Customer Reviews: Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras
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on April 8, 2006
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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on February 6, 2009
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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on November 5, 2009
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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on January 27, 2002
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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on June 23, 2006
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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on February 10, 2014
If you are on a budget and on the consumer end of the prosumer spectrum, like me... and, like me, you still want a good, cheap zoom lens. This is it. (Save extra buying the bulk packaging version)
Now, if you are more on the pro end of the prosumer spectrum, you probably know to look for a lens with USM and IS.
If you buy this lens, be aware that you'll have to use your tripod in low light situations... there's no IS on this lens.
It's a lens best used outside with plenty of day light, hey... it's an f/4-5.6, so no surprise there.
Good glass though, I've achieved better pictures with this lens than the with the 35-80 which is also f/4-5.6
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on December 16, 2001
I'd just got into SLR photography and the first few months with the 35-90 lens that came with the Canon Rebel 2000 were outstanding. I never realised there was SO much difference between a point-and-shoot and an SLR. After reading p on some of the books about photography, I reaslied an important point was getting the right framing and getting close to the subject. So I set out to look for a cost effective zoom lens that would give me that flexibility. I tried the cheeper rip off lens in the loal camera store and found their mechanisms stiff and slow focussing. I stuck my neck out for a canon make lens, and this one jumped out at me. It's perfect, the shot are crystal clear, the zoom is smooth and the autofocus is just as good as with the smaller lens. How do they make these lenses so cheap when competing lenses are more that twice the price? highly recommended for a novice like myself whodoesn't want to sped too much for telephoto zoom capability. I'm now looking for a canon 2x teleconverter to add to my range.
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on April 7, 2014
This is a cheap lens and it does a good job for the price. The autofocus is noisy and when zoomed in really far it shakes the lens quite a bit. Because the aperture only opens to 4.0/f you need really good light or you'll get a lot of noise in your photos. Honestly, though, I like this lens a lot. I use it to take photos of the moon and it is fantastic.
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on September 1, 2004
No complaints so far with this lens. Using it on my EOS 300. Great looking, sharp images at the lower zoom rates and completely acceptible and actually pretty darn good images at fullest zoom. With my testing so far it's plenty fast as long as you use a tripod at the longest zoom lengths. No prob for me since I most always use a tripod while photographing.

Have not experienced the lens extending out fully when aimed downward like others have. I'd even have to say mine feels "quite right" in terms of resistance on the zoom ring.

Bottom line, this lens is great deal at this price!!!!! If you can spend more get the IS model or some L glass .....I can't!
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VINE VOICEon October 13, 2000
I bought this lens about six months after replacing my 20 year old SLR with the Canon Rebel G. I didn't think photography could get any better. It did.
The first day I used this lens, I was shooting photos of a biplane plummeting at an airshow. Having been used to my older equipment, I thought, "No way can I hold 300mm still enough, but what the heck, film is cheap." I was wrong. That photo was crystal clear, and instead of a tiny blur in the midst of sky, I have a very clear image of the plane filling the frame.
The lens has been responsible for getting me up close in many places since, most recently capturing Al Gore and his entourage on the pilot house of the riverboat that travelled the Mississippi the day after the convention. If you are looking for a versatile lens that gives great results under many conditions, this is it. It really is hard to take a bad photo when using it.
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