Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM - Review / Lab Test Report
Lens Reviews -
Canon EOS (APS-C)
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Lens kindly provided by Friedhelm Poschadel!
03/24/2007 © by Klaus Schroiff
The Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM can probably described as the next quality step up from
the el cheapo kit tele zooms but at around 300€/US$ it is also already 50% more expensive
than e.g. the EF 90-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM.
On APS-C DSLRs the field of view
is equivalent to 160-480mm so it is fairly suitable for sports or wildlife photography,
less so for portraits. The 100-300mm USM is a full format lens so it is compatible to
all EOS cameras out there. Released back in 1990 it is a fairly old design by now.
The minimal focus distance is 1.5m resulting in a max. object magnification of 1:4 at 300mm.
The optical design is made of 13 elements in 10 groups with no special elements. The lens features
8 aperture blades. With a size of 73x122mm and weight of 540g it remains quite compact qualifying it
as a good walk-around tele zoom lens.
The tested lens has obviously seen some abuse over the years but it is still pretty obvious
that you're getting a little bit more here compared to the bottom end class.
It is, for instance, rather unusual for a consumer tele lens to feature an internal
focusing (IF) design - the front element does not rotate neither during zooming nor
focusing. Unlike its cheaper cousins (as well as the more expensive EF 70-300mm IS) the
ring-type USM drive is very fast and provides full-time manual override in one-shot AF mode.
On the downside the outer construction does still rely on lots of plastic but there's at least
a metal mount. Both the broad, rubberized zoom ring as well as the tiny plastic focus ring
feel a little stiff to operate. Despite its obvious age and use the tested sample did not
suffer from zoom creeping.