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

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66 361303 Feb 23, 2013
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89% of reviewers $2,073.47
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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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Registered: May 25, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp pictures,Stylish looks Versatile lense

Few years ago I thought to do digital photographs are only "plastic" and not a skill.Since I bought the Canon A70 and then my CANON EOS 30D, I never looked back.

I will soon get the 1D Mark III when the "ship arrives" !!

All of you guys who complain about HEAVYNESS and PRICE, QUALITY DOESN'T COME CHEAP !! and also the amount of glass inside is worth the price.

I bought it second hand at in London UK and can say they are VERY good with their service!!

I use this lense on my CANON EOS 30D along my Canon 70-200F2.8 IS and Canon 17-40mm L and have great results with it. A friend came and visit me,bought her the CANON EOS 30D very cheap on and we set off for pictures. I had the 70-200mm and she the 28-300mm. Where I could not do the wide angle part,she shot it and most of her pics been better than mine!! Keep in mind she have an eye for art LOL.

I do not have any primes (YET!!) but will have to do a disection of tests to see if I can replace this lesne with something else.

I also do a lot of landscapes and when I leave the Canon 17-40mm L at home,this lense rocks.

Some of you complaining about push-pull zooming.Get used to it and learn to enjoy QUALITY in a lense. It is much faster to zoom than my Canon 70-200F2.8 IS between 70 and 200 because I addapt quickly to any zoom.

I took some shots at Eastbourne in the UK and was very surprised what it can do when zooming into a hidden spot when looking on the screen of the Canon 30d.

People also complain about the white coating,why don't you guys just get a camo net and attach it when you do your bird or wild life photography?
This white lense with the red line just seem to work out for me and people easily show respect when you arrive with this type of coloured lense. They will quickly see that you have QUALITY and will even ask for your business card,keep one at hand when you do take holiday snaps. I will later replace the Canon 17-40mm 2.8 L for either the Canon 16-35mm 2.8L or the Canon 24-70mm 2.8L or just get both of them.

Enjoy the snapping!!

You can contact me at to get email and mobile numbers.

Cheers guys and Girls.

Henning Ras

Jul 15, 2008
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Registered: Jan 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 133
Review Date: Apr 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Zoom range, Image Quality, IS, Build Quality
White color, funny hood, push-pull zoom

Fantastic zoom range on FF body. High image quality is a wonderful surprise. It's not a 'travel zoom' as the zoom range suggests, although it can work beautifully as one, if size and weight isn't a concern. It's in fact a terrific choice for studio portrait, event, and even product photography, anything that requires ultimate composition flexibility and high image quality.

On 1.6X you would need a 18-200IS to work the same way. Otherwise 42mm equivalent is a limit for wide angle situations.

The hood is very funny, so small that it looks like a decoration. You should really leave it at home.

Not a huge fan of the push-pull zoom action, but it doesn't seem to be an issue for this lens. The 100-400 is a 'dust pump' according to some users. This 28-300 is probably better sealed.

Not a good choice for street photography if you attempt to remain discreet in the background, due to the size and white color. A good tool to impress your client, on the other hand. Smile

Apr 14, 2008
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Buy and Sell: On

Registered: Aug 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 4223
Review Date: Dec 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Optics Range Build Versatility

This lens is in a class by itself, a no-compromise zoom that provides no-compromise L-quality captures from wide ange to telephoto with few glitches in between.

There is simply no substitute for the Canon 28-300 f/3.5-5.6 L IS. The latest 10X zoom from Tamron with their version of IS is not at all comparable...not even remotely. All other 10X zooms, whether available as separate lenses or affixed to a point-and-shoot, pale by comparison.

While there might be some advantages to lenses like the 70-200 f/2.8L and 70-200 f/4L (IS and non-IS versions), particularly their wider apertures, these lenses are of no value whatsoever if the shot requires a 30mm, 45mm or 55mm focal length. And changing lenses, no matter how fast you are, is all it takes to "miss" a shot...that precious "moment in time." Some carry two cameras with different lenses attached to each. But no matter how you look at it, that's still slower than adjusting a single zoom in a fraction of a second.

The Canon 28-300 is heavy, to be sure, but not as heavy as carrying a 70-200 PLUS a 24-70 or 28-70. And once you've got the lens and camera in hand, you're bag is practically empty! major weight tugging on your shoulder. (ThinkTank, a new camera bag company, makes the perfect bag for the 28-300 plus camera ... a holster-style, their Model 30.)

