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Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM 35mm Zoom

3.25 star rating
                      3.25 / 5 (64 Reviews)
MSRP : $39.99
Focal Length : 75mm - 300mm | Max. Aperture : f/4-f/5.6  | Focus : Autofocus  

  • Camera Format35 mm SLR
    Lens TypeZoom Lens
    Focal Length75mm - 300mm
    Lens Max Aperturef/4-f/5.6
    Min Aperturef/32
    Focus TypeAutofocus
    Macro LensWithout Macro Lens
    MountCanon EF
    Closest Focusing Distance59 in
    Diaphragm Blades7 Blades
    Picture Angle8.15 - 32.11 degrees
    Attachment / Filter Size58 mm
    Groups / Elements13 Elements in 9 Groups
    Diameter3 in
    Length4.8 in
    Weight16.93 oz
    Product ID23231371

Product Description

Compact and lightweight 4x telephoto zoom lens ideal for shooting sports, portraits, and wildlife. The newly developed Micro USM makes autofocusing quicker and quieter. The improved zoom mechanism also makes zooming smoother. The front part of the zoom ring now sports a silver ring for a luxury touch.

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Reviews 1 - 5 (64 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by John Bergmann a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: February 12, 2008

Strengths:    Fast focus
Great zoom
Optics are OK
Good sharpness

Weaknesses:    You NEED a tripod at longer zoom lengths, even in excellent light, to maintain sharpness

Bottom Line:   
This lens came in a bundle at Costco with my Rebel XTi. Their retail is about $200 but with the bundel I paid a little less. For the money it is a good beginner telephoto. It does not have IS, but the price alone indicates that. I would reccomend this lens to anyone who wants an affordable and useful telephoto in their arsenal. If you do choose to buy, get it in a bundle or online, retail places charge almost $300 for this lens.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   Costco

Type of photography:   Other

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by mikeb380 a Expert

Date Reviewed: June 28, 2007

Strengths:    good glass, Sharpness. contrast and color is good, no achromatic or barrel distortion. In a better body it would have been an outstanding lens. This lens will make good photos. I have blown up some of the photos to 11X14 and some I cropped like crazy and printed 11X14. For the money, if you insist on using Canon lenses, this would be a good buy used if not abused.

Weaknesses:    It wobbles and rattles and the focus and zoom changes as the lens is pointed up or down. A far cry from the old FL and FD lenses. Terrible construction. I get better construction in Russian lenses.

Bottom Line:   
I bought this lens shortly after I bought my 300D. The construction is terrible, it rattles and clunks. I have used this lens for animal shots at the zoo, including a barn owl and Jackson hawk in flight. In my back yard I took a good many photos of three Red Tail Hawks, perched and in flight. Trying to use the lens in AF was a joke as all it did was hunt. In manual, handheld, and follow focusing on the hawks in flight I got some pretty good shots. I've had no problems with sharpness or contrast with this lens. I shoot birds in my back yard at my feeders, usintg 300mm to get them about full frame; again sharp photos and good contrast. I shoot in RAW format and only adjust white balance when converting to jpg. I've also taken photos at a blues concert where the light ran from full daylight to overcast to evening to dark ( 12:00 to 10:00pm) I used the lens handheld most of the time, using the 300mm on the performers to get tight shots. I shot crowd photos also with very low ambient light and am satisfied with the photos.I've done landscapes and bird photos on the water and my only problem was that I moved at times.
I am very unhappy with the construction quality and remember when a lens like that would never have gone out the door. I've started buying lenses from other manufacturers who do make better barrels, including using Pentax M42 lenses with an adapter. since I shoot manual focus and manual exposure, it matters not that I have to use lenses in stop down metering, all I care about is the photo.

I would say this lens would be good for a beginner or an amateur who can't afford the big ticket items. It only requires care to make sure focus and zoom don't drift. You can probably buy a used one for about 1/4 of the price I paid.

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Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $225.00

Purchased At:   Ritz

Similar Products Used:   Tamron, Sigma, Vivitar zoom lenses. Used Russian lenses, including MF lenses mounted on the EOS with adapters. The barrel construction of the Russian lenses are far superior to the Canon. At least the Russians use metal. Use old Pentax lenses also. Used many of the old FD lenses in various focal length.

Type of photography:   Other

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rafiabramov24 a Expert

Date Reviewed: June 23, 2007

Strengths:    Inexpensive, light in weight, a decent low-level consumer lens.

Weaknesses:    Chromatic abberations, flare, sometimes too light in weight, no manual focusing ring, no distance scale. Once you learn these limitations, you can work your way around them.

Bottom Line:   
I purchased this lens new off eBay maybe five or six months ago, when I realized I need more zooming range. This lens appealed to me- fit in my budget, 300mm, and a Canon. This lens is purely a beginner or amateur lens. You get what you pay for... but the worst part about this lens is the horrific chromatic abberations. There is no way to stop it. In normal lighting conditions, it is still apparent. The lens itself is very soft at f/4.0 at the 70mm end but gets a tad bit better at f/7.1-8.0. Of course, with that aperture you're going to need decent lighting though. This lens isn't a great performer in low-light situations. Expect a lot of blur without adequate light.

