Even a complete photography novice understands that different lenses serve different purposes. The thing is, though, the specifics can get confusing for the uninitiated. You don’t have to spend long searching online before things get confusing. So what is a 75-300mm lens good for anyway?

On this page, we’ll explore the basics of 75-300mm lenses. We’ll run through focal lengths, the uses for this kind of lens, and a great example lens if you’re looking to buy. Read on to learn more.

Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

So What’s a 75-300mm Lens a good for?

If you see this measurement, or similar figures, when shopping for lenses online, you’re likely looking at a telephoto lens. In short, telephoto lenses are designed to deliver a significant amount of reach to photographers.

Taking photos of subjects far away? You’ll want to consider a telephoto product. They come in two main variants – primes and zooms.

Prime Telephoto Lenses

So what makes a prime lens a ‘prime’ anyway? With this kind of lens, you’ll be working with a fixed focal length. This means you won’t be able to zoom in or out when taking photos. As a general rule, prime lenses offer higher levels of sharpness and image quality.

Where they can fall short, however, is flexibility – if you want to ‘zoom in’ to your subject, you’ll have to physically move yourself closer to it. Not always a dealbreaker, but sometimes an issue depending on your circumstances.

Zoom Telephoto Lenses

A zoom telephoto lens offers a lower level of optical performance, at least on paper, but will give many photographers the versatility they’re looking for. Keep in mind that by ‘lower performance,’ we don’t mean that these lenses can’t take gorgeous shots.

It’s just that the nature of zoom technology means that some resolution sacrifices have to be made when producing zoom lenses. A 70-300mm lens will most often be described as a zoom telephoto lens.

These products can prove immensely useful for a broad variety of potential use cases. We explore a few examples below. Check them out.

What is a 75-300mm Lens Good For?

This section will explore some of the most common uses for this kind of telephoto lens. Take a look through them to see if it might be worth adding one to your photography kit. We’ll run through the standard variations of telephoto lenses and what they’re best used for.

Astrophotography and Wildlife Shoots – Super Telephoto Lenses

If you see a product that goes significantly beyond 300mm you’re dealing with a super telephoto lens. With common prices comfortably over $1500, they’re typically reserved for professionals with more demanding use cases.

Two common applications of this kind of lens include wildlife shoots and astrophotography. A skilled photographer can get super close-up images of more skittish animals without disturbing them. Capturing the details of the night sky becomes much easier when you’ve got the reach of a telephoto lens like this.

Action and Dynamic Shooting – Medium Telephoto Lenses

These are products that advertise ranges somewhere around 130-300mm. This is one of the most popular form factors for this kind of lens and, as a result, there’s a ton of choice out there when shopping online. The broad range of different price points means that more people are able to afford this kind of lens.

They’re excellent tools for photographers who shoot sports or other dynamic scenarios. They make it possible to zoom in on the action from a distance while maintaining a respectable level of focus and image quality.

If you’re hoping to improve the results of your sports photos, consider a medium telephoto lens.

Wedding Photos and Portraiture – Short Telephoto Lenses

With a range of roughly 80-130mm, short lenses are popular among wedding and portrait photographers. Good lenses in this category offer excellent image quality and the flexibility needed to zoom in to an appropriate distance.

Wedding photographers often have to move around to find good shooting spots throughout the day. The ability to adjust zooming distance on the fly can prove instrumental to a great final result.

How Much Should a Telephoto Lens Cost?

That depends on what you’re looking for. Decent budget options can be picked up for around $500 but more premium lenses can easily run you much more. Professional-grade lenses regularly reach more than $1500.

If you’re just getting started in the world of photography, we recommend picking up a well-reviewed budget option first. Once you start earning money through your photos, it’s time to consider a heftier upgrade.

Focal Length – An Introduction

To understand what 75-300mm lenses are used for, it’s necessary to briefly explore focal length in relation to lenses. This is one of those topics that seems super complicated upon first glance but is actually fairly straight forward.

We won’t bore you with an in-depth, scientific exploration here. This is just an overview.

In short, focal length is the most basic description of a camera’s lens. It tells you the viewing angle you’re going to be working with, how much of your subject will be in frame, and how large it will appear in the final image.

The following is good to know when it comes to focal length:

  • A longer focal length results in a narrower field of view (FOV) and higher level of magnification (things look bigger)
  • A shorter focal length results in a wider field of view (FOV) and a lower level of magnification (things look smaller)

This basic information serves as the foundation of shopping for lenses. Focal length is pretty much always described in mm. You can occasionally find measurements in cm or inches but this is increasingly rare.

When shopping for lenses, a higher mm number usually means that a particular lens will be good for distant subjects and offer a narrow FOV. The inverse is usually true of lower mm lenses. This is why macro lenses hover between focal lengths of 20-100mm.

What’s the Best 75-300mm Telephoto Lens?

It’s worth mentioning that the best lens for the job will depend on your individual requirements. Your specific needs as a photographer will determine the product that’s right for you. There’s no point spending thousands on a shiny new piece of kit if you could get away with buying a cheaper model.

You might like to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I usually take one kind of photo or do I need a lens that can cover multiple bases?
  • Am I willing to spend more than $500 on a lens? How about $1000+?
  • Will I be editing in post or am I happy to let my camera process things for me?
  • Which mount does my camera use?
  • Are my needs professional in nature or are they more casual?

Use your answers to these questions to start narrowing down your search. The clearer you are about the kind of photography you need a lens to handle, the easier it will be to make the right decision.

If you’re looking for a specific recommendation, check out our Canon EF 75-300mm f456 iii Telephoto Zoom Lens review below.

Canon EF 75-300mm f456 iii Telephoto Zoom Lens Review

If you’re after a specific recommendation, this 75-300mm Canon lens gets a lot of things right. We run through what we love about it in our review below.

This 75-300mm telephoto lens is a compact, lightweight, and competent piece of kit. Whether you’re capturing sporting events or zooming in on majestic wildlife subjects, it’s unlikely to let you down.

It’s powered by Canon’s innovative micro ultrasonic motor. In practice, this means it offers an autofocusing system that is leagues ahead of cheaper lenses with unrivalled levels of speed, accuracy and reliability – this lens is remarkably sharp and accurate.

In certain applications, this technology can prove invaluable. Its whisper-quiet operation helps photographers stay out of earshot from skittish wildlife. For filming certain sporting events, too, this quiet lens will definitely come in handy.

One thing we love about Canon products is the company’s formidable lineup of accessories and other gear. When you buy a Canon lens, you’re gaining access to a wealth of other potential upgrades and tweaks.

Looking for filters, focus tubes, or adapters? There’s probably an option out there for you if you’re using a Canon product. This lens comes with Canon’s industry standard 1-year limited warranty. While we would have liked to see more coverage, it will provide some peace of mind to new owners.


  • Killer autofocus system
  • Excellent sharpness
  • Vivid colors and details
  • Great reach


  • The warranty is a little limited
  • A touch expensive

Telephoto Lenses – Final Thoughts

Terms like ‘telephoto’ and ‘focal length’ can be super overwhelming to new photographers. The reality is, however, that they’re far less complicated than you might think. We hope this page has helped to clear up any confusion.

Be sure to check out our other reviews and recommendations on this site to upgrade your photography gear!