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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
201 611838 Jun 6, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $566.98
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.63
8.63
8.9
70-300_isusm

Specifications:
The EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM telephoto zoom lens has been developed to meet the high-performance standards that today's photographers demand. Improved Image Stabilizer Technology provides up to three stops of "shake" correction, and the "Mode 2" option stabilizes images while panning with a moving subject. Compared to the original Canon EF 75-300mm IS zoom lens, this telephoto lens has faster autofocus, and overall the lens is lighter and has a smaller diameter than the original. The zoom ring can be locked at the 70mm position, making this powerful lens easy to transport, too.

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 70-300mm f/4-5.6

Lens Construction: 15 elements in 10 groups

Diagonal Angle of View: 84 - 23 20' (with full-frame camera)

Focus Adjustment: Front-focusing method with helicoid ring drive

Closest Focusing Distance: 4.9 ft./1.5m

Zoom System: 6-group helical zoom (rotational angle: 84)

Filter Size: 58mm

Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.0 in. x 5.6 in., 22.2 oz. / 76.5mm x 142.8mm, 630g (lens only)


 


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browntimdc
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Registered: Jan 7, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $610.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp. Light. Affordable. Great IS.
Cons:
Front element rotates. IS noise.

Razor sharp and contrasty wide open 70-200mm. Slightly softer at 300mm. Very light weight relative to it's size. Build quality good considering price. IS can be heard in a quiet room, but not bad compared to shutter/mirror sound. I got a generic collapsible rubber hood that works fine.

Next best thing to a big white lens.


Jan 10, 2006
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markle
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Registered: Jan 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 252
Review Date: Jan 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $569.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: IS efficient and precise; image quality better than expected; AF slowish but precise even in low light; stunning DOF @ 70-90mm
Cons:
AF not fast enough on tracking; pale colors and contrast to be adjusted on PP

It started as a fun lens to use instead of the 70-200 IS: it ended up being a serious alternative to it. Did a couple of test shots with it (a friend just got it) and I was immediately impressed. I bought one right after and it stays. The quality is close to the L but the images do show pale colors and the contrast must be adjusted manually. The AF is slow but extremely precise and it works even in low light. The DOF @ 70-90mm is very good, surprisingly good for basic portraiture. I find the sweet spot @ f/11 (despite many reported f/8 as the best aperture) but even @ 5.6 this lens is more than acceptable. Tested on a Full Frame (1Ds) I don't see evident lack of sharpness at the corners even wide open. The viewfinder will darken a little (if you're used to 2.8 lenses) but perfectly usable.

Tracking is NOT a 70-300IS thing, in servo the limitations of the slowish autofocus do become apparent. The percentage of keepers in a burst comes down to 60% tops, but still usable (while not comparable to the 70-200 of course).

The strong point of the lens is with no doubt the quality of the images and the fantastic third generation IS which really works (and the weight also makes things even better). The images do compare to the best L and even some prime.

It's not a 2.8 class lens but the IS makes it up in some way (still it won't freeze a subject movements in low light). Once we understand the limitations we can get stunning images from it.


Definitely a keeper


Jan 8, 2006
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mrladewig
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Registered: Dec 20, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 2593
Review Date: Jan 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $679.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: IS works well
Cons:
focusing problems with distant subjects.

I've had this lens for about a month. I've had very inconsistant results. Generally with subject between 5 and 500 ft, it seems to be focusing quite well. I've been very impressed with the sharpness of these images from 70mm to 300 mm. IS works very well as advertised. No complaints there. Unfortunately, most of the time when I'm focusing on subject 1/4 mile to infinity, it will not autofocus correctly. I've almost always had to go back in and touch up with manual focus. I'm convinced that this lens is much better than its predecessor (75-300 IS) and overall I'm happy with it.

Jan 4, 2006
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timbop
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Registered: Dec 29, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 6427
Review Date: Jan 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $570.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IS is fantastic, sharp, great range
Cons:
rotating front element makes polarizer problematic

I debated between this lens and the 7-200 f4/L, and I am glad that I ended up with the IS. Color/contrast are good (to my untrainied eye). The sharpness is great up to 200mm, and still very good up to 300mm wide open. The IS is unbelievable, and the flexibility it provides is fantastic. I happened to catch some deer coming out of the woods when I was driving home in twilight, and the following pic is a roughly 100% crop of that shot. It was taken handheld at dusk from a distance of about 100 yards. The exposure was 1/100 sec @ f5.6 at a focal length of 300mm. Yep, handheld @ 300mm for 1/100s on a d-rebel:

http://home.comcast.net/~tim.price/wildlife/IMG_4579_small_filtered.jpg

I am a novice, but the primitive tripod tests I did revealed a very sharp lens up to ~200mm, and then pretty darn good beyond that.


