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

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Reviews Views Date of last review
74 129518 Oct 19, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $1,471.48
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.75
8.32
9.5
70-300mm


Specifications:
Designed to deliver ultra-high quality images along with lightning fast operation, the new Canon EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS USM telephoto zoom lens brings a favorite zoom range to the celebrated Canon L-series of lenses. It features two Ultra Low Dispersion (UD) elements for improved image quality and reduced chromatic aberration, incorporates a floating focusing mechanism for sharpness from close up to infinity, plus an IS system that increases usability by approximately four stops. The EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS USM features a function that prevents erroneous operation when the lens is mounted on a tripod or monopod. Gleaming white, with a removable tripod collar, dust and water resistant construction, and a newly developed Fluorine coating that keeps soiling, smears and fingerprints to a minimum, its phenomenal performance and flexibility is assured. For portraiture or to bring what's far away up close, this addition to the L-series is guaranteed to perform.

- Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 70-300mm 1:4-5.6
- Diagonal Angle of View: 34 - 8 15'
- Focus Adjustment: Lens extension via inner focusing and focus cam plus floating mechanism
- Closest Focusing Distance: 1.2m/ 3.9ft
- Filter Size: 67 mm dia., P=0.75 mm /1 filter
- Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.5 x 5.6 in, 2.31 lbs. / 89 x 143mm, 1050g


 


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halfpic
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Registered: May 7, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: May 7, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,535.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp throughout focal range and corner to corner; smooth operation; less weight, smaller and more reach than 70-200.
Cons:
67mm filter size; focus and zoom switched (picky here)

This lens replaced the 70-200mm IS L f/2.8 II in my bag for a trip to Chiapas, Mexico.

All during the trip, I found the ease of use and extra reach over the 70-200 to be an advantage. The lower weight was also noticed over a series of long days.

I did get a little tired of other photographers wanting to hold it and look through it.

Now, when I go on a trip that requires a lens with some reach, it will be the 70-300. It performed well for me, and I am glad I purchased it.

Since the trip, I have continued to use the lens at home. It is nice to have that extra reach. This lens gives me hope for a nice 200-400 soon.



May 7, 2011
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dustnet
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Registered: Jul 30, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 20
Review Date: May 1, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size, weight, IS, sharpness, weather sealing
Cons:
Lock button not lockable anywhere else than 70mm, outer focus

Hi all,

I bought this lens to replace a 70-200 f/4 IS L. I was REALLY happy with this lens but 200mm was too short for me on many occasions + adding a X1.4 was making me loose the 70mm, which I tend to use a lot, so I went for this new 70-300.

Here is the pros :
- Really nice build quality.
- I was concerned at the beginning because the zoom/focus rings are in the opposite way that they are usually (typically on the 70-200s) but finally it works pretty well.
- Image quality, at my own surprise, is comparable to the 70-200.
- Weather sealed, I already took some showers, and the lens is fine.
- No need to use the locker, it doesn't move around and zoom by itself.
- Size, it can fit in a bag in the same position than a 17-40, heading up, this is really cool and saves some room.
- IS, I shot ibex at dawn at 1/25 of a second, no problem.

Here are the cons:
- I would have like to be able to lock the lens at 300mm.
- Outer focus, the more you zoom, the bigger is the lens...but I guess it's the price to pay for having this size.
- Maybe a bit pricy.

Here are samples pictures (except wide shots, everything is shot with this lens) :
http://blog.emmanuelrondeau.com/?p=1464
And check my gallery :
http://photography.emmanuelrondeau.com/

All the best,
Emmanuel.


May 1, 2011
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Al Rohrer
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Registered: Aug 18, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 128
Review Date: Apr 28, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Snappy and sharp auto-focus, colors, size and build, nearly everything.
Cons:
Lack of tripod collar. Lock button would be nicer if you could lock the lens at your chosen focal length instead of only at 70mm.

I have twelve Canon lenses, five of them being "L" lenses. Of these, my 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS is the one I don't leave home without.
After studying tests and in-the-field results with this lens, I chose it over the 70-200 f/2.8L IS and 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS for my purposes and have loved it since day one. It was intended for use on a 5DMkII but since I tried it on the 1DMkII, it has pretty much found a home there. The speed of that combination is unreal!
This lens focuses surprisingly well in low light, the auto focus is snappy and accurate, the IS just plain works, and the color is all you could ask for. My primary use of it is hand-held and I have no problem getting sharp images. Waiting for a tripod collar so I can test it on a tripod.
The 70-300L balances well enough on the 5DMkII but actually seems to become lighter when mounted on a 1 series camera.
The price may be excessive since it doesn't come with a tripod collar but I wouldn't let that stop me from purchasing this awesome lens if it covered my needs.


