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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 182871 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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Canonfan
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Registered: Aug 27, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3002
Review Date: Sep 14, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Good range for the price, IS, not heavy.
Cons:
Soft wide open, very soft after 200mm unless you stop down a lot

While this lens doesn't have the fastest AF in the world, I find it to be adequate for sports. At full telephoto the lens is very soft until f/8, and still soft until f/11, not getting optimum sharpness until f/16. At 200mm and below, the lens is good from f/8 and higher. IS is a great feature. Considering the price it's a good lens.

Sep 14, 2004
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dacop
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Registered: Jun 23, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 592
Review Date: Jul 10, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $430.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great lens for the price. Good image quality. IS is great.
Cons:
Images are not as sharp when fully extended. Slow focus.

Image quality is good except for softness at full range. The IS works great and I know this because I owned a similar lens without IS and I saw the difference...blur. If you can afford a better lens go for it, but this lens will get the job done for the most part.

Jul 10, 2004
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chinks
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Registered: Jun 18, 2004
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 266
Review Date: Jul 7, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $340.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: IS is great! Found out all the blur shots from before needn't have been!
Cons:
Optically no better than the non IS versions. Costs a lot more than the non IS versions. Not an L lens. Gyros clicking on and off can be annoying sometimes. Focus slow.

Bought mine used. Optical quality no better than non IS versions plus this one costs much more. Edge quality drops, chromatic abberations againts high contrasts. Soft at 300mm.

Question is, "Is it worth the extra?" Why yes! Found out make blurred shots I had in the past at 300mm needn't have been. Found out I don't need to lug an extra tripod around. Good range zoom. May be soft at 300mm, but still better than a 300mm L without IS handheld, for me.


Jul 7, 2004
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cgregb
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Registered: Apr 3, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jul 5, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $170.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Range, reach, stabilization, bang for the buck
Cons:
Slow (f/4 best), not real sharp, especially at the long end

I bought this last November at Ritz for 169.95, I just checked the receipt...again! Use it to shoot indoors from the back of a church and take pictures of persons on stage (head shots). With a tripod and a little luck, I get outstanding results for a consumer grade lens.

Have used it outdoors for rugby games ( in Phoenix AZ) and it works very well with good light. Under cloudy skies, it hunts a bit to focus and it is slow. Pictures are very good, though.

This is a lens for amateurs, not pros. It is very good value for the money, but not the best pictures you can get. With the stabilization and autofocus, this lens made me, an amateur, look good.

Consider this lens a stepping stone into your future. Very good results for an amateur, and will point up the reasons that you really may need to go to "L" glass.

Note: Looking at the prices others paid, I think that the Ritz retail store may have mis-marked the price on this lens for me. This was a great deal for me, but if you paid twice the price, I would have to think again. Yes, I do have the IS USM lens.


Jul 5, 2004
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atlantagreg
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Registered: Apr 26, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Review Date: May 28, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $399.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good sharp images (for the price). Decently quick AF on the 10D.
Cons:
For the price, none I can see so far.

Well, after reading the reviews for this lens on here, I guess it's true about the rumor that Canon "secretly upgraded" this lens, because I've not experienced any of the complaints others have posted. I'm using this on a 10D, using center focusing, and a polarized filter - autofocus is working just fine for me, and at the camera's normal speed, too.

Images are just as sharp at least to my eye, as the 28-135 IS lens I use. Now, image stabilization is only going to help you SO much... you still have to have a "reasonably steady hand" at 300mm, or you'll still get some camera shake - maybe this is causing the unsharp comments? Not sure, but I'm happy with it.


May 28, 2004
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Review Date: May 3, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $350.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Price, weight, IS is great
Cons:
soft at 200-300, slow AF

I really like it but wish it wasn't so soft at 300. Not many of my pictures at 300 come out Sad. A buddies P&S 10x zoom camera does better!

May 3, 2004
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drfrank
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Registered: Apr 2, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Review Date: Apr 28, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $414.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Image Stabilization can’t be beat. Color and contrast are very good. . A good lens for the price.
Cons:
Sometimes slow AF

After reading about this lens and all of the problems people were having, I was somewhat concerned when I ordered it. However, now that I have the lens and have used it for a few weeks I am very happy with it.

I am getting sharp photos at 300mm that have very good .color and contrast. I cannot afford an L glass lens at this time and the 75—300mm IS is a a fine substitute. The image stabilization is worth the extra $$ .. I have a a Sigma a 70-300 APO super macro that I no longer use because of camera shake. .

I really like the 75-300 IS and find it a sound investment until the time comes when I can afford the 70-200 2.8 IS L.


