Interactive Lens Reviews and Opinion.
Digital Camera Reviews

Reviews Views Date of last review
11 82428 12/17/2011
Recommended By Average Purchase
82% of reviewers $152.50
Reader Review Rating Averages
Readers' rating for
Construction Quality
Readers' rating for
Image Quality
Overall Rating

Keywords: Canon EF Tele Zoom 35mm


Registered: December 2011
Posts: 1
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III review by Colo43
Review Date: 12/17/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: Great for wildlife
Cons: have found none

I love this lens. its on my Canon5 mk11 --80% of the time.

Registered: June 2011
Posts: 2
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III review by luke
Review Date: 6/9/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $75.00| Rating: 7 

Pros: cheap, light, long
Cons: soft and CA at wide apertures

I picked this lens up for its range. I use it on a T2i. I'm more of a wide-angle guy so I just wanted this lens for when the urge struck me to take pictures of birds and far away things. More and more I've become interested in telephoto work and have considered trying to pick up gigs that would require a telephoto zoom. I paid 75 dollars used from KEH, and I got the first generation, but I believe it's basically the same as the second and third and the USM in terms of image quality and build, for the most part.
As others have already said, from 75-200mm the lens produces good images. Stopping down helps, but it never gets as sharp as say my 50mm f1.8.
From 200-300mm there is significant CA in high contrast situations, especially anytime you're photographing something white. When I first realized the terrible CA with this lens I was pretty disappointed. Stopping down helps but doesn't remove the CA.
*I wanted owners and potential owners of this lens to know that there is a homemade solution to the CA problem with this lens. I've found that if you manufacture a 58mm disk from black material and then make a 3/4 inch hole in the middle of it and place it on the front of the lens, this acts as a way of manually stopping down the lens to an equivalent of about f/10 (while it is really wide open at f5.6), and it totally removes the CA! I've also found it to improve sharpness. I'm talking primarily about 300mm here, but it can work at shorter lengths too. Obviously the wider the hole you have in your disk the larger the aperture and potentially more CA you'll have, and the smaller the hole the darker and more difficult it will be to take pictures of anything moving, so you have to find a median, and a 3/4inch hole works well I've found.
Here is a link to the a crop showing the purple fringing:
And here is a link to a crop showing a shot with the homemade diaphragm:

Aside from that, the AF is only good in good light, and even then it isn't perfect and it's loud and slow, but it can work pretty well if you set your center focus point only. Manual focus works well when you need critical focus.
The build quality is ok, but I've had better. I'll eventually probably invest in a 70-200mm 2.8 of some brand, hopefully canon but maybe tokina, to replace this guy, but if you're on a budget and can work around its limitations, it's not an unusable lens.
In fact, I've taken pictures of wildlife and cropped in on the photos and they still look pretty darn good. I also took pictures at a horse jumping event and compared them with a pro who uses a f2.8 biggy of some sort and mine looked just as good if not better...i set my color and contrast really high in-camera, making vivid photos and hers were all neutral and more average looking.

Registered: July 2010
Posts: 6
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III review by cmm895
Review Date: 7/4/2010 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $250.00| Rating: 6 

Pros: price, not much else
Cons: need to use manual focus to get sharp images, no IS, needing to use f11 to get sharp images.

I purchased this lens a number of years ago to use on a film SLR camera and also used it for a short time on my 450D DSLR. If sufficient light is available and your subject is staying relative still you can get some sharp shots through using manual focus and f11. If it is dark and you dont have time to manually focus this lens is rubbish. I have since upgraded to a Canon 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM and this lens is far better.

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 8
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III review by Wojtek
Review Date: 2/17/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

Pros: Small, light, inexpensive and sharp at low focal lengths
Cons: Low contrast at wide open apertures

Actually, I've tested Canon Zoom Lens EF 75-300 mm f/4-5.6 II USM, that has exactly the same optics as this one, but the USM lens is not listed here at all. It's a perfect companion to Canon EF 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 USM (price and quality - wise). At f/11 it is very sharp, but the sharpness seems to be lower due to low contrast, especially wide-open. The tests are described on, so you can see for yourself how it compares to similar lenses. At 300mm it is significantly softer than below 200mm ranges. As others noted, it's a great lens for the budget savvy DSLR owners.

Registered: August 2008
Posts: 15
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III review by Badmono
Review Date: 8/22/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $75.00| Rating: 6 

Pros: Cheap - The only Canon Zoom I'd use, good focal range
Cons: At the price - None whatsoever

I'm not a Zoom lens fan But appreciate that a good zoom is worth having in the bag - However having had to sell both the 70-200 F2.8 IS L and the 100-400 IS L because of their poor IQ.
I bought my 75-300EF off a friend who had owned it for a few years so I had seen photo's taken with this lens before it's purchase. IQ is acceptable for a zoom. In fact I use this lens for Holidays and hiking. It's light weight and long focal range are it's plus points. Compared to my Primes this lens is slow, but hey it's usable at full aperture and I'm more than happy to use it.
For all important shoot's I use 'L' seies primes 135 F2, 200 F2.8 and 400 F2.8 IS which are head and shoulders above all zoom lenses even Canon 'Hell' series zooms.
This 75-300 is a great lens provided you don't expect top IQ. and a bargain if you can buy one at £40UK pounds the price I paid.
Well worth checking one out !!

