Additional Information on Canon EF lenses
Version History on Canon EF 75-300mm Telephoto-Zoom lenses - Part IV

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Canon EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 MK II, 1995

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Canon EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 III  USM Telephoto zoom lens, 1999
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 III / Canon EF 75-300mm f/ 4.0~5.6 III USM Telephoto Zoom Lens Marketed: 1999, Discontinued: -

I think it is not exaggerating to quote the Canon telephoto zoom lens version of 75-300mm is one of the most evolved among all the EF zoom lenses. In April, 1999 Canon unveiled its third upgrade to the standard versions of both the hot selling 75-300mm as MK III. Similarly, depends on individual spending budget, both MM and USM versions were offered for consumers to choose from (however, the basic non-USM version are not being marketed within Japan. So I would assume the alternative version was mainly treated as a tool to create new Canon users as a form of package to standard zoom wide-to-tele zoom usually bundles with an entry level Canon EOS camera. However, as the main stream has picking up pace in digital imaging, due to emergence of more affordable D-SLRs, the second phase of digital SLR are usually came with other choices in a customary smaller CCD matching configuration which has resulted in a series of EF-S lenses being introduced specifically for entry to midrange D-SLRs; thus, lenses introduced was still based on current pool or new comers of film-based SLR users. Ironically, during the end of the century, popularity of digital imaging is not as wide spread as in today and the strong demand for a companion telephoto zoom was still exist.

The Canon EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 was developed to succeed the EF75-300mm f/4-5.6 II and this this compact, lightweight high- magnification telephoto zoom lens also, as indicated covers medium telephoto 75 mm to super telephoto 300mm. To differentiate the MK III from previous versions, together with the alternate EF75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM, both have a bright metal ring lined around at the front of the zoom ring to give it an upscale image. This version uses a DC motor as AF drive actuator. The optical system and controls are the same as those of the EF75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM. Further, due to awareness on environmental issue, the lens actually uses lead-free glass lens elements.

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One of the change in this upgrade is, Canon uses a lightweight glass for the first element group, where usually is the heavisest lens group in its 9 group structure, the change has greatly reduces operational load during an autofocus operation. When combining the adoption of this method with the micro USM, AF has been improved to be more quiet and faster. Physically, both lenses are very similar (weighs the same and measures almost identically in dimension). Gone is the easily recognized bright, gold printed USM ring around the lens barrel but instead, an Ultrasonic emblem was printed, aided with a red USM word at the end of the lens designation near the filter attachment ring. Compared to any of the earlier standard non IS version, both models remains its main lens characteristic in a compact and lightweight, 4x telephoto zoom ratio package. Although optically, its construction in elements / group virtually are the same with previous MK II, but Canon claimed the USM lens was incorporated with a newly developed Micro USM, which makes autofocusing quicker and quieter. Further, it is also has an improved zoom mechanism that enables zooming operation smoother. The most eye-catching feature is the metallic line that circle the lens barrel which serves to distinguish the model from previous versions as well as giving the lens a up-market look but I wouldn't buy the idea.

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 III  Telephoto zoom lens, 1999
It is not exactly a top performer but rather a good companion for starter or those who may have already owned a wide-tele but ready to explore with a little extension on telephoto range beyond their budget entry lens. The main issue is, it is very affordable (the non-USM is even cheaper) but they serve respective purpose for either budget-concious consumers. Its overall presentation on the field as well as physical built quality is acceptable (given the price). Although it is an upgrade but for consumers who may already owned such a lens type of previous models, it needs more justification for shifting to this.

Credit: Shown is a NON-USM version. Image courtesy of Mr. Elle of®, U.K.. The Company also maintains an active Ebay Store, trading many photo equipment of various labels. Image(s) copyright © 2005. All rights reserved.

Rodeo .. Canon EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 MK III, 1999
The USM version has its smallest aperture stopped down to only f/22 at widest angle (f32 for standard version); the USM version may be less noticeable in AF noise level and more efficient in focusing with improved internal mechanism. Anyway, I don't think it makes one hell of a difference but when relates to prices, the USM version ranges from USD180-00 ~ USD 219-00; a recent Ebay auction stated a USD117-00 for the no USM version. This provides a vacuum for other independent lens manufacturers to slot in with a few good offerings.

Rodeo action

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Side view of Canon version of 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM before extension On maximum lens extesion of Canon  75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM zoom and lens Exstension

Tamron 75-300mm tele zoom Sigma 75-300mm tele zoom
Personally, I would think it is Canon answer to preserve their profit and counter threats by third party lens manufacturers. Shown are the Sigma and Tamron 75-300mm f/4.0~5.6 which use LD and APO lens elements in their optical group (very well made in its built quality), but the most appealing factor is their retailed prices which sold lower than the Canon counterpart (Sigma cleverly improved its cosmetic by portraying its APO glass lens with a L-series looked red lined.

I guess the consumer class tele-zoom lenses category is highly competitive, and consumers are getting smarter day by day to acquire the best value package. The Canon lens may, arguably has a better system integration than others but since these kind of lenses are not entirely for demanding, critically performance oriented and should be more than sufficient in meeting expectation.

Side view of Canon version of 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM Canon EF 75-300mm f/4.0~5.6 III standard version, lens extension  

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Canon EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 MK II, 1995

Credit: Image courtesy of PALL Gudjonsson from Iceland. whose PORTFOLIO can be accessed at PBase. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

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

Type: - Autofocus lens type with manual focusing mechanism
Focal Length: Variable focal length from 75-300mm
Focus Adjustment:- Autofocus ; single zoom ring with manual focusing ring design
Manual Focusing:- possible via AF/M switch; Zoom Adjustment:- via zoom ring rotating type; indicative zoom settings: 75mm, 100mm, 135mm, 200mm, 300mm; USM version: full time manual focusing during AF
may not be possible
Closest Focusing Distance:- 1.5m (4.9ft); Maximum Magnification:- 0.26X @300mm; MACRO setting indicated
Drive System:- Micro USM or USM version; Micro Motor (MM) for standard version; Distance Scales: Nil
Angle of View:- 27°~6°50' /
18° 11'~4° 35' / 32° 11'~8° 15'; Aperture range:- f/4.0 - f/32/f45
Number of Diaphragm Blades: - 7 blades; Minimum Aperture: - f/32~f/45 (standard version); f/22~f/45 (USM version)

Side view of Canon version of 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM Side view of Canon version of 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III
Filter rotation: yes; Filter
Attachment Size
:- 58mm front mounting;
Lens construction:- 13 Elements in 9 Groups
Extenders: Usable but not advisable.
Others: - Extension Tube EF25 (II) 0.31X-0.04X ; EF12 0.31X ~0.04X
Diameter:- 122mm x 71mm (2.8" x 4.8");
Weight:- 480g (1.1 Ib)

Optical Contruction of Canon EF 75-300mm version III (USM) MTF for original EF 75-300mm f/4~5.6 MK III USM TELEphoto angle
Accessories:- Lens Cap/pouch E-58(U); lens hard case: LP-1019 (older versions may be applicable); lens Hood:- ET-60; Soft Case:- ES-C17; Gelatin Holder III: (5); Holder IV: (4); Other Canon general filters and macro accessories.

current version

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Previous | NEXT | 4/6 A new lens breed of a Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5~5.6 DO IS USM Telephoto Zoom lens version

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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