Canon RF-S 55-210mm F5-7.1 IS STM review

The Canon RF-S 55-210mm F5-7.1 IS STM is third up in Canon’s (slowly) growing range of RF-S lenses, stretching telephoto potential

Canon RF-S 55-210mm F5-7.1 IS STM
(Image: © Matthew Richards)

Digital Camera World Verdict

Canon’s APS-C format R-system camera bodies are literally a small wonder. This telephoto zoom is entirely in keeping with the compact, lightweight theme while adding serious reach, equivalent to 88-336mm in full-frame terms. That’s no mean feat for a lens that weighs in at just 270g (9.5oz) and fits in the palm of your hand. It has fast autofocus and highly effective optical stabilization, the only real downsides being that it has a fairly ‘slow’ aperture rating and pretty basic handling.


  • +

    Very compact and lightweight

  • +

    Good performance and image quality

  • +

    4.5-stop to 7-stop stabilization


  • -

    No weather-seals or supplied hood

  • -

    No AF/MF or Stabilization On/Off switches

  • -

    Sluggish f/5-7.1 aperture rating

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The Canon RF-S 55-210mm F5-7.1 IS STM is only the third RF-S lens to be launched. Naturally, you can use EF and EF-S lenses on R-system cameras via an EF-EOS R mount adapter but that’s certainly not ideal. Apart from adding to the size and weight of the overall package, all-round performance tends to be rather better when using native RF and RF-S lenses.

(Image credit: Future)

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Matthew Richards

Matthew Richards is a photographer and journalist who has spent years using and reviewing all manner of photo gear. He is Digital Camera World's principal lens reviewer – and has tested more primes and zooms than most people have had hot dinners! 

His expertise with equipment doesn’t end there, though. He is also an encyclopedia  when it comes to all manner of cameras, camera holsters and bags, flashguns, tripods and heads, printers, papers and inks, and just about anything imaging-related. 

In an earlier life he was a broadcast engineer at the BBC, as well as a former editor of PC Guide.