Registered: March 2008
Posts: 2
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III review by tempest68
Review Date: 3/7/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $199.00| Rating: 6 

Pros: good zoom range, inexspensive
Cons: very susceptible to camera shake

For someone starting out in photography on a budget, this is not a bad lens. But it is not exceptional either.

I purchased this lens the same time I picked up my Rebel XT w/18-55 mm "kit" lens. I thought the 75-300mm range might be fun to "play" with, and it was. I took some decent shots of birds and butterflies, and liked the results. And given that the 18-55 just seems to short for my needs, this lens was fun to play with when the opportunity presented itself.

The biggest challenge for me with this lens was the length/width/weight of this lens seemed to make it susceptible to camera shake. And not having IS, there is not much you can do about it. Being quite long and heavy (when on an XT body), I found it hard to hold it steady. Most of my shooting does not lend itself to using a tripod. My complaint about the width of this lens is that it is too narrow. If the lens had a larger diameter, it might be easier to shoot hand held with lesser camera shake.

As I said at the start, I would recommend this lens to someone new to photography on a budget. But if you are like me and lugging a tripod around does not seem optimal for your type of shooting, I would strongly recommend looking for a lens with IS even if it cost a little more. It would be money well spent.

I sold my copy, but only because I needed money to fund the purchase of another lens. I wanted to give up on the 18-55mm kit lens and get something a little better for my walk-around lens. So I sold my 75-300 to get the 17-85mm IS USM. I felt like I could do without the 86-300 range for now, and having a good walk-around was more important than having a long telephoto that I only use occassionally.

Registered: December 2007
Posts: 4
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III review by twmagoo
Review Date: 12/4/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $236.00| Rating: 7 

Pros: zoom, cost,light
Cons: soft at the long end

This lens is okay for the price. I don't see how most people try to compare low end lens to the L series and them give them a bad review because of that. This lens does okay at 75mm between F/9 to F/11 and at 200mm at F/ 10 to F/11. Around 300mm, its a mix bag...I shot alot of pictures when I'm at 300mm, and hope one comes out really good, so far I do end up with one thats pretty sharp and clear with out a tripod. For the price its an okay lens, if you can afford it, then I would recommend you get a better lens. If you can't, this will do okay for its price range.

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 8
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III review by thf
Review Date: 1/14/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $160.00| Rating: 5 

Pros: good zoom range, cheap
Cons: soft over 200mm, slow AF, lack of contrast

If you are on tight budget or (like me when I bought this lens) want to find out if you like these focal lengths, get it. Optical quality is not so bad at wide end but the lens gets rather soft and with CA over 200mm, especially wide open. Stop it down! Image contrast is rather low. You'll have to spend some time working on the images on the computer but it's possible to get decent photos from this lens if you are ready to spent some time on them later.

My copy had some zoom creep and made strange noises but otherwise worked.

Lens hood is sold separately, not a surprise really at this price range.

I can recommend this lens only because it's really cheap.. However if you can afford it, get the new 70-300 IS USM, which is excellent for its price.

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 8
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III review by AlainD
Review Date: 1/12/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $75.00| Rating: 7 

Pros: cheap - good for figuring out what range you use. Decent stoped to F8-10. Light weight
Cons: cheap! very soft wide open

This lens is actually pretty decent stopped to F8-10 so it works well in good light. Wide open it very soft compare to say a Sigma 135-400, btu so much lighter and compact (fit into small over the sholder bag, while the sigma is big).

I bought this lens for not much (with rebate on XT) to figure out what range I needed, and got some very decent shots out of it. It is actually better than people make it sound.

I now know I need a 400-500+ range.
Not a bad entry level lens

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 11
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III review by crmorse
Review Date: 1/5/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

Pros: Better quality than most 3rd party near the same price
Cons: Not up to L standards (or price)

A very usable lens when stopped down and has much improved contrast and colors over the lower-end 3rd party lenses in this same range.

While it's not top-quality glass it doesn't cost or weight the same either.

Overall, for a buyer looking for a compromise, this is a good choice.

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 12
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III review by mxwphoto
Review Date: 12/11/2006 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $150.00| Rating: 6 

Pros: Long zoom range
Cons: Image quality & build

I got this lens soon after I first started into DSLR. 300mm zoom... wow, I can get a lot of far off objects/wildlife with this, or so I thought. I soon found out that without USM, it focuses quite a bit slower than other USM lenses and hunts for focus if lighting conditions aren't optimal. Also, you have to stop down quite a bit for decent image quality, especially on the long end. Colors seem a bit washed out and since there is no IS, the lens either has to be placed on a monopod or tripod (severely limiting its bird tracking abilities) or the ISO has to be cranked up till it's fast enough (degrading the image further). This lens is the tele equivalent of the kit lens, but the reason I don't recommend this while I do recommend the kit is that at wider angles, image sharpness and shake aren't as apparent nor as important as the overall composition while at long tele ends, one would often want to see more detail than just a blurry shape.


This document copyright © 2009-2015,, all rights reserved.