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Photography | Canon EF-M 55-200mm IS STM Lens

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Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-f/6.3 IS STM lens

Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-f/6.3 IS STM lens

 

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Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-f/6.3 IS STM Lens

Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-f/6.3 IS STM

Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-f/6.3 IS STM

Canon EF-M metal and plastic lens mounts

Canon EF-M Plastic Lens Mount

Sample Images

A few photos taken with the Canon EF-M 55-200mm f/4.5-f/6.3 IS STM lens.

 

Focal length 148mm | EOS M6 | ISO: 400 | Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/1000s

Focal length 148mm | EOS M6 | ISO: 400 | Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/1000s

 

Focal length 200mm | EOS M6 | ISO: 1600 | Aperture: f/6.3 | Shutter Speed: 1/1250s

Focal length 200mm | EOS M6 | ISO: 1600 | Aperture: f/6.3 | Shutter Speed: 1/1250s

 

Focal length 145mm | EOS M6 | ISO: 320 | Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/1000s

Focal length 145mm | EOS M6 | ISO: 320 | Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/1000s

 

Focal length 200mm | EOS M6 | ISO:100 | Aperture: f/22 | Shutter Speed: 1/30s (note IS performance)

Focal length 200mm | EOS M6 | ISO:100 | Aperture: f/22 | Shutter Speed: 1/30s (note IS performance)

 

Focal length 200mm | EOS M6 | ISO: 1600 | Aperture: f/6.3 | Shutter Speed: 1/1000s

Focal length 200mm | EOS M6 | ISO: 1600 | Aperture: f/6.3 | Shutter Speed: 1/1000s

 

Focal length 145mm | EOS M6 | ISO: 500 | Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/250s

Focal length 145mm | EOS M6 | ISO: 500 | Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/250s

 

Focal length 145mm | EOS M6 | ISO: 500 | Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/250s (bokeh sample)

Focal length 145mm | EOS M6 | ISO: 500 | Aperture: f/5.6 | Shutter Speed: 1/250s (bokeh sample)

 

Introduction

I have always been happy with my first three EF-M lenses, the Canon EF-M 18-55mm STM IS, Canon EF-M 11-22mm IS STM Lens, and Canon EF-M 22mm f/2.0 STM. I am also very happy now with the EOS M6 because it is such a big improvement on the original EOS M.

When travelling I would like to use only EF-M lenses for their small size and light weight, however, the lenses above only give me a maximum focal length of 55mm and, ideally, I would like a little more. That was the reason for buying this lens. The only concern is whether it will deliver sufficient image quality.

The cost was about one-seventh the cost of my EF 70-200mm f/4 L IS lens. Obviously, I don't expect it to have the same performance, but if the image quality is disappointing then I will be forced to carry some larger, heavier lenses.

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User Impressions

My first impression was one of disappointment because of the plastic lens mount. My first three EF-M lenses had metal mounts, but every EF-M lens after that has had a plastic lens mount. This cost saving just makes me feel that the standard of lens construction is low.

The inner lens barrel is fully retracted at 55mm and fully extended at 200mm. The lens is light and well-balanced on an M body.

As with all EF-M lens, the manual focus ring is small and probably won't be used by the majority of users.

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Focusing

The lens uses new stepper motor (STM) technology for its autofocus mechanism. This is all part of Canon's drive to implement silent continuous autofocus tracking in movie mode. To do this requires an appropriate body with a hybrid CMOS sensor and contrast detection AF technology, and a lens with an STM designation.

Autofocus is maybe not as fast as some other lenses, but in most situations it works well without any problems. For videographers the continuous autofocus in movie mode is a very welcome feature.

It also appears to work perfectly well when the camera is in AI Servo mode tracking an object coming towards the camera. I tested this on passing motorbikes and the results were quite satisfactory.

There is no direct physical connection between the manual focusing ring and the internal focusing mechanism as there is on other lenses. If you turn the ring with the camera off nothing happens. Turning the ring sends a signal to the stepper motor which then focuses the lens electronically.

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Manual Focusing

Unlike my Canon EF and EF-S lenses, manual focusing isn't as easy with the EOS M system as simply turning the lens focus ring, or manually switching the lens into MF mode first and then turning the lens focus ring.

There is no AF/MF switch on the EF-M lenses and, because of the stepper motor technology and a lack of any physical connection between the focus ring and the focusing mechanism, nothing happens most of the time when you turn the focus ring.

To enable manual fousing, first you must go into the menu system and find 'Focus mode' (the camera icon with two dots). This mode has three options:

  1. AF (Auto Focus). When in this mode the focus ring is completely inoperational.
  2. MF (Manual Focus). In this mode the Auto Focus is completely inoperational and turning the focus ring controls the focusing mechanism whenever the camera is switched on.
  3. AF+MF. This allows the Autofocus to operate and also allows the user to focus manually after the autofocus has activated. However, you can only focus manually while pressing the shutter release halfway down after the Autofocus has activated.
While holding the shutter release halfway down and turning the focus ring ring, you will see 'MF' blinking on the rear LCD. If the camera is in AF+MF mode and simply switched on, turning the focus ring does nothing. You must hold the shutter release halfway down before manual focusing will operate in AF+MF mode.