Jan 4, 2006
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shaunknee
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Registered: Jan 2, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 10
Review Date: Jan 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Better sharpness then my 17-85 IS. Weight is great for this type of lens. Lens performs better then expected.
Cons:
Build quality lower then 17-85 IS. Noise generated from IS and focus is greater then my other lens, but just. Feels fragile when extended.

I read that the closest you can get with this lens is 5 feet, however it seems like a long way sometimes when you are too close. The best way to describe this lens is a cheap plastic tube with small but very good glass and electronics. Only time will show how it stands up.

As stated earlier it performs better then I would have expected. The extension lock is a great addition. I can walk around easily with the camera around my neck under my coat without worrying about it zooming out.

It works very well with my XT. Focus is fast and accurate and the IS is the reason most people are reading about Canon equipment. Yes it is that good.

Thanks to the other reviewers for posting opinions


Jan 2, 2006
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EnricoMazzoni
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Registered: Jan 2, 2006
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: L - Sharpness, IS, weight
Cons:
5.6 - no ftm, front lens rotate

Direct comparison with 70-200 f4 on my 20d:

Same sharpness w/o IS on tripod.
Better with IS.
Same colors.

Fantastic L-quality lens



Jan 2, 2006
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hcoo
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Registered: May 11, 2005
Location: Philippines
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IS, range... Sharp
Cons:
none so far

I've been waiting for this lens to come out, comparing it to 70-200 4L; I choose this one for extra reach and for the IS... i nver regret chosing this lens, it s sharp and good in low light condition... Highly recommended...

Jan 1, 2006
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Herbie
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Registered: Dec 29, 2005
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp sharp sharp, USM and IS
Cons:
Rotating frontlens, cheapy feel, a bit expensive and a little noisy

I' had a Tamron 18-200 but I was not happy with this lens.
Overall it was not realy sharp. So I buyed a EF 24-58 a nice overall lens. But i missed the telezoom.
So I read all the positive reviews overhere.

So I get today to my local reseller and get one.....


I'm totally surprised how easy it is to shoot at 300 - 1/125 (f5.6)with IS,
and damn how sharp are those images...........


Highly recommend



Dec 29, 2005
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packpe89
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Registered: Mar 5, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 477
Review Date: Dec 29, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $580.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Good Contrast and IS.
Cons:
AF not Ring USM, but knew that going in.

Love this lens. Debated on this ot the 70-200 F4, but this was just more versitle. Happy I made this choice. Holding on to my 70-210 USM until I try this for the kids sports, but AF is not that bad, so I think it will be ok. First IS lens, and can tell a huge difference. Works well with my Tamron 1.4 TC also.

Dec 29, 2005
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Higany
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Registered: Dec 19, 2005
Location: Hungary
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $760.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: IS, USM, Very sharp
Cons:
front rotates, no lens hood and/or lens bag inlcuded (for 760$...)

This is my first IS lens. How can I live w/o IS before? ;-) I can take SHARP pictures @300mm with 1/10s, even 0.3s!!!
It's very imposing.


Dec 28, 2005
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KKwan
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Registered: Feb 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Dec 27, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Light weight, sharp in all range, very effective IS, black
Cons:
Average build quality, lens rotate as focus changes, long minimum focus distance, slow focus and hunt

As so many reviews recommend this lens, I choose this one over 70mm-200mm 4L. I was disappointed when I use it the first time. The focus is slow. It is the slowest lens I have so far. It hunts and can't focus in dark or light area in my house. Focus distance is 1.5m, too long when using 70mm. However, I am glad to have IS when I use it next day. I can tell the big difference with IS on and off. It saves me many pictures. Its relative short length also fit in my camera bag very well. Now, I am happy to have it. I recommend people buying this lens for outdoor or large indoor area photography.



Dec 27, 2005
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presolanik
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Registered: Oct 8, 2005
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 22, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: nitido, anche a 300mm, resa dei colori, compatto e leggero. IS stratosferico!
Cons:
paraluce non incluso nel prezzo

Dalle prime prove che ho avuto modo di fare, l'obiettivo eccezionale... il migliore fra i miei acquisti in campo ftografico. Dopo 2 minuti, si era gi creato un feeling...Lo stabilizzatore lavora in maniera stupefacente, si scatta a 300mm senzq alcun problema.
Peccato 30 x un paraluce, mi sembra eccessivo!
L'autofocus non sempre velocissimo, ma comunque a livelli accettabili.
Il peso e le dimensioni, oltre che il colore nero, lo rendono oltremodo comodo e discreto.
Lo consiglio vivamente.
Stavo pensando ad un 70-200 f4 L, ma dopo questo acquisto, non ho avuto modo di ricredermi.