As others here have noted, images from the 28-300 f/3.5-5.6 L IS are tack sharp, rich in contrast and color and very, very natural looking. I agree with another reviewer who feels that this lens comes into its own a full-frame camera. I use mine on a 5D.

Highly recommended and worth every penny.

Dec 29, 2007
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Registered: Oct 7, 2003
Location: Belgium
Posts: 99
Review Date: Nov 14, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Range, sharp, good colors, good IS
Weight, price

This is the nec plus ultra for zoom lovers, gives you L quality in terms of build and image quality. No more choises to be made, just this lens, and 95% of the shots are covered.
I use it on my 5d, and it is as good as that lens, ofcourse primes or 3x zooms are a tad better, but this one is still very good. I only try to keep it above wide open (f5.6-f8) at 28mm and 300mm, they are the weak spots. But with IS you can go quite low in speed.
Only the weight is a problem, but i get used to it (the bag is empty now, so is the wallet!)
I think this lens gets bashed to often, by people who do not use it, and assume that a 11x zoom is only average (like sigma and tamrons)

Nov 14, 2007
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Steven Park
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Registered: May 29, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 666
Review Date: Oct 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: You can do it all!!!!! Image quality is up there to L standard. Focus & IS is the best among all L lenses that I tried.
Very heavy!!!!! Expensive to buy and expensive to repair!!!!

I had this lense for 1.5 years now. I really love this lense. I just took this lense only for my recent vacation. Despite some negative reviews about IQ on this lense. So far, this lense produced some amazing shots.

I had to take this lense back to Canon recently because of manual focusing ring issue and I guess ,because of the price of this lense, they charged $299 for repair.

But still, this will be the one if I were to keep only one lense.

Oct 29, 2007
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Registered: Jan 13, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1207
Review Date: Oct 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,000.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: This lens is well built and the IS works really well and better than my other IS lens. The lens produces very sharp images through its zoom range
The lens is heavy and the push pull focus takes getting used to and can be annoying in so far as carrying mounted on the camera because if you do not tighten it up, it continually extends. Tightening it up though makes it harder to use in a pinch.

This lens is really quite nice and if you buy into it understanding it is heavy then it lives up to the rest of its specs and actually perfoms better than other F3.5/5.6 lenses I have used. (comparison based on F-mount lenses, not Canon lenses)

One thing I found interesting is that it has a problem with the Nikon CP I used on it. Light was getting trapped between the CP and Lenses and creating out a very washed out look on my images that zapped all the life out of them. I have ordered a new CP and will see if this one works better.

The Push pull zoom is ok when you are in shooting position, one just needs to adjust the friction to their liking. A negative as mentione din the Cons is that unless you tighten up the friction when you are ready to walk around or move to another position, the lens will fully extend.

I have not found any distortion at its wide end of 28MM and very little softness at its longer end, again this is one of the cleanest long zoom range lenses I have used and it works great on a 5D.

Oct 9, 2007
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Registered: Jan 3, 2006
Location: San Marino
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jul 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build Quality!IS 3 generation, universal lens, good quality!
weith, cost, CA in all focal range

Very impressive lens, considering the extreme zoom range!
The quality is good, not optimal but if you fit it in a FF will use forever this lens.
CA are under control, the same i can say for the distortions.

Jul 29, 2007
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Peter Cheuk
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Registered: Nov 29, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 25, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Push-pull type enables extraordinarily fast focusing, strong built, used with Tamron 1.4x gives 420mm still with sharp image, very useful short minimum focusing distance, macro ratio 1:3 at 300mm

I use it with Canon 5D, full-frame, taken over 5000 photos in great variety of situations, from portrait to fast motion, sunset to very low light aquarium, wide angle landscape to 300mm close-up flower photography with its good macro 1:3 ratio. All hand-held.

All images are viewed in Apple iMac 24 inches monitor(1920x1200) , very sharp, even after significant crop-off in re-composition during editing, colour and contrast very good.

Extraordinary versatility comes from a combination of these features at immediate command:

1.28-300mm (420mm with 1.4 converter)
2.short minimum focusing distance allows photographing across dining table;
3. 3 stops IS
4. macro ratio 1:3
5. push-pull allows quick composition
6. with 5D, ISO3200 with good software like Noise Ninja to clean up noise greatly enhances its potential use in low night and fast motion photography

Contrary to a lab lens test result, sharpest aperture is f8 in all focal lengths, f16 shows a noticeable drop in image quality. Wide open is sharp. At 28mm, wide open gives noticeable vignette in full frame and obvious CA, easily corrected in PS though.

