Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

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75-300mm $488
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(From Canon lens literature) This is the world's first interchangeable SLR lens equipped with an Image Stabilizer. You can reap sharp pictures even in low-light conditions when camera shake would normally blur the shot. Effective for sunsets and places where you cannot use a tripod.

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

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

6.8/10 average of 6 review(s) Build Quality 6.3/10 Image Quality 6.5/10
  • 6 out of 10 points and not recommended by Spaceclown (3 reviews)
    IS and cost/performance ratio
    It is past its prime

    First, my ratings are based by 2008 standards and not the 1996 standards. In 1996 the ratings would be 9 overall, 8 construction, and 9 image quality (with IS on)

    I bought the this lens in Tokyo when I was stationed in Japan in 1996 for around $650 (it was a heck-of-a-bargain in '96). I was using a Canon ELAN IIE 35mm.

    When I got this lens it knocked everyone's socks off. My friends with Nikons with consumer xx-300mm telezoom lens couldn't compete. The Canon 75-300mm IS is soft above 250mm; however in 1996 the IS more than made up for the optics' flaws.

    Now years later, this lens is past it prime. Especially with APS-C (1.6 crop) digital SLRs. One could say it now has a 480mm focal length, but the image quality is sub-par (you can compensate a little by setting the ISO to 1600+, and let the larger grain mask some of the softness). In 1996 this lens was king, but now is too long in the tooth.

    I won't sell this lens, I have too much respect for it and will make it part of my collection (after all it was the first interchangeable SLR lens with IS). But it will sit idle as I move on to its successors.

    reviewed October 13th, 2008 (purchased for $650)
  • 7 out of 10 points and not recommended by Lee Jay (16 reviews)
    Cheap, IS
    Slow focusing, rotating barrel, no FTM

    This lens doesn't have anywhere near as bad of image qualty as others might lead you to believe. That said, the new 70-300IS is better in every way.

    reviewed January 7th, 2007 (purchased for $400)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by tdotduffman (10 reviews)
    Fairly lightweight, pretty fast AF in good light, sharp enough to ~250mm
    Very soft above 250mm (in certain conditions — it's not all bad up there)

    Sure, it's an older, consumer lens, but if that's what you have then that's what you've got to use. Rather soft between 250-300mm, and CA is high around those ranges as well. AF can miss sometimes, and that's a huge range for the glass to cycle through when it doesn't catch. Manual focus is difficult due to the looseness of the ring.

    All that said, the IS is useful (makes a loud *thunk* when activated, but that doesn't affect performance). Moreover, under 200mm, the image quality is really quite decent. The zoom ring sounds harsh (sounds like sliding a cardboard box over felt carpet) but is easily wieldable and not sticky. The front end extends significantly, but one doesn't notice at all when caught up in the action of the event. This lens is a splendid budget tool for outdoor sports, and can achieve high enough shutter speeds that the softness at 300mm is unnoticed if one catches a contorted player up close. However, I would advise against using it in any indoor situation without flash if there is to be any subject movement at all; still life could be fine, but even slow-moving novice ice-skaters will force the ISO up to 1600. Lastly, it's rather light and good for traveling.

    reviewed December 31st, 2006
  • 6 out of 10 points and not recommended by SteveR12682 (10 reviews)
    Soft at the long end of the focal range

    This lens becomes very soft once you get past 200 mm, and, unfortunately, this is where it is most likely to be used. The IS system works well. It appears that the new 70-300 IS is a much improved lens compared to this version.

    reviewed December 30th, 2006 (purchased for $400)
  • 6 out of 10 points and recommended by jeffn (6 reviews)
    It works as advertised.
    Soft on the long end.

    In the 75-180mm range, this lens is very good. After that it's a long descent into marginally acceptable softness. At the long end, you really do have to stop down to f11 to get any kind of reasonable sharpness.

    So above 200mm the IS is simply compensating for the lens' other shortcomings.

    This is Canon's first generation IS so there is no panning and it's good for a two-stop advantage max.

    reviewed November 25th, 2006 (purchased for $500)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by Abdee (2 reviews)
    IS, IS and, yes, IS
    Focus on slow side, not very robust

    I got this lens last week at very nice price. Thanx Axel (:

    I got it but i had some reserves based on reviews on internet and mixed feedback from forums. First thing that you notice is it's IS system that keeps worries about 1/300 or 1/400 away from you and lets you concentrate on shooting. Optical performance is very nice up to 200mm. Even at 250mm you still can get good results if stoped down. At 300mm it is good only at f10/f11... IS, although first gen, works nice and gives me 2-3 f stops of "freedom". Build quality i OK. I won't shoot in Iraq so I don't bother with fact that it's made of plastic... I'm happy with it. Younger brother a.k.a. 70-300 IS is much better but it's also very expensive so if youre on a budget and still need that nice silver badge on lens try to find one of these...

    reviewed January 23rd, 2006