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I was considering buying the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4.0-5.6 lens from someone, however, they told me that they purchased it more than two years ago. I am concerned that some of the new productions of this same model may have been upgraded since the original models. Is this a valid concern or are the models pretty much the same regardless of how old they are?

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There do appear to be some production runs that are better than others. As a really general rule, it seems like the earliest product runs have a somewhat greater chance of of having problems.

If it's really only 2 years old, you're probably pretty safe from this being really early production when you have the highest likelihood of running into problems. OTOH, if it's really more like 2 1/2 years old, or was (for example) bought at a retail store where it may have been in stock for six months, you're starting to get a lot closer to one of the early production runs where problems are more likely (though certainly not a given, by any means).

Realistically, damage since purchase is probably more likely than a lens that started out defective anyway. If possible, I'd try to test it out at least a little before buying (but that goes almost regardless of age...)

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I've had my 55-250mm for almost three years now and I recall that it was well reviewed (given the price, of course) with not many reports of noticeable defects. Is there any evidence that the newer units are an improvement on the older ones? –  rm999 May 11 '11 at 5:58

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