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

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Reviews Views Date of last review
71 120021 Aug 26, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $1,473.75
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.74
8.29
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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GKN100
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Registered: Sep 18, 2006
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 10, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, excellent IS, compact size, fast AF, weather sealed
Cons:
only f5.6 at 300mm, but thats in the spec!

As many have said before, on paper, this looks an ordinary lens. I was looking for a telephoto lens with more reach that 200mm, so I looked at several options including getting a loan of a 100-400 and the telephoto I previously owned - 70-300IS (non L).

I'm very glad I have chosen this - it performs well under all conditions, including wide open at 300mm. The excellent IS meant I get a very high keeper rate, especially when compared to the 100-400mm. An excellent travel lens in particular. Very sharp, excellent colour and contrast.

Many have mentioned the zoom and focus rings being switched - this did feel unusual to begin with, but I adapted to this in no time.

Overall a bit pricey, but where I live it was about the same price as the 70-200F4 IS, and more than 25% cheaper than the 100-400.


Feb 10, 2011
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warthog
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Registered: Jul 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 199
Review Date: Feb 4, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,529.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, compact, tank-like build, incredible AF and IS
Cons:
price, no tripod ring included, not compatible with any Canon teleconverters, zoom ring and focus ring flipped, telescoping barrell

Despite the cons above, I'm so in love with this lens. It is sharper than my 20-35L, 24-105L, and maybe even better than my 70-700 2.8L IS. The autofocus and IS work better than any Canon lens I've ever used. The contrast and color are terrific. While heavy, I like the wider shorter profile -- it fits very comfortable in my hands. It is going to take getting used to the focus ring being closer to the body than the zoom ring, but once you get your rings straight the MF is precise.

I have no complaints about the performance or build quality. My only gripes go to the design, which I suspect result from packing this focal range in this barrell. Not being able to use teleconverters stinks, as does having a telescoping, rotating filter mount. But the performance is so, so nice I don't care. If Canon would just cut the price by $300 and include the tripod ring, it'd be perfect.


Feb 4, 2011
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Frank35440
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Registered: Jan 31, 2011
Location: Germany
Posts: 2
Review Date: Jan 31, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great IS, fast AF, very sharp
Cons:
price

I bought it as an upgrade for the 70-300 non-L. Itīs my 1st L lens. The difference on IQ to the non-L is just amazing, especially @ 300m. The IS performs really great, I can take photos with 1/60-30 sec @ 300mm. AF is very fat and reliable.

Jan 31, 2011
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mgkaplan
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Registered: Jan 23, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 128
Review Date: Jan 27, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Fast AF, Outstanding IS, Light
Cons:

This is an absolutely outstanding lens. I was less than excited with the specs when the lens was initially announced, but when I put my hands on one, I quickly realized what a gem this lens is. The optical quality is clearly better than other (L and non-L) lenses that I have used in this focal range. Razor sharp from corner to corner, and throughout the zoom range. The IS is incredible. I can easily handhold at 1/50 at 300mm. Autofocus is right on and very fast. This is clearly one of the very special lenses.





Jan 27, 2011
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lesgage
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Registered: Dec 8, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 741
Review Date: Jan 26, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,499.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Its light, got a very good IS
Cons:
Not as sharp as the 70-200 F2.8 IS III, but what is...if this is your only lens for tele, you may not like it, but for trabvel and landscapes its just fine

It just great for the right use...close up of birds, no, landscape lens yes...great IS ...focus is good...

Jan 26, 2011
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hagejsh
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Registered: Jan 23, 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 23, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Lens not yet used
Cons:
Lens not yet used.

I use the FM website to help me determine future purchases. I was considering the Cannon 70-300 EF f4-5.6 L IS. I love the 70-200 EF 1:2.8 II. I doubt the quality of the 70-300 could improve on this lens. I shoot with a Cannon 5D MK2 and a 7D. There is a travel niche where I could see a place for the 70-300. The 70-200 EF1:2.8 is a bit heavy for a travel lens. However, the review by Markhbfinday made me take heed. Does he have a duff, or perhaps could one be a bit daff? I will be waiting and reviewing the site and taking a test run before making any purchases. That certainly is a very outlying review. I can't thank FM enough for this site as it has been of immense help in making previous purchases.

Jan 23, 2011
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William Popw
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Registered: May 24, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Review Date: Jan 20, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,599.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great focal length range; razor sharp; light weight
Cons:
Expensive; no tripod ring; flimsy Canon lens case

I too am skeptical of the reviewer who judges the 55-250mm EF-S lens to be sharper than this one. Clearly he purchased a bad copy. I tested the 70-300 against my 70-200 f4 IS, and it was as sharp at all focal lengths, plus it has greater reach, so I've sold the 70-200. At 300 this lens is very sharp, almost as sharp as my Canon 300mm f4 IS.

