Additional Information on Canon EF lenses
Version History on Canon EF 75-300mm Telephoto-Zoom lens group - Part I

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Background and Version History Probably the first Canon Tele-Zoom lens that covered an approx. zoom range equivalent to 75-300mm was the 15E/9G FL-mount 85-300mm f/5.0 which first debut back in 1965. It was updated as a FD 85-300mm f/4.5 S.S.C. in 1974 with a much improved cosmetic as well as optically (15E / 11G); the last version was the FDN mount 85-300mm f/4.5 in 1981 where it was during this period, the startup focal length for some zoom lenses began widening down to 75mm. During this period, there are actually two groups of Tele-zoom i) those from 70mm usually limit itself to 200/210mm and ii) the next group has starting focal length from 100mm, extends to 300mm at its longest end. Along with the very well received FDN 50-300mm f/4.0L introduced later (1982), together with the time-honored FDN 85-300mm serve to bridge between the two tele-zoom lens groups for Canon photographers on all those manual focus Canon F-A-T class camera models.

Credit: Image courtesy of camera$@EBAY®. He also operates a popular Ebay Store. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Basically, the "new" found zoom range of 75-300mm was created to replace the once popular EF 100-300mm f/5.6 (L) AFD zoom lens group which have served early EOS system users for so long; it was a logical extension as one of the primary drawback of the said zoom has a very limiting use in its maximum aperture of f/5.6. Canon also took the shift t extend its wider focal length to 75mm from 100mm to increase its application for a more versatile usage. The first among the many upgrades at later years was first introduced back in 1991 in a simple basic configuration of a variable zoom, EF 75-300mm f/4.5~5.6. The lens serves as companion alternative consideration telephoto zoom lens to entry level Canon SLR cameras such as the EOS Rebel (EOS 1000 (FN)) class camera models.

Highway.. compressed perpective of Telephoto lens effect
From wide range of medium telephoto effect to distant super telephoto compression of perspective, the Canon EF 75-300mm telephoto zoom presents a varying degree of visual effect typically associated with telephoto lens.

Photo Data:- Malaysian Highway. Image extracted from a collection of images from my IMAGES.com.my. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved.

The main issue is, Canon has introduced a popular zoom lens in the EF family with mass market appeal. Optically, I would not like to mislead others to think this is one real classic but rather, the lens encompasses itself with a few good variable factors in price over performance ratio. Combining portability, reasonably good physical construction and a above average optical performance, a good useful zoom range with comes a modest entry price is its main strength. All these elements makes it such a serious consideration for those may may need such a lens type to compliment a wideangle or a wideangle zoom for traveling companion or for normal family / PR photography usage. In terms of lens development, the continual demands from consumers has also made this lens went through numerous upgrades where Canon integrates cleverly with selective lens development technologies onto each phase of lens updating.

However, as the focal length of 75-300mm has also indirectly created an image which relates to amateuristic use;when Canon created its first performance, large aperture tele-zoom EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM in 1995, somehow some of the better-spec EF lenses are grouped with a starting focal length of 70mm instead of 75mm (an exception is the Image Stabilizer (IS) powered Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.0~5.6 IS USM where due to its popularity, Canon has chosen this lens to be the first tele-zoom to implement the IS technology). Whatever it is, some series within the Canon EF 75-300mm are one of the rare group of budget tele-zoom lenses that still deployed with a metal lens mount instead of the black plastic which makes it with a better reason for a better buy than those like the 80-200mm entry level zooms. hehe...

Internal construction of this Canon telephoto zoom lens looks like this.

Credit:- Captured at Phoon Photo, Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 (1991) | EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 USM (1992) | EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 II (1995) | EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 II USM (1995) | EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 II IS USM | EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 III (1999) | EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 III USM (1999) | EF 70-300mm f/4.5~5.6 DO IS USM (2004)

Canon Original EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 MM Telephoto Zoom Lens
Marketed: 1991, Discontinued: 1995

beginning with the '90, Canon has introduced a series of budget, entry level film-based EOS SLR camera which separated from other mid or high end range models, the first was the EOS Rebel in US (Canon EOS1000 for other parts of the world). The intended target users are budget minded amateurs or home users. The camera's lens mount was fitted with a strengthen poly carbonated plastic, similarly, a series of matching entry level zoom lenses were introduced (along with the 75-300; others are EF 35-80mm f/4~5.6; EF 35-105mm f/4~5.6; EF 80-200mm f/4.5~5.6.

Canon  EF 75-300mm first / Original Version 38K loading ... Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.5~5.6 tele-zoom lense Loading ......