Apr 28, 2011
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akustyk
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Registered: Apr 26, 2011
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 27, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: very high optical quality, very even behavior through entire zoom range and all normal apertures (f<11), great build yet moderate size for this range and construction, efficient IS, strong, vivid colors, very likeable bokeh (I like it more than my old 70-200/4 nonIS which wasn't really bad)
Cons:
rip-off price of the tripod ring which brings TCO for this lens to a rather high level

for those photographers who need/want a portable telezoom with 300mm and no compromise on image and build quality - this is the ultimate lens for Canon system. period. there really isn't anything not to like about the lens - in a relatively compact size you get an amazing package for lot of shooting subjects. not for sport guys or schnitzelgraphers, but a traveling photographer will love this lens

Apr 27, 2011
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SAA747SP
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Registered: Mar 16, 2011
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 18, 2011 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: nothing worth to mentioning
Cons:
very soft, blurry images, CA, vignetting,

Canon 70-300 L IS so far the worst lens I ever used in DSLR!!!

I used 12 different types of Canon lenses (7 of them is L series) and 3 of Sigma lenses. I never prefer Canon 100-400 L IS because of pull-push zoom and image quality (under 70-200 series and primes I used), but now I have to comparing 70-300 L IS with 100-400 L IS.

In the last few weeks I tried 5 copies of 100-400 L IS. Four of them was about same, 1 was worse - this means that copy was soft at f/8 (and halos in the edges), was a little bit better at f/11 but that was worst at f/11 like a good 100-400 L IS at f/5,6!

I tried 2 copies of Canon 70-300 L IS, one of them was mine. The better 70-300 L IS was worst like the "soft" 100-400 L IS!
My 70-300 L IS was the worst copy. I used it about 6 weeks and I was taking about 1500 photos with it.

Most of the photos are blurry and soft! I didn't take a good photo with the 70-300 L IS. I tried a 100-400 L IS and the quality and sharpness was suddenly growing (few minutes later when 70-300 L IS was very bad)!

Vignetting and chromatic abberation are terrible! Sometimes I couldn't correcting the very strong vignetting with LR3.

I never was problems with taking soft images and photo editing. After I bought 70-300 L IS I had only problems!

The Canon service said there isn't problem with the 70-300 L IS, this is working well.

Finally I sold it (back to where I bought) and I bought a 100-400 L IS.
But I was very dissapointed because of loosing lot of money and loosing lot of good photo in a photography trip,
most of the photos are irreparable. This lens is the shame of canon!


Apr 18, 2011
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jvaliensi
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Registered: Mar 28, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 13
Review Date: Apr 18, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Image, & Build Quality, Focus speed, Image stabilization system, lens finish color, comes with a hood
Cons:
Cost, no tripod ring.

I was thinking of this lens or a Canon 70-200mm F4 IS L. I compared them at the camera store and was surprised that 70-300 focused quicker than the 70-200.
The color of the lens is grey/white. It is darker than the other white lens I saw at the store.
Most reviewers think this lens is light, but I'm new at this and I think it is pretty heavy and solid feeling.
I'm very impressed with the image quality, when I zoom in on the photos the level of detail is amazing.


Apr 18, 2011
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WilliamFinley
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Registered: Apr 11, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 2542
Review Date: Apr 9, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Compact, Lightweight, Weather sealed, Fast autofocus, excellent color & contrast, beautifully smooth bokeh, Macro, Sharp wide open
Cons:
None for me

Yeah yeah I know, I'm one of those who laughed at this lens when Canon announced it's release. I thought who's going to buy this lens. Well after thinking about it's advantages, and going down and trying one out, I was totally blown away by this lens. In fact, I can't find a single fault with it now. It's lightweight for travel, great focal range, extremely sharp wide open, and when using the MFD produces beautifully creamy bokeh. I'm not laughing anymore...I'm smiling. This is my new walk around lens. Can't find any faults with it, and would highly recommend this lens to anyone thinking about it.

Apr 9, 2011
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decline
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Registered: Jan 12, 2011
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 31, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light weight, sharp wide open, fast autofocus
Cons:
For the price, non

I have been waiting for a useful longer zoom lens from Canon. The 100-400 just did not cut it. This lens is very sharp wide open and the IS works a treat. As a carry around lens the lens is great. It is just so more versatile than lugging around a 300mm f2.8 all the time. Highly recommend this excellent new lens by Canon.

Mar 31, 2011
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helimat
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Registered: Apr 6, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 3748
Review Date: Mar 28, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Well built, well balanced, great range, effective Image Stabilizer
Cons:
I wish they could have found a way to make the filter threads 77mm instead of 67mm so I didn't have to buy a new B+W circular polarizer!

