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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 605650 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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vovkinson
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Registered: Oct 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 804
Review Date: Feb 3, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $560.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: IS, IS, IS Nothing but IS
Cons:
looks cheap, made cheap. The front end is playing around. Blur at 300mm. $400 for IS, the rest for lens itself.

It's much better than 75-300 but the build quality is much much to be desired. The front element is rotating and moving around. But for money it's maybe a good deal, but you're actually paying $100-$150 for lens, the rest for IS.
Anyway, I sold it without any doubt. I find 70-200 f/4 is a superb in comparison to this one. If you want quality and IS , save money and get yourself 70-200 2.8 IS


Feb 3, 2006
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draw45
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Registered: Jul 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 117
Review Date: Feb 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $597.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size is very much a pro as is the quality of shots that I have taken with this lens... The IS is great for concerts and lectures. I don't find it noisy. One can move well beyond 3 stops with a steady hand.
Cons:
The only negative that this novice can find is the rotating lens is not easily used with a polarizer and when the lens is full extended it feels huge and somewhat less than stable.

I would certainly judge this lens as a "must buy" for the serious non-pro who wants to reach out and grab some great distance shots.

Feb 2, 2006
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arloogoo
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Registered: Jan 10, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $564.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: IS, Lightweight, very sharp images between 70-250, great value
Cons:
Slower focus and softness at 300mm, Lound IS operation

I got this from B&H. I've been using this lens for about 3 months now and love it. Excellent lens for the money. It's on my 350D all the times. Don't have problem with portrait shots (300mm). Very Highly Recommended!!!

Feb 2, 2006
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zipunow
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Registered: Jan 13, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 271
Review Date: Feb 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, light, price
Cons:
noisy compare to the L lenses

I am very surprise how good this lens is. Some of the pictures are as good as the 70-200 f/2.8. It is light and you can carry it around. The price is good too. Properly one of the best value lens.

Feb 1, 2006
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sgtpinback
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Registered: Aug 1, 2005
Location: Germany
Posts: 52
Review Date: Jan 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp. IS is very helpful. Price (compared to the Ls).
Cons:
Build quality. Slow AF. No FTM focus. Lens hood sold separately, at insane price.

I've never really understood people who rave about L lens build quality - I'm quite happy with most of my consumer Canons in that respect. That said, the 70-300 IS is the least well built in my collection and leaves one with a distinct feeling of shake, rattle and roll.
So far, I've used it for a number of real shots (birds and also an indoor event), and done some test shots on a tripod.
Optically it seems good, the test photos gave me very sharp images (especially in the 100-300mm range, my copy seems a little softer below that). The IS is extremely useful, letting you capture usable images even at low shutter speeds, e.g. 1/40s at 300mm. Don't expect micracles, such as prime lens sharpness, under these conditions - there is a fair amount of pixel-level blurriness if the IS has to work too hard, but if you don't magnify too much, it's tolerable (and certainly much better than losing the shot entirely without IS).
On the whole, I can recommend this lens.


Jan 27, 2006
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Yakim Peled
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Registered: Nov 17, 2004
Location: Israel
Posts: 16903
Review Date: Jan 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Optics, IS.
Cons:
Build quality, AF speed, rotating front element.

This lens is a bag of contradictions. On the one hand: the optics are first rate and IS capability is nothing short of amazing. At 300mm I got down to 1/10 with no support and 1/2 while leaning against a car.
http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00EsnE&tag=
On the other hand, it shows it's consumer orientation in the fact that it's build quality is lacking (e.g. 28/1.8 and 85/1.8 are far better) and its AF speed is not as fast as lenses with ring-USM and IF.
Summary: When you consider the price it becomes an unbeatable package.


Jan 25, 2006
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morris1948
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Registered: Jan 20, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $610.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: wonderful lens. IS is outstanding. very sharp images. lightweight. great value
Cons:
not compatiable with canon tele-converters

I've been using this lense for about 4 months now & can't hardly stop using it. This lense has produced some of the best wildlife/nature shots I have ever taken. It's almost became my primary/walk-around lense now, even for indoor/portrait style shooting. It's not very heavy & the IS on this thing allows you to take amazing handheld shots, even on fast moving subjects such as birds or athletes.

