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649 of 661 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could be better, but works well within its price range
After reading several online reviews of the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM lens, I had nearly talked myself out of even looking at one. However, thanks to a local Canon demonstration, I was able to play with several lenses, the 75-300mm f/4-5.6 among them. I got to try it out alongside the IS version (which costs just under 3x as much), the non-USM version, and some...
Published on December 19, 2005 by John Nolley II

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1,585 of 1,621 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is this lens as bad as some people say it is?
No it's not especially if you take into account its intended users. If you use a Canon digital SLR and are satisfied with the kit lens (18-55) then buying this lens can be the perfect next step for you. Practically speaking, you will be able to increase your zoom reach to the point where you can A) photograph birds in moderately distant trees, B) be able to zoom in on the...
Published on April 8, 2006 by Abdulrahman Aljabri


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1,585 of 1,621 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is this lens as bad as some people say it is?, April 8, 2006
This review is from: Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
No it's not especially if you take into account its intended users. If you use a Canon digital SLR and are satisfied with the kit lens (18-55) then buying this lens can be the perfect next step for you. Practically speaking, you will be able to increase your zoom reach to the point where you can A) photograph birds in moderately distant trees, B) be able to zoom in on the other side of a valley and frame something of your interest. Those are just two examples. One thing you will NOT be able to do effectively with this lens, however, is to take sport shots with it. How so? Consider some of the following weakness:

*At 300mm zoom range the highest aperture is limited to 5.6 (You will have to use very slow shutter speed to snap fast action shots; remember the inverse relation between aperture and shutter speed.)

*The lens size/weight combination makes it hard to hold steady when attached to a camera like the Rebel XT

*Slow and often inaccurate auto focus (I just don't understand why Canon makes a USM version of this lens for $20 more, but never includes it in the triple rebate program)

*Chromatic aberration is significant in high contrast lighting like in full sun (if you do not know what Chromatic aberration means search the term online or check out my review of the Canon 28mm 2.8 on Amazon, but to summarize, it would be a discoloration at the fringes of objects in your picture)

Those kinds of weakness will limit your ability to use this lens in all sorts of other situations/circumstances. As a practical rule to follow, if the lighting is less than ideal this lens will give you a hard time. Meaning, it will be possible to use it, but you may get too many blurry images because of shake from slow shutter speeds. As for what are ideal lighting conditions? That would be full sun with few or no clouds and with the light bathing your subject/object from the front or the side.

So is this lens that bad? Not really, as with many other lenses, when the lens is coupled with a good camera it still out performs most Point and Shoot cameras. Plus it provides results at par or slightly below the kit lens (18-55). So if you are satisfied with your kit lens, which provides you with a zoom range comparable to 3X zoom (55/18= 3), why not add another lens that will expand your zoom range by another 4X (300/75=4)? Nothing wrong with expanding your horizon!

PS. TWO MORE POINTS ABOUT USING THIS LENS: First, if you're confident you can handhold this lens at slow shutter speeds (I know I can't) then the low maximum aperture shouldn't be a major problem. Second, if you're fine shooting at high ISO (more like 400 or 800) then again the low maximum aperture shouldn't be a problem. The nice thing about photography is that you can do one thing in so many ways, so don't be afraid to explore with this lens!
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649 of 661 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Could be better, but works well within its price range, December 19, 2005
By 
John Nolley II (Fairfax, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
After reading several online reviews of the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM lens, I had nearly talked myself out of even looking at one. However, thanks to a local Canon demonstration, I was able to play with several lenses, the 75-300mm f/4-5.6 among them. I got to try it out alongside the IS version (which costs just under 3x as much), the non-USM version, and some of their L-series professional lenses.

That said, I found there to be less difference among the directly-comparable lenses (the non-USM, USM, and IS versions) than I'd have thought. On the test shots I took using a Canon Digital Rebel XT, I didn't find full-zoom telephoto shots to be appreciably softer in the non-IS version reviewed herein, nor were the images overly soft for my liking period.

The USM focusing didn't seem to make as much of a difference as I'd expected over the non-USM model, either. Focusing was still relatively slow (as other reviewers have pointed out), although once an initial focus has been made, adjustments aren't too slow unless changing to a subject substantially nearer or farther away. HOWEVER, the AF engine did make a number of "mistakes" when using this lens that it did not using the IS lens (or, of course, the L-series glass); more than once I had to either switch to manual focus or try multiple times to get the right focus "lock." Furthermore, the USM model doesn't get you internal focus, either, like with higher-end lenses, so the end still rotates during focusing, which can be problematic with a circular polarizer or other filters.

Overall, I'd say that you "get what you pay for"; this is a very inexpensive lens, and it shows in some areas. But it's not nearly as bad as some would make it out to be. I tried it out both on several indoors shots under less-than-ideal lighting conditions and was pleased in most respects, and outdoors, I got very good results on even moving subjects.

Pros:

-- Cost; at under $200, you would be hard-pressed to find a lens with the same reach with even half-decent optics.

