Which Lens Is Better 55-250mm or 70-300mm?

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Zoom lenses are one of the most popular lenses in both photography and videography due to their ability to shoot both nearby and distant subjects. However, when choosing a zoom lens such as 70-300mm or 55-250mm, you might wonder which is better. So, which lens is better, 55-250mm or 70-300mm?

Which Lens Is Better, 55-250mm or 70-300mm? 

The 70-300mm lens is the better lens in terms of construction quality and zoom capability. Since it’s an EF lens designed for full-frame cameras, it’s more versatile as you can pair it with an APS-C camera and get an equivalent focal length of 112-480mm. However, the 55-250mm lens will give you a wider field of view. 

Canon camera with a 55-250mm lens

Typically, the minimum focal length of a 55-250mm lens is 15mm shorter than the minimum focal length of the 70-300mm lens, while the maximum focal length of the 70-300mm is 50mm longer than the maximum focal length of the 55-250mm lens.

Keeping in mind that the best lens will depend on the shooting conditions, the following differences in construction quality, weight, and compatibility will help you determine which lens to go for. 


The camera sensor size varies across camera brands and models. Most Canon cameras have full-frame sensors that measure about 36 x 24 mm or APS-C sensors that measure around 22.5 x 15 mm. That means an APS-C sensor size is around 40% smaller than a full-frame sensor.

For Canon, lenses compatible with full-frame cameras are known as EF lenses, while those compatible with APS-C cameras are known as EF-S lenses. Usually, a lens designed for full-frame cameras can fit in both full-frame cameras and APS-C cameras. On the other hand, a lens designed for APS-C cameras is smaller and can’t be paired with a full-frame camera.

Since the 70-300mm is an EF lens, it’s more versatile as it can work with both an APS-C camera and a full-frame camera. On the other hand, the 55-250mm lens is an EF-S lens, which means it can only work with an APS-C camera.

Size and Weight

The lens size primarily depends on the focal length and whether the lens is designed for full-frame or crop-factor cameras. Keeping in mind that the 70-300mm lens has a bigger zoom range and a longer maximum focal length, it’s generally longer than the 55-250mm lenses. 

Additionally, since the 70-300mm are EF lenses, they are wider than the 55-250mm lenses as they have to fit the larger full-frame camera sensors. The larger size also translates to more construction materials and elements. As a result, 70-300mm lenses are larger and heavier than 55-250mm lenses. 

Zoom Capability

The lens’s zoom capability refers to the ability of the lens to shoot nearby subjects and magnify distant subjects to make them look closer and fill the frame. Although both the 70-300mm and 55-250mm lenses are zoom lenses, the 70-300mm lenses have a better zoom capability due to their wider focal range.

Canon 70-300mm lens

Field of View

Usually, the lens’s field of view depends on the focal length, with a shorter one giving a broader field of view than a longer one. Since the 55-250mm lenses have a minimum focal length of 55mm, they have a broader field of view than the 70-300mm lenses.

When to Use a 55-250mm Lens

Although the 55-250mm lenses are designed for APS-C cameras and have a limited zoom capability, they might be the best option to use in the following situations.

When to Use a 70-300mm Lens

Since the 70-300mm lenses have a better zoom capability and works with both full-frame and crop-factor cameras, they might be the best to use in the following photography conditions.

  • If you want to pair the lens with a full-frame camera
  • When you want to zoom in on distant subjects, such as when shooting sports or wildlife
  • If you are using a tripod setup as the heavy weight makes them more stable

Related Questions

What Makes 70-300mm Lenses More Expensive Than 55-250mm Lenses?

70-300mm lenses are more expensive than the 55-250mm lenses due to their larger size that requires more construction materials and lens elements. Generally, 70-300mm lenses are professional quality lenses with better glass and image stabilization systems.

Are 55-250mm Lenses Better for Landscape Photography Than 70-300mm Lenses?

Generally, 55-250mm lenses are better for landscape photography than 70-300mm lenses due to their shorter minimum focal length, which makes them have a wider field of view. However, it still depends on how far you are when capturing the photos. 

Final Thoughts

Both 55-250mm and 70-300mm lenses are high-quality zoom lenses that you can use in a wide range of photography and videography conditions. The 55-250mm lens is the best option when shooting nearby subjects, while the 70-300mm lens is the best choice when shooting distant subjects.