Dec 22, 2005
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godfreyz
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Registered: Feb 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1019
Review Date: Dec 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $570.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great lens. Very sharp throughtout focal range. Excellent color and contrast. Fantastic lens for the price.
Cons:
Build quality is not that of an "L" lens.

I was amazed at the sharpness of the pictures at both focal ends. The additional functionality of having IS is a huge benefit. The lens is also fairly light so as to not pose a weight problem.

Dec 20, 2005
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Califfoto
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Registered: Dec 18, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 26
Review Date: Dec 19, 2005 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros:
Cons:

This lens can sometime be sharp ...

Here comes an example: http://califoto.my-expressions.com/archives/2186_1665899495/111693

But the details are still too smooth ...



Dec 19, 2005
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dave chilvers
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Registered: Jan 11, 2002
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1691
Review Date: Dec 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: It won`t break your wrist or bank balance. Canon really have made a lens to satisfy the crowd.
Cons:
Build quality is consumer, lens barrel rotates, no real time MF.

I`ve been leaving my 70-200 IS at home more and more, basically because it stands out like a sore thumb and weighs a ton. So I started to use my 135 f2 and keep the 1.4 ext in the bag. Although the primes(more so the 135) are superb, chopping and changing lenses all the time can introduce crud on the sensor and you can easily miss that one moment in time. So! after reading the reviews on this lens and with Christmas upon us I decided to treat myself and use this in conjunction with my 17-40 on the 5D.
I was slightly dissapointed with the build quality and when I zoomed to the tele end I couldn`t believe how far the barrel came out. So i thought "Oh Well" I`ll have some fun with it and maybe stick it on e Bay after a while. Then, I took it out for a test run and the more i used it the more It grew on me. I find the focus speed and noise level to be absolutely fine. The range is just about perfect for a hell of a lot of subjects and I have had great fun shooting landscapes from a tele point of view rather than WA. The AF is great and the IS works very well. I`ve honestly shot some of my best sunsets this week with this lens and to be quite honest it stays on the camera as default. I like the fact that the zoom locks at 70mm for carrying but be a bit careful when it is fully extended because it feels a bit fragile.
Well just one week in and I am totally hooked on this lens. I`ve not done any side by side comparison with my 70-200IS but at normal viewing distance I think I would be hard pushed to tell what lens I had used.(It`s that good) No flare problems to speak of. I brought the hood with the lens so that might be helping. All in all I can`t remember over 30 years of photography ever being so inspired about a lens. One of the ultimate tests of a lens for me is how easily it locks onto focus on clouds in an even sky and as far as this goes I find it to be as good as anything in my bag.
Well done Canon, in fact this lens might just be the thing that stops me from keeping on buying new DSLR`s as they come out searching for the feel good factor.


Dec 19, 2005
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drunksaru
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Registered: Jul 22, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $580.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sooooo much better than the previous 75-300 IS.
Cons:
Not as quick to focus beyond 135mm compared to 70-200 f4L

I originally had and still have my 75-300 IS, but I needed something that focuses a lot faster and I also wanted sharper images so I bought the 70-200 F4L. After reading so many good reviews about this 70-300IS, I decided to sell my L to get this. 80% of me is super satisfied. 20% of me still wishes I had an L. I love the quality of the L but I do mainly drift sport shoots and the IS helps a lot. Also, the fact that this lens focuses much faster and the images are much sharper, I am really happy with this lens. I guess I'll keep this lens until I can one day afford the 70-200 f2.8 IS.

In autofocus, when zoomed in past 135 in lowlight, the lens tends to hunt for a bit which annoyed me but the results that i got from this lens compared to my old L and original 75-300IS, this lens has gotten me the most useable pictures so far. And once I retouch some of these photos in photoshop, they look just as good as the L. But since I'm lazy with photoshop, that is the reason why I miss the L a little. Anyway, for anyone really needing the panning IS mode and good pictures without burning a hole in your wallet, I highly recommend this camera.


Dec 19, 2005
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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
201 611838 Jun 6, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $566.98
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.63
8.63
8.9
70-300_isusm


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