Cons:

-- Slow focus

-- Autofocus seems to confuse somewhat easily over the IS model

-- The USM version is still not an internally-focusing model, and thus the end of the lens will still rotate (and can affect filters, etc.)

I'd recommend the IS version if you have the extra funds, but if you are on a budget and just can't wait, I saw less of a difference than others have between the two. Of course, the real step up would be to a comparable piece of glass in the L series, but with it comes a real step up in price, too.
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642 of 704 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Buy the "IS" version instead, August 30, 2001
By 
H. Huntzinger (Northeastern USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
If you're looking at this lens, you're more demanding than the average Joe who takes photos and have high expectations. This lens is not blazingly fast (f/5.6 at 300mm), and to reliably freeze camera shake, you're going to need a 1/500 sec shutter speed, which means that with ISO 100 film, you only can lose one stop of illumination under "Sunny 16" conditions before you have to decide comprimise somewhere to get your shot.
Consequently, shots into the shade, or conducted under the warmer and softer lighting conditions of the morning/evening will inevitably drive you to the comprimise of a high ISO grainy film or the bulk of a tripod to make up for this lens's lack of optical speed. If you always shoot in full noon sunshine, you'll be okay.
Even though its a great tool, most people don't like to carry a tripod, so the solution is to either accept grain in enlargements, not take certain photos, spend more money to go to a faster lens, or some combination of the above. I'll say it again: the most cost-effective alternative is to use a tripod. The next cost-effective alternative is Canon's "IS" (Image Stabilization) lens technology. There are two contenders in this focal length, the 75-300mm IS and the 100-400mm IS. The former is nearly a duplicate of this lens.... The latter is a 3 lb pro lens.... Of these two, the 75-300mm IS is the bargain.
I started with this lens and after just a few test rolls, returned it and got the 75-300mm IS. The IS technology reliably affords an additional effective two stops of speed, although it cannot be used to freeze subject motion as the shutter will normally also do. But it makes the use of high quality films, such as Fuji Velvia (ISO 50), Kodachrome 64 and even Ekta (Kodak Royal Gold) ISO 25 feasible. -hh
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357 of 399 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars low-class lens, January 27, 2002
This review is from: Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
I have Canon's 75-300mm lens for almost a year and have examined it inside out. Unfortunately, I cannot admit that it's a good lens.
First of all, it doesn't have USM (Ultra Sonic Motor) and though having built-in AF motor, it is anyway VERY slow. And since telephoto lenses in general are for capturing high-speed events (like sport, running animals etc), its low-speed focusing makes it no good.
Secondly, its light-factor is quite low (4.0 for 75mm and only 5.6 for 300mm) what forces you to use either high-speed film (not lower than ISO400) or to shoot in the bright light (what's not possible everytime you shoot).
And the last, but not less important thing. I'm not good in mechanics, but what I know for sure is that Canon's 75-300mm lens produce unsharp pictures. No matter if you use a tripod or not, the pictures still are very unsharp which is very bad for images, being zoomed by 300mm.
Anyway, I'd recommend you to buy the lens of the same focal distance but in another configuration: Canon EF 75-300 F/4.5-5.6 IS USM. Although it's a bit expensive and as you see, the light factor is a bit lower, too, it has an USM and IS (Image Stabilizer) what makes focusing drastically super fast and the pictures become more sharper with the help of IS. This lens deserves a high attention. But not this one...
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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very happy with this lens, November 5, 2009
By 
Charles A. Taylor (Bakersfield, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
I see a lot of bad reviews on this lens. I honestly can't see why. If I can capture a squirrel in tall grass 50 feet away, hand held, overcast and in the resulting image I can count the hairs on the squirrels face. The hairs are sub-pixel sized. In other words the lens out performed the sensor. There isn't any thing wrong with the lens. The auto focus selected the subject of the image, not the grass and quickly focused it. Even at full zoom the aperture was sufficient to shoot hand held at ISO400, under cloudy skies. So it's not image stabilized ... Boo Hoo! It also doesn't cost as much as a stabilized lens. You can buy a pretty nice tripod for the price difference between this lens and a stabilized one. Can you get better glass for less, maybe. You can also spend a lot more money and not do better. So unless you are a pro shooting in fast paced environments this lens will do fine. If you are a pro why are you looking at an entry level lens?