The real question is not why and under what circumstances one needs 28-300mm. The logic is, just because you have the immediate command of 28-300mm, you can create a composition which, due to the inconvenience of having to change lens, you would have had hesitation to attempt, even you have the combination of 24-105 and 70-300 DO.

The trade-off of 28-300mm range against image quality, as a trite presumption, actually is academic and negligible for my purpose. I view all my photos in 24-inch monitor, somewhat bigger than A3. It is very misleading to talk about sharpness in vacuum without reference to size and media. And my comment on sharpness is in this context. I find the image quality indistinguishable from my Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS. Sigma 150mm macro is a bit sharper than both at 150mm. Canon 28-300 is excellent and Sigma 150 is very stunning.

I hang it with 5D by a shoulder strap. The weight distributes much to my back. No problem to so hanging it for 10 days trip 7 hours a day. No shoulder and back sour. This point is subjective though.

Work very well with Tamron 1.4. It gives 420mm full frame. Canon 5D AF can work very well at f8 in the light intensity of about 1 hour before sunset in normal weather or not very dark/black/non-contrasty object. Be prepared to lose some contrast but very easily to fix in PS. The resolution is still there and a bit more USM can call it out. It further enhances the macro ratio.

Push-pull for long zoom range is good for quick shooting, like Canon 100-400. (wonderful if Sigma 50-500 is in this design) A ring to adjust tightness. To get ready to shoot at every moment, I always let it in smooth end. Unless I walk in stairs or slope, it will not slip out. Just turn to tight end is fine in such situation. The weight and friction are so perfect that there has never been an accidental slip of focal length during focus. There is no increase in sensor dust in push-pull design in days of continous use. This lens is weather-proof eg. dust and drip proof.

I use it with Sigma 12-24. In changing lens, I just put the whole lens with hood inside Lowepro Toploader 75Aw and then attach the 12-24 on 5D. The 5D with 28-300 can be stored in 75AW. I have a small lens case attaching to the toploader for the popeye. I just let the popeye be ready and sit inside the toploader for immediate lens changing. I also use Lowepro waist strap to shift weight from shoulder and fix the position of the toploader. As such, I have easy command of 12-420 full frame with good macro ratio and short minimum focusing distance photographing across dining table. A perfect combination for family travel with kids.

May 25, 2007
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Registered: May 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 149
Review Date: Mar 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent build quality, fast focusing, incredible zoom range.
Heavy, push-pull design hard to get used to.

I have rented this lens in the past and was very impressed with it. When I saw a minty example for 1,400 USD I bought it without hesitation. I have other lenses like the 24-105, and the 70-200 plus great primes like the 300mm f2.8 lens, but sometimes you just need on zoom that covers everything. Its a lens intended for good light or at least a good strobe. Use this lens at f8 and you won't be disappointed. I can see using this lens with a cropped sensor body like my 30D for shooting sports like golf, NASCAR or track and field. I'll use it to cover Hollywood events like the Oscars with my 1D mk2 1.3x crop camera when I need to take a bunch of photos at different focal lengths very quickly without changing lenses or bodies. At a lot of sporting events you shoot from a fixed spot and this lens will fit the bill perfectly. I wish this had a separate zoom ring instead of the push-pull design. I guess that's not physically possible with the incredible zooming range. I wouldn't say it really replaces any lens and its not my first choice to use, it's more of a luxury item that works great and will pay for itself when needed. It's got everything that Canon is known for: IS, weather sealing, and ultra-sonic fast focusing. It's plenty sharp for magazine work.

Mar 24, 2007
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Registered: Nov 29, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 225
Review Date: Sep 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Most versatile lens one can get. Build quality, range, quality of the images. Did I mention versatility :-)
Push/pull is something to get used to. It's not light by any stretch of imagination.

Own this lens for almost a year and love it. I heard it all: heavy, slow, expensive, makes your SLR into point-shoot, etc. Here is my conclusion: use whatever suites your needs. If you don't mind the weight and push-pull focusing (it took me a couple of days to get used to) - it's a fine piece of glass. It appears that pros get hooked on 2-3 lenses and use them consistently. I'm not a pro by any stretch of imagination, but I found having this lens on my 5D really suffices my needs most (not all) of the time. I had the 24-70, 70-200 IS, and others. They're amazing lenses, but I find my 28-300L indispensable for me. When I hear "slow" or "push/pull" being a problem from the same people who admire 100-400L it sounds slightly hypocritical. When I hear "expensive", my question is: what do you want to pay for a lens covering you from 28mm to 300mm?

