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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
109 241191 Feb 20, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
82% of reviewers $1,155.47
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.67
6.38
8.1
ef70-300_45-56doisu

Specifications:
A superior performance, ultra-compact telephoto zoom lens with Canon's Image Stabilization. These Diffractive Optics elements are combined to reduce size and boost image quality. AF is super-fast and silent with a ring-type USM, and it focuses down to 4.6 feet without rotating the front element. A new zoom lock button keeps the lens safe and secure when not in use or used at the wide angle.


 


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Husien Jahja
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Registered: Nov 9, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 16
Review Date: Nov 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Compact. Ease of travel. long range with IS, very useful
Cons:
Zoom creep, heavy and expansive

When I read the review here I found so many negative remarks on this lens...

I had always wanted 70-200 f4L and now I also had it. The weight is almost the same, but during travelling with kids, packing our bags were awkard. Especially when we had to bring a few lenses for our trip.

Quality is not as bad as most mentioned, however it is definitely not better than L lens, especially at 200-300 range.

For me this lens save space, but don't save dough Smile

For those who could get this lens on the 2nd hand market, I think it would be useful in the future, especially that it has got the IS function.

BUY IT...


Nov 23, 2006
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wfr2
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Registered: May 14, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1324
Review Date: Nov 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: compact length, fairly light weight
Cons:
average build quality, PRICE

I bought this lens strictly to carry in a small backpack while traveling around cities. I bought it for its compact length. I was surprised as how fat it is though. It is not as good image quality wise or in build quality as my 24-105L or 70-200L but it is OK for what I will be using it for. The zoom creep is annoying. I agree that it is similar in build quality to the 28-135. My city kit will be a 5D, 24-105 and this lens. I bought it used on the FM forum. The new price seems awfully high for this quality of build. With the longish hood, I agree it is hardly a stealth lens but better than my 100-400 in that regard.

Nov 21, 2006
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AWilk
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Registered: Nov 20, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Portability - light and small enough to carry without any special reason, so you will have it there when the unexpected opportunity presents; it is black and unobtrusive, and that useful stretch from 200 to 300
Cons:
Requires careful handling and support like any 300 - speed can drop alarmingly, and depth of field can be very shallow wide open

It doesn't matter how good a lens is, its no good if it sits at home on a shelf. This little gem is "to go". Straight out the box it captures real quality images, your eyes tell all. And who wants to strut around with a white long-tom? - not me!

I'm a "wide-boy" so the walk-about on my 5D is the delicious 17-40L, but I know in the corner of the bag is that range of 70-300. When that shot comes up, its in the bag, so to speak.

Some years ago I was convinced by the argument that a 100 belt was cheap - on a "cost per wear" basis, the daily rate is nothing. So I figure the same applies to lenses. No regrets.



Nov 20, 2006
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JRaNL
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Registered: Nov 15, 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 2
Review Date: Nov 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: small, black, inconspicuous, image quality
Cons:
average built, zoom action cheap, price too high

Seems there are differences in image quality coming from this lens, but I think I'm lucky not to have to deal with image quality problems. Images say more than words, so I have posted some photos taken with this small and inconspicuous lens - which is also its strongest point - here:

http://www.photo.net/photos/jim_rais

My biggest issue is that the lens build quality is average and about the same level (or maybe worse) of - say - a midrange 28-135mm IS USM. There are wobblings all over its duo-cam plastic construction which gives a really cheap feeling to it. The zoom ring rotates heavily, especially when pointed straight right at an object and there's a resistance at the end of its longest end. I have to do this trick to make it easier: to zoom out, point the lens first downwards then rotate to the desired (longer) focal length. To zoom in (shorter focal length), point the camera/lens combination upwards followed by rotate action of the zoom ring. This "method" give a smooth(er) zoom action result, but beware of doing it in a proper order, otherwise it might resulted in a heavier zoom action!

Having being spoiled by the best build quality of buttery smooth metal-barrel lenses of Carl Zeiss for decades, I don't buy this cheapish feeling of this 70-300 DO lens. Especially at this price point, makes the lens price way out of proportion. Shame on you, Canon !

So, recommended? Yes, but ..., that is if you can live with its shortcomings and the exorbitant high price. Otherwise look elsewhere.


Nov 15, 2006
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jamesf99
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Registered: Oct 9, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 7238
Review Date: Sep 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small size, 3rd gen IS, black, zoom range, focus speed, stealth factor, build quality, non rotating front element, and the fact that it's available. No other manufacturer makes anything like this.
Cons:
I wish it were faster across the range.