To be honest, I really don't know what all of the fuss is about this: "images start to crap out after the 200mm mark". Unless you're just one of these people who are very anal about everything and apparently, look at finished pictures under magnifying glasses or something, I've gotten superb results within the entire range of this lense. I'm constantly shooting subjects 'wide-open' (sometimes even with a tele-converter), & still resulted with excellent, crisp, sharp images. (But then again, I'm still one of those guys who believes that 'lesser images' is usually the result of the photographer, not so much the camera or lense.)

The only 'con' that I found with this lense is that it's not compatible with the Canon tele-converters. I've heard that Canon might be releasing some newer tele-converters that will be compatible with the 70-300 IS/USM, but as of now, no. I was forced to buy a cheap ($80)Quantary 2X converter instead. It still has allowed me to get a bit more reach if needed as well as some darn good pictures, but you lose your IS feature & the AF is pretty limited.

Other than that, I think this is one hell of a good lense for the price & would highly recommend it to anyone over the 70-200 w/o the IS if you're going to be doing a lot of handheld shooting. The IS feature alone has 'saved' more pictures for me than I could tell you. Great lense.


Jan 20, 2006
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Rixu
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Registered: Jan 16, 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 10
Review Date: Jan 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros:
Cons:

I'm ultra interested after these reviews... but i saw once and i lost it. But i saw this lens extended with a tamron 1.4, and aaah just wanto see that result again Smile!

does anyone have pics of this lens with a 1.4 or 2 extender, would love to see the results of that, kenko/tamron

thanks in advance


Jan 18, 2006
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Rixu
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Registered: Jan 16, 2006
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 10
Review Date: Jan 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros:
Cons:

Obviously people that own a 70-300 IS USM are very satisfied with the results, and I have been stumblin around at the pbase.com site to check alot of photo's made with this lens. and i must say, for that price that will be my far-zoomlens as it is now.

I recently,[ for my education and just hobby ] bought a EOS350Dkit+bg-e3 so i have a 18-55 it was cheap and I wanted to shoot immediately... needed to for assignments... I'm ok with the quality tho... but the AF sucks sometimes omg!

Around upcoming summer i wanto have a good rangelens. Ofcourse i loved the 100-400 but its 1449 euro over here in holland, not bad but the 70-300 is usm is 535 euro.. 1/3rd of the price ouch!...

Just one Question for me still is... its convertable with a tamron or kenko, 1.4 or 2 x extender... but i can't find alot of samples for this.. I found it once from someone here but lost it Nah!... it would be nice to see if still at 600mm!! or 420mm the quality is still ok... I'm sure one of you owners here have some samples to share, many thanks allready,

Rick


Jan 18, 2006
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hoagie
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Registered: Mar 18, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 576
Review Date: Jan 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: light, smaller size, good optical quality, great IS, decent build quality
Cons:
none noted

Excellent lens for the money. It may not be as durable as an "L", but it is much handier to use. IS is phenomenal. Super value in a versatile package! This one's a keeper.

Jan 17, 2006
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24Peter
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Registered: May 4, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1430
Review Date: Jan 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $599.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharper than previous 75-300 IS USM
Cons:
Problem with portrait orientation shots - 200mm-300mm

Good lens overall but some of us are finding that in portrait orientation at the long end of the lens (200mm-300mm) the internal elements shift creating blurry images - actually sharp in the center but blurry at top and bottom of image. Not clear if Canon will fix the lenses. So make sure your copy is OK or that you can live with the defect before committing.

Jan 17, 2006
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Numfar
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Registered: Aug 29, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 1847
Review Date: Jan 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Cost. IS. Weight/size. Lack of conspicuousness.
Cons:
Softness at 300mm. Lower than optimal contrast in lower light.

The great benefits of this lens are its low weight, its sharpness in the 70-250mm range, it's colour and it's very good IS.

If you're looking for a lens that can do almost all of what the 70-200 f4 can do, and get a bonus 100mm on the long end, plus you don't want to stand out in the crowd, then this is the way to go.

However, its focussing is slower than the 70-200. Its a stop slower, so shutter speeds are going to be lower to get the same expsure - which means fast moving subjects will be harder to capture.

