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Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
58 182556 Jul 19, 2011
Recommended By Average Price
76% of reviewers $1,439.74
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
6.81
7.04
6.5
ef75_300_1_

Specifications:
This is the world’s first interchangeable SLR lens equipped with an Image Stabilizer. You can reap sharp pictures even in low-light conditions when camera shake would normally blur the shot. Effective for sunsets and places where you cannot use a tripod.


 


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mjoshi
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Registered: Apr 16, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1034
Review Date: Jul 19, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good sharp lens
Cons:
Some what slow and lens creep when holding it down.

I've used this lens for more than 5 years now and can easily say that this was my go to lens for most of my shots while my kids were growing up. The zoom gives good advantage of taking snaps without interfering in people's private space.
Here are few shots I took using this lens

@ 300 mm - http://www.sonujoshi.net/Landscapes/From-my-window/Canon-332/52950935_gbyeW-L.jpg
@75 mm - http://www.smugmug.com/photos/1054076666_AMvm4-L.jpg
@240mm
http://www.smugmug.com/photos/1052426518_pymzU-L.jpg
@195mm
http://www.sonujoshi.net/Vacation/Trip-to-Zoo/IMG0865-copy/30311068_ehjeo-L.jpg

@300mm -
http://www.sonujoshi.net/Landscapes/World-as-I-see-it/Canon-256-copy/52954567_Lwh2v-L.jpg

I'm pretty happy with this lens for what it does. Probably mine is sharp copy with


Jul 19, 2011
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mikadoOne
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Registered: May 14, 2008
Location: Turkey
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 5 

 
Pros:
Cons:



May 15, 2008
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LotsToLearn
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Registered: Jan 12, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 434
Review Date: Jun 5, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Image Stabilization. Useful zoom range.
Cons:
Lots of focus hunting. Very soft images on digital. No internal focus. No zoom lock.

This was the first lens I bought when I got back into photography and bought my Elan 7E film camera in 2001. That's also why the price paid is high! I gave it a higher rating now than I currently think it deserves only because it worked very well with my original film camera. Now that I've gone digital though, I find a lot of issues with the lens that weren't apparent when used with the Elan 7E.

It has a terrible time focusing in anything but the best of light on my 20D. Images are extremely soft wide open and at the longer lengths. Images also exhibit alot of CA. The build quality is decent for a consumer lens. The IS is useful and does work as well as it could given it's the first lens made with it. Oh, I also hate the fact it has no zoom lock.

Again though, the lens does seem to perform well in the right circumstances as I had none of the above issues, or they were much less evident, when shooting film. Well, all except the zoom lock peeve.

I can only recommend this lens if you're shooting film and are on an extremely limited budget and can find a really good deal on one otherwise get the newer 70-300IS or try any thing else that is in that range or has IS if that's what you're after.



Jun 5, 2007
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Steve Krausse
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Registered: Sep 13, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 44
Review Date: Dec 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Inexpensive, light and IS works pretty well for handheld shots.
Cons:
Slow AF, AF hunting, soft at 300MM.

This is the only long lens that I own so I have little to compare it with. I borrowed a friends 200mm L and at 200mm on a tripod I had a hard time telling the difference but this lens is definitely soft at 300mm. I bought mine used and would have been disappointed if I had paid full price for it but for what I paid I feel that it is a decent lens. If you shoot motion or low light this is probably not the lens you need. It is terribly slow to focus and hunts in low light or backlit situations. I use the manual focus more the half the time because it can't decide what to focus on. The IS makes it pretty good for handheld shots in decent lighting. Living in the Colorado mountains, I am fortunate that we have very bright sunlight! If you can get one used in good condition it has made a good starter lens for me and its shortcomings have shown me a lot about what to look for in a good telephoto/zoom in the future.

Dec 6, 2006
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vwoning
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Registered: Jul 31, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 2
Review Date: Sep 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Sharp, light, image stabilization works very well, decent build quality.
Cons:
Focus is reasonably quick but it hunts in low contrast or low light situations.

I bought my 75-300 IS USM from a local dealer as-is. It was an unboxed trade-in. At the time the retail on a new copy was $960: I was there to buy one. By quirk of fate a guy had just had this lens brought over (to the location I shop at) to look at, and he passed on it! I snapped it up at $550. I felt like I'd stolen it.

The lens is sharp, the focus is accurate, and the color excellent. It did exhibit chromatic aberrations on things like water droplets in the sun, but those were easily fixed in post-processing. It has nice bokeh, especially when doing macro. Having used the non-is version of the 75-300, I enjoy its nicer feel and overall build quality.

The only complaint I have is the focus is a bit slow, and in low contrast or low light levels it will either hunt, or refuse to focus at all. On the other hand, in decent light, when coupled with an extension tube, it focuses on small subjects accurately enough that I seldom have to manually focus it.