I really like this lens. I know people like to bash it but many of those people complaining have never even held one let alone used it. If this lens cost $800 people would be raving about it, but at a $1k+ price it's too expensive for many when they can buy a cheaper consumer lens. Alas, you often get what you pay for with many consumer lenses.

This was never meant for the average hobby photographer and it can be harder to control in some situations. Canon originally introduced it for professionals that needed a small portable lens. I've used this lens for travel when I want a small, highly functional and flexible lens that will give me good quality images.

Some images may need sharpening but the color and contrast are very good. I've never had the flare problems that people have mentioned, but it's entirely possible I just haven't had that situation arise where it really becomes a problem. I also don't compare it to my 70-200 IS or 100-400 IS, and those that do try to make the comparison are really pretty misguided.

Summary - the best travel lens made. If you realize it isn't going to match your 70-200 IS, you're ready for a great experience.


Sep 28, 2006
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Fovea35
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Registered: Sep 14, 2005
Location: France
Posts: 36
Review Date: Sep 23, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: focal range, small size, very good resolution, bokeh, black color, IS, quick USM with FTM, virtually no chromatic aberration, non rotating front element (for polarizer)
Cons:
sensitive to flare leading to reduced contrast (easily post-processed), harder zoom ring that softens with time

Think Different!

This lens is just not like others, and it's not going to get used to you. But if you take notice of its differences (see those Tips and Tricks), it's an excellent compromise.

Xavier.


Sep 23, 2006
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Fovea35
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Registered: Sep 14, 2005
Location: France
Posts: 36
Review Date: Sep 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: focal range, small size, very good resolution, bokeh & depth of field, black color, IS, quick USM with FTM, virtually no CA, non rotating front element for polarizing filter
Cons:
harder zoom ring that softens with time, sensitive to flare which leads to slightly diminished contrast (post-processed easily)

Think Different!

After a while with this lens, I discovered that it's like no other and has very specific characteristics. That's why I created this Tips and Tricks page to help you get the most out of it!

http://www.fovegraphy.com/70_300DO_TipsE.php

Xavier.


Sep 23, 2006
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veroman
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Registered: Aug 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 3779
Review Date: Sep 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact Sharp Build quality Good color
Cons:
Price Weight

The 70-300 DO IS is a much better lens than the majority of reviews would lead you to believe. I was quite surprised at the quality of the files when using this lens with my EOS 1D, 10D and Kodak SLR/c. (It works extremely well with the latter.) If the exposure is right, this lens gets the picture in the way I wanted and expected...always a good thing to be able to say about ANY lens.

I was also surprised at the size...width and length. It's a bigger and heavier lens than I thought it would be, particularly the width, although in length it's still more compact than any other 70-300 I know of. This is a great travel zoom tele. It fits in a small bag along with my 1D and old 28-70, giving me a pretty wide focal range in an easy-to-carry package. But it's not a "stealth" lens, as one reviewer put it. This lens extends to a long length (like most others in this focal range) and is pretty conspicuous, especially with the hood attached. Plus, the weight of the lens when attached to a 1-series Canon makes for a pretty heavy lens/camera combination. The lens may be compact, but it's no featherweight!

Sharpness of the lens is near-L quality, and color appears to be very faithful. The focus is quick and silent. IS works great and provides sharpness at 1/30 (and less!) that would be impossible otherwise. The IS mechanism of this lens appears to be much quieter and quicker than the non-DO version.

Price is high. Whether or not it's TOO high is another story. The lens provides quality, excellent build, excellent handling and features, and it fits in bag compartments where no other 70-300 zoom will fit. And yet, I still have reservations about the lens being an overall good value. I guess if I use it frequently and take it with me wherever I go, I will consider it well worth the money. In that respect, it's a significantly better value than the much less expensive lenses I own that tend to sit on my shelf.


Sep 7, 2006
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nineiron6
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Registered: Oct 27, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 15
Review Date: Sep 4, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros:
Cons:

I was concerned about the bad reveiws on this lens ... I have found the lens works great very sharp . . For added distance the Kenko Teleplus Pro 300 DG 1.4X works great Auto Focus still works ..... Best travelling lens available.

Sep 4, 2006
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nineiron6
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Registered: Oct 27, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 15
Review Date: Sep 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Perfect lens for carrying around to get distance you could not get with out a lot of add weight .... you can also use the Kenko 1.4X teleplus Pro 300DG to add distance and the auto focus also work with this extender great lens.
Cons:
none



Sep 1, 2006
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AFFD
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Registered: Jul 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2
Review Date: Aug 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $999.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small size, sharpness.
Cons:
Need to lock lens to prevent it moving when at rest. Bokeh not quite as attractive as 70-200 F2.8 or 135L.

