Which Lens Is Better 18-55mm or 55 250mm?

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

The 18-55mm are used by novice photographers whereas the 55-250mm lenses are a good option for professional photographers with specific needs. To choose the right one, you need to know which lens is better 18-55mm or 55 250mm?

Which Lens Is Better 18-55mm or 55 250mm?

The 18-55mm lens is a better option because it is more versatile and built for everyday use. It is also priced lower and is compact. On the contrary, the 55-250mm lens is built for very specific uses and should not be bought unless you are a professional going for sports or wildlife photography.

Black camera lens on brown wooden surface

18-55 mm Lens Specifications

The 18-55mm is a telephoto lens. It allows a short to wide angle telephoto range. It is standard, high-quality lens which is preferred by photographers for everyday use. It has a flexible focal length, allowing you zoom in and out of images.

This lens is very affordable and can be used for general photography. Its design allows manufacturers to incorporate high speed autofocus and image stabilizers allowing you to capture pictures at low shutter speeds (above 2 seconds) without motion blur.

These lenses normally come with an aperture range between f/3.5 to f/5.6, thus giving you a lot more flexibility. It has a compact and a lightweight design and can be carried anywhere you want.

55-250 mm Lens Specifications

The 55-250mm lens is a powerful telephoto lens that is a great choice for wildlife, travel, and sports photography. It usually comes with narrow aperture between f/4 to f/5.6 and is thus great for capturing wide angle shots for smooth photography.

This lens is used by professional photographers for some specific purpose. These lenses have the closest distance for focusing of 0.85m which allows you to capture small objects. It delivers high contrast images throughout the zoom range.

These lenses are quite versatile and can allow you to capture portraits too if you have a light source nearby. The maximum magnification these lenses allow is 0.31x. However, these lenses are quite expensive and not recommended for everyday use.

What to Consider When Choosing Between the Two Lenses?

There are a lot of factors to consider before choosing which lens to go for. These include the budget, what they are used for, and which stage of photography you are at.


If you are just starting out and have a lower budget, you should go for the 18-55 mm lenses because they incorporate a lot of features in a lower price.

Black camera lens on gray surface

However, if you do not mind spending an extra dime for more specifications and professional use, then the 55-250 mm lenses are a great choice.

What They Are Used For

You must also familiarize yourself with what each lens is used for. The 55-250mm lenses can be used at weddings. During weddings, it can be used for portraits, thanks to its high quality as well as capturing images from afar, thanks to its zoom.

Also, the 55-250 mm is a great choice for landscapes because of its narrow aperture. Moreover, its advanced design can be used for sports photography thanks to its zooming features, while also capturing good quality images.

On the contrary, the 18-55mm is more for everyday use such as family photographs. Also, if you prefer packing light when traveling and want to capture good quality images, then the 18-55mm should be your go-to.

Stage of Photography

If you are just starting out, the 18-55mm are a good choice. They usually come as a pack when you buy a camera, and you can get a good deal. Also, it has fewer specifications and is easy to handle, while also fulfilling your everyday basic photography needs.

However, if you have been photographing for some time and are in the process of getting your second or third lens, then the 55-250mm lens would allow you to expand your range and get into more professional photography.

Relevant Questions

What Are the Advantages of an 18-55 mm Lens?

  • These lenses are light weighted and thus you can carry them around easily and use them throughout the day.
  • They are very versatile and can be used for a lot of occasions such as indoor photography, portraits, and much more.
  • They are extremely affordable and recommended for people who are just starting out.

What Are the Advantages of an 18-55 mm Lens?

  • They perform poorly in low light conditions because of a narrow aperture. You would have to pair them up with high ISO levels above 500 or slower shutter speed which can reduce the quality of the images they capture.
  • They have a limited depth of field, again due to a narrow aperture. It is difficult to capture Bokeh effects with this camera.
  • These lenses can lead to image distortion.
An image of Canon 55-250mm lens

What Are the Advantages of a 55-250 mm Lens?

  • These lenses can be used to capture photographs from far away. This is helpful in situations where you cannot get close to the subject such as in a stadium when you are capturing a monument from far away, or zooming in on an animal in the wild.
  • They can be paired with a narrow aperture allowing you to capture smooth and focused landscape images, and group portraits.

What Are the Disadvantages of a 55-250 MM Lens?

  • The 55-250mm lenses are heavily built and are difficult to carry around or shoot with all day long.
  • They are an expensive option compared to simpler lenses on the market.
  • These lenses cannot be used for general photography needs because they have a wide-angle. Hence, if you tried capturing something in an enclosed space such as a museum or your house, you would only be able to capture a small part of it.
  • They are difficult to use and can be handled by professional photographers.


The 18-55mm lenses are better thanks to their versatile use and low prices. They are a good option for everyday uses and are easy to use. However, the 55-250mm lenses are a great option for professional photographers looking for specific uses.