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

Available At:
EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM

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.

User Reviews (64)

Showing 1-10 of 64  
John Bergmann   Intermediate [Feb 12, 2008]
Strength:

Fast focus
Great zoom
Optics are OK
Good sharpness

Weakness:

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

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.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
mikeb380   Expert [Jun 28, 2007]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

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.

Customer Service

N/A

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.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
rafiabramov24   Expert [Jun 23, 2007]
Strength:

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

Weakness:

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.

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.

Customer Service

Not used.

Similar Products Used: Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
tourtrophy   Intermediate [May 04, 2007]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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

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.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
mindrevolution87   Expert [Feb 16, 2006]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

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.

Customer Service

We'll see. I was rather disappointed that the lens comes with only a 1-year warranty, but for $194 there are so many other positives to this lens that I can't complain. If it breaks after one year and one day I'll go right out and buy a new one.

Similar Products Used: None so extensively as this lens.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
Curtis Holland   Intermediate [Oct 27, 2005]
Strength:

The build quality isn't "L" class, but you're not buying an L lens either. The build quality is about what you would reasonably expect from an offering at this price. You'll find it very light weight and not too large for small hands. It is light enough to make easily hand held. The AF is surprisingly quiet.

Weakness:

This lens is *very* soft at any focal length. I couldn't get sharp results on a tripod. While the AF is quite, it is every bit as slow. It is the slowest lens I've ever used. This thing hunts more than a bird-dog.

I've long wanted a zoom lens to cover the 70-300mm range. I finally bought this offering from Canon during a recent trip to Branson, MO. Fortunately, I didn't use it for any shots of any impotance but only experimentally. I was quite disappointed with this lens. As long as you relegate this lens to noncritical work and simply need to cover the range, this lens just might be real OK. Elsewise, save your nickels and consider other offerings-- ie the APO version from Sigma.

Customer Service

N/A

Similar Products Used: Various Sigma zooms
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
esimpson1   Intermediate [Jan 08, 2005]
Strength:

None

Weakness:

Everything. Better to disassemble and make something more useful with it.

This lens is horrible. I've used it on a Digital Rebel, 10D and 1D Mark II. The focus is slow and cumbersome and has a cheap feel to it. Virtually every picture I've taken with this lens has been worthless.

Similar Products Used: 24-70mm f/2.8 L USM 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM EF-S 18-55mm 28-135mm IS USM
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Available At:
towerphotography   Professional [Aug 11, 2004]
Strength:

Um...it's cheap

Weakness:

Garbage plastic exterior; worst image quality EVER (on digital); choppy zoom; from element rotates during focusing; no full time manual override; slow AF; definately NOT rain proof; f/5.6 makes it very difficult to handhold at 300mm unless there is bright sunlight; forget indoor sports with this lens, too slow; ugly bokeh

I had this lens before I "turned" pro and it worked fine on my Elan 7. Image quality was good for a cheap consumer lens. Definately soft, but not excessively. On a digital SLR, however, this lens is complete and utter crap. Not a single shot was sharp. I don't mean that they were soft; I mean that not a single shot was in focus and every shot was plagued by hideous noise and extremely poor resolution. In other words, not a single photo was usable. I ditched the lens for a 70-200 2.8L IS and couldn't be happier. Conclusion: If you shoot film, this lens works fine. For digital, forget about it.

Similar Products Used: 70-200 2.8L IS, 70-200 4L
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
2
BillinBrooklyn   Intermediate [May 25, 2004]
Strength:

Good construction High resale USM is quiet, though not much faster Focal range Autofocus works well in low-light

Weakness:

Soft Soft Soft

Soft .. very soft. I had this lens for over 5 years as it was light, rugged, the USM worked well in low-light conditions, and it performed well for what I needed it to do which was mostly vacation stuff and 5x7 prints of family and friends. Finally made the jump to digital this Christmas (Digital Rebel), and realized just how soft these images really were. (no, I'm not using it wrong, I'm talking about outdoor, daytime photos on a tripod in both af and mf) Picked up a Sigma 70-300 non-APO Macro lens to test against it and ended up keeping the Sigma. Both lenses are horrible wide open, but the Sigma is clearly sharper above f/8 and produces produces better color. Neither lens works well at either limit of it's focal range, but zooming in/out a few mm fixes that. The Sigma isn't a gem either. Problems include horrible low-light hunting problems (though the infrared af-assist on my 420EX takes care of that for me), a sticky zoom ring, and a loud motor. But for what I use it for it was well worth the cost and takes better pictures.

Customer Service

Haven't needed in 5-plus years of everyday abuse.

Similar Products Used: Sigma 70-300
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
Available At:
velvetjones   Intermediate [Feb 22, 2004]
Strength:

Compact Cheaper than most Good lens to start with Image quality is overall pretty good 58mm filter size saves you money.

Weakness:

f/5.6 is fairly slow Image quality not the best zoomed in past 200mm Not built very tough

Lets not beat around the bush here...this isn't the best zoom lens out there and is probably one of the weaker lenses that Canon makes. That said, it IS a Canon and produces pretty decent results...much better than buying a Phoenix lens or whatever. It is a great travel lens, being so compact for 300mm. It is a good value being priced at less than $200 most places, and it is a great lens for beginners. I learned a lot about photography while using this lens. The resale value actually tends to be pretty good(as with most Canon products) so you can learn with it for a while and move on later if you think you need something more solid. Causal photographers will find that this is a pretty good lens to own.

Customer Service

Never Used

Similar Products Used: Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 HSM Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 USM
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
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