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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 607567 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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dcains
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Registered: Oct 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 7387
Review Date: Aug 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great IQ/sharpness at all focal lengths, amazing IS, lightweight/black, inexpensive, uses 58mm filters, great service support from Canon.
Cons:
No FTMF/real USM, front element rotates, f/4-5.6.

Surely the best lightweight zoom out there, and the best value, too. Mine was an early lens that was supposed to have the portrait orientation softness, but I never saw it. I sent it in for the update anyway, the "inner lens unit" was replaced, and now there's no zoom creep, either. Very nice work by Canon! The cons listed above are all pretty minor, the pros outweigh them by a good margin, and this lens is a favorite of mine.

I would recommend buying a collapsible rubber hood for this lens (~$12 shipped from fotodiox, for example) as it really does improve IQ, and the Canon hood @ nearly $50 is highway robbery.


Aug 12, 2006
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Dubi
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Registered: Jul 10, 2006
Location: Slovenia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Image stabilization.
Cons:
Plastic fantastic
Jul 12, 2006
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Nick De Marco
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Registered: Jun 13, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jul 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Value for money, sharp
Cons:
Not f2.8

I was in two minds about this lens, until I started using it more for portraits, landscapes and people shots. I have now decided it is a good lens, and much sharper than some of the other Canon lenses of a similar price. I much prefer the quality of this lens to my 17-85mm which I have to say is rather disappointing. In good light this is very sharp. In low light it is not very useable though. If I could afford it I would buy the 70-200 f2.8L as that looks the best, but it is nearly 3x the price of this. The 70-200 f4L is not much more expensive, but I don't know how it compares in terms of quality and it is not much faster.

Here are some pics with this lens: http://www.pbase.com/nickdemarco/70300mm_


Jul 11, 2006
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Silto
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Registered: Jul 6, 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 6, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: It's light, versatile and not small. Glass is good and mine doesn't seem to have vertical portrait phenomenon. Perfect with IS and light weight.
Cons:
It's not as solid as L lens and build quality isn't that good.

I am not sure is, how actually do I reach 0.9X magnification ratio with ET25mm attached? Mine can only get a 0.28 I guess. EF 17-40L's lens cap fills in my 350D and in corners I can see the rim.



Jul 6, 2006
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Wayneb
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Registered: Jul 2, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jul 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $559.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros:
Cons:

I just got this lens and would like Canon to start building their so called cheap lenses a little better. I would gladly pay a couple hundred more dollars for a lens that was well built.

The lens barrel moves a lot when extended and my bet is that is what is causing the verticle shooting mode problems, since you use less of the lens for the height in landscape mode it seems logical to me that the lens barrel sagging would be less of a problem in landscape mode and more in verticle mode. I will send mine in to Cannon after July 18th and I hope they can fix it. My guess is that over time the lens will loosen up more and the problems will worsen.

Now for the good part the I.S. seems amazing and it is the reason I plan on keeping this lens, this is my first I.S. lens and now I want it on all my telephoto lenses. If Canon can fix the problem with this lens I would recommend it highly.


Jul 2, 2006
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aero145
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Registered: Jul 1, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 333
Review Date: Jul 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, light, inexpensive, black.
Cons:
Hood is not following the lens, front element rotates during focusing, a bit to long.

This lens is a good 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 only things on the lens that disappoint me are the big hood, and that the front element rotates during focusing.



Jul 1, 2006
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daymark
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Registered: May 18, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jun 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros:
Cons:

Canon just anounced they've tracked down the problem with poor resolution in portrait orientation:

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=PgComSmModDisplayAct&fcategoryid=216&modelid=11922&keycode=2112&id=28468

The only lenses affected are those with serial numbers with 0 or 1 in the third digit from left, and Canon will repair these free of charge.

David.


Jun 29, 2006
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Tigadee
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Registered: Aug 4, 2005
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jun 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, decent build, nice zoom ring with plenty of grip area, common 58mm filters, excellent colours & contrast, L-quality sharpness, zoom lock a good idea
Cons:
A bit too light, harder to old steady as compared to heavier L tele lenses, dreading the day the zoom creep occurs, rotating front lens means having to use circular lens hood instead of petal

What a shocker! To think this consumer lens which is one third the price of my Canon 28-300mm IS USM L lens is as sharp and has even better colour sat and contrast! From 70-300mm, this lens is as sharp as my 28-300mm L AND images have better colour and contrast. Amazing!

(One weird thing is that at 70mm, both lenses focal length are the same but at 200mm and 300mm, the 70-300mm is longer! I feel almost cheated by Canon in that my 28-300mm isn't really a 300mm!!)

I've only good things to say about this lens. It's 'L' sharp wide open all trhough the focal length, it's got excellent colour rendition and contrast and it's cheap! Focus is almost as fast as normal/'real' USM (as on the 28-300mm) but if the autofocus has difficulty, the lens goes through the full focal length to hunt for the focus. A bit time wasting but a quick swing to the side to find something with better contrast and zeroing into something near your subject will set things right.

Have not tested out the panning IS but suspect if there's any fault, it'll be more of getting used to the lighter weight of this lens (i.e. technique). Mode 1 IS works very well although with the lighter weight of this lens, I have to sharpen my handholding technique! The 28-300mm's weight was a bonus in that regard to help in steadying the shot. But again, results between the two lenses come out identical at 70-300mm focal lengths, which the edge to the 70-300mm IS USM!

