LensTip.com

Lens review

Canon EF 55-200 mm f/4.5-5.6 II USM

30 September 2007
Arkadiusz Olech

11. Summary



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Pros:

  • small picture resolution difference in the center and at the edges of the frame
  • very small chromatic aberration at 100 mm and near this focal length
  • small vignetting throughout the focal length range
  • small coma
  • small distortion
  • USM motor in this price range lens
  • light weight and small size
  • reasonable price
Cons:
  • the lens is not completely sharp for f/8 diaphragms
  • poor aperture
  • visible chromatic aberration at 55 and 200 mm focal length
  • for a USM motor-equipped lens, it missed too many times
For every photo amateur, who already owns the 18-55 mm kit lens, the Canon 55-200 will be a very good and not very expensive addition. It is a pity that Canon did not take care of the lens’s aperture.

There are many cheap 70-300 mm lenses on the market with the aperture changing from 4 to 5.6 so. These lenses, at every focal length range, beat the Canon. Here are some examples: Canon’s maximum aperture at the 55 mm focal length and f/4.5 has a diameter of 12.2 mm while a competing 70-300 mm lens set up at 70 mm and f/4 has a diameter of 17.5 mm. For the Canon set up at 200 mm and f/5.6, the aperture is 35.7 mm, while the 70-300 mm models have the same diaphragm value but at 300 mm the aperture is 53.6 mm. Simple mathematics show that the Canon takes in from 2 to 2.5 times less aperture than the 70-300 f/4-5.6. And this would be the only major reason why we might rethink our purchase.



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