his is the first lens that I've purchased and kept outside my kit lens (18-55). I mentioned kept because believe it or not, I bought the 70-200 F4L non-IS. I won't be giving any technical review about this lens as that is pretty much covered by the other reviewers here. I'll just share my story to help out other beginners who are having a hard time as well contemplating on what lens to get to complement their kit lens. At first, I definitely wanted to buy a telephoto lens so I can shoot objects from a distance and I really like to try the lens out in a zoo. I then narrowed my choices between EF 70-300 IS USM and 70-200 F4L non-IS (didn't want 55-250 then because I didn't like the plastic mount). Since the latter would end up costing almost the same or even less (comes with hood and pouch plus the free filter amazon offers), I went for it without even thinking. Before the package arrived, I already had second thoughts and tried to cancel the item. Since I tried out the amazon prime 2 day shipping, the package came really fast so I wasn't able to cancel but returned it as soon as I got it. So why did I return the 70-200 F4L and settled for an EF-S 55-250? - I don't get paid taking pictures, it's just a hobby. - No one will really sit down and scrutinize the pictures I take. All Canon lenses take great shots compared to other brands. It's not like I'm posting the pictures I take in the net for public view. - The beige color of the L lens is somewhat too loud for me. I don't want people to think I have that much cash or evern comment that I only have an XS body. - No IS, I realized that I really need IS because I don't have any plans of getting a tripod soon and my hands are really shaky. - Cost! - Weight. - Performance of 55-250 that I was able to research over the net. Of course it's nothing comapred to the L lens, no doubt about that. But if the pictures are viewed alone, without comparing to L lens, they are great. - Max range is only at 200, I get an extra 50mm with 55-250. - Missing the 56-69 mm. Ok, the last 2 are just for my piece of mind because I opted with 55-250 but they don't really matter if you have the L lens. If you do become a pro in the future, you'd definitely get something better than the 70-200 F4L. Bottom line, this lens is no where in the league of L lenses. As one of the reviewers mentioned, it does the job. For value of money, I really love this lens. About the plastic mount, I realized that I wouldn't be using my camera that hard anyway. Plus, it'll be lighter. I'm going to steal one of the reviews I read, it basically says that if you like the performance of your kit lens (18-55), you'll defintely like this as well. I totally agree, fast AF, sharp pictures, longer range version of 18-55. Note that this is NOT a comparison between L lens and 55-250, or even 70-300. Just a decision experience that I wanted to share with a number of beginners out there.
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