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Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
68 339123 Feb 23, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
90% of reviewers $2,073.47
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.74
8.24
9.1
ef28-300_35-56lisu

Specifications:
A handy, compact zoom lens for versatile and easy subject selection while travelling, etc. The highest optical performance in its class, plus the convenience of focusing as close as 2.3 feet over the entire zooming range. A powerful ring-type USM drive provides silent, high-speed autofocusing, plus the wide zooming range provides an easy, enjoyable picture-taking experience.


 


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Matt Kerby
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Registered: Jun 9, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 511
Review Date: Feb 23, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,000.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Focal length, build, sharpness, IS
Cons:
Weight....and... every once in a while, when the AF misses, the AF hunt from near to far and back to the focal point can be frustrating if you don't use the limiter. (So, I usually do)

Love love love this lens. I just got back from Oahu yesterday where I used this lens almost exclusively. I mean, I brought my 16-35 and 50L just in case....and did use them some...But most of the time this lens handled things on it's own...

If you don't like to lug a heavy lens, don't get this...It feels almost as heavy as my old 300/2.8IS...That said, to me, THAT, is the only negative aspect.

The lens is sharp through the range, sorry to the reviewers who's lens isn't sharp at 300mm...(Mine is) The IS is VERY handy with this lens because the aperture is a bit slow. The AF is as fast as any L lens in my bag, and except for the travel during AF mentioned above, is superior in accuracy, speed and feel (and/or sound).

I always wanted this lens, but thought of it more as a luxury...It is, in fact a luxury but the versatility has made it a necessity now. If you have the means, and you don't mind a little weight. grab this lens and set your backpack free!!


Feb 23, 2013
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Gunzorro
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Registered: Aug 27, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 6687
Review Date: Sep 26, 2012 Recommend? | Price paid: $1,700.00

 
Pros: Amazing range and IQ. Great rendition of skin tones, with great tonal transition. Built like a tank.
Cons:
Obviously it's heavy and bulky! :) You know that going into it!

I bought used and consider this one of the best deals I've gotten and it is one of my very favorite lenses. I know this goes against the "prime crowd", but I find this lens so very useful for covering events and activities. It is an amazing "people lens" with great skin tones and soft transitions of edges -- but still a very sharp lens.

Can be used wide open with good results -- that's why it's an "L".

Coupled with the 16-35L II, there are very few tasks these two lenses can't handle.

Works best on a large 1D-series or 5D-series with battery grip.


Sep 26, 2012
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Gunzorro
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Registered: Aug 27, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 6687
Review Date: Jun 27, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super-versatile! Great color and perfect contrast for people and events. Build quality is impressive.
Cons:
Weight and size, but not like having five other lenses to replace it! :) And not like I didn't know it was going to be BIG.

Bury me with this lens!

Scratch that -- I don't want this gem to get cremated, or moldering underground. Smile

One of the most expensive Canon L lens I've owned, even if I did buy it used. (I don't own or need any of the really expensive long telephoto "L's".) The only lens I have that is in that range is the 24 TS-E II, and it is less by several hundred. Both these lenses are show-stoppers, and indispensible to me.

Much/most of my income these days is from events of varioius kinds, and until now, I've gotten by very well with the 24-70L. But this lens on a full frame camera is just an ideal combination. Skin tones are so fantastic, and the IS is amazing.

I originally had the 35-350L, and would have kept that except for the lack of IS, and I do appreciate the wider 28mm. But if the 35-350 had IS, I would used it with the 16-35L II. Now, I really only need this 28-300 and I'm good for all sorts of activities.

The single most valuable lens for me making money at photography.


Jun 27, 2012
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x_tan
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Registered: Jun 17, 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 6
Review Date: Jun 30, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: The BEST All-In-One Travel Lens
Cons:
IQ is 'soft' compare to 24-105L; Too 'soft' compare L Primes!

This is the best all-in-one L lens from Canon. As long as you keep the aperture under f/8, the photos should be sharp.

I always use it handhold with 5D2, I have many great travel photos from this wonderful lens.


Jun 30, 2011
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zejer
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Registered: Apr 19, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 48
Review Date: May 23, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:



May 23, 2011
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JORDI350D
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Registered: Dec 7, 2005
Location: Spain
Posts: 31
Review Date: Mar 8, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very Sharp taking consideration of the range. Stabilizer. Range. Full frame.
Cons:
A little bit intrusive for traveling.

