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

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201 613211 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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bryPT
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Registered: May 9, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 289
Review Date: Jun 6, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $309.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, light, price, image quality, IS and the build is better than expected.
Cons:
nothing that I can see so far.

I got this lens on a crazy Adorama promotional sale price that was posted here at FM. The lens and a Canon calculator for $309 new. I was looking for a little longer range than the 70-200 f4 I had and decided to pull the trigger. Could not beat the price.

In all honesty, the image quality equals the 70-200 f4 I had. Quite surprising since I never investigated this lens before. The build is no where near the L glass, but it is still nice and solid. I have mainly shot in AI Servo with this lens and have had no real issues with focusing speed or inaccuracy. Of course, my subject has been my 5 year old, so I am not using it for any pro sports, etc... Smile

Overall a solid lens. I am very pleased with it. Was working to get a 70-200 f2.8 L, but now I am not in any hurry because this will serve me just fine.


Jun 6, 2014
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kobi1kobi
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Registered: Aug 26, 2013
Location: Israel
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 26, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Price Reach (300mm on FF) Stabilization
Cons:
Not as sharp as 70-200 2.8

Got this one to fill the zoom void after getting the 6D. The zoom distance was a big issue for me as I shoot a lot in the zoo/safari.

I had to sell the sigma 70-200 2.8 (non OS) to finance the camera, so of all the stabilized options this was my best case.

The lens is relatively sharp, focus is quite fast, stabilization works perfectly. Some of my best pictures are using this lens now, mostly of animals in the zoo - requiring a fast focus and long reach.

It doesn't have the look of a 2.8 lens, but it also weighs a lot less, doesn't look too big and theft-prone and delivers as needed.

Some pictures taken with it are on
http://500px.com/photo/44100146
http://500px.com/photo/43459618
http://500px.com/photo/43459016
http://500px.com/photo/42313156


Aug 26, 2013
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TRBell
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Registered: Apr 16, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 16, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $405.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Picture sharpness Image stabilization Weight
Cons:

I started with a Tamron 28-300 VR lens that would never take sharp pictures. I happened to get lucky and got a Canon 300mm f4 L non-IS lens that took excellent photos but being 300 only and was quite heavy to carry around all day. I did a lot of research and decided to try this lens. I have not been sorry for a second. The sharpness of the photos taken by this lens are near L quality and the range and the weight is much more useful than my 300 L lens.

Apr 16, 2013
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tcoop
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Registered: Jun 5, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 4
Review Date: Jul 30, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Size. Weight. Optical Quality. Value. No Zoom Creep
Cons:
Rotating Filter Ring.

Originally chose the Tamron SP 70-300 over this lens for the Tamron's reported build quality and non rotating filter ring. Ended up being disappointing with softness throughout the frame, crazy CA and really unpleasant OOF areas. So I sent it back, and picked up this lens (New in Box) from the used market here at a great price.

I can not be more happy. Is it as good as the L version? Probably not. But for 4 to 5x less money, it certainly wins in terms of value for hobbyist shooters on a budget like myself.

I can't even complain about f4 or f5.6, because all of the lens choices with this reach, in this price range, are the same.

- Optically, it's very good.
- Some CA in high contrast areas, but not horrible.
- AF is reasonably fast, and quiet.
- The IS is 2 mode, and easier to compose moving subjects than the Tamron was.
- It has a zoom lock, but I've yet to experience any zoom creep.
- The light weight makes it a JOY to carry around.

- The rotating filter ring is annoying and requires you to reset the polarizer after focus. I'll get over it.

- I thought that using a Hood and a Polarizer would be all but impossible. However, I've solved the problem by buying a rubber threaded hood that fits on the Polarizer, and is a reasonable solution.

This is one of my first shots with this lens of a Butterfly from about 6 feet.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/timcoop/7558120968/


Jul 30, 2012
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Nozzleforward
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Registered: Jun 15, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 788
Review Date: Jun 2, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $375.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Size, weight, image quality, solid IS, price (especially used, what a value!)
Cons:
f4 (awesome for the price though), gets long when zoomed to 300mm.

This was one of my very first lenses when I got into photography. Very quick, not too heavy, produces awesome shots (compares to the L glass in my opinion), great price (especially when bought used off the forum here). This is a really good alternative to some of the more expensive tele-zooms out there if you're not looking to spend more than $500 or so. I never noticed anything about it that I didn't like.

