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Canon EF 75-300mm f4-5.6 Zoom Lens Review

Watch a slide-show of photos I've taken with the Canon EF 75-300mm zoom lens.

These images have been processed in Adobe Camera Raw, Photoshop, Nik Silver Efex Pro for the b&w's, and Photomatix for the HDR's.

Photography is an intriguing hobby, both artistically and technically. As you take more photographs, and look at them, your potential view-points expand, and you see things in different ways.

This lens, the Canon Ef 75-300mm zoom lens, has surprised me with the way it has expanded my vision, it has encouraged me to explore the telephone end of my focal lengths, and opened my eyes to a different area of photography.

View Towards IOW, From Stokes Bay

Look at it big.

I've never had much luck with telephoto lenses on my SLR's. I rarely got a decent shot out of my Soligor Zoom until I started using it mainly for macro work, and I didn't have high hopes for the Canon 75-300mm. The problem wasn't the lenses, it was my technique and fear of bumping up the ISO on my digital camera, until I did an ISO test on my Canon EOS 350d.

Once I realised that it didn't really matter if I pushed my ISO to 400 or 800 I started to get better results out of this Telephoto glass, because the shutter-speed was now high enough to handle the camera shake caused my me hand-holding and not using a tripod.

Storm Clouds Over IOW

Look at it big.

You do still have to be careful when using this lens though. At f/4 at the wide end, and f5.6 when at 300mm, the lens isn't letting a lot of light in, and as this version is non-IS (Image Stabilisation) , the old "one over the focal length" has to be observed when shooting hand-held.

Once you take into account the crop factor of a camera like my 350d / Digital Rebel XT, when you zoomed in the lens has a 35mm equivalent focal length of around 450mm, so you want to be shooting up at at least 1/500th of a second. Although using a tripod will remove that camera shake and allow you to tighten up the aperture for a wider depth of field, slower shutter speeds could lead to subject blur, especially when photographing wild-life or people.

Harbour, Hill-Head

Look at it big.

Image quality on the Canon EF 75-300mm f4-5.6 is ok, I don't have any issues with it,but I'm not a pro shooter and don't do much wildlife. Have a look at the shots on this page and make your own decisions, and a lot of it will come down to price. I got this lens, and the EF 28mm f2.8, from eBay as a pair for £100, and that's all I can afford, so the price was right for me. If you've got deeper pockets then a newer IS version could well be in order to improve sharpness when hand-holding.

View Towards Alvestoke Village From Stokes Bay

Look at it big.

Build quality is what to be expected from a Canon budget zoom. It's plasticky and the zoom element does wobble around a bit, but it focusses fast enough and the zoom ring is nice and smooth. I like the weight (it's light) and it fits nicely in my Lowepro Photo Runner Bag with the rest of my kit.

Raven (?) In Flight

Look at it big.

A long telephoto is often seen as a wild-life lens, but they also come in very useful for landscapes. Because you can get further away from your subject (with the same framing), perspective distortion is reduced, and a scene looks "compressed" - great for picking out parts of a landscape and creating an unusual look.

I was sceptical at first, but this lens has won me over and takes its rightful place in my camera bag. If you see one going cheap, snap it up, you'll be chuffed with what you can do with it.

Cheers, Rob.

Reader Comments (1)

Thanks a lot mate !

This review helped a lot, i was just wondering about lenses options which can come in my budget.

I got here via youtube. The video and those sample photos helped a lot.

Thanks once again . . . Keep up the good work.

Ankit Mavchi.

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnkit Mavchi

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