For birding it was amazingly sharp, but it doesn't produce decent panning results unless you remember to switch off the IS (I never remember to).

I'd buy it all over again. Technically, I did. I gave my copy to my girlfriend and grabbed the generation 2 version (the 70-300 IS USM). I bought that one new for $699 CAD. It's outstanding! Faster, more accurate focusing and better color. I figure my girlfriend will have the 75-300 for a long, long time.


Sep 27, 2006
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MARTHIN
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Registered: Apr 18, 2005
Location: Brazil
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fantastic sharp, colors, IS, size
Cons:
Slow AF

I love this lens. Great performance.

Jul 17, 2006
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gberger
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Registered: Apr 29, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 230
Review Date: May 6, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $349.00 | Rating: 5 

 
Pros: Inexpensive, IS is nice, if you work around its shortcomings you can get good results.
Cons:
Slowest AF in the west (or any other direction). Hunts endlessly in low light. Can't depend on AF for shooting birds. Soft at 300mm unless you put it on a tripod and stop down almost all the way.

This lens is a real mixed bag, which should not be a surprise given the low price. It is soft at 300mm, as others have noted, unless mounted on a tripod and stopped down to f22. Under those conditions it's actually not bad. I've also gotten some pretty good shots of birds while handholding it, thanks to the IS.
However, it has let me down big time more than once. Focus hunting in low contrast lighting is a MAJOR issue, and has cost me more than one shot. In addition, focus speed can be SLOWWWW... Sure, you can switch to manual focus, but why should you have to? Isn't this the AF age?
Overall, it's not an awful lens, but it's not a great one either. If you are careful with it you can get some great shots. But I can see myself getting tired of fighting with it and working around its weaknesses as time goes by. Using a lens in this focal length and these slow maximum arpertures is tough enough without the added problems of slow focus and endless hunting. My advice would be save your money and get a better lens, either a Canon L series or one of the better Tamron lenses. If you are dead set on one of these, you can buy mine.


May 6, 2006
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jporter12
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Registered: Dec 5, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 19
Review Date: Feb 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: IS is great, fairly light.
Cons:
Slow aperature

I bought this lens used, in new condition. I LOVE the IS! The lens feels pretty solid. I have a few good shots that I've taken with this lens, but the slow , variable aperature just doesn't work out for me. I found that this lens doesn't get all that much use. I am replacing it with a 70-200 f2.8 lens. I will greatly miss the IS, since I cannot afford the Canon 70-200 IS.

Feb 15, 2006
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Irish Setter
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Registered: Sep 16, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $440.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: IS, Zoom Range, sharpness, saturation, light weight
Cons:
Small max aperture, no zoom lock

Very nice lens if your don't have $20,000 of primes to which you can compare it. If you travel and use your photos to tell a story, this lens works wonderfully well -- its light, its flexible, and it makes superb photos.

Very cost effective lens for non-professionals. I've gotten great shots of birds on my 350D with this lense. People like the photos I've made with it.

I recommend use of the lens hood in full sun at anything less than a 90 degree incidence angle. (Actually. I recommend using a hood for most lenses under the same conditions.)


Feb 11, 2006
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Califfoto
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Registered: Dec 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 26
Review Date: Dec 18, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: $150.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: I agree with most of the people above. The positive aspects of the product is that it is pretty affordable if you don't get too picky on the speed. However, the slow speed can somtimes give a nice effect e.g. http://califoto.my-expressions.com/archives/2186_1665899495/56784
Cons:
I used i for some portraits, and they mostly came out too soft

I agree with most of the people above. The positive aspects of the product is that it is pretty affordable if you don't get too picky on the speed. However, the slow speed can somtimes give a nice effect e.g. http://califoto.my-expressions.com/archives/2186_1665899495/56784

I used i for some portraits, and they mostly came out too soft


Dec 18, 2005
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Asmodeous
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Registered: Aug 9, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 139
Review Date: Aug 9, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: Image stabiliser, build quality.
Cons:
Slow focus, focus hunt, Very soft at long end.

Not a great lens.

The focus speed will drive you nuts. By the time it locks onto a flying bird, the bird has already landed and gotten comfortable in its nest.
In this case, USM stands for ultra slow mechanism.

Its also very soft the longer you zoom it. At 75-200mm it is good. 200-250mm needs to be kept on a F8 or lower leash.
At 250 - 300mm, just expect soft focused pictures.
Forget using any teleconvertor with it as well. I used to have 2x, which I sold. On a manfrotto tripod, 500ms shutter at 300mm + the TC on a stationary object, it was horribly blurred. Like I was handholding at 60ms with IS off and half drunk.

On the other hand, the build quality is good. Mine has taken a few knocks and survived them all. No zoom creep and the manual focus ring is large and easy to make small adjustments with.
The image stabiliser really works. I have often hand held this down to 60ms at 250mm. The lens needs it. at 250mm at F8, you wont get fast shutter speeds so in a way, the IS helps overcome the lens short comings.