Something else to consider is that the USM, IS version of this lens is really the same glass in a fancier can and three times the price. If you want the bells and whistles go for it. The best value is here in the cheap seats.
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171 of 189 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tough for sports, October 31, 2000
By 
M. Johnson (San Diego, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
An OK lens for shooting fixed objects and panoramas, but the autofocus is frustratingly slow and almost impossible to use on moving subjects. Limited utility of this lens may explain why it is now often found at fire sale prices.
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98 of 107 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for amatuers and novices., January 28, 2002
By 
MICHAEL DELGAUDIO (Davidsonville, MD USA) - See all my reviews
This lens has been a helpful addition to my camera setup. I purchased this lens and a tripod at the same time. I have found that using this lens at max zoom really does require the use of a tripod, or other stabilization method (such as resting it on a table or railing). There is no way to handhold this lens at 300 mm and still get razor sharp pics. I use this lens to attach to my Canon Rebel 2000. As a beginning photographer I use 400 speed film for nearly all my shots, and have been pleased with the results. I generally do not make enlargements from my prints -- they just go in my photo album -- so the relative graininess of 400 speed is not noticable in 4x6 prints. Coupling this lens with a polarizing filter dramtically improved the contrast and sharpness of distant objects in bright daylight -- particularly distant mountains and scenery. As far as zoom goes, this lens picks up where the standard Rebel lens leaves off and really pulls in the distant objects well. I have not tried to use this lens to shoot fast moving objects at a great distance (such as sports) but for landscapes or distant objects -- perched birds, mountains, bridges, sunsets, I have found this lens to be an absolutely indispensable part of my kit. It attaches and detaches from the camera with ease. The autofocus system focuses within a second -- I've never needed to switch to manual. I knocked a star off because I wish it came with a carrying case. The lens has some heft to it -- it weighs as much as the standard Rebel Body - if not more. It definetly feels solid and well-made, but at the price (which is expensive for me) I feel like I have to treat it with kid gloves, and I can't find a carrying case for it. When I pack this lens in a carryon I stick it inside a few socks to make due.
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Value ..., April 22, 2006
By 
Daniel Wild (Nanuet, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I have used this lens nearly everyday for over a year now, mainly taking sports and wildlife photos, and since it has been my first lens, I have come to love it. The lens is great in good sun light, BUT once the sun goes down, you are screwed. I shoot with a Digital Rebel, and this lens with indoor sports at ISO 1600 ain't pretty. The lens has taken a lot of heat on the web for slow focusing and being soft at 300mm - hard to argue this. The lens is amazingly sharp when you're at around 100mm, but the longer you reach, the less sharp it becomes, and that can be bad news if you're shooting something in the distance and plan to crop heavily (outfielders, birds etc). But if you're like me and can't afford a ridiculous $5,000 lens, this one will make you happy, for the cost and abilities, it is well worth it's price. Would I sell it after buying a better lens? Probably not -- it is light and easy to carry. Play to this lens' strengths and you'll get some nice results. I have the hood and don't see any noticeable differences. I took a few shots once with the IS version and didn't notice much of a difference either. Not everyone can be Mr. f/2.8
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47 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good lens, but check out some others, June 23, 2006
This review is from: Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
This is a solid telephoto zoom for the amatuer photographer. However, the Canon EF 75-300 USM is a tad quieter, is exactly the same optics, and is often sold on Amazon at the same price as this lens (normally there is about $30 difference).

The only drawbacks with this lens is the zoom control, which could be smoother; filter rotation to the front (but that's standard in this price range); lack of lens hood (and Canon is very pricey on this accessory); and poor warranty length.

A nice upgrade would be Canon's EF 100-300. Similar priced lenses to look at include the Tamron / Promaster 70-300. Both have longer warranties, include lens hoods, and focus closer. Both are a bit nosier than the Canon lenses.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Telephoto zoom lens to begin your journey in DSLR photography, February 6, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras (Camera)
For the price range of $150-200, this lens is the cheapest in the Telephoto zoom lens range Canon offers. The cheaper price is because this lens does not have a quiet-n-fast focusing Ultrasonic motor (USM) and neither does it have an in-built Image stabilizer (IS). Instead it has a comparatively noisier DC motor which is not quickest to focus. Also the lens exterior surface is mostly made up of plastic and appears little cheap compared to the USM version or the IS USM.
But in terms of picture quality this lens is not bad at all. In bright light with high shutter speed the lens performs at its best. The pictures come out sharp and clean (please check out the pictures I uploaded). In day light condition and at high shutter speed (1/100 sec and above), you can shoot really good pictures (even without a tripod). But I concede that in low light areas/overcast conditions/cloudy and evening light the lens shows its weakness. You will desperately miss the Image stabilizer function. But if you have a tripod then the lens works even in low light conditions and at shutter speed 1/30 sec or lower and an exposure of 1 sec to 15 sec.
Now for the whiner's who have been complaining: When you see a Canon Telephoto zoom lens displaying a price tag of $150-200, what outstanding features do you expect in it? As I said before, this lens does not have an IS or USM, then how can you expect it to focus quickly like the expensive ones. Apart from the picture quality and the zoom capacity, it's basically wrong to compare the features in this lens with other advanced & expensive Telephoto zoom lens. Given its DC motor and as a Non-IS lens of course this lens is not meant for Sports photography. If you're a sports photographer then why be stingy and then whine? Go for the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM Lens for Canon EOS Cameras or Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras both lens are great for Sports photography. But keep in mind, those two lenses are comparatively heavy to carry around as they weigh 25.4 ounces and 25 ounces respectively. Compared to those the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III weighs only 16.8 ounces.
So the bottom line is, if you're a photo enthusiast beginning DSLR photography, looking for low budget zoom lens, then this one will work best for you. For the given price and as a Telephoto zoom lens the Canon EF 75-300 f/4-5.6 III does what it's supposed to do.
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