Close-up.. with compressed perpective of Telephoto lens at macro distance
The first version of the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.5~5.6 was a AFD actuator but it DOES NOT like the rest which typically employed a poly-carbonated rear lens mount to fit onto camera - the lens mount actually used a metal one on this lens. The adoption of a variable zoom design also saw this lens being reduced to just 500g (comparing 100-300mm f/5.6 weighs 685g).

Photo Data:- Canon optical designers have ensure this tele-zoom can be used to cover a wide varieties of subjects - even extends to close-up photography. The Maximum Magnification of this Canon EF zoom is approx. 0.25X @300mm setting with increased working range when used with Extension Tube EF25 (II) 0.09X-0.39X. Generally, taking macro with the lens is not as desirable with a equivalent dedicated EF MACRO-lens but it has its advantage as a combined all round lens to satisfy various "occasional needs" for such function. With a f/5.6 at 300mm setting, a good way to offset its lack of wider degree of depth of field blur is to position the subject against a darker background and has a deeper distance behind the subject to enhance its out of focus blur. Naturally, the image resolution at close-up may not be measured comparable to other MACRO optic. Further, light loss and slow shutter speed often closely associated when using macro setting and you have to think alternative ways to counter these issues.

The few photos appeared in this page are used to illustrate the few main characteristic and likely usage of a typical Canon EF tele-zoom lens (compressed perpective, close-up and half length (head & shoulder) portrait). Image(s) extracted from a collection of pictures from my
IMAGES.com.my. Image copyright leofoo © 2006. All rights reserved.


Despite it has a broader zoom ration, it focuses closer than the 100-300 (1.5m to 2.0m) but the magnification ratio is about the same at 0.25X (0.26X). But the biggest improvement was its overall dimension, as the 75-300mm only measures just 73.8mm x 122mm while the comparing 100-300 is 75mm x 166.8mm. This makes the lens highly versatile in all aspect as well as very portable for field photography. Although generally regarded as a low cost zoom lens, but it is still capable of delivering high-performance, high-magnification and its zoom range covers all telephoto focal lengths from medium to near super photo range at 300mm. Actually, it can also be regarded as one of the smallest size and lightest weight of similar tele-zoom lens in its class. The lens also employs with a flare cut diaphragm. Near the lens mount a bright orange-yellowish MACRO symbol reminder is provided. NO distance window for visual check and the manual focusing ring is very narrow. However as it is designed with Autofocus, unless situations demands manual focusing, it is still a feature for overriding.

Technical Specification for Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 MM (ORIGINAL version) Telephoto Zoom lens: -

Type: - Autofocus lens type with manual focusing mechanism; Front group rotating extension system with micro motor
Focal Length: Variable focal length from 75-300mm
Focus Adjustment:- Autofocus belt driven, using micro-motor; single zoom range design
Manual Focusing:- possible via AF/M switch
Zoom Adjustment:- via zoom ring rotating type; indicative zoom settings: 75mm, 100mm, 135mm, 200mm, 300mm
Closest Focusing Distance:- 1.5m (4.9ft); Maximum Magnification:- 0.25X @300mm; MACRO setting indicated
Drive System:- Front group rotating extension system with micro motor
Distance Scales: Nil

Credit: Image courtesy of Laura Kornylak ® <shutterblade@comcast.net> from shutterblade*com where the Company has a website on its own. Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
The Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 AFD has a rather long extension when you zoom, Filter rotation is on when focuses; the belt driven / micro motor combination creates some slight noise level than the USM equivalent.

Angle of View:- 27°~6°50' / 18° 11'~4° 35' / 32° 11'~8° 15'; Aperture range:- f/4.0 - f/32
Number of Diaphragm Blades: - 8 blades; Diaphragm:
Electromagnetic (EMD); Minimum Aperture: - f/32~f/45
Filter rotation: YES; Filter Attachment Size:- 58mm front mounting; Lens construction:- 13 Elements in 9 Groups
Extenders: Usable but not advisable.


Optical Contruction of original version MTF for original EF 200mm f/2.8L
Others: - Extension Tube EF25 (II) 0.09X-0.39X
Diameter:- 122mm x 73.8mm (4-13/16" x 2-7/8"); Weight:- 500g (17.5oz)
Accessories:- Lens Cap/pouch E-58; lens hard case: LH-C16; lens Hood:- ET-65II; Soft Case:- ES-C17

Status:
Discontinued.