When the camera is put into MF mode a small magnifying glass icon appears on the rear LCD in the bottom right-hand corner. Tapping on the icon cycles through 1x, 5x and 10x magnification with an accordingly larger image shown on the display. This is very similar to the Liveview feature on Canon SLRs.

In cases where the Autofocus mechanism won't do what you want it to do, such as with close macro work, this is very useful. Saying this, I have never used MF on my EOS M, which stays permanently in AF mode. The only time I use manual focusing is for macro work and the EOS M body isn't my first choice for macro.

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Image Stabilisation

As with all of Canon's IS lenses in recent years, the Image Stabilisation system works very well.

Most EF-M lenses have IS, but with the shorter focal length lenses it isn't too important. It is with this one. The maximum focal length is the equivalent of 320mm on a full-frame camera and when you are composing using a rear display and holding the camera at arms' length it is difficult to keep steady.

At the maximum focal length there was a fair amount of camera shake at 1/15s, but at 1/30s the image was very sharp. See the sample image above, which was handheld at 1/30s.

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Focal Length

This lens is roughly the equivalent of a 88-320mm lens on a 35mm (full frame) camera.

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Extenders and Extension Tubes

Currently, there are no extenders or extension tubes available for Canon EF-M Lenses. I don't know if Canon has any plans to make these items available in the future.

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Accessories

This lens comes with the new style Canon lens caps that can be released by pinching the centre of the cap. A lens hood and soft pouch are available but not included.

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Conclusion

The problem for me with this lens is that I have been spoiled by owning the Canon EF 70-200 f/4L, Canon EF 70-200 f/4L IS, and some other very good EF lenses.

For the money, it's actually a perfectly satisfactory lens. It was cheap (a fraction of the cost of the Canon EF 70-200 f/4L IS), and it is small and light. The focusing is quiet, fairly quick and the Image Stabilisation works very well.

It ticks all the boxes, but with certain Canon lenses there is a kind of magical, intangible quality with the images and this one, unfortunately, doesn't have it. The fine detail is there but the colours and contrast don't make the images jump out, as is the case with some other lenses, such as the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8.

It has now given me a dilemma. I bought it for travel because it is small and light but if I go somewhere to which I may not return and want photos of the best possible image quality with the gear that I already own, I have better lenses. They are bigger and heavier, but there won't be compromises in image quality. What do I do?

This lens is also slow, having a maximum aperture at the long end of only f/6.3. The high ISO performance of modern cameras is very good and normally this isn't a problem in the daytime, but in low light it could be a problem.

I can definitely see myself having a use for this lens and enjoying its small size and light weight, but in those situations where I want the best possible image quality I think I will be looking at other lenses.

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Post-Processing

Original images were shot in JPG format using the EOS M's built in lens aberration correction. Noise was reduced using Imagenomic Noiseware Professional. Small amounts of image enhancement were applied using Adobe Photoshop CS2 (curves, levels, saturation) before sharpening using the Smart Sharpen filter (Amount: 30% - 120%, Radius: 0.2px - 0.3px, Remove: Lens Blur).

The large JPG images that open if you click on a thumbnail were saved with a 'High' quality setting of '8' on a scale of 0-12.

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Lens Details

Weight: 260g
Filter Diameter: 49mm
Closest Focusing Distance: 1.0m
Date Purchased: September 2017
Supplier: Lazada Thailand (Boonrawd Shop)
Price: 5,990 Thai Baht
Lens Cap: E-52 II
Lens Hood: ET-54B (not included)
Soft Case: LP816 (not included)

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Visit Thailand

Thailand is an incredibly photogenic country, both for its landscapes and its people. Regardless of whether you enjoy large Asian cities, beaches and islands, or rice fields and mountains, Thailand has something for you and it is a dream destination for photographers.

One of the great things about visiting Thailand is that hotels are plentiful and a lot cheaper than in most other countries. I always use Agoda to book hotels in Thailand. The company was established in Thailand and has great local knowledge, as well as a huge inventory of hotels.

If you click on one of the destinations opposite you will get a list of hotel deals from Agoda. It's generally a good idea to book on-line because you will get a good room rate and you won't suffer the disappointment of arriving at a hotel to find that it is full.

I book hotels regularly in Thailand and I have always found Agoda to be the best on-line travel agent. At times I have spent a lot of time researching hotel prices and although other deals sometimes look better at first I always end up returning to Agoda.

If you don't wish to pay for your hotel at the time of booking, Booking.com normally allows you to pay when you check in at the hotel. Some people prefer this method, but I have always found Booking.com to be more expensive than Agoda.

If you want to compare prices between different on-line travel agents (OTAs) for a specific hotel, you can use a company such as HotelsCombined. However, you will normally find that Agoda is the cheapest and therefore you can save yourself time and money by just booking through Agoda in the first place.

Images of Thailand

Images of Thailand

 

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