I get frustrated by all the negative reviews this lens gets on the web. Yes,
the AF is slow and the IS is first generation. Yes, it's not totally sharp and
it's slow at the long end. But what other $440 (inc shipping) 300mm lenses with
IS is there?
- The DO costs $1100 and is shorter but heavier and the optics are
not much better.
- The 100-400L costs $1400, is much larger and just as slow.
- The 70-200/4L
is 50% more expensive, only 200mm and lacks IS.
- The new 70-300 IS that replaces
this lens will probably be a better lens than this version but it costs
50% more and currently (Oct 05) is still not available in the US.
The 75-300mm IS is my zoo lens so I don't use it nearly as much as my standard
zoom for everyday photography. On my Digital Rebel with its 1.6x crop factor
this lens is the equivalent of 120-480mm in 35mm terms, and with the image
stabilization feature it makes for some exotic optics. Play to this lens' strengths
(middle of the aperture range [don't be afraid of higher ISO settings to achieve
this] and not the extreme long end) and your images will be able to be printed
at 8x10 without an issue.
You're not going to be able to easily track a speeding cheetah with this lens
but that is not what this lens is for. It's also unfair to compare this lens
to L series alternatives - if you can afford L series lenses then use them
but don't cut those of us down without your disposable income just for enjoying
this lens. If you own this lens and you want to improve the quality of your
images remember to always use a lens hood. Also, the IS is amazing but there
are limits; a monopod will improve image sharpness no end. But both these tips
apply equally to most lenses both cheaper and more expensive.
This lens has earned a permanent place in my camera bag. It's cheap enough
and light enough to carry just in case you might need a strong telephoto. The
IS really works and is really useful on a telephoto with this kind of zoom
range. Don't be put off or intimidated by lens snobs and line counters. This
lens also holds its value well; buy it, and use it, now while you're saving
for your L dream telephoto and you will be able to sell it for not much less
than you paid for it when the time comes to upgrade. When that time comes you
just might decide that you want to keep the 75-300mm IS around as well. This
lens is great value and very useable even if it is not a great lens.