Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM 35mm Zoom

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EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM

Highly practical and portable telephoto zoom lens. The five zoom groups make the length only 121.5mm. With rear focusing, the lens does not change length or rotate during focusing. Any filter effects therefore remain intact. It also makes autofocusing quick and quiet.

User Reviews (26)

Showing 1-10 of 26  
Inca   Intermediate [Apr 03, 2004]
Strength:

Light, sharper than the 100-400 L lens I used wide open and stopped down. Its actually black, not an attention getter. The autofocus is just as fast as the 100-400.

Weakness:

Build quality isn't as good as the 100-400, but it is reasonably good but what do you expect for $250.00

This is one nice lens for the price. I recently sold the 70-200 F4L to purchase the 100-400 IS L. Well in the mean time I borrowed a 100-300 USM to hold me over. I finally got the 100-400 L and did a comparison with them side by side on a Gitzo 1227 Reporter CF tripod. I set them both @ 300mm 5.6 aperture, turned the IS off on the 100-400 IS so I would get no weird feedback, and started shooting my test shots. I must say that the 100-300 actually beat the 100-400, side by side they looked the same, the 100-400 had a little better color and contrast, but the sharpness was actually a little behind the 100-300 if you blew it up to 100%. If you fix up the color and contrast in the 100-300 then it gave a better picture then the 100-400 L IS, Hands down. Now I dont know if I got a really good copy of the 100-300 or a really bad copy of the 100-400 IS, or both, but I'm just letting it be known that this was my experience and that I would save a great deal of money over the 100-400 and pick the 100-300 USM and a 400 5.6 prime for the same price. I'm going to order another copy of the 100-400 L lens to make sure that this test will hold true.

Similar Products Used: 70-200 F4L, best lens I ever used
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
D Johns   Expert [Feb 19, 2004]
Strength:

-well built with smooth zooming -nice optics -very fast AF

Weakness:

- zooming a bit too smooth (but quite liveable)

A well built lens with great optics. More pricey than the 75-300 USM but well worth it. AF speed is very fast and the full time mf is a nice touch. A good match would be the Canon 28-105 f3.5-4.5 USM. I use this lens with both Film & Digital.

Customer Service

none needed

Similar Products Used: Nikkor AF 75-300
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Derrick   Professional [Oct 18, 2003]
Strength:

100-300 range is very useful. usm is extrmely quite and fast. weight is sufficiant. Carry a 28-105 or 28-135 & 100-300 and you've cover most useful range with only two lens. Price is right.

Weakness:

neads more metal in barrel. Over all could be a little sharper.

I have been using this lens for about four years now and I find it to be a pretty decent performer. while its not the best 100-300 around it certainly isn't a slouch either. From 100-200 it is pretty sharp and at 300 with a tripod it is very good too. If your only enlarging from 5x7 -8x10 it will serve you very well even at 300. when going higher use a tripod and you'll get some respectable 11x14 too.

Customer Service

never needed

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
Marccuba   Expert [Oct 12, 2003]
Strength:

150-450 zoom with a digital EOS, solid, compact

Weakness:

slow AF, hezitating too much. optical performance at 300mm position.

In the telezoom range there's no great offer if you are not able to spend a lot of bucks. I wanted a USM and I had the choice between this one and the 75-300 IS. I'm quiet glad about the optical performance, although there's better to get at the 300mm position, but what especially bithers me on this lens is the AF: s-l-o-o-o-o-w!!! On the other hand, with a digital rebel, it makes a 150-450 zoom, which makes up for all the rest. Still looking out to get a 75-300 IS USM though.

Customer Service

None

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
PPAD   Intermediate [Apr 21, 2003]
Strength:

Good between 100-200mm. Fairly rugged.

Weakness:

Zoom creep. Poor image quality at 200mm to 300mm.