Apr 28, 2004
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Location: United States
Review Date: Mar 31, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: IS really works, Good tele zoom range, Relatively light weight
Cons:
Build quality is not great - mine has significant zoom creep, Not as sharp (the gap is significant) when compared to my 200mm F2.8

I got this lens 6 years ago and have used it to shot wild animals in South Africa, Yellowstone and Canadian Rocky. It is light to carry along with, provides good reach at 300mm and gives me usable handheld photos even when I use ISO 100 film. The IS really works.

Recently I got the Canon 85mm F1.8 and 200mm F2.8 prime and they give me much better quality photos. From then on I use them (with the 1.4X extender) as much as I can and only use the 70-300mm when I really have to travel light.

I think this lens is still worth to be in your collection, as IS is great and more importantly, it is not expensive.


Mar 31, 2004
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Ron Filion
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Registered: Feb 10, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 335
Review Date: Mar 31, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $449.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great lens for the money. IS works great. Can easily hand hold down to 1/60.
Cons:
Needs a fair amount of light for stop action photography.

I find this lens to be very good for outdoor shooting. I do a lot of soccer games and using the "sports mode" on my 10D, I found it very acceptable. It's unfair to compare this to the 70-200L lenses as it is about 1/4 the price. For the money this is a GREAT lens!

Mar 31, 2004
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swissboy111
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Registered: Jan 10, 2004
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 43
Review Date: Jan 11, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Image Stabilizer, weight(compare to L-lenses), price
Cons:
very slow autofocus, not really sharp(compare to 70-200 F2.8L IS), moving autofocus ring, only one Image Stabilizer function

I bought this lens for my old EOS 3, and didn't use it a lot.
(CHF 1150.- = US$ 900)

With my new EOS 1D it was easy to really test many lenses.

This 75-300mm IS has a quite good zoom range but, when it get
a little dark, it takes sometimes 2 or 3 seconds to get a correct
autofocus point and sometimes it just doesn't autofocus completely.

The Image Stabilizer works well. You can shoot pictures with 1/30 or
1/60 sec without any problem. But only if the object is not moving. I
compared it to the Function 2 of my 70-200 2.8L IS, which is much
better.

Also the images are not that sharp.

When you work at 300mm/5.6 is not really sharp and quite slow.

If you wanna use this lens i only recommend it between 75-200mm.

It's not an expensive lens and its not white which is sometimes better,
because you get no attraction because of this.

I sold this lens.


Jan 11, 2004
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chris78cpr
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Registered: Aug 27, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 5676
Review Date: Nov 18, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Price, IS, range
Cons:
Zoom creep, Slow autofocus, extends when zooming and focusing, not as sharp as i'd like.

Considering the price and the range it is good value, having IS is a great bonus. This was not as sharp as i hoped for and it was soon replaced by a 70-200F4L and a soon to be added 1.4xTC.

Good lens for a starter but it will leave you wanting and expecting more!

Zoom creep is a big pain, especially with hood attached, goes very long and can get in way.


Nov 18, 2003
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gabrielma
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Registered: Jul 6, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Oct 31, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $230.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Image Stabilization, versatile.
Cons:
Very sloooooow autofocus in less than bright light conditions.

If I had money for the 75-200 f/2.8 L I'd buy it, but since I don't I bought this. The image quality of this lens is somewhere in between the 28-80 II and the 28-135 IS. Apparently my copy is a good one because all the pictures have decent contrast and good sharpness on print. With a 10D 100% crops are acceptable, but not up to par with the quality of, say, the 28-135 IS, which is also acceptable if you're used to L glass, and beautiful if you're used to such bad lenses as the 35-80, the 28-90, or Vivitar/Phoenix brands.

I sold my Tamron 70-300 LD Macro for this one because of the IS. I'm not used to focal lengths longer than 200mm, and without the IS I'd need a 400 or 800 ISO in moderately lighted conditions.

The focus is painfully slow, and will not work with low light, but overall this is a good performer, but don't expect too much from it. I like it, but again, if I had the money, I'd get a real lens and get the 70-200 L f/2.8


Oct 31, 2003
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milldoh
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Registered: Oct 2, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 56
Review Date: Oct 2, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: IS, price, light weight, performance between 75-200mm at f/8-f/16
Cons:
AF leaves much to be desired, soft above ~200mm, poor performance wide open (to be expected), can't handle action shots, no full time manual focusing

If you're looking for a lens that can handle fast action, this ain't it. It's pretty much useless for all sports, save for miniature golf.

The AF can take a second or more to lock on and occasionally will not focus at all, even on high contrast scenes.

The IS is nice and along with the price is the best feature of this lens.

After 2 weeks, I returned this lens in favor of the Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX which has excellent reviews. It's ~$200 more and you lose the 75-100 range and the IS, but it's faster at the longer focal lengths and can handle the action I need it to... without breaking the bank.

The specs make this lens a decent value, but I'd recommend it only for beginning photographers on a budget who will use the lens for static images.