Don't want ot make it overly long. If you're on the fence - buy it. If you don't want to carry many lenses on you all the time - buy it. If you're a perfectionist and want to have all primes in your arsenal - this lens is not for you.

Thank for reading.

Sep 6, 2006
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Registered: Aug 3, 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sturdiness (Build, Material, Quality, Feel), Versatile (without compromise on quality), Reasonably fast (based on action photography)
Heavy, Balance (you need a pro body to balance it on a tripod), Expensive, Size.

I made a bold decision to use this 1 lens and I sold off all my other zooms and primes. I believe I'm at the best position to evaluate this lens because for the past 1 year, I've been using this lens for all my applications which includes :

1. Closeup (with closeup filter)
2. Product
3. Nature
4. Travel (to places below zero degree celcius, snowing, strong winds, high humidity almost 90 and at altitude of over 4000m)
5. Mountaineering
6. Events (convocation, D&D, weddings)

The only problem I have besides footing the bill after I impulsively flashes my credit card is the constant weight that I have to bear. Because I only carry this one lens, even when I'm walking around, I must bear this weight as well. But compared to my previous 17-35, 28-70, 70-200 with TC, flashes etc, I'm at least happy that its at a weight that I feel relieve with especially my camera bag have also downsize a bit.

Unless you have a strong forearm like me, you should have a camera strap sling over your neck especially true if you have a 1 series body with power booster. With this lens and a camera, you really can "experience" a whole lot of photographic opportunity.

Last year I actually fly to the same place with the first trip without this lens and the second, the 28-300. The photos taken back from the 2nd trip really broadens my photographic mind as there are far so many things that different focal length can offer at that same moment which changing your lenses would have lost them forever already.

With a very sturdy build, there is no place you cannot carry this lens and afraid that weather will wear it down.

With the IS, I've not experience a lot of battery drain even though I'm using a film body. A couple dozen rolls with IS always on after a few days still keep the battery going and strong.

The IS actually works. At least 3 stops or less. I've handheld at 1/30 and have no problem at all. Bear in mind I use it primarily on film so bluring is definitely a big issue for me.

AF is good but not as solid as the 70-200 f2.8 which I think has one of the fastest and solid AF locking. But I attributed to its large aperture and if you compare apple to apple, the 28-300 will have no problem with that as well.

The push pull has one irritating fact and that is the wind generated because I usually loosen the tension all the way and push pull really fast. Interestingly this air suction does not always generate so much if you do it repeatedly. Its usually the first push or pull that attract the wind, if you do it to track arbituary flying objects, you shouldn't be smacked too much by the wind.

I like to use a monopod with it as its so much more comfortable shooting with it. Just be sure that the head can support it if you are using one.

Aug 3, 2006
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Registered: Apr 4, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Versatile, IS, solid construction, contrast and sharpness are excellent and above average, push-pull zoom
not as sharp as the famous 70-200L IS USM not enough luminous (F2.8 would have been *very* hot) lens hood and pricey

Evaluating a lens is a difficult process. It's always very subjective to everyone and everyone have a different story and or priorities. It always depend on what you are covering...

I have been using 28-300 zoom range for more than 3 years starting with a sigma 28-300 @ 400$. ouch.
After almost 1 year now that I have upgraded for the Canon 28-300L IS USM and here is my two cents about it.

For me, versatility is very important. On a F1 day, a downhill bike competition or at jazz shows, the 28-300 range is always there to back you up. No extra lens, no time wasted to switch lens, always ready to click and snap. This is my trade off between always been ready to snap and the image quality.

But versatility have a cost. The money cost is high on this unit vs its picture quality rating. The weight is also heavy but when I'm covering an event, the weight is personnally my last concern.

Here is my actual priorities about a lens:
1- versatility
2- light sensitivity (apperture)
3- sharpness and contrast (image quality)
4- solid construction (resist light rain and dust)
5- weight

Now if you are looking for the *best* picture, dont buy it and go for a prime lens or the 70-200L IS USM. It simply doesnt compare for the sharpness. Yes the 28-300 L is clean, yes it is sharp, but not as much as the 70-200.

The IS is doing a very good job and I became addict to it. I shot photos at 300mm 1/90s and no shake at all. It DOES work very well. This shot in fact:

The 28-300 L is a lens that you need to adapt yourself to. It have a learning curve to get the most of that lens.

