Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 USM L IS (full format) - Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Sample Shots

Here're a couple of sample shots taken with the EOS 5D II (RAWs converted via CaptureOne).

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window).

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Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 130.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/500s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 300.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/640s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 60.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 200.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/1000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 210.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/1250s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 28.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 110.0mm
Aperture: f/10.0
Exposure 1/400s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 300.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/500s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 60.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/320s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 300.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/320s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 28.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/640s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 50.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/1000s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 300.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/3200s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 300.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/1600s

Verdict

The Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 USM L IS is an impressive piece of engineering. However, its immense zoom range doesn't come without compromises - especially on a high resolution full format DSLR. The resolution figures are actually pretty good in the 28-100mm range but there's an obvious penalty beyond 200mm with rather soft borders at large apertures. This is acceptable in some situations (e.g. for portraits) but if you need a high resolution across the frame you need to stop down to f/8, better f/11 here. The vignetting characteristic isn't great but, frankly, this doesn't really differ from most mainstream standard zoom lenses either. The 28mm setting does also suffer from a fairly extreme degree of barrel distortion whereas the issue isn't overly significant at other settings. Lateral CAs are reasonably well controlled and not overly disturbing. The quality of the bokeh is acceptable for such a lens but it can be rough in critical situations. The build quality is exceptional although some may not like the push-pull zoom design. However, with a little positive attitude you should be able to get used to it and the very smooth zoom action helps a lot during the transition phase. The 3rd generation IS is a significant and highly welcome addition to the feature list. On the downside the lens is heavy and not exactly small especially when used at 300mm - it's not really a low profile lens. The price lifts it beyond the reach of most amateurs but then this is true for many L grade lenses out there. All-in-all a viable one-size-fits-all solution IF you're aware of its limitations and shift around them.

Optical Quality:    
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Price/Performance:
      
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