"TheCanon 28 - 300L IS lens - Check out below for the pros and cons of this awesome lens"
The Canon 28-300L IS f3.5-5.6 is one of the most underrated Canon L series lenses available, and in my opinion it doesn’t get the attention it deserves. In fact, many photographers slate the Canon 28-300L IS lens and openly share the view that it is a lens with poor image quality, it is a lens that is over-priced and it is a lens that has no specific purpose. This lens has more critics than fans, however I am a fan of this awesome camera lens and have owned one for the last two years.
Rather than writing a detailed (but honest and unbiased) review of this lens I thought I would prepare a quick summary of the pros and cons of this lens, as follows:-
Pros of the Canon 28-300L IS f3.5 – 5.6 lens
1) The zoom range is huge. With a 28mm – 300mm zoom (effective 45mm – 480mm on a crop sensor Canon camera) there are plenty of focal lengths available, which makes it suitable for taking a wide variety of shots. This is a versatile lens you can use to take photos of landscapes, seascapes, people, buildings, wildlife (insects, birds and mammals), products and much more. It is not possible to capture macro shots with this lens, but standing close to a subject and increasing the focal length to zoom in nice and tight will enable you to capture some awesome close up shots.
2) The build quality is second to none. Canon L series lenses are well known for their build quality and this lens is no different. This lens is made from the best quality materials, it is strong and robust and it is also weather sealed which means you can use it in damp, humid, dry, salty and dusty environments without having to worry about any nasties getting to the sensor.
3) The image quality is awesome. All things considered (i.e. the variable maximum aperture and the large range of focal lengths) the image quality of this lens is awesome. Okay, there are other lenses out there with better image quality but these are not as versatile as this lens. I have never had any clients come back to me about the image quality of photos taken with this lens, and I don’t expect to in the future unless the clients go “pixel peeping” of course. In the real world, it is difficult (if not impossible) to tell the difference in image quality between this lens and lenses considered superior to this one.
4) It has image stabilisation technology. Image stabilisation is great and it is a feature I look for in all lenses. Image stabilisation allows you to take sharp handheld shots than would be possible without it. I have read claims that the image stabilisation is 4 stops for this lens, however I don’t think this is quite true. This lens is more than capable of going 2 stops slower although you may be able to push it to 3 stops slower if you have a steady hand.
Cons of the Canon 28-300L IS f3.5 – 5.6 lens
1) It is big and heavy. Compared to other lenses this is a beast of a lens, and is big and heavy. Let’s put this in to perspective though – it is still small enough to fit in to a sling bag and light enough to carry around all day without making your arms too tired.
2) It can cause unwanted attention. Because of its size, and the fact it’s bright white this lens is not at all discreet and can be considered a “look at me lens”. I find everyone notices this lens, and I do sometimes get unwanted attention using it, but then having a fully gripped Canon 6D doesn’t help matters.
3) It has a variable maximum aperture. The widest maximum aperture varies on the focal length used, which can make exposing the photograph a little trickier since you will have to tweak the settings as the aperture changes. This is not too much of an issue – just something you need to consider when using this lens.
4) It’s not particularly fast. With a maximum aperture of f3.5 – f5.6 (obviously depending on the focal length) this lens isn’t particularly fast. If you like to shoot wide open for a shallow depth of field you are going to have to adapt your style to account for this and seek alternative ways to get the shots you want. If your style is to maximise the depth of field you won’t find this a weakness as you’ll be shooting at narrower apertures anyway. Thinking about it, is the fact that this lens isn’t fast a weakness? I guess the answer to this will vary from person to person.
5) It is expensive. There’s no getting over the fact that this is an expensive lens, and this cost puts off many potential buyers. Okay, this is an expensive lens but look at the range of focal lengths you get for the money. Now try and replicate the same range of focal lengths using a combination of other lenses and you’ll appreciate the price of this lens isn’t that bad after all. Now consider the build quality, the technology and the image quality and you’ll appreciate you get a lot of lens for the money and it gives a lot of bang for the buck.
