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

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201 613123 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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susi
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Registered: Sep 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2584
Review Date: Dec 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Light (compared to most), price, color, range
Cons:
none

I have had this lens a few weeks and I am finding it on my camera more and more as it has such a great range for either landscapes or portraits and I find that it is better in low light than I expected it to be. The IS really works great and I was pleasantly surprised at how sharp this lens is! All in all, this lens is a excellent choice for it's price and performance!

Dec 28, 2006
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Karl Sanderson
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Registered: Dec 27, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image quality, price, IS and weight/portability.
Cons:
Build quality isn't 'L' standard...but nor is it badly constructed; it is plastic after all. No internal focussing along with attendant rotating/extending front element. No hood included....say no more.

This lens wasn't even on my radar until recently; hadn't even considered it. I was originally looking at the 70-300 DO IS and happened upon the postive reviews for the non-DO version quite by accident...rather glad I did. I suspect it was due to half-remembered negative reviews of the 75-300 IS predecessor and the other 7x-300 lenses in the Canon range.

So, the lens. For a 'consumer' lens the 70-300 IS comes as a pleasant surprise. No, it isn't built like a tank but as a result it is light weight and portable. Build quality is about the same as my Canon 35 f2. I've not had the problem with rattling or lens creep that others have had, and this may be something to do with the fact the lens has a later model number. As mentioned above the fact that the front element rotates and extends is an annoyance, but not enough to put me off. It isn't as compact as the DO version but it isn't exceptionally large either.

Image quality is outstanding for a non 'L' lens. I was quite surprised at its abilities wide open at 300mm - much better than I expected. The IS does what it says on the tin; it is a virtual life-saver when it comes to handheld shots with low shutter speeds; I can get usable shots with 1/30 sec at 300mm. Having said this it does focus slowly and hunts somewhat in low light but then this isn't supposed to be a high performance piece of kit.

All in all, this is a great lens for those who want the reach (without compromising on image quality too much), but don't necessarily need a fast lens, solid build or quick AF. Highly Recommended.


Dec 27, 2006
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Willy P
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Registered: Sep 16, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $560.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent resolution and color, even at 300 mm
Cons:

Excellent throughout zoom range. So good at 300mm that I find it useful even for extreme close-ups on insects and small wildlife. (The close-ups are subsequently cropped and enlarged with image editing/enlargement software to produce amazing clarity.)

Heartily recommend this lens for the casual/amateur nature photographer


Nov 29, 2006
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seattlesteve
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Registered: Oct 1, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 248
Review Date: Nov 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Optics, 3-stop IS system, price, light, portable
Cons:
Lens creep when it's not 'locked' to 70mm

There’s not much more that I can add that hasn’t already been said. Clearly it doesn’t have the build quality of the L series lenses, but the price tag reflects that. For the money you are getting a big range lens with great optics and a fantastic IS system. If you don't need to rely on the faster focus of the L series lenses, this lens should fullfill nearly all of your needs.

Nov 21, 2006
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Jon Fernandes
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Registered: Jan 7, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 22
Review Date: Nov 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very good optically. Poor build initially. Solid construction after repair. Light weight. Relatively compact. Reasonable price.
Cons:
Early version with wobbly barrel and severe zoom creep. Felt flimsy and cheap. Exorbitant cost for hood.

I had an early version of this lens - 0 third digit serial number. It had a very wobbly barrel especially when extended and the zoom mechanism was very loose - would zip out to fully extended when pointed down.
I could not detect the focus problem at 300mm in vertical mode on my 20D. Canon Australia put out a notice recommending all of these "affected" lens be taken to a service centre for checking and correction as necessary.

22 days later I have a lens with a solid construction and firm but smooth zoom. There is no rattling and it is a pleasure to use. There is no zoom creep. The feel is not quite the same as my 70-200 f2.8L but very acceptable. Speed of focusing is obviously not in the same league as the L but acceptable.
Images from f8 are virtually indistinguishable from the L and at 300 fully open with a little processing by DxO are excellent.

Why didn't Canon properly pre-test and release a fixed version of the lens ?
While they did respond and fix the lens problem it reflects badly on the quality control processes of the company.

In addition the lens now has a tarnished reputation.
If the newer versions of the lens without the problem are anything like my version after the repair this is an optical bargin at the price with what is now very good construction. Only time will tell how it wears with use but it looks very promising.

A perfect travelling lens with its light weight and excellent OS and imaging.


Nov 11, 2006
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macshark
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Registered: Dec 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 159
Review Date: Oct 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent zoom range, good contrast, almost as sharp as 70-200 f/4L.
Cons:
Rotating front element. Build quality is not the best. Hood sold separately.

Images from this lens were much better than expected. Comparable to the 70-200 f/4L in many aspects. IS works great. I have taken some excellent wildlife and sports shots with this lens. It is quite compact when in non-extended position, it is the only telephoto zoom that fits in my compact SLR bag.

Oct 29, 2006
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regm
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Registered: Jan 30, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 3
Review Date: Oct 23, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IS and quality of images.
Cons:
Size

I just bought this lens, my first IS. Luckily this forum tipped me off about the problem in portrait mode with some serial numbers, as the first one was from the bad batch. No problem, the supplier got me a good one and I have only taken about 100 shots, but I love the lens, am very satisfied.

