Canon 28-300


Canon 28-300 lens review

canon 28-300

Canon 28-300 f/3.5-5.6 lens review

This is a very interesting lens, before I test it I thought is a worst idea possible, to get a lens like this, so many things against it:

-Very expensive, if I spend huge money I want stellar performance
-Dark (f/3.5-5.6) I like bright lenses
-Superzoom, usually not good anywhere, distortion soft corners etc
-Not a prime, ok there are some good zoom lenses
-Weight – little heavy
-Push pull design, I like it on a long lens, for quick tracking, not on a general purpose wide angle lens where it is little awkward

At the end only two factors remained strong: the price and the weight. Actually it is not a bad for a zoom lens. Don’t expect prime quality at long end, but it is not a bad lens at all. This lens has makes more sense on Full frame cameras with it’s focal length, but here I test it on Aps-C camera. The 28mm is little narrow on crop sensor, on Full frame a usual wide angle coverage.

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Official name

Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 L IS USM

Canon 28-300mm specification
Release date: 2004
Minimal focus distance: 70cm (2.3 inch)
Aperture: f/3.5-5.6
Max reproduction ration: 1:3.3
Aperture blades: 8 circular
Filter size: 77mm
Weight: 1670g (3.7 lbs/ 59 oz.)
Optical formula: 23 elements in 16 groups included
3ED(UD) and 2 Aspherical lens elements
Hood: Included (what happened !? :))
Size: 92×194 mm
Af: USM silent focusing
Constant physical size
Internal focusing
Non rotating front element
Full time manual focus override


Canon FF and Aps-C sensor cameras

Category Canon 28-300mm

Canon calls this lens “L” but in reality it is a do-it-everything super-zoom lens perhaps avoided from big distance by professionals. This is not a bad lens at all, just not comparable in optical quality with smaller range zoom or prime lenses at this price category especially in the corners. The build quality is excellent.

Canon 28-300 range

This focal length range is meant for Full frame cameras. On Aps-C camera the most valueable part, the wide angle is missing. I would prefer the lens to be little wider at least 24mm.

Canon 28-300 optical quality

The lens has very good optical quality the images has nice color and contrast. The sharpness is also surprisingly good. If I can compare this lens seems clearly superior than the Canon 20/2.8mm lens for example in terms of colors and contrast. I checked the two lens at the same day. The lots of exotic lens elements helps a lot.
CANON 28-300 2
Canon 28-300 260mm f/9 ISO 320 1/1250s Canon 30D camera
CANON 28-300 3
Canon 28-300 300mm f/5.6 ISO320 1/2000sn the quality is very good even wide open at closer distances
IMG_1325100% crop
CANON 28-300 5
CANON 28-300 6Canon 28-300 f/5.6 28mm ISO 800 1/2500s Canon 30D


The lens is surprisingly sharp anywhere. At the corner not match with prime or shorter range lenses but as I see with my eyes is very good.

Contrast – Canon 28-300mm

Contrast is very good, much better than the contrast of the Canon 20mm for example.


The colours are very nice saturated.

Distortion, chromatic aberration, vignetting, flare

Chromatic aberration is very well controlled, vignetting as well. Distortion is much lower I expected.

Canon 28-300 build quality

The lens has excellent build quality, but the push pull zoom is little stiff to my liking. There are also many debates it is sucking dust during zoom action.


Autofocus quick, precise and silent. Catch flying birds easily. There is a limiter also to speed up.


Canon claims 3 stops efficiency. The stabilizer has two modes: the normal and the panning mode, when the lens only correct one axis movement.


The lens has three switches. A Focus limiter, manual focus switch, and stabilizer modes. There is a ring which adjust push-pull action.

Sweet spot

The sweet spot is f/5.6 at wide end and f/8 at the long end of the lens.


Bokeh is nice at longer focal lengths.

Price/performance ratio

Simply this is not a lens for budget shooters.

Compare to alteratives/rivals

This is quite a unique lens regarding build and optical quality as well. The possible alternatives are the mid-range zooms like (Canon 24-70, 24-105, etc) or longer lenses like Canon 100-400 or Sigma 50-500. Tamron also has a 28-300mm. The Canon is better than the Tamron in all several aspects which is much more compact, much cheaper and lighter.


It is an interesting lens, apart from the price which is the biggest blocking point. At this price for me just doesn’t make any sense. One can easily buy for this money (2700 USD) a Sigma 35/1.4 (900 USD) and a Canon 200 f/2.8L (800 USD)+1.4 converter (187 USD)+one extra Canon 100D Aps-C (600 USD) camera and you have a very powerful bright really sharp kit. The optical quality is not bad for the 28-300, but the most interesting two part, the two end of the range is not really comparable with smaller range lenses, especially at the long end. Obviously you get much better quality, and brightness and less weight at much lower price even if you choose two lenses, or a lens with less range like the Canon 24-70 or 24-105 or Sigma 24-105 or two primes etc. If your budget allows and don’t want to change lenses optically this lens is a very good compromise, but check the optical quality, weight and push-pull mechanism to be sure if you want to buy it. This lens is much better as I expected.

 Posted by at 2:34 pm