Hi:

This lens suprised me after some bad comments about it.
I bought it because there is unique option of all terrain in FF cameras with some quality.
I cannot be happier with it. Maybe I am very lucky with the unit that I have, but comparing with other great lenses as 70-300L and others, it is very dificult to diference one picture made in both lense, even the 28-300 was shaper than the 70-300 at 7 mts of distance target; I repeat several times the shoots because I could not believe it after seeing PZ test or others. This lens only fault a little bit in a shorter distances that 1.5 mts, where it is not very sharp. I do not know why, but my first test comparing with the 300F4IS that were at these distances make me cry about why I bought it. After doing same tets at longer distances I was very happy to buy it. After a travel by Asia, I think that it is with a diference the best travel lense. Even the stabilizer works very good at 300 with lower speeds of 1/30; just INCREDIBLE.

BR

Jordi


Mar 8, 2011
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Dan Thiessen
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Registered: Aug 1, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 535
Review Date: Mar 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent build quality, push pull zoom is very fast, sharp from 28mm all the way to 300mm.
Cons:
A little heavy, but not too heavy. Big price, but what do you expect for a zoom with this range and quality?

Wow, what a beautiful lens! It is a tad heavy, but not as heavy as I thought it would be. This lens produces sharp photos on my 7D all the way from 28mm through 300mm with excellent color and contrast. I highly recommend this lens if you're looking for something that gives a huge focal range without sacrificing image quality.

Mar 5, 2011
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SanjMaghera
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Registered: Jun 8, 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 13, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superb optics, stabliser very effective at 300mm, L series contrast and colour, very robust, excellent companion for travel with a 5d Mark II set to auto-ISO and a 50mm f1.8 for low light/crowded places
Cons:
Big and Heavy, there are occassions when i prefer to swap this for a 50mm f1.8, e.g when taking travel picks in a souk/market/heavily crowded area...people tend to be happier posing in front of small lens and get a bit scared of the "big one". Not so great in low light, mainly as you end up using higher ISOs.

I've used a number of large lenses with my 5d Mark II, initially I had a used 35-350L which was great until the internal optics went wrong, fortunately under warranty so I got my money back. I then went for a Sigma 50-500 but it 50mm wasn't wide enough to make it truely versatile, i still had to change lenses occassionally which defeated the objective of having a high quality lens for 90% of occassions while travelling. Also at the long end, anything over 200mm, I quickly realised I needed IS to help me get sharp shots without compromising on ISO too much. So has the 28-300L helped? In a word, "yes!". I was hopeful yet realistic about the aspirations of a one size fits all lens...but this one really delivers. I took it to india and loved the fact I could take high quality pics at all focal lengths, everything pin sharp and with great colour/contrast/detail. The high price was less of an issue for me as I got mine used and px'd a bunch of other lenses. For me the only downside is the shear size and weight...and I managed to get around that by using small domke shoulder bag which just about fits the 5d mk ii + 28-300, plus a small flash and a 50mm f1.8...suprisingly portable once its all packed up - made it brillian for my trip to india. Only time's I didn't use it were at night time or in very crowded places where I didn't want to show everyone what a nice lens I had...for those times I used the 50mm f1.8. Check out some pics here, people seem to like the taj mahal ones in particular: http://www.flickr.com/photos/39513905@N06/sets/72157625520846842/

Dec 13, 2010
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GeoffreyLI
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Registered: Jan 11, 2009
Location: China
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 29, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: a definite universal purposes lens working from macro to landscape; wide-angle to tele-photo; shape image
Cons:
heavy

I need a muilt-purposes len for my trip to a rainforest. Macro ability of the len is also a MUST for me. Wow! The image of moths and damselflies which I got, all are razor sharp. Besides its macro ability, using a PL filter to shoot landscape photos, the tone comes out is also very rich and pleasure. The performance of this len is really out of my expectation. If you do not mind its weight, I highly recommend it; or you need to use it together with monopod as a compromise.

Nov 29, 2010
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cerbra
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Registered: Sep 29, 2010
Location: Romania
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 29, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: One lens does it all! and it comes with the red ring around it. Good IS. Push/Pull zoom (could also be a negative aspect for some)
Cons:
Not so sharp. Bulky/heavy

I bought this lens so that I could have just one for traveling.
I was not disappointed at all. I got an awesome zoom range, fully stabilized and with a superb build quality.

I would recommend it mainly for a full frame !