There's not much info here about teleconverters and I would like to use a 1.4x, can I get feedback from you folks? The Canon 1.4 is apparently not compatible, but the Kenko 1.4 may be. Any experience?
Thanks


Oct 23, 2006
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Ian Sayers
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Registered: Oct 15, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Versitle range, Outstanding I.S., Superb Image quality, Light Weight and portable
Cons:
Probably the worst Build Quality lens I have, RIP OFF lens Hood

I bought this lens on ebay as soon as it was available, hence I paid far to much for it. I am used to the excellent build quailty of sigma EX lenses and was very disapointed with the very poor build quality of this lens. I was also quite angry that canon chose to charge so much for the lens hood, when Sigma/Tamron supply them free. When on the camera (20D) I worry all the time that the lens will hit something and fall to pieces.

HOWEVER -- The photos I have taken with this lens are some of the best I have. The IS works wonders, the hand held minimum is at least 3 stops slower than without it. The pictures are extreemly sharp, even wide open. Focusing is rapid, accurate and can track moving targets with ease. The light weight construction make this lens quite portable so I can take it with me when I visit London on buisness and get street photography/candids walking to and from the station. I dont imagine I could do that very easily with one of the big 70-200 2.8s.

I therefore would recomend this lens, as it offers unusually good value for money for a cannon lens. I just wish canon could put 1/5th of the build quality into their consumer lenses that Sigma manage, and that the lens hood wasn't such a rip off.


Oct 15, 2006
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William Kung
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Registered: Sep 6, 2006
Location: China
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 28, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Light weight, low price, good image quality, IS
Cons:
Front element turns during focus, thus not convenient for CPL and gradient filters. Poor built quality (well, this make it a cheaper and lighter lens).

I bought this lens 2 months ago. I am using 30D. Before this lens, I already have two Tamron lens, i.e. 17-35 and 28-75. So you can see my gear selections are not top rated, but are good for value, at least in my point of view.

I was making a choice between this lens and the 70-200mm f/4L USM which the price is around the same level. While I believe I would like to hand hold my camera in most cases, I finally considered an IS is preferred to an "L". Up to now, no regret.

The IS is definitely a plus, especially in the long end and when the max aperture is still too small in lower light environment. In good light outdoor condition, I don't think I can tell the difference between the IQ produced by a professional L lens and this consumer lens, though I did not make a real comparison yet.

Having said that, the lens built quality is poor. It is too plastic and it seems that dust can go into the lens when you zoom in and out.

For budget user who want to have a good value tele lens, I strongly recommend the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM.


Sep 28, 2006
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Jiheme
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Registered: Sep 19, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great quick AF, Efficient IS, real focus ring, light weihgt, Exelent value for the price, 2 IS modes
Cons:
Nottong real, maybe plastic build but I can live with it, specialy at that price.

Got this lens 2 months ago to replace a Sigma 70-300 DG Macro on my 350D, I have no regrets.

Photos are very crisp up to 300mm.

I was realy surprised by the light weight and the quick focus compared to my sigma.

The IS is efficient and something realy addictive...

Don't hesitate, Get One.


Sep 19, 2006
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Johno
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Registered: Jan 26, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 70
Review Date: Sep 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent performance. As sharp as my 70-200 F4.0. Extra 100mm and IS is very handy. Excellent value for money.
Cons:
Could be slightly better built, but can't complain for the price. Focus is slightly slower than my L's.

I bought this lens for my girlfriend. I tested it out before giving it to her and I could not believe how good it was for the price. I have a 70-200F4 and F2.8 IS and this lens gives them a very close run quality wise. Any small difference in contrast is easily made up for in post processing.

A tip: I found that the hood makes a visible difference in contrast. get one, it's worth it.

The L's I own focus slightly faster, and are obviously better built, but this thing is as sharp as both of them. A big surprise-as I did not expect this lens to perform so well.

I was thinking of getting the new 70-200 F4 IS, but I will buy one of these instead, and use the money saved for something else.

Kudos to Canon for providing a great lens at the price.


Sep 12, 2006
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mirages
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Registered: Apr 3, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 299
Review Date: Sep 9, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Build quality was better than anticipated for a supposed "consumer" lens; I think many L zoom owners would be pleasantly surprised! Optical quality was in a word "mind-blowing" for a consumer lens. Third generation IS with dual panning setting.
Cons:
Really no valid complaints - especially considering the cost. It’s a push-pull model, not my favorite, but I knew that going in. Also, the front lens rotates, making using a CP a challenge.

Well, only had this for a couple days, but have had enough time to play with it to say that I like it a lot. I do not own many zooms, and almost shied away from this purchase. That was until I had the opportunity to try one, and was startled, and then had a chance to read this review by Photozone.

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_70300_456is/index.htm

"The performance of the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS came as a total surprise. Unlike its predecessor the lens is capable to produce a very high performance throughout the zoom range without the significant drop in quality at 300mm typical for most consumer grade lenses in this range. It seems as if the new UD element helps to lift the optical quality significantly. Distortions, CAs as well as vignetting are also very respectable. So in terms of optical quality the EF 70-300mm IS can be almost described as a hidden Canon L lens..."

