Does anyone have and could share experiences with the use of?

I can buy cheap lens Canon EF 75-300 f/4-5.6 III USM for my Canon EOS 550D

What I have found yet is that it hasn't IS and is quite old and how about sharpness and light? f/4-5.6 is a bit much...

What is your experience with this lens?

Reason: I'm looking for a cheap and good lens to photograph distant objects (aka 10x zoom in compact camera)

  • to whom who downgrade my question: what is the reason ?
    – konradowy
    Aug 13 '10 at 11:26
  • 2
    @falkon: I can only guess, but perhaps because it might be considered off-topic. Equipment questions being off-topic has been discussed on meta: meta.photo.stackexchange.com/questions/197/… I think that you should explain what you are going to use it for in order for someone to give a relevant answer.
    – Guffa
    Aug 13 '10 at 11:56
  • @Guffa: thx, I've explained the reason of buying the lens
    – konradowy
    Aug 13 '10 at 12:16
  • AFAIK, there is no cheap Canon EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 III USM. Either you mean the 75 -300 or you mean the 70-300 IS.
    – ysap
    Aug 13 '10 at 12:42
  • I mean without IS, model from y.1999(?)
    – konradowy
    Aug 13 '10 at 13:14

Personally I would go for Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS instead.

It is only slightly more expansive compared to 75-300 f/4-5.6 III USM but gives you better optical quality and offers Image Stabilisation that can be very helpful when shooting at the long end of the focal range.

It think Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS offers the best value for money in this focal range for crop sensor body. The lens is in many aspect similar to much more expansive Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

So unless apart form your Rebel you have a film camera body or another full frame body I would recommend 55-250

Just for reference the current prices on BHPhoto

  • For reference, I've a 70-300 IS, and am not impressed with its performance... Aug 14 '10 at 15:25
  • @Rowland - it depends what you expected from that lens, neither of the lenses that I mentioned are of L lens quality. I am simply stating that 55-250 is in my opinion better choice than 75-300 for crop sensor body within similar price range
    – kristof
    Aug 14 '10 at 21:11
  • Even the old 80-200 that I had as a kit lens gives better results than the 70-300 gives me... Aug 14 '10 at 21:22

First, note my comment to your question. I have the EF 75-300 lens which I bought 5 yrs ago with my old Rebel XT. It served me very well at the time. For a first tele lens, this is not a a bad choice at all, especially given its low price.

You will find in time that its quality is mediocre compared to more expensive teles. But, take your time enjoying your new equipment. If you buy this lens, remember that even if you come to a conclusion that it is not what you need, the "damage" is not that great, and you can always resell it and get back some of your investment.

Coupled with the 18-55 "kit" lens, you'll have enough gear for a couple of years.

Aside from that - the lens' zoom number relates to the ratio of the long focal length to the short one a zoom lens can be set. So, 75-300 gives you a zoom of x4 and 18-55 gives x3. Zoom numbers are not (directly) related to the lens being telephoto or wide-angle.


I haven't had a chance to try out the Canon 75-300 f/4-5.6 III USM, but I have the non-USM version which I picked up for ~$100 on ebay a couple months ago, which is optically equivalent. On a cropped body like the 550d, it has a great telephoto range, and is quite good in well lit areas. The USM version should focus a little faster and quieter, but I believe it is a bit heavier as well.

If you are hand-holding, the combination of the slow aperture and the need for a high shutter speed makes it hard to use unless the subject is well lit, however, when you are able to get the shot the results are quite good. There is some chromatic aberration, but for such a low cost that is to be expected, and there are ways to fix that in post-processing. Also, I highly recommend getting a lens hood, which is very helpful in midday sun.

Overall it's a decent lens, and at such a low cost it is a great option if you don't have a lens with a similar focal length.

  • exactly this model, thx.
    – konradowy
    Aug 13 '10 at 14:29

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