I was given an old Canon film camera last week and in the bag was an EF mount 75-300mm lens. Being a cheap zoom I wasn’t expecting much from it, but after a play around for an hour or so I really quite like it so I thought I’d give a little mini review.
I stuck it on the front of my 500D which turns it into a 120-480mm equivalent – you really do get some massive reach with a crop sensor combination! At f/4.0-5.6 the lens is slow and also has no form of image stabilization so I couldn’t recommend it as a lens for all occasions, but today outside in the sunshine it did a great job at keeping me entertained.
You’d be forgiven for thinking the above dandelion picture was taken with a super-fast prime lens. But actually, racked out at 270mm (430mm equivalent) you get some really nice shallow depth of field even at f/5.6! If you like shooting outdoor portraits and you’re on a budget this is a good option.
The autofocus isn’t bad at all, it didn’t have too much trouble tracking the pigeons. Obviously it’s nowhere near as rapid as the ring USM lenses but it’s nowhere near the price either. It does have a bit of colour fringing and it vignettes even on the crop camera so I imagine it’s a lot worse on a full frame body.
The construction is in line with other kit lenses – plastic not-so-fantastic, but at least they are light. It has a 58mm thread size which is the same as the 18-55mm kit lens if you have filters for one of those already in your camera bag.
Would I buy one of these from new? Perhaps not. But if I was looking for a cheap lens to compliment an 18-55mm kit then I would definitely have a look for one of these in the second hand section. Without a flash it will be next to useless indoors in my opinion, but in good outdoor light it does a good job. It’s not the sharpest tool in the box, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you’re shooting portraits – which is my recommended use for this lens.