All in all, this lens will do for the beginner or amateur and you can get decent results once you've learned it's weaknesses and can work around them. For the intermediate and professional, it's step it up a (quite a) few notches to a EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM.

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Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

Price Paid:    $150.00

Purchased At:   eBay

Similar Products Used:   Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Type of photography:   People

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by tourtrophy a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: May 4, 2007

Strengths:    Cheap and no need to care about abuse in rough evironment.
Low weigtht.
Decent pictures even at 300mm when the right technique is used.
My copy was quite sharp at 75mm F8-F11.

Weaknesses:    Build quality
Did not work out of the box
Need to pair with a camera body with high shutter speed
Has trouble focusing in low light condition

Bottom Line:   
I purchased an EOS 20D package that came with this lens. It was not the best choice but at the time there were additional discount and rebate. I did not know there was a USM version of the 75-300mm out there already.

The lens itself had some problem at first. Auto focus did not work and the focus ring was stuck after switching to manual mode. Then I put it aside for about year until I took it out one day and forced the focus ring to rotate to see if it worked again. I did not want to go thru the hassle of sending it back for repair since I have a 28-135mm with IS for walkaround and knowing that I would upgrade to 70-200mmL one day. Aftering forcefully rotating the ring, I heard something break inside and I was able to do both auto and manual focus.

I tried the lens in one winter day at ZIon NP. The pictures of the sand stone cliffs during sunset came out very sharp and vibrant at 75mm. I was amazed by this. Then I captured some wild lives under overcast condition, but the picture came out soft and dull at 300mm. I realized how important IS was at 300mm.

After setting aside this lens for another few months, I took it out again to Point Reyes and shot some free roaming elks and seals. It was under a foggy day but the pictures came out quite good. I found out one trick was to use burst mode on the camera to get the best shot from several successive shots. It worked and some pictures came out quite sharp even at 300mm. I realized 20D and 30D were best for this technigue since they could capture 5fps.
Most of my shots were at f8 - f11 to attain the sharpness. My friends were awed by the pictures that came out. Now I would say if this lens is used with the right technique, right camera body and with sufficient lighting condition, it could get you some decent pictures.

Now I am thinking of postponing my purchase of 70-200mmL since I don 't use telephoto that often. Till this day, I could still hear something run loose inside my 75-300mm when I shake it. But heck, for $160 I wouldn 't mind as I am quite satisfied with the results. I just need to know how to get the best of it.

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Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

Price Paid:    $160.00

Purchased At:   Costco

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mindrevolution87 a Expert

Date Reviewed: February 16, 2006

Strengths:    Inexpensive, lightweight, metal mount, 300mm telephoto zoom.
Ultrasonic motor does a very nice job... sharp focus at amazingly fast speeds.
Excellent color and resolution.
No softness all the way through zoom range.
Low battery drain.

Weaknesses:    5.6 aperture at 300mm zoom isn't ideal for lower light situations, but how often are you going to find yourself in that situation? I shot outdoors from sunrise to sunset and never found a situation too poorly lit to shoot, but I will accede that a 2.8 aperture might have allowed me a faster shutter speed in other situations where I would have liked it.
Doesn't feel as solid as some of the professional lenses, but you could break and replace one of these six times over before you begin to approach the cost of an "L" lens.
Dust magnet.
1 year warranty.

Bottom Line:   
Excellent value consumer telephoto lens. Low cost for a lens that consistently outperforms my expectations. I needed a solid - but not fancy - telephoto zoom lens for an assignment, and after eyeing the professional-grade "L" series lenses (such as the 70-200 2.8L) I decided to go a thousand bucks cheaper and pick up this one. Honestly, I don't know how much better that L-lens would have been, but it just doesn't seem like there's that much room for improvement. I took nearly 1800 photographs over 6 days with my Canon EOS 20D and I was amazed at the results. I didn't notice any softness at either end of the zoom range. My colors were superb even at ISO speeds up to 1600, and the focusing was amazingly sharp - even though I shot without the benefit of a tripod or monopod. The autofocus was right on, and quite fast (which I needed as my assignment was shooting foxhounds and galloping horses). I printed a set of 8x10's from this assignment and people were astonished at the image clarity even at the 300mm end.

Performs quite nicely for sports photography as well. I use it on occasion to shoot high school basketball games in poorly-lit gymnasiums and it has been rock solid there as well.

Unless you're some sort of uber-professional or you'll be shooting in very low light situations (or you just want the prestige of an "L" lens) this is a perfect lens for you.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

Price Paid:    $189.00

Purchased At:   Beach Camera

Similar Products Used:   None so extensively as this lens.

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Reviews 1 - 5 (64 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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