I have previously purchased the 100 macro, 135L, 70-200 F4 and F2.8 so after doing much research I purchased this lens and have been quite delighted with it.

I have not experienced the softness that some reviewers have noted and have found the sharpness good.

After reading the review on Luminous Landscape by Michael Reichman, I had purchased some additional sharpening software as the review suggested (FocalBlade, PK Sharpener), but so far I have not really required the sharpening software, thought it does help a little.

Examples of my shots with the camera are at:

http://www.alistairdavidson.com/photos2006/yellow_rose.htm

http://www.alistairdavidson.com/photos2006/setting_sun_in_palo_alto.htm

http://www.alistairdavidson.com/photos2006/butterfly_at_the_di_rosa.htm

http://www.alistairdavidson.com/photos2006/hess_winery.htm

http://alistairdavidson.com/photos2006/magic_light.htm

Overall, I anticipate that I will be using this lens a great deal. I take my camera with me everywhere and often would leave behind the marvellous but rather heavy 70-200 F2.8L, which I do plan on keeping for stationary situations.

Highly recommended.


Aug 28, 2006
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Asmodeus
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Registered: Jun 16, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 168
Review Date: Aug 10, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: Weight, range
Cons:
Price, poor image quality without major post processing, flare, seriosly soft at the long end

The lens was really attractive to me because I had a bunch of quick trips coming up and the idea of not needing to bring along the medium heavy bag of equipment was appeal. Add that to my local shop getting in a bunch of refurbished lenses at a great price, with the Canon warranty and I decided to pick one up.

The first copy I got was horribly soft at every focal length and f-stop. It went from horrendus to blech. Took that one back to the shop and traded for another. This one was pretty nice below about 250 mm, and acceptable with lots of PP above that.

Using the lens I found it was very susceptible to flare, and I had to be very careful how I shot. I found that I was avoiding using the lens and grabbing the 70-200 f2.8 instead. This convinced me that the lens was not for me; it was harder to get good shots and needing to pay more attention to the hardware than to the image is not a plus for me.

If it was a $499 MSRP lens I would have kept it, but even with the discounted price it wasn't worth hanging on to.


Aug 10, 2006
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abqnmusa
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Registered: May 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2085
Review Date: Aug 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: lens sharp at all focal lengths settings including 300mm, both mode 1 & mode 2 IS work very well, focusing is fast and accurate on my 5D. The size & weight of this lens make it handle quickly in the field. It is easy to locate & follow fast subjects with this lens.
Cons:
If lens is unloced and you point it straight down it will telescope to full extension. A bit expensive.

I am amazed by the performance of this lens on my 5D. It makes car racing photos much easier to achieve then my 70-200 F4L.

The sharpness, color, and contrast of the 70-300 DO IS images are easily the equal to my 70-200 F4L.

It may have a green stripe, but I am getting red strip L quality images from the 70-300 DO IS.

The focusing is very quick and accurate on the 5D.

Mode 1 & 2 IS work well and make 300mm handhelp shots easy. The mode 2 IS makes panning fast moving race cars much easier than with the 70-200 F4L lens.

I would recommend this lens to anyone needing a top quality telephoto lens.



Aug 8, 2006
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aero145
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Registered: Jul 1, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 333
Review Date: Jul 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Short, small, nice green ring.
Cons:
A little too heavy, zoom ring pretty stiff, zoom-lock locks to the wrong direction.

I have tried this lens often.

The quality of the lens is pretty good, but the photos are blurrier than from the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 lens.

The build quality is excellent, but the zoom ring is pretty heavy.

The FTM is good, and the hood is pretty nice. But the cons of the hood is that it almost covers the lens fully when turned backwards.


Jul 12, 2006
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ward1066
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Registered: Feb 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2563
Review Date: Jul 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: small, light, great IS, excellent image quality.
Cons:
non sofar

I read all the poor reviews and negative things about this lens, but really wanted a small light lens for travel and general photography, so I bought one. The first time I took it out I went to the zoo and shot all day at iso 100 handheld which was really nice. I have had the 100-400 and the 38-300L and this lens is right up there IMO. If you don't like lugging those long white heavy lenses, this one is for you.

Here is my gallery with some sample pics
http://wadeabbey.smugmug.com/gallery/1618207/1/78771318


Jul 9, 2006
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junlin18
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Registered: May 18, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jun 23, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: relatively small and light. good traveling lense.
Cons:
expensive, not very sharp. image quality only improves after stopping down to f8 onwards. "funny" background blur sometimes.
Jun 23, 2006
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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
109 241191 Feb 20, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
82% of reviewers $1,155.47
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.67
6.38
8.1
ef70-300_45-56doisu


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