The Proof is in the Pudding


“The proof is in the pudding” is a popular idiom in English-speaking countries.  It means “to fully test something, you need to experience it yourself.”

About a year ago, I purchased a used Canon telephoto lens because the kit lens that came with my Canon DSLR had gone sour with a fungus infection for lack of use.  The lens was in such a bad shape that the cost to repair it was higher than buying a new one.

After a year, I have used it now and then and still can not get the feeling of the device.  For my taste, it is quite heavy and cumbersome to use.  Sometimes the pictures are blurry and sometimes they’re sharp.  I prefer to use it with a tripod, but that’s extra weight when you go out on a shooting spree.  At my age, any extra weight is not a good thing.  Besides shooting with a DSLR camera and a large lens in this country means looking for trouble.  People here think you are a rich man using supposedly expensive gear and that makes you an easy target for getting mugged plus losing your gear.

I’m referring to the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM lens for which I paid $100.00 from a relative of my wife.  It is a relatively cheap lens for this focal length range. The last time I looked, Amazon was selling it for $179.00, which can be considered a budget lens.

The 75-300mm focal length is very useful. A wide variety of uses can be found for this range including portraits/people, pets, nature …

As for the price, I’ve already said—the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM Lens is inexpensive. This is one of the reasons you might consider this lens. If you have a tight budget, having this lens, will allow you to capture nostalgic  memories. You might also be interested in this lens if you intend to use it infrequently.

This is how the Canon people have been marketing this budget telephoto zoom lens:

The 75-300mm focal length is very useful. A wide variety of uses can be found for this range including portraits/people, pets, nature …

Compact and lightweight 4x telephoto zoom lens ideal for shooting sports, portraits, and wildlife. The newly developed Micro USM makes autofocusing quicker and quieter. The improved zoom mechanism also makes zooming smoother. The front part of the zoom ring now sports a silver ring for a luxury touch.

The eye tends to see the whole rather than the individual parts. It also sees what’s near and not what’s far. By bringing attention to these things missed by the naked eye, you can create many interesting pictures. It could be the grimace of an athlete, the grill of a classic car, or a girl against a blurred background. Telephoto lenses can also compress images to give dramatic effects. You are limited only by your imagination.

Yesterday I installed the lens on my Manfrotto tripod to experiment taking a shot of a house about a mile away from my home.  I took the shot from the terrace of my house.  It was a dark and cloudy day.  As a matter of fact, it rained a few minutes later. Take a look! (Kindly click on the image to enlarge it).

Photograph of a house in our neighborhood about a mile from our house. Picture shot with a DSLR camera and a telephoto zoom lens. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

I was very satisfied with this shot.  The image was sharp and the colors were vivid and bright.  I didn’t notice any vignetting on the corners of the photograph nor any signs of chromatic aberrations as I’ve read on several reviews in the Web.  The only inconveniences that I found with this device is its large size and heavy weight.  Other than that, it is a great buy for a novice photographer with a limited budget.  Perfect for wildlife, portraits and general-purpose shots.

Photograph of the Canon EF 75-300mm f:4-5.6 III telephoto zoom lens mounted on a Canon DSLR Rebel EOS T2i camera. As you can see, the bundle is quite bulky and heavy. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

Before buying any kind of lenses, I recommend that you test them at a local camera’s dealer or renting one and spend a day or two using it.  This will give you all the information and experience you need before coughing out your hard-earned money.  Remember the American idiom, “the proof of the pudding (is in the eating)”.  Said to mean that you can only judge the quality of something after you have tried, used, or experienced it  Good Day.

6 thoughts on “The Proof is in the Pudding”

    1. Morning Barbara:

      As they say, “practice makes perfection”. I wish I could do more, but photography is such a vast area that patience and persistence are needed to polish up the pictures.

      Enjoy the rest of the day! 🙂

      Omar.-

  1. I always enjoy these “review” posts, even if I don’t comment. I know where to come when the time is right for me to move on to something more, but that will be a while. First, I have to pay off my eyes’ new lenses. Then I can think of camera lenses!

    1. Hello Linda:

      Now that you mention it, I have that on my “to do list”. Saving to replace them, and in this neck of the woods, they ain’t cheap. Without them, can’t take good pictures, even with the best camera lenses available.

      I appreciate your comment about my reviews. 🙂

      Cheers,

      Omar.-

  2. Hola Omar,
    The use of lenses is indeed a challenge. The 75-300 zoom helps because the zoom feature allows a big variation. One important detail is to remember that the higher the zoom, the more light is necessary to get good photos. Less light on an automatic camera means the shutter speed slows and the aperture opens. The programming in all DSLRs tries to balance those two factors to get the best shot. I often shoot manual focusing if you have a specific subject which may not be in the auto-focus area of the camera.

    So many details, it is better to just shoot and shoot and shoot. Unlike film of the old days, all that you have wasted is a few electrons.
    jim

  3. Hello Jim and Nena:

    I have studied the relationship between ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture to obtain a good exposure. However, when I try to do it manually, I usually don’t get what I’m looking for.

    Most of the time I shoot in Program Mode and the resulting shots are pretty decent. I agree with you, shoot and much as you can until you get the feeling of a good exposure.

    Lately I’m using my cellphone camera and it is really good. In many instances you get better better pictures than with a P&S camera. Technology is advancing in giant leaps forward nowadays.

    I tip my hat for those professional photographers who had to work with 35mm film. That was really expensive and time consuming.

    Cheers,

    Omar.-

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