Canon 75-300
  • Sydney Portraits
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    Canon 75-300

    by Sydney Portraits » Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:28 pm

    Hi all, my name is Tom. I’m a professional photographer based in Sydney. I’ve had a Canon EF75-300 for years now. I don’t use it much for stills but I find I do increasingly for video. However, I notice sharpness (or lack of it) can be a problem – even in the f8-11 range – and with any kind of wind or movement camera shake can be disastrous.
    The lens doesn’t have image stabilizer. Has anyone used the image stabilizer version for video? Does it make a big difference?
    The other option is the L range 70-300. I’m hesitant because of the bulk and weight. Can anyone comment on this lens vs the EF version?
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    Re: Canon 75-300

    by Busiboy » Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:41 pm

    Hi Tom,

    What camera are you using it on?
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    Re: Canon 75-300

    by Doug » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:06 pm

    Welcome Tom.

    I borrowed a Canon EF75-300 IS for the day a little while back from one of our members so I have some impression of it.
    Eden who's lens it was could give you a better idea of the IS performance I'm sure.

    The L version is probably the next lens I will get, so I'm going to be a bit bias towards it.
    It's 4 stops of IS vs 2 from the non L is definitely going to give you the steady shots you want even fully zoomed I imagine.
    The L is going to be smoother for focus pulling and zoom in video. I found the action of the lens I borrowed reflected its price.

    The L is defiantly heavier, though it is promoted as being a light lens by Canon for an L build.
    It is actually shorter than the non L at both ends of the zoom, but chunky in diameter.

    It would be worth handling this lens first to see if the diameter and weight works for you or not, the back to front focus ring might be a deal breaker alone. (Its at the back of the lens not the front)
    I don't shoot video, so you would know more than me how much lens IQ translates to video resolution beyond a curtain point.
    Going to the IS version of your lens would show no improvement in IQ I would expect beyond a more stable image.

    Have you looked at the various steady cam accessories you can buy or DIY?
    That might give you some IS as well as smoothing out larger movements.
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    Re: Canon 75-300

    by Eden » Sat Jun 21, 2014 7:43 pm

    Hi Tom,

    Welcome to the forum!

    I'm new to this so have limited experience with other lenses but can say for around the $150 mark this lens does what it is designed to do,and with all the feel of yesteryear!

    it is long when extended
    it is noisy focusing (video sound recording wise)
    it has a quite audible "IS" whir sound (video sound recording wise)
    and can sound a bit clunky when tracking a moving target (video sound recording wise)
    it is fairly heavy also
    It suffers at the ends and is best between 120--250mm in my opinion.
    In great light it works like clockwork and is fast and precise focusing but on a dull overcast day gets a bit lost in auto focus hunting.

    on the other hand

    it does not rotate the front/filter when zooming but it does when focusing!
    it has fair optics for the dollar and for a buy/try could be sold easily after some use if it is not what you want.
    The "IS" works fine but you get some correction twitch occasionally as the "IS" over corrects itself (especially in poor light).

    It might pay to borrow one or go to a camera shop and use one for a few mins with the video side of things.

    For me it was a no-brainer at that price point and will have to keep me happy for another year or so.
    when I go full frame it will be the 24-105L with the 100-400 L IS USM

    the sweet spot for the 100-400 is around the 320 mark from some of the old reviews I have been reading and may be worth considering also.

    as I said "my experience is limited " so Doug and others will have a better knowledge of the more technical stuff.

    cheers Eden
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    Re: Canon 75-300

    by Sydney Portraits » Fri Jun 27, 2014 7:54 am

    Thanks guys for your very detailed answers! For me it's a case of balancing image quality - more for video rather than stills - and space/weight (my kit bags are full), for a lens I wouldn't use that much. But that said those long-lens scenic shots can be gold in a video so I think I'm going to have to go for the 70-300L and buy a bigger kit bag. Cheers! :)
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    Re: Canon 75-300

    by Doug » Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:07 am

    I hope the L is not over kill for your needs, there is a big jump in the Canon range between the 75-300 and the 75-300L in a lot of factors including weight and price.
    It might pay to try out the after market brand alternatives as well for a middle ground solution.

    I believe that if you are shooting in a 24fps mode the ideal shutter speed is going to be 1/50 sec.
    So applying the 75-300L's 4 stops of IS then that 1/50 of a sec would be as stable as 1/800 of a sec, which is more than enough for its max 300mm fl.
    The regular Canon 70-300 with its 2 stops of IS will give 1/200 sec stability, which is not enough at 300mm particularly if you used a crop frame.

    I'm sure you would have no regrets with the L, but you might be able to find something with 3 stops of IS that ticks more of the boxes.

    If you do get the L I would like to hear your impressions of it.
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    Re: Canon 75-300

    by Busiboy » Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:47 am

    Hence my original question Doug on that went unanswered regarding which body is being used.

    More is always better in my experience with camera gear, you'll notice more you missed is you go cheap and a poor man always pays twice.
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    Re: Canon 75-300

    by beeb » Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:19 pm

    The 70-300mm L is an excellent lens. Biggest difference is the improvement in colour and contrast, but there's also a big reduction in diffraction in the L, which makes it noticeably sharper too. It's also very compact and light for the zoom range. The only shame in my opinion is that the maximum aperture drops down towards the long end of the zoom range. If it was f/4 all the way through, I'd have kept the one I had ages back! Lol.

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