I must admit, I have not tried the 55-250. I understand it is an excellent lens, especially for the price, but you just have to look at The-Digital-Picture.com lens comparison utility (at http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=249&Camera=9&FLIComp=0&APIComp=0&LensComp=278&CameraComp=9&FLI=1&API=30) to see that the 70-300 is sharper at all aperatures.


Jan 20, 2011
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arn_old
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Registered: Oct 7, 2004
Location: N/A
Posts: 25
Review Date: Jan 19, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:

I haven't shot with this lens enough yet to form a rating, but I have to step in to comment about the previous review. If the user finds the 55-250 EF-S to be sharper than the 70-200 f/4 L IS and the 70-300L, well... There is simply something wrong there.

Jan 19, 2011
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markhbfindlay
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Registered: Nov 22, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 46
Review Date: Jan 16, 2011 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,299.00

 
Pros: Solid build, rapid focus
Cons:
not sharp, heavy.

I use a Canon 550d and a 7d, mostly landscape photography.

Price quote is in UK pounds.

After a couple of years with my little 55-250 and big 100-400L, I decided to try upgrading the 55-250 and got hold of a 70-200 F4L IS - I could not see any improvement, and in fact it seemed less sharp than the 55-250!. So I upgraded to a brand new 70-300 F4-5.6L (at a cost of no less than Ģ1299). I am totally dissatisfied with it. Results at 250-300mm are blurred at 100% - looks like camera shake as it's a sort of 2d blur, which is strange, because the IS certainly helps aim the camera and should stop camera shake. (results at about shutter speed 600-1000). So I tried it against the big old 100-400 - a pig to hold even balanced against the 7d. The old lens is very sharp at 300mm, and even at 400mm. So I said - right - it's going back. Then I thought I would try it once more, this time against the little 55-250 (you can get this for less than Ģ200!) and would you believe it that is also sharper! Have I got a duff one? anyway it's about time someone put this down a peg or two - hence the bad score.


Jan 16, 2011
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rad2689
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Registered: Jan 30, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 29
Review Date: Jan 9, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast accurate focus and great contrast
Cons:
Price and the fact that the tripod collar not included

I purchased this lens 2 weeks ago and am very impressed. For fast, accurate focusing it beats all my other L lenses, the 17-40L. the 24-105L and the 70-200L (non IS). It is the best glass by far that I have purchased. I can't believe how accurate and fast the focusing is. The IS is fabulous - I even have handheld shots in focus at 1/13th of a second.

Only complaint, and it is minor, is that the focus ring and zoom ring are reversed compared to other lenses but you get used to it. The other complaint is that for the price I think a tripod collar should be included.

Its heavy but not as heavy as the 100-400 and for some reason seems better balanced. Highly recommended.


Jan 9, 2011
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TheoDR
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Registered: Jan 5, 2011
Location: Singapore
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 5, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Lightning fast AF, built like a tank, compact, impressive IS, priced very closely to the 70-200 f/4L IS in Singapore.
Cons:
None that I have any complaints about so far.

Thoughts on this 70-300L so far, comparing with my 24-105L in some aspects:

- Blazing fast AF.

- IS is extremely efficient and effective.

- Very very sharp.

- Surprisingly good (in my humble opinion) bokeh even at f/5.6.

- Chose this over the 70-200 f/4L IS (difference of SG$30?) since f/5.6 is just a stop over it, but I've 100mm more reach available. Aperture at 200mm is f/5, not too far off from the 70-200's f/4 I guess!

- For the first time, I don't feel the lack of reach, and found myself backing down to maybe 260-280-ish mm sometimes.

- Size-wise, this compact glass (attached to cam with hood reversed) fits into my Vanguard Up-Rise 28 shoulder bag.


Jan 5, 2011
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pj1974
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Registered: Feb 10, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jan 4, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp wide open corner to corner on APS-C . Useful range. Confident 4-stop IS. Fast, accurate AF. Bombproof build.
Cons:
No tripod collar included. Bit expensive, but you pay for what you get.

