Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 USM L IS - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews -
Canon EOS (APS-C)
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Special thanks to André Heinicke for providing this lens!
The Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 USM L is a fairly recent addition
to the Canon lens lineup. It is the successor of the
EF 35-350mm f/3.5-5.6 USM L, a lens which was and still is popular
in the press community and among travel photographers. On full
frame (D)SLRs this is naturally also true for the new EF 28-300mm L
but on APS-C (the tested scope) its field-of-view is equivalent to
45-480mm so it looses some of its universal character. Nonetheless
the range isn't unprecedented - the Sigma AF 50-500mm EX covers about
the same range on full frame cameras for instance.
The design of a 10.7x zoom is complex and the image stabilizer on
top doesn't make things exactly easier so it's no surprise that
the lens has 23 elements in 16 groups with 3 UD (ultra-low dispersion)
and 3 aspherical elements. The lens features 8 circular aperture blades.
In order to limit the compromises regarding optical quality at the
tele setting Canon preferred to keep the size to a reasonable maximum
so it is neither a small (184x92mm) nor an especially light-weight
lens (1670g) - this is even bigger than its predecessor.
The minimal focus distance is 0.7m (throughout the range) resulting
in a max. object magnification of 1:3.3 at 300mm which is extraordinary
for such a lens. Due to the broad focus range Canon also implemented
a focus limiter so you can exclude close focus distances in situations
where the AF may tend to hunt throughout the range. The filter size is 77mm.
As already mentioned above the 28-300mm L IS features a 3rd generation
image stabilizer. Canon claims a gain of three f-stops here which seems
to be pretty accurate. Unlike older IS lenses the stabilizer also detects
the lack of movement so it can remain activated for tripod usage.
Typical for Canon pro grade IS lenses the IS offers two operation modes:
- standard (mode 1): corrects movements for static scenes (horizontal plus vertical stabilization)
- panning (mode 2): corrects the vertical axis only (regardless of the lens' orientation).
The lens is not compatible to the Canon EF tele-converters.
The lens has a push/pull zoom mechanism. This
approach allows a fast change of the focal length but a fine tuning of
a setting is a little more difficult here.
For press photography where things tend to be on the fast side this may
be appealing whereas most other users would have preferred a conventional
zoom ring. Fortunately the zoom operation is very smooth so you can get
used to it.
Typical for long zooms the EF 28-300mm L extends significantly
towards the 300mm setting and the petal-shaped lens hood adds some
A push/pull zoom is doomed to suffer from lens creeping so
Canon added a control ring to lock the lens at a desired
position. As to be expected from a Canon L lens the build quality
of the EF 28-300mm is just great (metal body). Canon was also smart
enough to implement an environmental sealing against dust and humidity
which is a frequent problem for other air sucking zoom lenses.
The AF drive is a ring-type USM (ultrasonic) variant and combined
with a rear-focusing group it provides an very fast and
near silent AF operation.