Above are the pros and cons of the Canon 28-300L IS f3.5 – 5.6 lens you need to consider before parting with your hard earned money for one.
Is the Canon 28-300L IS lens the lens for you? Only you can answer that one, but before you make the final decision I would suggest you go to your local camera store and see one of the lenses in the flesh, take a few test photos and see for yourself. That said, I highly recommend the Canon 28-300L IS lens and now I own one I would never be without one.
Why I bought the Canon 28-300L IS f3.5 – 5.6 lens
As much as I would like to take my entire collection lenses when I go travelling it simply isn’t practical. I like to photograph a variety of different subjects so when I go travelling I like to have the widest range of focal lengths in a single lens as possible, and the Canon 28-300L IS f3.5 – 5.6 was the best choice available.
There are alternative full frame lenses (I shoot a Canon 6D for travel photography) made by Sigma and Tamron, however after a bit of research I reached the conclusion it is better to spend a little extra on the Canon for the “extras”, i.e. the L series quality, the L series optics, Canon’s image stabilization system (which is second to none) and the fact it is Canon branded.
I read many reviews about the Canon 28-300L IS f3.5 – 5.6 lens before getting the wallet out, and I have to admit they nearly put me and persuaded me to buy the cheaper Tamron 28-300 lens. There are so many negative reviews about the Canon 28-300L IS f3.5 – 5.6 lens it’s not funny. I am so glad I dismissed the negative reviews and went to my local camera store to see what they were like and to take a few test shots otherwise I wold have missed out on a cracking lens that is perfect for travel photography.
If I have convinced you the Canon 28 - 300L IS lens is the ideal lens for you you may want to take a look on Amazon and see what deals and bargains are about, and you can do this using the Amazon search box below.
If you found the above useful/informative below are some other posts detailing the pros and cons (from my personal experience) of other Canon lenses that may be of interest to you. Please do feel free to take a look.
“PROS AND CONS OF THE CANON 8 – 15 FISHEYE LENS” Since this lens can capture diagonal fisheye photos and full circular fisheye photos it is effectively two fish eye lenses in one, and without a doubt the best fisheye lens on the market for Canon cameras. It really is a cool lens.
“PROS AND CONS OF THE CANON 70 – 200 F4L IS LENS” This is not Canon’s top end flag ship 70 – 200 zoom lens however it is the best value for money and gives the biggest bang for the buck. If you want a 70 – 200 zoom lens and can live without the f2.8 aperture this is the lens for you. A truly excellent lens.
“PROS AND CONS OF THE CANON 16 – 35 F4L IS LENS” This lens is, without a doubt, the best wide angle lens for Canon cameras. It is cheaper than the f2.8 version, it is smaller than the f2.8L version and the image quality is better than the f2.8L version. If you want a wide angle lens for you Canon camera look no further than this.
“PROS AND CONS OF THE CANON 100 – 400L IS LENS” This is an affordable and versatile super zoom lens, and if you want a long reach this lens is right up your street. You may have to spend a few pounds to get one of these but is the best value for money super zoom lens around. Get one of these and I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
“PROS AND CONS OF THE CANON 100 F2.8L IS MACRO LENS” This is Canon’s flagship macro lens and when you see it, feel it and use it you will soon see why. If macro and close up are your thing you need this lens. If products and still life subjects are your thing this is your lens. This is the sharpest lens I own and when I use it I have to watch my fingers.
“PROS AND CONS OF THE CANON 35MM F2 IS LENS” If you want an affordable 35mm prime lens that is as good as a Canon L series lens (but doesn’t carry the red ring) this is the lens for you. The image quality is great, the build quality is good and the image stabilization technology is superb. All in all this is a cracking lens and one every photographer should have in their collection.
“PROS AND CONS OF THE CANON 24 – 70 F2.8L LENS” This is, without a doubt, one of the best portrait lenses of all time. This lens has been my workhorse for many years now and I wouldn’t be without it. I love this lens, and I am sure you would too.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.