Sep 29, 2010
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sbstreater
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Registered: Aug 24, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 6
Review Date: Aug 5, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremely versatile: works well from bees to landscapes, from wide-angle groups to zoomed in faces. Image stabilisation works very well. Also, about 15kg lighter to carry than my kids.
Cons:
F gets to 5.6 quite quickly, so not good for indoor or low light shots. Doesn't work with extenders, so what you see is what you get.

My first high quality camera was the Canon 5D Mk II, which came with the surprisingly good 50mm F1.8. The 28-300 was my next lens. I didn't fully appreciate it until I got some more lenses. Superb flexibility and everything just worked.

It's only more recently since I've got the 70-200mm F2.8 that I realised how much the ISO rating took up the strain of the F5.6 limit on indoor shots. But then, 70mm is a bit long for these, so even then I miss the 28mm end of the 28-300mm.

My nearest improvement to this single lens is a combination of F50 1.2L for wide angle (I'm a bit short of lenses at the wide end!), the in-comparison-narrow-zoom-range 70-200 F 2.8 for low light and x2 extender for longer reach.

Conclusion: for a one-lens holiday, this is the one.


Aug 5, 2010
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Donald Gray
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Registered: Nov 12, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2286
Review Date: Feb 14, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: The ultimate in Point & Shoot. A perfect all rounder. IQ good
Cons:
Heavy. Locking ring takes two hands at times to release it

I am a crazy type of photographer. If it moves, I will photograph it! If it doesn't move, I will photograph it!!!

The lens is not the absolute sharpness I had hoped for, for the price, however it is a perfect all rounder and the sharpness & IQ is more than adequate for my needs. The IS must be brilliant - I shoot a lot at 300mm hand held & haven't noticed any with camera shake!

The weight is a problem. On a cheap tripod, forget it! I am in the process of sourcing a more sturdy support. I was also accosted by a well known professional French photographer recently who gave me dire warnings of the strain on the camera mounting bayonet. On investigating it, I am reliably informed by many FMers here that it is not an issue.

However in an effort to make carrying a Canon 2D Mk ll + 28~300mm beast a little more comfortable I have purchased an 'R' Strap for it. (An RS-5) . The R Strap fits on to the mounting shoe of the lens itself. I recon Canon should supply an R strap with every copy of this lens Smile


Feb 14, 2010
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dallasjj
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Registered: Feb 7, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Feb 7, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Great close focus capability, push-pull zoom, great zoom range, fast focus acquisition
Cons:
Weight,

I have used this lens effectively for weddings and have been thankful for its zoom range and sharpness. On a full frame 5D and now 5D Mk II it pulls back for table shots and groups and has the reach to grab a candid across the room. The 3.5 -5.6 capability has not been an issue for wedding reception and event photography. Faster glass would probably be more appropriate for the actual wedding unless you can use flash.
I recently took it to the Everglades mounted on the 5D Mk II and shot it up against my 7d with a 100-400. I was surprised to find when all images were dumped to a common folder and ranked this lens accounted for about 80% of my top ranked keepers. Part of this success could be the 5D vs. the 7D, not really a fair fight.
As birding lenses go this would probably not be a first choice for most but at Shark Valley in the Everglades the huge (6'+) wing spans of the great egrets and storks at 4' to 40' range demand the wide end and close focus ability of this lens. See samples at: http://dallasjj.smugmug.com/Animals/Birds/Shark-Valley-February-2010/11165438_kHpDC#782608537_wxM2A.


Feb 7, 2010
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eraneran70
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Registered: Apr 16, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 10, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,000.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Great outdoor or well lighted scenery, will cover all my photo needs, from family to profesional sunjects. nice macro. All lenses in one lense
Cons:
Heavy wight(all the lenses in one), heavy in price :) The wife jokes that i need this zoom to prove... ;)
Jan 10, 2010
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joelypolly
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Registered: Mar 29, 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 1
Review Date: Nov 2, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Very good image quality
Cons:
Heavy

Here are some more sample photos with the 77mm B+W Circular Polarising Filter attached. It is probably the best filter for day time photography with the 28-300mm.

Sunset in Shanghai


Nov 2, 2009
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jmponfil
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Registered: Mar 11, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 682
Review Date: Jul 28, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ , size and weight
Cons:
Doesn't work well withTCs

This lens has great IQ except at 400, where there is a drop off. I find that pulling back to around 390 makes a huge difference in IQ. Great lens and covers a wide range!

Jul 28, 2009
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Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
68 339123 Feb 23, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
90% of reviewers $2,073.47
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.74
8.24
9.1
ef28-300_35-56lisu


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