What a L lens! It is super sharp, and has also great contrast at all focal lengths and aperture settings from wide open to f13 on my 7D. Then starts to soften due to defraction. I love the 35mm equivalent of 480mm, and can crop heavily still giving great images.
Colours are vibrant and accurate. The focus and zoom rings work well for me (I like holding the lens by the zoom ring and/or end of the barrel, and having the focus nearer the camera, as some of my other lenses have, eg Canon 15-85mm).
My previous telezoom was a Canon 100-300mm USM. Didn't have IS (so handholding required high ISO or good light). The 100-300mm does not have good sharpness or contrast beyond about 170mm. The 70-300mm L is just such a different beast, being sharp at any setting.
It's noticeably heavier, but I find with the weight and 4 stop IS allows good photos (I even have some good photos at about 1/30 sec at 300mm) . It's extra handy that lens IS stabilises the image in the view finder, to allow more confident composition.
I love Canon's true ring-type USM focus (as opposed to micro-USM), and the 70-300mm L lens doesn't disappoint in that regard either - lightning fast & truly accurate. Even faster than my 100-300mm's already fast USM focus.
Bit of a shame for the price the tripod collar isn't included, but I'll probably buy a non-Canon brand one for about $25 from ebay rather than $200 odd from Canon. The lens hood is deep and works well. It makes the lens look even more impressive with the lens hood being on it.
Very little flare problem, low vignetting and minimal chromatic aberrations (the latter two are correctable in post processing anyway). Bokeh can be quite good, especially when the subject is relatively close up.
The lens just reduced in price the day I visited a camera shop, and I received a good deal (including a 67mm Hoya Pro CPL) - so decided to buy it, and very happy with it's performance! Balances well on my Canon 7D (even will sit on my sturdy Manfrotto tripod ok without tripod collar). When used with my Canon 350D, it feels like I'm attaching the body to the lens - and the smaller grip makes it somewhat uncomfortable. However I will be using it with my 7D 99% of the time anyway. Highly recommended!


Jan 4, 2011
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karinvogt
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Registered: Jun 3, 2009
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 3, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: I love this lens, compact, not that heavy and pinsharp
Cons:
way toooooo expensive

First I had the 70-200 f 4 L because I miss the zooming in my 300 f 4 L when visiting a zoo for instance.
With extender it's still only 280 mm and that's often not enough range. When the 70-300 L was announced at first I didn't think it would be a real progress but when somebody offered me use this lens a few days before buying it I immediately fell in love with it. So now my 70-200 was sold and I bought back this new lovely toy and I'm very, very happy with it :-)


Jan 3, 2011
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iammikie
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Registered: Oct 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 405
Review Date: Jan 3, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, sharpness, improved IS, fast AF, size
Cons:
None, a little high priced compared to other options, but if you want the best in this range this is it.

I had purchased the new Tamron 70-300 VC as the price was great, and the lens performed very well for a lens in that price range. Somehow it was missing something so I thought that I might as well pick up the new Canon 70-300 L and give it a try. Now I have what I was looking for in a high quality walk around package. I am amazed at the sharpness at all focal lengths, and how well it performed on the Mark IV, 7D, and 5D Mark II.

I consider this one of the best zooms out there, and I believe that it tops the 70-200 f/4 IS with or without the TC at any focal length. YMMV


Jan 3, 2011
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marty fred
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Registered: Dec 28, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 28, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,599.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ, super-fast AF, superb IS
Cons:
none for what it is

I carefully followed this discussion since I also have a 70-200 f/4 IS and was not sure whether that (steep) amount of money was worth adding 100 mm at f/5.6. Well, I took the plunge after some initial reviews indicated that its IQ was great. And it is, as discussed by others. What impressed me most, however, is the fast AF and the IS - I don't know about any potential differences in IS technology compared to the 70-220 f/4, and I have no quantitative data to support my view, but the IS on this lens seems to beat the IS of the 70-200 f/4. As others commented also, you can shoot at 1/30 or so out of hand for keepers (couldn't quite do that with the 70-200 f4 IS). (Using a 5DMII). That, and that this lens is short enough to easily transport in a relatively small bag and to walk around with, I am happier about this lens than I thought I would be... my 70-200 f/4 L is for sale...

Dec 28, 2010
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PRS1
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Registered: Dec 23, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 23, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Smaller size and weight, nicely built and good IQ
Cons:

First let me say it's my first post here but have learned a lot from all of you. Thanks! That said I want to upgrade my 70-300 IS USM (non L) lens as it was very soft at full zoom. After reading all the reviews and comments about this lens as well as the 70-200 f4 and f2.8 I decided to test them all on my camera, a T2i. I'm posting here to perhaps help others who are on the fence and how this lens compared to others I actually tried.

When I took my first couple of shots with this lens I was sold.....kinda

Here were my results....Yours may differ. I set my camera on a tripod, automatic timer, spot focus and shot 100 and 400 ISO.

The 70-300L was awesome for its size and weight. IQ was far better than the non L glass. A HUGE difference in IQ at 300mm and better feel and contrast. Much sharper at 300mm than the non L but not a huge difference at the 200mm range (with good light). In my tests it was actually sharper at 200mm at f5.6 than the Mark I 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM.

Next I tried the 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM. It blew me away. I like 300mm for wildlife but I experimented cropping images on this lens to equal the 300 and they still surpassed the 70-300L.

This lens does not compare to the 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM in any category (except reach) but it gives you a lighter and smaller package that's easier to carry around with excellent IQ. I felt the IQ was as good if not better than the (Mark I) 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM at 200mm and f5.6.

Bottom line....If you need IQ and small and can live with a slower lens this is a great one. I was impressed but will buy the 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM for the few hundred more.



Dec 23, 2010
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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
71 120021 Aug 26, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $1,473.75
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.74
8.29
9.5
70-300mm


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