Also, the lens rotates, so you won't be able to use (easily) a polarizer, whereas the 70-200 doesn't have this issue.

So if you're going to be primarily shooting outdoor or outdoor sports - horse jumping or football, for example, you may be better off with the 70-200.

There's some talk about the noise of the IS on this lens, and yes, you can hear it - but it's hardly noticable in anything but a dead quiet room. Don't worry too much about this.

There is an odd set up with the zoom lock - sometimes you have to fiddle to get the lens locked - but it's not been too big a hassle in the months I've had it.

If you're travelling and only want to carry minimal gear that doesn't screen 'mug me', then this is a great way to get good reach, good clarity, and super IS. The comination of this lens with Canon's 24-105 f4L (just a super lens), and the Sigma 10-20 (pretty much as good as the Canon for $300 less) is, in my opinion, the ideal amateur set up you can get for around $2000 (Canadian).



Jan 16, 2006
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Ricsta
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Registered: Jan 15, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, Cheap compared to alternative, Great Zoom Lock adn 3rd Gen IS works very well.
Cons:
Very loud IS operation, Cheap Build Quality, Barrel extends out to a ridiculous distance

Very very sharp for a consumer lens. Yes even at 300mm Light weight and compact when compared to the 'L' Zooms. BUT...what the hell is going on with that IS?????? I can't believe how loud that is. I have the 24-105 F4L IS and the 17-85 4-5.6 IS and they are probably 1/3 as loud!!! However, I will put up with the noise and the cheapo build quality for what is a fantastic lens optically with fantatstic 3rd Gen IS that does exactly what its supposed to do!

Overall I have to say this Lens is a breath of fresh air. Prior to this I had resigned myself to having to get one of this big white...please don't mug me....no..no I'm not with the media...white L Zoom's! In addition to signing up to the gym so I could actually carry one around without getting a hernia!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED


Jan 15, 2006
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Gil H
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Registered: Feb 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 15, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: $599.00

Pros: Great IS, light, cheaper than L lense, decent sharpness, great range
Cons:
Not as sharp as my 70-200 f/4, build quality not so great, and the lens pops out like an antenna when fully extended, can't manually correct focus while in AF mode.

I have made some comparisons with my 70-200 F/4 and I must say that clearly the L lens is sharper at full aperture, better contrast and clarity. the 70-300 has some purple shades where the 70-200 had white, and as I stoped the lens down to F/8 the picture got better, but still not as sharp as the L 70-200 f/4 lens.
Colors are not as vivid as the L lens, however it is still very good.

If you want a light zoom lens that is not too big to carry that covers 70-300 with image stabilization the 70-300 is a great compromise, but in NO WAY is it a substitute for a professional L lens. it is an amature lens made for travelling.
I think that this lens is worth having in my bag,
I think that it is time for Canon to replace the 70-200 L F/4 with an IS lens vesrion to compete with the 70-300 at $1000 or so.



Jan 15, 2006
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iplayazi
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Registered: Aug 30, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 398
Review Date: Jan 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: High quality optics compared to big guns!
Cons:
Build is consumer with a consumer price with L optics of cource

The reviews speak for themselves! Canon hit it on this one for the consumer's

Buy it you fool!


Jan 15, 2006
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Gil H
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Registered: Feb 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $599.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light, sharp, great range, amazing IS, with 20D 1.6x factor effective range is 480mm.
Cons:
Not L quality build, slower focus than my L 70-200 f/4

I did not want to get a non L lens as quality is very important to me, but I just can not carry with me a brick like the 70-200 IS f/2.8
Price was really not the issue, howver the IS and range and Weight, yes the WEIGHT were all a compelling reason to test this lens, so I went to the local store and tied one, and loved the sharpness and weight, so I bought it, I was able to take a picture of an air conditioner on the roof of a 3 story building and blow the picture up and read the label. the picture was taken hand held with IS. this is amazing.
I took a picture of an aereoplane in the sky that was like a little line on the picture, I blew the picture up and was able to fill the page with a plane picture, and all the windows and colors and labels were readable. this is an amazing sharp well working lens.
I did not yet test the quality of the colors, but I intend to do a big comparison with my 70-200 F/4 and I will report


Jan 13, 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 605650 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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