Jun 2, 2012
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nullismyname
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Registered: Mar 27, 2012
Location: Portugal
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 27, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: the L optical quality
Cons:
rotating front lenses while focusing

- its price is just;
- sharp and clear images with no colour aberrations;
- the two way Image Stabilization system allows panning
- I use it in a Canon 50D so with its crop sensor (1.6 crop) the 300mm equals a real 480mm tele;
- not easy to use a Circular Polariser filter due to the rotation of the front lenses while focusing ... but there is an obvious turn around method - focus first and adjust the adequate polarising effect afterwards;
- with the original Canon hood we have no easy access to the Polariser but for some extra money a rubber retractable hood the problem is solved.


just an example ...
http://cgiraldez.deviantart.com/art/free-as-a-bird-269889147


Mar 27, 2012
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mitekphoto
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Registered: May 17, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 2, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality, weight.
Cons:

Image quality of an L lens, without the weight. It's plastic. But I see how this might be seen as a negative aspect.

Mar 2, 2012
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ArjanGerritsen
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Registered: Sep 29, 2011
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 29, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Two stabilizer modes, IS, 420mm on a crop sensor
Cons:
Slightly slow AF

When buying this lens, i also considered the 70-200 f4 (no-IS). But finally bought the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. I went for this lens because of the greater range and included IS. I own this lens for 4 months now and have no regrets about is.

Here some photos i made with this lens (updating all the time):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/arjan_gerritsen
/tags/canonef70300mmisusm/



Sep 29, 2011
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JC Christie
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Registered: Nov 26, 2010
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 26, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: On an APS camera this is the equivalent of a 420 mm F2.8 lens with IS for less than £400 - it is small and compact, versatile and discreet.
Cons:
None worth mentioning.

I bought this lens second hand purely on impulse because the price was too good a bargain to miss. After having taken a couple of hundred pictures with it, I am amazed and delighted at the quality of the results. I owned a Canon 70-200L F4 lens a couple of years ago and comparing the shots from the two lenses blown up 200% it is really difficult to tell them apart. When I think of the current price for the 70-200L F4 there is really no contest here; the 70-300 wins hands down! Some reviews have claimed that the lens is "soft" wide open at 300mm, but (a) all lenses are a bit soft when pushed to this extent and (b) what do you expect from a £400 optic? In any case, the bottom line is that unless you're doing big enlargements in excess of 20x16 you're not going to notice a little bit of softness at the edges which are removed once you stop down to F8 and beyond. All in all, this is a great lens, very versatile and discreet, and fabulous value for money.

Nov 26, 2010
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aVOLanche
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Registered: Apr 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 159
Review Date: Nov 12, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $375.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp Inexpensive Lightweight Good build
Cons:
Older IS,but still works very well

A real hidden gem of a lens.Much,much beter than it has any right to be.

Sharper than the new "best in class" Tamron 70-300mm VC.


Nov 12, 2010
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FotoLuik
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Registered: Aug 11, 2010
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 11, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: A large zoom range for a good price.
Cons:
f4

This lens offers a good zoom range for a nice price and is not very heavy. My lens is sharp.

Aug 11, 2010
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iomega
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Registered: May 11, 2009
Location: Belgium
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 4, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Small ( comparing L zooms ). Cheap, sharp, collor, contrast.
Cons:
External zoom tube too long, Not weather sealed.

As soon as i got my hands on one of this ( not the DO version wich i hated ), i started leaving my 70-200L IS 2.8 at home! Why ?? the 70-300 IS USM weigths nothing comparing other wuality zooms and the results were very very identical ( in some cases the collor of this one beats the L ). The only thing i don't like is the size of it at 300mm but as they say, "there's no free lunch when your having fun". This one is allways on with my 40D wich makes it a 450mm with x1.6 crop and the IS is exactly the same and so efficient as the L models ! THIS IS A TRULY HIDDEN L LENS.