Other good value lenses to consider before this include the outstanding Canon 70-200 f/4L (with 1.4 TC if you need the additional range) and the Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX. Yes, they're a little more expensive, but you'll reap the rewards in terms of AF speed and overall image quality.


Oct 2, 2003
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Giri
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Registered: Jan 2, 2003
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 177
Review Date: Aug 25, 2003 Recommend? no | Price paid: $590.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Price, Focal range, IS
Cons:
Soft and Sloooow AF

It is not bad 75-300 Zoom for the price what I paid for. But I didn’t get the sharpness what I want. I could not live with this slowest auto focusing zoom lens and I am happy that I sold it.

Aug 25, 2003
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Gochugogi
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Registered: Jun 25, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 9785
Review Date: Aug 21, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: very sharp from 75 to 200mm and IS feature is amazingly effective
Cons:
Slow AF, flimsy build quality for the bucks and pincushion distortion at long end

I bought this zoom in 1999 as a replacement for my EF 100-300 4.5-5.6 USM. It's slightly larger and heavier than the EF 100-300 4.5-5.6 USM, tipping the scales at 670 g (1.5 lb). The zoom action is a little coarse, i.e., it isn't not as smooth as the other telezoom. Unfortunately, it is prone to zoom creep. When used on sunny days, the plastic parts expand and make the lens feel loose. The manual focus ring is a nice size but feels loose and gritty, as if Canon added sand to the gear train.

A Micro Ultrasonic Motor drives the heavy front lens group and, thus, AF is painfully slow compared to the ring-type USM and internal focus of the EF 100-300 4.5-5.6 USM. The front element turns and the barrel extends/contracts during focus making use of polarizer filters frustrating. Furthermore, the AF mechanism lacks a clutch--primitive for an expensive lens--and, hence, the manual focusing ring rotates during AF. Watch your fingers! It lacks FT-M so you must flip a switch before manually focusing. If you want to prefocus manually, forget it because there is no distance window. The filter size is a modest 58 mm, making filters affordable and easy to share with common Canon lenses.

This is a good lens for the Elan series or D30/60/10D. It isn't as well suited for pro EOS cameras, e.g., EOS 1V or 1D, as the variable aperture of F4.5 to 5.6 is too slow to activate their cross AF sensors.

Stopped down to F8 to 16, images are very sharp and contrasty from 75 to 150, but get softer as you approach 300. However, image quality is fine for 11 x 14 prints (slight color fringing may be apparent at larger magnifications). The main problem at the long end is pincushion distortion. It's noticeable when shooting straight lines near the edges of the frame, e.g., ocean horizons or architecture. The EF 100-300 4.5-5.6 USM is better in this respect. Although flare is reasonably well controlled for a zoom, flare and ghosting will occur if you shoot bright sunsets, more so than the EF 28-105 USM. Hazy sunsets come out fine.

The ET64II lens shade is massive and should be used at all times. When installing the lens shade (it twists on), hold the manual focusing ring tightly so that the barrel won't turn (or turn off AF), otherwise you may damage the AF motor or gear train. Nevertheless, the AF motor in my lens failed and was replaced during the last month of the one year warranty.

This would be just another an average 75-300 lens without Image Stabilization (IS). However, IS sets this lens apart from other telezooms. Small gyro sensors coupled to a CPU detect the degree and direction of camera shake and counteract this vibration by moving a compensating optical group. IS allows me to get sharp pictures two to three stops below my normal hand holding shutter speed. Racked out to 300 mm, I can consistently nail sharp images while hand holding at 1/60 sec., 1/30 if I brace myself. The IS mechanism in this lens emits a soft "grinding" noise, kind of like a muffled electric shaver. IS in my EF 28-135 IS USM is nearly inaudible.

Image Stabilization is not just for low light conditions, it helps eminently in any high vibration situation such as high wind, airplanes, automobiles or boats. When windy, I use Image Stabilization with a tripod mounted camera and it makes a major improvement in sharpness.

Remember the old saying, "bad love is better than no love?" This lens reminds me of a bad girlfriend I had trouble breaking up with. I hate the lack of ring-type USM, internal focus, FT-M and the distance window, but I can't live without the IS feature. Why couldn't Canon have just updated the EF 100-300 4.5-5.6 USM design with IS? That zoom has much better ergonomics and performance features, it just lacks IS. I guess Canon designed it that way so you'll be impelled to upgrade to the $1600 EF 100-400 IS USM L.


Aug 21, 2003
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Lars Johnsson
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Registered: Jun 29, 2003
Location: Thailand
Posts: 33649
Review Date: Jul 24, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Image quality, Inexpensive, IS, Light in weight
Cons:
Zoom creeps, AF Slow, No USM

The image quality is pretty good for an inexpensive zoom. It's nice to have IS. But the lens extend a lot when zooming, and it rotate when autofocus. Also a creeping zoom.

Jul 24, 2003
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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 182871 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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