Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM

Last updated (17 November’11):
- Review by The-digital-picture

The Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM features 100-300mm at focal length with maximum aperture of F/4.5-5.6. The lens construction has 13 elements in 10 groups and has diagonal angle of view at 24 degrees. Focus adjustment: Rear focusing system with USM, Closest focusing distance at 1.5m/4.9 ft. The Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM lens weighs 1.2 pounds and it measures 2.9 inches in diameter and 4.8 inches long.

Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM
Overall Rating: ★★★½☆ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM Reviews

The-digital-picture reviews the Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM and writes;
“Vignetting is well controlled with 300mm f/5.6 showing the worst performance in this regard. CA (Chromatic Aberration) is also well controlled but apparent at the long end. Slight pincushion distortion is visible at most focal lengths even on a 1.3x FOVCF body.”
rating: N/A

Lenstip reviews the Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM and writes;
“The Canon 100-300 mm could be a good alternative for the very popular Sigma 70-300 mm APO DG Macro because of its good quality and price. Both lenses are similar as far as resolution, chromatic aberration, distortion, coma and working in bright light are concerned.. The Canon, on the other hand, has better astigmatism correction, smaller vignetting and which is probably the most important – good autofocus work, which is not very good in the Sigma. “
rating: N/A

Photozone reviews the Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM and writes;
“The resolution figures are excellent and 100mm but unsurprisingly there’s a penalty at longer focal length specifically at 300mm @ f/5.6. At 200mm and more so at 300mm you should stop down a little to lift the resolution and contrast level.”
Rating: ★★★☆☆

SLRGear reviews the Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM and writes;
“The lens achieves its best performance when stopped down to ƒ/8; at 100mm and 135mm, the lens is tack-sharp at both ƒ/8 and ƒ/11.. Autofocus performance for the 100-300mm is very quiet and very fast. While autofocus speed will depend on the particular body being used, we can report that the lens moves from closest focus to infinity in well under a second on our 5D body.”
Rating: ★★★½☆

User Opinions

Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM User Reviews

We get what we pay for. But maybe a little more with this le | Rating: ★★★★★
“This lens is very good. Picture is very sharp with 100-200 mm. and it’s perfect for head&body portrait. I love this lens. In 300 mm area you can see softness but it’s not much. And I compared with 28-105,this one is sharper at 100 than28-105 @105, and it shows much less distortion..” – by Hairong Shi

Best tele-zoom in its price range | Rating: ★★★★☆
“Much better image quality than Canon’s EF 75-300 lenses. Ring USM for fast auto-focus, but no image stabilization. Good build quality for the money spent..” – by A Customer

Not bad…not bad at all | Rating: ★★★★☆
“The 100-300 is smaller and lighter than the 70-200/2.8L. It’s a pretty sharp lens if you recognize its limitations. Limitations include being a notch or two down in sharpness at the 300mm end of the zoom range unless you stop it down to around f/11. At 200mm or shorter, it performs well even at maximum aperture even though it’s not up to “L-series” optical quality.” – by A photographer

EF 100-300/4.5-5.6 Canon | Rating: ★★★★☆
“This is an excellant lens for the reasonable price. A little soft at the high end of of the scale, but since its use is on a Canon DSLR there is alot of capacity and I seldom need to go that high. It matches well with my EF 28-105/3.5-4.5 lens. “ – by R. Goff

Big step up on the 75-300 | Rating: ★★★★★
“The build quality is much better on the 100-300. Also I have found this lens to be sharper. Along with that, this one has ring-type USM instead of micro USM so it focuses faster and quieter while allowing full time manual focus–you can manually adjust the focus without having to switch between AF and MF.” – by Fernando Valenzuela

Super lens. | Rating: ★★★★★
“This is a great lens for most longer shots. Works well with my Canon 30D for most shots I have wanted to take. Fairly fast focus. Have used it for indoor gymnastics meets and baseball shots. “ – by Retired teacher

Excellent lens for medium telephoto | Rating: ★★★★★
“I use it in combination with a Canon IS 28-135mm lens and a 50mm prime lens. Focusing is fast and accurate with the ring type USM auto-focus. Ring type USM focusing allows fine adjustment to the focus without switching to manual focus mode..” – by TomVette

Good allrounder | Rating: ★★★★★
“This lens have the qualitys I need for allround use, fits easily into my backpack, or just mounted on my camera it’s not to heavy. It has a fast and prescise autofucus. Mounted on a good tripod it takes excellent pictures with little noise, and crystal clare imagery. “ – by Roar Brevik Nss

I’m no expert, but I really love this lens.. | Rating: ★★★★★
“My images stay pretty sharp throughout the zoom range and I rarely have light problems. Most notably, I recently used this lens to shoot an evening choir concert at the church where I work. Despite the low light and the distance, I was able to get some well balanced, crisp, and well-lit shots of the people singing.” – by Jimmy!

Detail | Rating: ★★★★★
“All summer I have been taking pictures of dragonflies and damselflies. The detail is amazing! I can see the hair on the legs of dragonfly! Wonderful! A little slow to focus sometimes but overall the picture quality is so much better than a Tamron my spouse was using. “ – by L. Smith

More user opinions | Write your opinion

Features & Specifications

Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM Specifications

The Canon EF 100-300mm lens completes a fusion of state-of-the-art electronics, mechanical precision, and optical excellence. The fully electronic EF lens mount is unique among 35mm SLR cameras, operating silently and reliably due to the complete elimination of mechanical couplings. It has a custom- designed autofocus motor and microprocessor, and employs ultrasonic motor technology, aspherical lens elements, flourite crystal and ultralow-dispersion glass. The EF 100-300mm is designed for use with all EOS cameras, allows auto and manual focus modes, rear focusing system, and has an affordable price.


Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 100-300mm 1:4.5-5.6
Lens Construction: 13 elements in 10 groups
Diagonal Angle of View: 24° – 8° 15′
Focus Adjustment : Rear focusing system with USM
Closest Focusing Distance: 1.5m/ 4.9 ft.
Zoom System: Rotating Type
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight 2.9″ x 4.8″, 1.2 lbs. / 73mm x 121.5mm, 540g

See also: Canon Lenses | Lens Reviews

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