Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM Telephoto Lens – A Review

One of my online photographer/flickr friends, Amar, has been kind enough to write a review for one of the lenses that he uses a lot – Canon’s EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM Telephoto Lens. If you have any questions about the lens, do ask them in the comments.

Here’s his review verbatim:

Before starting with my review, I would like to caution the readers that I am somebody who is easily pleased and end up rating things generously. I’ll try not to do that here. The Canon EF 75-300mm f4-5.6 III USM Telephoto Lens is probably one of the cheapest lenses you are going to see from Canon especially for this focal range – it is definitely the cheapest. It’s listed at 160$ in Amazon, the last time I checked there.

The feature that instantly pops up in my mind is its light weight – it is considerably less for a lens with this focal range. You will have no problem mounting the camera on to a tripod with this lens on it. The Zoom ring is very good unlike some lenses that have to be held when you are focusing down. The focus speed is very good for the price. A lens hood will really help when shooting under harsh lighting. Do note that this is an EF lens and can be used in full frame cameras too. This lens performs great under good light conditions. At low light conditions and at lesser ISO it’s bound to have some blurs.

This lens is perfect for candid shots. With a focal length of 300mm on hand, subjects at a distance can be shot without any problems. During my last trip to India, I carried this lens everywhere I went and shot candid without being noticed by the subjects. For this the shot below, I was at least a a good 30-40ft away from the subjects.

Panned shots and action blur shots are a cake walk with this lens, however Image Stabilization (IS) would have come in handy. Follow the rules and you will get some amazing shots. Here are a couple of them.

Panned Shot

Blurred shot – This was shot from about 10-12 ft away.

Personally, whenever I see some of my blurry shots, I feel having an IS ability would have really helped. There is a compromise in the amount of sharpness too. The aperture range is limited to f/4-5.6 and so there is no flexibility at extreme light conditions. Also chromatic aberrations are significant at high contrast and high ISO values.

With that being said, who should really buy this lens? If you have a Canon digital SLR and only have the Kit Lens or a Macro Lens and also don’t have a lot of money to spend on your costly and newly found hobby, then this lens is a God send!! On the other hand, if you are really serious about photography and eventually would like to take it to the next level and have some money to spare, then you must shop around for a good telephoto lens with Image Stabilization.


The review and all the pics are Amar’s. If you have any questions, do ask them in the comments.

12 Responses to “Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM Telephoto Lens – A Review”

  1. hehehehe.. all this is Greek and Latin for me. Anyways, a friend of mine had asked me to get a lens from Singapore. He was SHOCKED to see the bill and told that the price is about ten time lesser priced than US. :)

  2. Meenu, it is not that much cheaper anywhere. I keep track of the prices from S’pore too and while it is lesser, it isnt anything close to 10 times cheaper.

  3. hmm.. I just went by what he said :). I am not able to see the pics as they are blocked-content in my office network. As always, they would be amazing. Will try to check them at home.

  4. Hey Amar,

    Nice shots.

  5. the motor cycle image is awesome. The blurred shot has a dewy effect to it, n i liked that too..

  6. (adds the 75-300mm lens to his wishlist)

  7. write more babe

  8. Thanks for sharing the review! The pictures are amazing. Someday I wld love to invest in Image Stabilization lens.

  9. hi your blog is nice good job

  10. Love your photography. I just bought the 75-300 III USM on a whim and was having second thoughts after reading all the bad reviews. Your pictures laid my fears to rest. Keep up the good work!

  11. just plz write some more about tranny or trans as we would like to call them!

  12. Heya,

    I am a beginner n want to know the difference between USM and IS…i heared that USM does not support stabilization…that means through USM my all pics will be blurry if the subject is in motion..??
    I use Canon 550D…can i use USM for it…
    Does 75-300 IS lens gives the same quality of image as show above by USM..what is the actual diff.??
    thank you!

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