I have had this lens for more than 4 years and shoot primarily head portraits of family and friends and animals at the outdoor zoo. At the time I bought the lens, it was highly rated in the literature. Between 100-200mm, the lens performs very well indeed. Enlargements of up to 8X12 look good. More than 200mm, the images become soft. Handholding at 300mm is not advisable unless with fast film or its a bright day. The zoom creep, as has been mentioned by others, is bad. The lens immediately jumps out to the 300mm setting each time you sling the camera on your shoulder. It has a plasticky feel about it, but is actually a little solider than it looks. Mine has survived some knocks and some light rain. Never had to service it. For the price however, you might expect a little better performance especially at the long end. But the Canon 75-300mm is even worse. I hear that a good alternative (and cheaper) is the Sigma DL70-300APO Macro. My friendly store (very knowledgeable) rates this lens well.

Customer Service

None.

Similar Products Used: Canon 75-300mm.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
Available At:
funkag   Intermediate [Apr 01, 2003]
Strength:

Lightweight, picture quality, flexibility

Weakness:

AF wanders a bit, I wish I could afford a 2.8

I have been quite happy with this lens. It could be faster, and the zoom could be stiffer, but picture quality and reliability have both been excellent.

Customer Service

Never Needed

Similar Products Used: Canon FD 50mm, Canon AF 35-80, Sigma 28mm
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
ashy1025   Intermediate [Mar 25, 2003]
Strength:

full time manual focusing rear focuing well I can show-off to people

Weakness:

produces very bad pictures at different setting as I have described on the abouve summary

I've got the lens then I read these wonderful reviews of warnings about this lens, I learnt a lesson from that day onward never buy a anything especially lens without researching. Well let me come to the point, Its a good lens if you dont compare it to pro lens, but for the price you pay atleast it should perform little better. I used this lens to the zoo, used the lens at 100mm at f4.5 the picture was not sharp at all, tried the same shot with f16 the picture was ok but not so good, I tried it at 300mm f5.6 dont ask me how the pictures came, worst ...same picture with f16 it wasnt very good at all but its ok, between 100-200 or little bit before 300 with aperture above f11 you can get good results. If you are growing in your photography you need to get something better, please dont fall for full time manual focusing, internal-rear focusing and all that stuff makes it look good, when you dont get picture which you cant put it in your album, no use in keeping the lens. Please rent them before you buy them, dont get stuck with them like me.

Customer Service

Never used

Similar Products Used: Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 with 1:2 macro lens( which is much better than canon 100-300mm f4.5-5.6 lens)
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
2
Available At:
Adam Smith   Expert [Sep 23, 2002]
Strength:

100-200mm range is acceptable. Not great, but what you would expect for a sub-$300 lens.

Weakness:

Serious zoom creep--point this down angle, and it shoots out to 300mm with little resistance. I've had to add an elastic band around mine to keep it in. At 300mm, the images are soft all around the edges with bad vignetting. Since moving to a D60 body a lot this is cropped out, but the images are still not acceptably sharp until f/8-f/11.

I have gotten some use out of this lens, since it's my only really long lens, but it's clearly the weakest performer in my bag. I travelled through europe with this and the 28-105 f/3.5-4.5, and I tried whenever possible to make due at the far end of the 28-105. The 100-300 USM just does not have the solid feel that this other lens has, and it's not a great performer at the far end where I needed it to be.

Similar Products Used: None.
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Ian   Casual [May 20, 2002]
Strength:

Reasonable quality at an affordable price

Weakness:

Horrible light fall off beyond 200mm zoom if you''re shooting at F5.6. I treat my lens as an f8 lens and am happy with the results although it does limit me to bright days or fast film.

This lens replaced my Canon 75-300 III USM that was stolen. In comparison, the 100-300 is built substantially better and is a lot more solid. I find it to be optically better especially in contrast to the 75-300, but I won''t use it at anything below F8 or the image quality really suffers. It''s worth the extra money compared to the 75-300 III USM, and offers image quality as good as can be expected from a US$200 lens.

Similar Products Used: Canon 75-300 III USM
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
gilkermaxis   Intermediate [May 10, 2002]
Strength:

Fast Focusing System (USM) Price is great for a f4.5 at 300mm Ligth Weigth Sharp at 300mm

Weakness:

No Lens Ring :(

This lens is very usefull is small and ligth weigth.

Customer Service

NA i hope never have to.

Similar Products Used: Tamron 100-300mm Sigma 100-300mm
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
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