM lens in late September for $350. It’s also a safe bet that the 55-250 STM will come bundled with Canon DSLRs in the near future.

Press Release:


New Stepping Motor Lens is the Perfect Companion for the EOS 70D, EOS Rebel SL1, and EOS Rebel T5i Digital SLR Cameras

MELVILLE, N.Y., August 22, 2013 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to introduce the new EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM telephoto zoom lens. Created to be the perfect companion lens for the EOS 70D, EOS Rebel SL1 and EOS Rebel T5i Digital SLR cameras, the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens expands Canon’s line of Stepping Motor (STM) lenses to six models – the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM, EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM, EF-M 22mm f/2.0 and the new EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens.  Canon’s Stepping Motor lenses allow for the capture of high-quality still and video images and reduce motor noise from the lens so cameras, such as the new EOS 70D, will capture the sound of the video scene being recorded without the interruption of noise by the focusing motors.

The EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM telephoto zoom lens offers high magnification in a compact and lightweight EF-S telephoto zoom lens with an Optical Image Stabilizer for up to 3.5* equivalent stops for shake correction. The lens’ stepping motor and newly-designed focus mechanism support Canon EOS Movie Servo AF (available on select EOS cameras) to provide smooth and quiet continuous autofocusing during video shooting, as well as when shooting photos. 

“The addition of the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM lens to the STM family of lenses strengthens Canon’s support for the growing number of photographers and video enthusiasts utilizing DSLRs to not only shoot high-quality still images but video too,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. “Noise reduction in movie mode is essential and video aficionados will particularly find the silent and smooth auto-focus capabilities of this new lens outstanding.”

The EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM telephoto zoom lens features one UD lens element, reducing chromatic aberration throughout the zoom range for excellent image quality with high resolution and contrast. It features enhanced lens coatings to help ensure superb color balance while minimizing ghosting and flare and a 7-blade circular aperture creates beautiful, soft backgrounds. For outstanding performance, a new compact six-group zoom system provides a maximum magnification of 0.29x at the telephoto end. Full-time manual focus is available in AF mode. The front element does not rotate during focus, which is beneficial when using polarizing filters. Minimum focusing distance is 2.79 ft./0.85m. The lens’ rear focusing system, high-speed CPU and improved AF algorithm allow for high-speed autofocusing.

The EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM telephoto zoom lens is scheduled to be available in late September for an estimated retail price of $349.99.  For more information about the EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM telephoto zoom lens, visit

* Based on CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) standards. Testing performed using EOS 7D at focal length of 250mm (400mm in 35mm equivalence).

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Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS STM


Joe Ogiba

They should also come out with a 17-250mm 3.5-5.6 IS STM lens that would be like the 18-270mm on 1.5x crop DSLRs since Canon has a 1.6x crop.


I’d prefer one for EF-M instead of EF-S,
especially that we are going to have dual-pixel AF for Canon mirrorless.

Steve Balcombe

This fixes the one annoying little problem with the old 55-250 IS which is the rotating front element. And the price is only slightly higher. Good move by Canon.

lazy lightning

Over 3/4 of a pound? DO NOT let the m4/3 users see this thing as it will have them running in terror at the thought of having to “lug” this monster around.


Oly got a 40-150 but that’s a lens near 0.6 stops slower.


So long and heavy for a slow all-plastic zoom…


MTF shows it gets sharper and more contrasty,

new stm

old ii

nikon 55-300

compared with DX55-300, the Canon STM is significantly sharper at the center at 250mm and should be able to beat DX at 300mm for real subject resolution (more detail in the output image).


The important question for many: has Canon improved also the OPTICAL quality of the new EF-S 55-250mm version ??
The older version is sadly not a very sharp lens, I knew some who turned to this lens as their first tele, but were quite disappointed and gave it back…

white shadow

For better image quality, just get the 70-200 f/4.0 L IS and be done with it. Well, you don’t even have to up-grade when you go full frame one day.


white shadow, $1000 vs a 350 lens is not a fair comparison. Also some people never will “upgrade” to full frame.

white shadow

Image quality always come with a price. Its better to pay $1000 once and be very satisfied than to pay $350 and have something to be desired shortly after and have to buy a “better” lens again. One may end up spending more.

The 70-200mm f/4.0L IS would satisfy even the most critical unless he want to go for the f/2.8 version. Moreover, the “L” version will also have better resale value.

Having said that, I think this new lens should perform reasonably well for those on a very tight budget. Just don’t expect it to be a top performer optically. Well again, its all plastic including the mount.


Are STM lenses slower to focus? Would that be an issue using this lens for sports?



as others already said, the lens got a new optical design with rear focusing which enables fast AF. but probably Canon won’t make it too fast for this is only an entry-level zoom.


Internal focusing is great to have! That alone is worthwhile.


I think there’s a typo? In the article it states:

“Full-time manual focus is available in AF mode.”

But in the table below, Full time manual is listed as ‘No’.


It will have full time manual focus in AF

Rad Encarnacion

That’s technically correct, due to how FTM works for Canon’s STM focus-by-wire lenses. With STM lenses, the user needs to half-press the shutter before the focus motor will respond to any motion of the focus ring. It’s kind of like stepping on the clutch pedal of a manual transmission car in order to change gears.


Iceage i am not sure you know much about photography. Af = autofocus, mf= manual focus, you can not do both at the same time without destroying the lens immediatly


Iceage knows exactly what he is talking about. Have you never heard of full time manual override in AF mode? Most lenses do this, and the STM lenses are no different.
I think you have things confused.

With the STM lenses you have to engage the motor first, but if you have a rear AF button this can give you full time MF override, and there are other ways as has already been said.


KariIceland you’re a dum..err nvm.
There is a switch on the side AF/MF. In MF you can only manually focus the lens. In AF you can press the AF-Start button and it will auto focus BUT if you keep it pressed down you can twist the focus ring yourself to manually adjust it, without damaging anything.

Curious though, how it works with back button focus? Do you still use the shutter button half way?

Chaitanya S

again, why use plastic mount on a lens? Metal mount wouldn’t add more than 2-3$ to Bill of materials for canon while building a lens.


Metal mount only provides the illusion of better quality, so it really doesn’t matter.


there shouldn’t be problem (except psychological).
actually someone got plastic mount on the camera.


At this price point, it should have a metal mount. Why should Canon get away with using cheaper, less robust, less durable materials and still charge as much or more than other lenses with metal mounts?

And let me guess, no lens hood included.


i really like the design of those new STM kit lenses.


It will be interesting to see if the optics got a noticeable bump.

Kinematic Digit

Should be quite a bit different at least…. this new lens has 2 additional groups and 2 additional elements. The UD element (this isn’t new) plus new coatings are certainly going to make improvements

Personally, even though I have a tone of L lenses, I also liked the 55-250.

I might pick one up because of how affordable it is and pair it up with my SL1

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