Love it!


Jun 28, 2006
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DougC43
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Registered: Feb 8, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 39
Review Date: Jun 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Optical quality, light weight, IS, moderate price
Cons:
Zoom action is a bit loose so that zoom lock feature is helpful. The legendary sharpness problem in portrait position does show up, but I never saw it until I tested for it with a 5D (was using a 350D before), so it's not a big problem.

After some research, it became evident to me that this lens was going to offer the best bang/buck ratio of longer lenses. I previously used an original-style Tamron 28-300 which I liked ok, but this blows it out of the water, particularly because of the IS.

My wife and I travelled in Africa this May, including a safari in Kenya, and this lens was my workhorse, and I don't see how I could be any happier with the results. I took along my Manfrotto tripod and monopod, and did not use either of them even once, thanks to the IS. I shot pretty well everything raw + large, mostly at 200 ISO, and you can a selection of the resulting images at www.pbase.com/DougC43

I breathed deeply and bought a 5D about 3 days ago, but haven't really tried it out very extensively, so I will be very interested to see how the 70-300 stands up under the microscope of a full-size 12.8 mp sensor.

Bottom line, at least with the crop body, is that this is a relatively affordable lens that delivers the results big time.


Jun 27, 2006
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breenj
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Registered: Sep 24, 2005
Location: Marshall Islands
Posts: 318
Review Date: Jun 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: IS works very well - really does add 2 or 3 stops Sharpness over most of the range
Cons:
Price could be better, build quality could be better, telescopes out At 300mm, need to stop down at least 1 stop for sharpness Compact, great travel lens

I had the 75-300 f/4-5.6 IS before this, and this really is much better - noticeably IS is better and the CA is much better controlled.

Really a very useful lens, one of my most used. IS is great - no problem shooting from a small boat in ocean passes at 300mm (in good light). The build quality doesn't feel that great, but it's not that bad either (I didn't pay 'L' price...)

Very compact, so I use it much more often than some other long lenses.


Jun 24, 2006
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P.Miller
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Registered: Jun 9, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $575.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: IS is incredible.
Cons:
None.

This was my first "real" lens purchase after getting the 18-55 kit lens with the XT. I debated long and hard about various lenses and read about a thousand reviews. I've had the lens for about 2 months now, shot maybe 500 pics and completely love it. Highly recommend.

I'm just getting started, but check out my site for a ton of example shots with full photo settings:

http://mysite.verizon.net/resrq248/


Jun 9, 2006
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mstaats
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Registered: May 28, 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Range! (112-480mm on my 20D), Overall sharpness, IS, Weight, Focus speed, Neutral image color, Bokeh
Cons:
Build quality (rotating frontlens when focussing, tube extention at >200mm), Sharpness below f8 is not great.

In addition to the long list of positive reviews.......

I recently bought this lens and I am overall very pleased with it! However, there appears to be a serious issue with some (or all) lens copies when pictures are taken in the vertical orientation. Personally I did not notice any problems with my copy. Still, I thought it was important to mention that Canon has posted a service notice:

http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=PgComSmModDisplayAct&keycode=2112&fcategoryid=216&modelid=11922


May 28, 2006
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veroman
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Registered: Aug 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 3754
Review Date: May 21, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness Range Image Stabilization
Cons:

This lens replaced by older push-pull 70-210 f/4 (which had served me VERY well; quite a good lens and a great value at today's ebay bargain prices) and my 100-300 f/4.5-5.6...also a good lens, but not a great one.

I'm very impressed with the new 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 IS and find it significantly better than I expected. I can agree with one reviewer at photozone.com who called this lens "a hidden L lens." This same review settled once and for all my back-and-forth decision process between the 70-300 IS and its more expensive DO cousin. The DO version was tempting because of its compactness (the only real reason to consider the DO as far as I can tell). But the review was decidedly in favor of the less expensive 70-300 for its ability to deliver the same quality as the DO but at significantly lower cost and less weight. The build of non-DO version is apparently not as good as the DO, but it is certainly good enough. This is NOT a cheaply made lens.

My first few pics were very sharp indeed and rich with contrast and good color. I've been able shoot at quite low speeds and still retain sharpness. As I say, I am truly impressed and intend to use this lens often. It's always in my bag...and that's something I'd never been able to say of my other tele-zooms.


May 21, 2006
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ltravieso
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Registered: Feb 1, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Review Date: May 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent range,IS, optical quality,lightweight and price
Cons:
Extends too far out, no lens hood

I love the IS and the lightweight and after using this lens for three months I have no complains, the quality of the images are excellent either full frame with the 5D or with the 20D smaller frame.

May 12, 2006
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angstrom
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Registered: May 8, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 9, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $530.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: size, weight, IS
Cons:
poor resolution

I've tried 2 of these - the first was badly decentred, the second was unacceptably soft at the edges on FF - even stopped down.
I expect this lens is primarily aimed at 20D users and other cropped-sensor cameras, for whom it is probably very useful. But on full frame? forget about it.
Rebuild it with a 77mm front element, a pretty red ring and double the price - that would be a serious piece of glass.


May 9, 2006
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kevindar
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Registered: May 6, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2332
Review Date: May 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Fantastic image quality, except 200-300 in portrait mode, when sometimes the focus appears to be off, or image blurry. Excellent value. IS is so fantastic on a long zoom lens
Cons:
build leaves much to desire



May 8, 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 607567 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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