Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III

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75-300mm $153
average price
image of Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III

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(From Canon lens literature) The optical system, construction, and exterior of this lens are the same as the EF 75-300 mm f/4-5.6 III USM. The difference is that it uses a DC motor instead of ultrasonic motor to drive the autofocus.

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III

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Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III User Reviews

6.8/10 average of 12 review(s) Build Quality 6.5/10 Image Quality 6.5/10
  • 5 out of 10 points and recommended by transiently (26 reviews)
    Capable of solidly good sharpness on full frame between 75 and about 200 mm.
    Poor sharpness and contrast at 300mm, particularly when shot at distance, exacerbated by purple fringing and, on some samples, large AF inaccuracies . Large sample variation. Lots of flare. Don't buy for 1.6 crop cameras.

    Good sharpness across the frame when used as a 75-200mm with only modest stopping down, but the long end, where most people will probably want to use it mostly, performs poorly. One of my samples worked well at 300mm for subjects 1.5-2 meters away, where it was sharp when stopped down well to F10. Enormous sample variation at 300mm where one sample needed more than 20 AF microadjustment and still didn't perform adequately.

    Flares easily into the light, but sometimes in quite an attractive way. A much better lens than Canon's 80-200 4.5-5.6 (poor sides and and edges with that one, at above about 80mm), but only useful for high quality photography if you have tested your sample and know what you are doing.

    I preferred it to the similar 70-300 offerings from Tamron and Sigma for its faster AF and reasonably solid performance as a 75-200. It actually beats Canon's venerable but good stopped-down 70-210/4 used wide open at these focal lengths.

    It's hard to know whether to recommend this or not. If you understand what it can and can't do well and don't over-pay, it makes quite a good budget 75-200 for your 6D or 5D. It's less good on 1.6 crop, but still very usable at shorter focal lengths. However the EF-S 55-250 IS is definitely superior, and makes more sense if you don't expect to buy a full-frame body.

    reviewed January 22nd, 2021
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by Colo43 (1 reviews)
    Great for wildlife
    have found none

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

    reviewed December 17th, 2011
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by luke (2 reviews)
    cheap, light, long
    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.

    reviewed June 9th, 2011 (purchased for $75)
  • 6 out of 10 points and not recommended by cmm895 (6 reviews)
    price, not much else
    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.

    reviewed July 4th, 2010 (purchased for $250)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by Wojtek (8 reviews)
    Small, light, inexpensive and sharp at low focal lengths
    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.

    reviewed February 17th, 2009
  • 6 out of 10 points and recommended by Badmono (15 reviews)
    Cheap - The only Canon Zoom I'd use, good focal range
    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 !!

    reviewed August 22nd, 2008 (purchased for $75)
  • 6 out of 10 points and recommended by tempest68 (2 reviews)
    good zoom range, inexspensive
    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.

    reviewed March 7th, 2008 (purchased for $199)
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by twmagoo (4 reviews)
    zoom, cost,light
    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.

    reviewed December 4th, 2007 (purchased for $236)
  • 5 out of 10 points and recommended by thf (8 reviews)
    good zoom range, cheap
    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.

    reviewed January 14th, 2007 (purchased for $160)
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by AlainD (8 reviews)
    cheap - good for figuring out what range you use. Decent stoped to F8-10. Light weight
    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

    reviewed January 12th, 2007 (purchased for $75)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by crmorse (11 reviews)
    Better quality than most 3rd party near the same price
    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.

    reviewed January 5th, 2007
  • 6 out of 10 points and not recommended by mxwphoto (12 reviews)
    Long zoom range
    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.

    reviewed December 11th, 2006 (purchased for $150)