If you are looking for a polyvalent lens with excellent picture quality go ahead you can't go wrong. It is well above the average lens on the market and overall, it's a L lens.

My next buy will be the 100-400L IS USM to gain more zoom.

Apr 4, 2006
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Registered: Apr 4, 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,600.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: versatility, picture quality
weight, accidentally switching of IS and AF settings

I bought this lens as the perfect plane spotting lens, and for that it is really great! I also use it often for "normal" use, but you really draw a lot of attention with it which I normally don't like. Last week I was in Lybia for the solar eclipse, and because I couln't bring my Takahashi telescope, I had to use this lens for picturing the eclipse using my Canon20d. Although 300 mm normally isn't enough for this type of work, the results were so much better than I expected. Better than most people with "real" telescopes. (Focussing margins are very small with these telescopes, I simply stopped down the lens to F16....)
This lens saved my day!! For my next eclipse I might get myself an 600mm Canon L lens.........

Apr 4, 2006
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Registered: Feb 28, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 1, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $2,199.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Wide zoom range
Weight, poor wide angle performance

I purchased this lens along with an EOS 5D body. I have been a big fan of Canon lenses and cameras for many years. (I started with an AT-1 and 50 mm lens). I had really high hopes for this lens since it was an L series lens. After taking several groups of test shots, I am very disappointed with it. I will be returning it on Monday.
As far as the push/pull zoom goes, I think that is a matter of preference. I had a Vivitar series 1 lens that I used on my AT-1 for many years. I found it quite easy to use. I really think that the folks who are complaining about that feature are really nit-picking.
I also have a Rebel 300D with a Tamron 20-300 lens. I used that same lens on my 5D and compared the shots with the L series lens. From 28mm to 70mm, I could barely tell the difference between the lenses. Both of them have a good deal of CA in that range. This was the most disappointing aspect of the L series lens. The L series lens also had way more vignetting in that range. The Tamron has almost none. When you consider the fact that the L lens costs about 5 times as much as the Tamron, it is really a big let down.
Once you get past 70mm, the L lens really begins to shine. It is tack sharp and the CA is almost zilch. However, when you consider the price of the lens, it really sucks that you can't use the full range of the lens. After considering the price and the weight and the poor low end performance of the lense, I just can't recommend it.
After digging around the net a bit more, I found a site that had actually run some tests on this very lens using the DXO software. Their tests are right in line with my experience with this lens. Lots of CA and distortion in the 20-70mm range.
If you want a decent walk around lens, I would save the bucks and get the Tamron 20-300. I love mine.

Apr 1, 2006
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Registered: Feb 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2563
Review Date: Nov 17, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $2,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: focal range, image quality

I was a little worried when I ordered this lens because of some reviews saying the lens was soft at 300mm and distortion at 28mm. I did find a little vignetting wide open at 28mm but goes away slightly stopped down. My first outing was at the zoo and I was really pleased with the flexability and sharpness across the focal range. You can see some pics here The weight doesnt really bother me, just get a good op/tech strap. This is a perfect travel and all around lens.

Nov 17, 2005
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Registered: Jan 24, 2004
Location: South Africa
Posts: 218
Review Date: Oct 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Range, IS, Build , Image quality, Range ,Range
Weight , light drop off

I have to begin by saying I do not think this lens makes much sense on anything but a FF camera. I initially tried it on my 20D and was not convinced of its value
It only comes into it's own if you can use its WA as true WA , otherwise 28mm is not wide enough with any FOV crop camera.

On my 5D this lens is absolutely wonderful , it is pin sharp and is really almost the only lens you need to take out with you to frame just about anything. It makes the 5d (or a 1ds mk II) the heaviest and most expensive point and shoot in the world (but with the best quality) The utility of this lens in composing exactly what you want in miliseconds without lens changes is really the reason to get one , it's close focussing ability right thru the range is another and if you have something like a 5d which is a "dust on the sensor magnet" then not having to change lenses under less than ideal conditions is a boon. Close focussing is particularily effective and 300mm at 70cm (mine seems to focus closer than that?) is great for flowers and suchlike.

The lens is weather sealed , but my camera is not and I doubt I would take out a $5000 combo in really bad conditions to test the lenses ability in this regard. (Im just a hobbyist) For a PJ with a 1ds mkII this must be a killer combo. This lens is heavy , VERY heavy as others have reported , Im no arnie , but It's pretty manageable for me.