I hope to upgrade this lens ASAP. It was great when I first started, but compared to my other lens, it is now the weakest link.



Aug 9, 2005
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vpnman
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Registered: Jul 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Price and zoom ability
Cons:
Slow AF, primitave IS - noisy

I've had this lens for approx 1 week and love the 300mm end of the zoom. It's great (for me) when wanting to shoot and not being able to get close enough with the stock 18-55 lens (a joke, but part of the EOS 20d bundle).

I'd recommend this lens for anyone on a tight budget. I'm looking at upgrading to the Canon EF 70-300 DO IS USM, but don't know if it's worth the extra $700.


Jul 19, 2005
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tritone
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Registered: Jul 5, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 7
Review Date: Jul 5, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $439.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cheap IS telephoto lens! I was REALLY impressed at what I could do with this lens and the quality of some of the images. Its a fabulous value if you keep the limitations in inconsideration and know how to use a lens this long properly.
Cons:
It is slow to focus, and looks a little goofy at 300 when the zoom extends...

I gave this lens a workout this past 4th of July weekend. I'll be posting photos on my website at http://www.socci.com eventually.

I expected mediorce quality hand held, but the IS really works. The color and sharpness in most of the images are quite respectable. 300mm does get a little bit soft, but it is usable.

Technique with long lenses takes practice. Even with an IS lens, the use of a tripod (IS turned off), stopping down, understanding flare, etc are important to getting a great image.

Depth of field is shallow with a long lens - one must understand the proper use of such a long lens to ge the most out of it.

focus speed is slow, but I have no issues with manual focusing when necessary. I often prefer manually metering and focusing depending on the subject.

If you are looking for fast focusing and the best all around performance, I'd look into a 2.8 L - but this like comparing a luxery sports car to an economy model that can do *almost* everything just as well with a little bit more skill required.


Jul 5, 2005
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Netgarden
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Registered: Jan 6, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2547
Review Date: Jul 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Decent size, not too heavy for hand held. Reasonable price for those who don't need to use a 300mm very often but want one for trips, etc. Clarity better than expected.
Cons:
Doesn't hunt flying birds well. But I got some great handheld wildlife shots otherwise. Not great in low light, but what is at this length, other than an L prime?

This lens is better than I expected after reading the reviews. I have a few practice shots, and some full size crop/unprocessed shots here:[pg 1 and 2]

http://netgarden.smugmug.com/gallery/542515/2/22541024

also got this low light at 300mm of a bear in Yosemite, hand held:
http://netgarden.smugmug.com/photos/25298459-O.jpg

Does well in bright light, higher shutterspeeds and aps, and really did the job for me. I don't use a tripod, and needed the IS for that, 300mm for occasional wildlife shots. I shoot in the Shutter mode for more clarity. Definately does not compare to an L, but suffices, for those who don't want huge lenses.

Works for me until I decide to shoot alot more bird and fast wildlife shots. Doesn't hunt birds well. I compensate for focus on the bird with a still shot focus and then capture at high shutterspeed as it takes off.




Jul 1, 2005
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chrislocksley
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Registered: Apr 6, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 27, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: IS helps in low light and awkward shots
Cons:
As sharp as melted cheese! Awful and mostly unusable at most apertures.

Compare this to the infinitely cheaper Sigma 70-300 Super Macro II and you would think the Sigma cost £300 more. The IS no wawy compensates for it. If I had nothing to compare it with I would say it was OK, but a £160 Sigma blows it away on all settings - save your money!

Jun 27, 2005
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karl_burns
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Registered: Feb 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 157
Review Date: Jun 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $380.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharpness at 5.6 and more open, IS rocks
Cons:
Not quite as clear wide open, but not many lenses are

I bought this lens from another FM'er. I shoot lots of zoom at weddings (either ceremony or candids) and wanted to be far away from the subjects to really capture the moment. I also like to shoot natural light and was pretty hesitatn only having F4, and 5.6 fully zoomed. I have shaky hands to begin with, so without IS these shots have never turned out.
I shoot with a lot of 2.8 glass, but since this lens has IS, I can slow down the shutter and still get lots of usable light.
I did a side by side with this lens and the 70-200L. At F4, the L wins in clarity. At 5.6 and 8, the two lenses are almost identical. Definitely identical to clients. At F11, the L starts to bring out more clarity again.
So, if you can't drop the $800+ for the L, buy this and PS a little saturation into your pics to mimic the L color.
I'm very pleased with this lens.


Jun 22, 2005
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Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
58 182556 Jul 19, 2011
Recommended By Average Price
76% of reviewers $1,439.74
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
6.81
7.04
6.5
ef75_300_1_


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