Jul 4, 2010
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Pierre_B
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Registered: May 21, 2010
Location: Canada
Posts: 2
Review Date: May 27, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Low price compared to the 70-200, it is black so not as obvious a steal threat when on vacation, it has a good range up to 300
Cons:
Somewhat soft at 300

I had a cheap 50-200mm telephoto lens that didn't get much use as I'm not a fan of telephotos, I prefer to be up close. I was going on a 1 month trip to Australia and I knew that having a better telephoto in my bag would be essential.

I was debating between the 70-300, 70-200 f/4 and the 70-200 f/4 IS. The 70-200 with IS was out of my budget range. So the choices became either the 70-300 with IS or the 70-200 without IS. What would I gain with the f/4? I would gain an extra stop of light at the long end, but I would also gain what is considered one of the sharpest telephotos on the market....but it didn't have IS and was 100mm shorter.

So I went with the 70-300 for the range and the IS.

I have been very happy with it as a casual telephoto lens that gives great results for its price. I wouldn't consider the image quality to be L level, but it is up there. It is much better than the third party equivalents and a nice upgrade from the cheaper telephotos Canon offers (75-300, 55-250,..).

I shot a pro soccer match not too long ago and brought both my 70-300 and a friends 70-200 f/2.8 IS and you can easily see how outclassed the 70-300 is, but then, its $700 vs $1800.

As an every day telephoto lens, this is a great buy. The 70-200 f/4 is a great buy as well, for the same price, so it really depends on your needs. Tack sharp? Go with the f/4. IS and a longer reach? Go with the 70-300

Below are a few examples from the Taronga Zoo in Sydney at various focal lenghts.

300mm
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pierrebourgault/4474918812/in/set-72157623600192805/

225mm
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pierrebourgault/4474915686/in/set-72157623600192805/

120mm
http://www.flickr.com/photos/pierrebourgault/4474141985/in/set-72157623600192805/


May 27, 2010
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SteveTuerk
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Registered: Jan 16, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 513
Review Date: Mar 20, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Relatively light weight; can macro @ approx. 5 ft; excellent IS; very sharp and at it's best between 200mm and 300mm; uses 58mm filters; can be locked for transport at it's shortest overall length; excellent value.
Cons:
sliding tube within a tube design not my favorite (by a long shot).

This lens surprised me. I bought it used at a garage sale from a seller who couldn't give useful info about it's performance. Frankly, I bought it thinking it might be a usable telezoom for a student in our family who had expressed interest in photography and had bought an old 20D to that end.

But wait!, my first trial at 300mm, indoors in poor light rendered an amazingly sharp image of labels on cleaning products 15 ft away and the image stood up well to cropping out the center, maybe 10% of the overall frame. Hmmm.

Since then I've kept the lens and it gives very good results with both of my bodies, a 5D2 and a 1D2n. I feel awkward saying it in light of my original intent but this lens is too good to give away!

This one lives up to the description as a "sleeper" or "hidden gem" completely, IMO, and is well worth it's full retail price, again IMO.


Mar 20, 2010
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Pennington
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Registered: Dec 9, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 69
Review Date: Jan 5, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $540.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: excellent optical quality, IS, small & light, focal range
Cons:
a little short for most wildlife, slower aperture range

This is a hidden gem in the Canon lineup, a standard EF lens with the performance of L-series glass. Compared to the other 70-300mm lenses, both Canon's and the third party, this one is vastly better. The optical quality is excellent and combined with the IS system, makes for great images.

I bought mine to use for bird & wildlife photography, and while 300mm is sometimes a bit short, it has let me get some great shots that would have been well out of range of my previous 70-200mm lens. Even at 300mm, shutter speeds around 1/60 are possible with the IS and a steady hand.

I've since bought an even longer telephoto zoom lens, but I'm really thinking about keeping this one for the times when I don't want to carry a monster lens around with me. The 70-300mm is relatively small and lightweight, which is really nice on longer hikes.

If you're looking for a 70-300mm lens, or a good “small” telephoto, this is the best one for the money.


Jan 5, 2010
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HansB
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Registered: Feb 21, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1478
Review Date: Dec 3, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $549.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Versatile focal length, Sharp, small and light. A Great value.
Cons:
f/4.0 throughout the range would be nice.

On a 1.6 crop body this is a very good lens, the range is good and image quality is excellent. I have had the 70-200 f/4.0, it was very good too and had a certain "look" that I liked. The 70-300 with IS is more useful to me.

Dec 3, 2009
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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 613211 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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