At wide open at ANY focal length , it vignettes or has light drop off , especially at the wide end. Compared to a 17-40L at 28 mm at F4 there is just a smidgin more. (my 70-200 2.8 also exhibits this on my 5d but to much lesser degree)
See here for examples
This is not much of a problem in real world conditions and can be fixed in Photoshop or with PT lens or better still in Adobe Camera raw (acr has the best fix imho) Using a flash with this lens at wide open at 28mm is a little more problematic as it seems that the flash has spotlit the subject and doesnt have enough coverage , the noticeable light drop off is disconcerting and fixing it in anything other than ACR gives less then desireable results. Stopping down one or 2 stops drastically fixes this. Obviously , compared to primes or shorter zooms , this lens does have a slight disadvantage in terms of image quality. Compared to my 17-40 at the wide end , the 28-300 is much of a muchness IMHO, compared to the 70-200 2.8 thru its focal length , the 70-200 wins by a hair. The 28-300 hits 5.6 round 80-90mm or so, so in terms of the 70-200 2.8 it loses out big time re speed. My copy is pin sharp at 300 despite some saying it might be soft here, but I dont have a 300 prime to compare it to. The viewfinder gets a little dim at the long end where the lens hits 5.6 and AF does slow down in a relative manner here. At 5.6 at 300 , you might not achieve focus on a black dog in real dim conditions , but in general AF is very good in all modes. Not as instant as a lens that is 2.8 or faster as the camera itself actuates "hidden" sensors when using lenses this fast and does AF significantly better especially in Ai servo mode (in one shot mode there is not difference) I havent really used the lens for any action shots barring once when shooting windurfers in a very stiff breeze and it coped admirably (I got some blurred shots , but that was my fault in not realizing I needed a very much higher shutter speed to freeze the very fast action)

In terms of AF on a FF camera , the DOF is less than on a cropped sensor and is surprisingly shallow at the long end , something to be aware of , especially with a 5d where the AF area is actually bigger than the AF box and you can often get lock on something outside where you intended to AF.
This is more a camera than lens issue and is helped vastly if you decouple AF from the shutter button to the * button and use multiple presses on the * button to AF. Contrast and colour and "pop" on this lens is very good , equal to my other zooms. I have mades some really big prints (almost 2m in length) and the results are stunning. The lens hood is useless which is actually its real achilles heel , at the wide end it has some effectivity but at tele lengths well........... If one has to carry 2 lens hoods and attach either depending on where you are in the zoom range , the lenses utility is compromised. I shoot without the hood , which probably might compromise some shots in some circumstances , but so far it hasnt been a major problem to me. The IS works real well , I have taken hand held shots at 1/50th wide open at 300mm which are very good , not quite as sharp as lets say , 1/300th but very useable and good enough to print real big. I have tested the IS down to about 1/10th at 300mm and there is still not anything like huge motion blur , more like a slight "softness". At the wide end , well you can use just about any shutter speed so long is its not real silly. I havent used the IS in panning mode or used a tripod with this lens so can't comment there. I wasnt enamoured with the push pull zoom initially , but after getting used to it , I found it great as its quite easy to use MF when doing so. I have no problem with the friction ring using it at smooth when shooting and locking it when carrying the camera , the only hassle about locking it is the fact that a grabbed shot needs it released to zoom effectively and this is slightly fiddly. So If in that situation , where a grabbed shot might be viable , I don't lock it. I find that the non progressive nature of the zoom a little problematic at the long end as there is very little movement tween 200 and 300 and one can often overshoot and at that part of the zoom , its a teeny bit stiffer. My lens is new so might loosen up over time in that regard , it's a niggle but no disaster. The switches on the side of the lens , as others have reported , can easily be moved when taking the lens out a bag etc , and must be checked or taped over.

I must repeat , the utility of this lens really is astounding if you can use its WA and want a single lens solution.
I actually think its a perfect walkabout lens despite the weight and intend to take it on a once in a lifetime holiday at the year end (21 day cruise from Singapore to Sydney)
One BIG problem is ppl gawking at you with this lens attached to the camera , especially when extended , its not a subtle thing at all Smile I suppose that might preclude it from candid street photography.

From landscape to tele to limited "macro" useage , it does it all very well. Heres a gallery of pics (first time I used it in "anger") taken using it that should illustrate its versatility , have a look at some of the 100% crops and some of the images at full size.

Oct 27, 2005
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Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM

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