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Canon 100-300mm f4.5 - 5.6 USM

Test Results

Like most lightweight something to 300mm zooms, this lens starts out strongly at it’s short end, but performance falls off towards 300mm. Having said that, the extent of the drop in resolution is less with this lens than with most.

Sharpness in the center of the frame at 100mm is simply excellent - even in the corners at full aperture there is very little fall in resolution. By 200mm the center is still excellent, but there is more noticeable softness at the edges, and by 300mm central resolution is less crisp but still very good. Even right in the corner of the frame at 300mm and full aperture is just about OK. At all focal lengths stopping down to f8 or 11 brings a steady improvement but results are still best at 100mm.

Focusing - thanks to Canon’s USM - is fast and very accurate.

All crops below are sections of the test images at full size - 100%

CENTER                                                                          CORNER

Canon 100_300 100 4_5 corner02
Canon 100_300 100 4_5 ctr

center                             100mm f 4.5                        corner

Canon 100_300 200 5_6 centre Canon 100_300 200 5_6 corner

center                             200mm f 5.6                        corner

Canon 100_300 300 5_6 corner
Canon 100_300 300 5_6 centre02

center                             300mm f 5.6                        corner


I really like this lens - it feels good to use, with almost instant responses from the USM. With my Canon EOS 20D performance is above average for this class of zoom.         Canon EOS 5D Test

Recommended for digital

Standard Test            Full Frame Test

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© David Gold
All text and images copyright David Gold 2006 - 2011
and must not be reproduced in any way without permission.