I had be pondering what to pick up for my helicopter shooting to complement my 24-105/4L IS. The 100-400/4.5-5.6L IS was one option, however the older generation IS didn't keep up with the slow shutter speeds I use, especially towards the long end. Another option was the 70-200/4L IS, which had the newer 4-stop IS, but lacked the range and is a little smaller and so doesn't feel as balanced on my 1D3. I had the 70-200/2.8L IS, but the range was short and again the IS wasn't as effective. The came along the new Canon 70-300/4-5.6L IS... My first thought was "Canon is going to try another 70ish-300?" But after the initial reviews came out, I began to think this might be the lens that would work for me. The slower aperture range didn't effect me as much, as I have to stop down heavily to shoot at slow shutter speeds during the day anyways, and the range worked out very well being a bit wider on the short end than the 100-400L, and a bit longer on the long end than the 70-200L. Well, I decided to pick one up and I am glad I did. I think Canon hit a home run with this one, as it is sharp throughout the focus range, and the IS is very effective. It also feels very balanced on my 1D3 as well. I have managed to try it out at the slow shutter speeds I hope to use it at, at the IS kept up well, in fact I am getting usable panned 1/60th shots at 300mm.
I would recommend this lens to anyone who can live without a super fast max aperture.

Mat


Mar 28, 2011
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eric_m
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Registered: Mar 12, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 496
Review Date: Mar 19, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: extremely fast autofocus, pretty sharp wide open
Cons:
doesn't include tripod ring

I'm very happy with my decision to buy the 70-300L. I didn't have any interest in this until I read a review that talked about the extremely fast auto focus along with it being sharp wide open. This is the slowest lens I have in terms of max aperture and my only variable aperture zoom. I was reluctant because the f/4-5.6 range is usually associated with lesser lenses. I'm very happy with the build and performance of this.

Mar 19, 2011
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Alan Jones
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Registered: May 24, 2006
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 2
Review Date: Mar 12, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: stunning sharpness ,high contrast and great colour in other words IQ is suburb from wide open too !!
Cons:
no tripod collar provided

I consider this 70-300L an upgrade to my excellent 70-200F4 L i owned !! i have now sold it along with my EF 2 1.4xT/C
The lens has a real "wow and pop" factor i couldn't be happier with it .It performs equally well on my 5d2 as well as my 50D both sharp as a tack even at 300 or 480 mm ,i'm sure the combination of its high sharpness ,contrast and colour is whst gives it that "wow and pop factor"...anyone considering this lens..just go out and buy it you won't regret it..regards Alan


Mar 12, 2011
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gwhitegeog
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Registered: Jun 16, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4
Review Date: Mar 9, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Great lens, sharp, very compact, smooth operation, affordable filter size
Cons:
None at all - the lens is good VFM for what you get

This is really great lens and one that I have been hoping Canon would produce for some time. I really dont understand the negative comments, at all.
One of my criticisms of Canon L lenses is their size - when you are a travel photograper like me, you like to take a compact set of kit with you. The girth of many L series lenses (not to mention the size of the circumference of the lens hood) takes up so much space in the bag. This lens is much better and also provides a sensible alternative to the many 70-300 type zooms around from many companies, not just Canon.
Well done Canon - your best for a while!


Mar 9, 2011
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genefixer
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Registered: Jan 22, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 6429
Review Date: Mar 8, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, contrasty IQ at all focal lengths. Nice focal range. Quick accurate AF.
Cons:
Price but as they say you get what you pay for.



Mar 8, 2011
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dlord
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Registered: Nov 23, 2005
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Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 3, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Focus speed, stabilization, Image quality......... everything. Built like a tank.. Could be used in self defense..
Cons:
None

I love this lens.... I don't understand the negative comments other than about the price. My filter mount does NOT rotate with lens zooming action. I find the sharpness to be great wide open throughout the zoom range. Images have pop. My new favorite lens...

Compare the price to other L lens. I waited for the $100 instant rebate to begin. I don't have a problem with the price. There are other "discount" lens available if price is the main issue. You get what you pay for.


Mar 3, 2011
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martinpperry
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Registered: Feb 21, 2011
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 25, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: compact,sharpness,build quality
Cons:
I really can't fault it

I have had this lens for a few weeks now and I love it (and I am fairly picky). It is relatively compact and feels well balanced on both my 5dII and 40d. It feels 'right'. The only gripes I have heard from people have been about price but prices have come down and I picked mine up for just over 1000. I have a 35L which was the same price and I would call that expensive but you get what you pay for. IMO the 70-300L lens is actually a hell of a lot for the money in terms of build quality and its versatility. I am also surprised about its capability to produce really nice bokeh and the IS is superb. I can only give it full marks.

Feb 25, 2011
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Julius
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Registered: Jan 26, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 946
Review Date: Feb 25, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,475.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Tack sharp from 70-300mm at any focal length even wide open. The ususal unmatched quality of workmanship of the L lenses.
Cons:
None (Heavy but expected to be)

This is one incredible zoom lens with sharpness only matched by my 70-200 f/4 EF L IS lens.
This lens is razor sharp wide open at any focal length and even at 300mm does not have any visible chromatic aberration, color fringing.
This lens is now glued to my 7D and while my 5D has the 24-105L lens on it and I am pretty well covered in most situations walking around having these two cameras on me.
It is expensive if not overpriced a bit, but well worth every Penny of it.


Feb 25, 2011
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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
74 129518 Oct 19, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $1,471.48
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.75
8.32
9.5
70-300mm


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