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


  • Quiet, fast AF.


  • No focus ring, chromatic aberration.

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £189

Canon Compatible 

Canon’s EF 55-200mm has an Ultrasonic Motor (USM) for fast and quiet autofocus and provides an imaging circle suitable for full-frame and APS-C sensors, so it will work on any Canon EOS camera. If using a model with an APS-C sensor such as the EOS 400D, the lens offers the focal equivalent of 88-320mm.

Fiddly Manual Focus

The lens is constructed of 13 elements in 13 groups and incorporates optimised lens coatings to reduce flare and ghosting. The all-plastic, two-piece barrel, including a plastic lens mount, is lightweight but the zoom ring is quite loose. The USM-driven AF system, however, is quick and reasonably quiet, if a little juddery. What it’s lacking though is a gripped manual focus ring – you need to rotate the inner barrel, which is awkward, especially at 55mm.


The lens displays reasonable sharpness which, if not the best, is certainly consistent. Apertures up until f/11 maintain similar degrees of sharpness, with a rapid drop in sharpness at f/16 and f/22.

Chromatic aberration is among the worst in this category, with good central control but a consistently high pixel rise at the corners.


Really a budget or starter lens, reasonably priced, but lacking the fast maximum aperture and expensive glass of more professional lenses.

Trusted Score

Score in detail

  • Value 9
  • Design 8
  • Image Quality 8
  • Features 8

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