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Canon EF 100-300 mm f/5.6 L

Manufacturer Canon
Model EF 100-300 mm f/5.6 L
Lens style Telephoto zoom
Focal length 100 - 300 mm
Maximum aperture f/5.6
Angle of view 24.4 - 8.3 o
Closest focusing distance 1.5 m
Maximum magnification 1:3.84
Minimum aperture 32
Number of diaphragm blades 8
Auto focus type AL
Lens Construction 15 elements / 10 groups
Filter diameter 58 mm
Macro No
Available mounts Canon EF
Dimensions 75 x 166.6 mm
Weight 695 g
Additional information Marketed June 1987
Average rating (3 owners reviews)
Build quality
Optical quality
Value for money


4.56 Good
Owners reviews (3)
  1. Sparks
    Sparks 18 March 2022, 19:20
    Build quality
    Optical quality
    Value for money


    IP 104.0.x.x
    Owner since: more than 10 years
    User profile: Amateur

    Cons: It\'s F5.6, it\'s not ergonomic, it needs a tripod collar, it has no IS, and it\'s a little flimsy, it will easily suck dust in if you are in a dusty environment don\'t kid yourself, it predates weather seal

    Pros: It overcomes everything negative with superb colors and contrast

    Summary: I bought what appeared to be a perfect unused copy recently, it arrived in the condition described ...I was only able to get about 5 shots total, it started giving the ERR 01 code. No matter what I tried, ERR 01 ... there is no software (firmware) you can install, I tried rapidly rocking the af/manual switch several times, I cleaned the contacts and looked at them under magnification...used a chamois all to no avail. I\'d like to make a point, it blew my own 10 plus year old 100-300L away when I did a comparison shot and only got one image, wide open at 5.6 and at a small object 4cm tall high and 10 meters away. Contrast, color, sharpness at 5.6 visibly surpassed my older lens at F 7.1. Sample variation exist and it\'s extremely important to note if you use Full Frame or Crop Factored sensors as well what Canon model of camera you use, you will get different and varying results ....with a 5DS R there is no CA at all, on a 6D or 5D MKII there is for instance? Lenses are being rated and evaluated and sometimes the results users post are not the lens and instead the camera they chose to use ? It\'s an old school lens that delivers modern L results at a spectacular value. Users don\'t seem to compare it to anything, however the consumer versions of the 100-300 gets compared to this L version by those users often, and I find that illogical more than anything, it\'s like saying Canon ripped off everyone who ever bought the L because the consumer version is just as great? The market doesn\'t support it either.

  2. Scott Carey
    Scott Carey 26 December 2020, 18:28
    Build quality
    Optical quality
    Value for money


    IP 143.208.x.x
    Owner since: 5 years
    Price: 200
    User profile: Amateur

    Cons: What\'s been said umpteen times: clunkiness, \"trombone\" push-pull zoom might admit dust inside it (but hasn\'t on mine, which is still pristine after 5 odd years); it\'s not USM, but heck, for those who are not in a hurry (like myself who moved on from being a semi-pro photographer to a teacher/entrepeneur), that\'s not really an issue, is it?

    Pros: A no-brainer here: IQ - all the way through the FL range! @ 100mm it reminds me of the IQ one get from the EF 70-200mm\'s 70mm FL; at 300mm it makes the all the old budget, non-L 70-300mm bite the dust! Its IQ also reminds me of the EF 400mm 5.6 L\'s sharpness, since I\'ve never the latter\'s sister, the EF 300mm f/4 L. Its sharpness, contrast and controlled distortion + CA make all of the above cons to be definitely worth it - if you\'re not in a hurry or doing sports/wildlife photography for a living but for the pure joy of photographing with a great-value for money L glass. Oh, did I say sharpness!?

    Summary: Found a still mint/clean copy and want to taste it like vintage wine? Go for it! Is it going to be used for winning your daily bread? Don\'t even think about it! Having IS would be a match made in heaven, with its slow 5.6 aperture, but heck no one complains for example of the 400mm 5.6 L for that matter!

  3. Mac
    Mac 6 November 2013, 16:59
    Build quality
    Optical quality
    Value for money


    IP 65.92.x.x
    Owner since: 1 year
    Price: $350 US
    User profile: Semipro

    Cons: Autofocus is slow and noisy. Front elements rotate, making use of rotating filters (polarizers, etc) as well as changing filters cumbersome. Unit is not weather-sealed, and the two fluorite elements don't like adverse weather. Constant 5.6 aperture means dim viewfinder image. AF hates any light except bright sunlight.

    Pros: Fantastically sharp, especially for a zoom. Does .25x (1/4 life size) as is with amazing detail and good working distance. Thin and light so it is easy to carry, balances well on both small and large cameras. Takes 58mm which are not very expensive nor bulky.

    Summary: A fairly well-known (or at least rumored) lens. High quality at an affordable price. A real gem of a lens -- just don't use it for portraits (too sharp).

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