Seperator line

Canon Original EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 USM Telephoto Zoom Lens
Marketed: 1992, Discontinued: 1995

Barely a year after the original was introduced, Canon introduced a similar lens with an USM as its AF actuator. The main benefit is the silent AF operation as well as more efficient power management for EOS and EF. Despite the addition, it is still considered as a low cost, high performance, high-magnification telephoto, zoom covering all popular telephoto focal lengths to 300mm as well as carrying the extra benefit in its compactness size and lightest weight. Externally, Canon altered the cosmetic in its Zoom Ring texture with a good grip in the 4 rolls grids rubber pattern. The revised design offers a more functional usage as well as presenting a more rigid look plus overall in a improved quality feel.

Canon tele zoom lens 75-300mm f/4~5.6 USM
Internally, modifications to the conventional five-group zoom construction and a new optical system design permits the Micro USM to achieve significant size reductions. High contrast imaging performance is attained throughout the zoom range and a lightweight glass material is employed at the first group, reducing the load on the AF motor and obtaining faster autofocusing As a result, achieving a smoother, quieter operation with a slim design are realized. This highly portable Canon tele-zoom is actually slightly smaller than the micro-motor version, measuring 122.1mm x 71mm and weights marginally lighter at 495g (17.3 oz). It was priced slightly higher than the conventional zoom, but offered as an alternative to the more affordable Canon EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 version (refer to the top) which has basic configuration in the use of micro-motor.

Both lenses served in the Canon EF lens product until both were updated with the version Two (Or MK II) in 1995. Except for the lens hood (uses ET-60), has a 7 diaphragm blades and USM as AF actuator, the lens shares virtually same basic technical lens spec and system accessories with the non-USM version. The best visual verification for the USM is the familiar gold USM ring imprinted at the front section. It works flawlessly with virtually all Canon EOS camera models.

Credit: Image courtesy of Akvomit where I downloaded them from his ebay auction. Image copyright © 2006 Akvomit. All rights reserved.

Technical Specification for Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 USM (Original USM Version) Telephoto Zoom lens: -

Type: - Autofocus lens type with manual focusing mechanism
Focal Length: Variable focal length from 75-300mm
Focus Adjustment:- Front Group rotating extension system with use of micro USM; single zoom range design
Manual Focusing:- possible via AF/M switch; full time manual focusing during AF operation
may not be permissible

Wild Monkey.. long reach  and working distance of a Telephoto lens
Tropical Wild Monkey at Nan Tian Dong, IPOH, Perak town.. long reach, a safe and inoffensive working distance of a telephoto lens at its longest zoom setting with this 75-300mm tele-zoom lens.

Photo Data:- Image extracted from a collection of images from my IMAGES.com.my. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved.

Front section of Canon tele zoom lens 75-300mm f/4~5.6 USM lens mount section, Canon tele zoom lens 75-300mm f/4~5.6 USM
Zoom Adjustment:- via zoom ring, rotating type
Closest Focusing Distance:- 1.5m (4.9ft); Maximum Magnification:- 0.25X @300mm

Macro / Close-up setting of Canon tele zoom lens 75-300mm f/4~5.6 USM
Drive System:- micro USM but full time manual focusing may not be possible
Distance Scales: Nil; Angle of View:- 27°~6°50' /
18° 11'~4° 35' / 32° 11'~8° 15'; Aperture range:- f/4.0 - f/32
Number of Diaphragm Blades: - 7 blades; Minimum Aperture: - f/32~f/45
Filter rotation: YES; Filter Attachment Size:- 58mm front mounting; Lens construction:- 13 Elements in 9 Groups
Extenders: Usable but not advisable.

<<< ---Close up / Macro Indicator near the lens mount, the closest focusing distance remains as 1.5m (4.9ft), achieving at a useful 300mm focal length, retains both comfortable working distance as well as retaining a more natural perspective on close-up works.

Optical Contruction of USM version MTF for original EF 75-300mm telephoto zoom
Others: - Extension Tube EF25 (II) 0.09X-0.39X
Diameter:- 122.1mm x 71mm (4-13/16" x 2-13/16"); Weight:- 495g (17.3 oz).
Accessories:- Lens Cap/pouch E-58; lens hard case: LH-C16; lens Hood:- ET-60; Soft Case:- ES-C17

Status:
Discontinued.

Previous | NEXT | 1/6 The MK II version of the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.0~5.6 II (USM) Telephoto Zoom lenses

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 (1991) | EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 USM (1992) | EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 II (1995) | EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 II USM (1995) | EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 II IS USM | EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 III (1999) | EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 III USM (1999) | Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5~5.6 DO IS USM (2004) | Canon EF 70-300mm f/4~5.6 IS USM (MK II) (2005)

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