Central image quality compares very favorably to edge, which in my book is what a quality lens is all about. The zoom ring was smooth enough, especially considering it was moving the entire lens (push-pull style). Of course I would have liked to have L body quality, but that is not what I am paying for here. To me this lens, if not dropped, will last very likely as many years as an L zoom, meaning a lifetime of good use. Initially a skeptic, I couldn't be more happy with this purchase!

P.S. I've heard from very reliable sources that this lens can handle the Kenko Pro 300 1.4x TC; and that the AF function and IQ are great! I'll get a chance next weekend to try one.


Sep 9, 2006
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mirages
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Registered: Apr 3, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 299
Review Date: Sep 9, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Build quality was better than anticipated for a supposed "consumer" lens; I think many L zoom owners would be pleasantly surprised! Optical quality was in a word "mind-blowing" for a consumer lens. Third generation IS with dual panning setting.
Cons:
Really no valid complaints - especially considering the cost. It’s a push-pull model, not my favorite, but I knew that going in. Also, the front lens rotates, making using a CP a challenge.

Well, only had this for a couple days, but have had enough time to play with it to say that I like it a lot. I do not own many zooms, and almost shied away from this purchase. That was until I had the opportunity to try one, and was startled, and then had a chance to read this review by Photozone.

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_70300_456is/index.htm

"The performance of the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS came as a total surprise. Unlike its predecessor the lens is capable to produce a very high performance throughout the zoom range without the significant drop in quality at 300mm typical for most consumer grade lenses in this range. It seems as if the new UD element helps to lift the optical quality significantly. Distortions, CAs as well as vignetting are also very respectable. So in terms of optical quality the EF 70-300mm IS can be almost described as a hidden Canon L lens..."

Central image quality compares very favorably to edge, which in my book is what a quality lens is all about. The zoom ring was smooth enough, especially considering it was moving the entire lens (push-pull style). Of course I would have liked to have L body quality, but that is not what I am paying for here. To me this lens, if not dropped, will last very likely as many years as an L zoom, meaning a lifetime of good use. Initially a skeptic, I couldn't be more happy with this purchase!

P.S. I've heard from very reliable sources that this lens can handle the Kenko Pro 300 1.4x TC; and that the AF function and IQ are great! I'll get a chance next weekend to try.

P.S.S. My first thread evaporated, so excuse if the original somehow reappears in front of this; somehow my rating took...


Sep 9, 2006
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mirages
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Registered: Apr 3, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 299
Review Date: Sep 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality was better than anticipated for a supposed "consumer" lens; I think many L zoom owners would be pleasantly surprised! Optical quality was in a word "mindblowing" for a prosumer lens. Third generation IS with dual panning setting.
Cons:
Really no valid complaints, especially considering the cost. Its a push-pull model, not my favorite, but I knew that going in. Also, the front lens rotates, making using a CP a challenge.

Well, only had this for a couple days, but have had enough time to play with it to say that I like it a lot. I do not own many zooms, and almost shied away from this purchase. That was until I had the opportunity to try one, and was startled, and then had a chance to read this review by Photozone.

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_70300_456is/index.htm

"The performance of the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS came as a total surprise. Unlike its predecessor the lens is capable to produce a very high performance throughout the zoom range without the significant drop in quality at 300mm typical for most consumer grade lenses in this range. It seems as if the new UD element helps to lift the optical quality significantly. Distortions, CAs as well as vignetting are also very respectable. So in terms of optical quality the EF 70-300mm IS can be almost described as a hidden Canon L lens..."

Central image quality compares very favorably to edge, which in my book is what a quality lens is all about. The zoom ring was smooth enough, especially considering it was moving the entire lens (push-pull style). Of course I would have liked to have L body quality, but that is not what I am paying for here. To me this lens, if not dropped, will last very likely as many years as an L zoom, meaning a lifetime of good use. Initially a skeptic, I couldn't be more happy with this purchase!

P.S. I've heard from very reliable sources that this lens can handle the Kenko Pro 300 1.4x TC; and that the AF function and IQ are great! I'll get a chance next weekend to try one.


Sep 8, 2006
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William Kung
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Registered: Sep 6, 2006
Location: China
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light weight compared with L lens; reasonable price; IS
Cons:
Front ring rotates when focusing; plastic built; look very long when fully extended.



Sep 6, 2006
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deepimpact
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Registered: Aug 9, 2006
Location: Thailand
Posts: 3
Review Date: Sep 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $655.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp as hidden L lens , Image stabilization.
Cons:
Plastic fantastic.

After I have used it for 9 months.This lens is a very good and cheap lens.It has a great focal length, and is sharp at all focal lengths. When at f/5.6, the photos are pretty sharp, and when moving to f/11, the photos are as sharp as out of L-lenses.

The 70mm lock-ring is a good feature.The things on the lens that disappoint me are the very expensive hood, and that the front element rotates during focusing.


Sep 2, 2006
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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 613123 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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