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

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Reviews Views Date of last review
73 126740 Jul 16, 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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jrobichaud
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Registered: Feb 21, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 370
Review Date: Jul 16, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Outstanding IQ, easy to travel with
Cons:
zoom/focus rings reversed

Traveling by air, I decided to bring only a lowe pro slingshot 200 for my camera gear. I about decided not to bring a tele other than the 100mm 2.8L. My 70-200mm 2.8 II wouldn't really fit, and the 300mm 2.8 and 500mm f4 were obviously out of the question. I hate owning really good glass then shooting with cheap stuff just for the sake of travel space. The 70-300mm focal length had never really interested me because none of them are sharp.
Researching this lens lead me to give her a try. Wow! what a great image maker! In need my 2.8 glass for events, but for travel, this 70-300mm L IS is perfect. much smaller than my 70-200mm and I can bump the ISO up on my 5DIII to cover the speed issues. I ended up marrying this lens to a 70D giving me even more reach (although the ISO is more limited that with the 5D) and the 16-35mm f4L IS on my 5DIII.
Worked great on Maui. Love the lens!


Jul 16, 2014
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W6jhb
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Registered: Mar 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jun 23, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,399.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Zoom range, build quality, look and feel.
Cons:
No tripod mount supplied, funky placement of zoom ring.

I've been using a Canon 17-40 f/4L and a Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L lens for some time. Used to have a Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L IS and the Canon 100-400 L IS. Sold the two big while lenses a couple years ago and ever since have missed having telephoto capability. I was torn between this lens and the 70-200 f/4 L IS and finally decided the extra 100mm would be nice. I am soooooo glad I got this 70-300. Have only had it a couple days, but the shots I've taken, all hand-held, have been far beyond what I'd expected. We attended a church picnic on Saturday and I was able to take great hand-held shots even as the sun was going down. The IS worked great; focusing was instant, spot on, and silent.

I'd heartily recommend this lens to anyone on the fence about getting one!


Jun 23, 2014
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israeljruiz
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Registered: Apr 12, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 342
Review Date: Aug 26, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ, sharp, compact and focused very effectively
Cons:
No TC and focusing in different spot!



I was very impressed with IQ.

I used it on a recent trip as a general purpose, zoo and some birding and loved it!

I used it in conjunction with my 500 is and it was a perfect set up for me...


Ps
I'm tempted to try the 28-300 for wide angle purposes ...I do love my 16-35 though...

Non the less, this is a great lens...I would surely recommend it!


Aug 26, 2013
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ChrisRD
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Registered: May 19, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 935
Review Date: Jul 29, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent IQ, fast/accurate AF, great IS, nice build quality & hood
Cons:
It's not cheap for a F/4-F/5.6 zoom...but given the pluses it's still worth it IMO

I bought this lens during a sale out of curiosity. I was often finding myself putting a 1.4X on my 70-200/2.8 II IS and was hoping this lens would be a bit more compact/convenient option to cover that range.

I was very surprised at the IQ and AF performance of this lens on a 5D3 and I'm actually considering selling the 70-200 at this point since I have some primes to cover that range when I need more speed. It's remarkably sharp...even with at 420mm with a 1.4X Kenko attached.


Jul 29, 2013
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rbussmann
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Registered: Apr 11, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 14, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast and accurate zoom, image quality, color rendition, built like a tank
Cons:
No tripod ring, does not accept Canon converters

One of my most frequently used outdoor lenses on rough expeditions. Built quality is outstanding - this lens is really tough. Nice zoom range. The missing tripod ring is annoying, given the price. Excellent for what it is supposed to do. Less good for city environments / people (we work a lot in markets), because it naturally is rather visible.

Apr 14, 2013
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Kathy White
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Registered: Apr 30, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 942
Review Date: Dec 17, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: size, weight, fast and accurate focus.
Cons:
the focus and zoom design are backwards. Drives me crazy but I still love the lens. I just deal with it.

The combo of this with my 5DIII are great together. I have at least as many keepers with this lens as with my 70 200 II when shooting sports. It is actually my go to lens for Football unless I am shooting at night. I have had it a couple of months and with its fast and accurate focus and light weight it has become a favorite. This lens and my pancake make a great travel pair. I keep wishing they would redo the 100 400 and make it perform like this lens for the extra distance. It does not need great light to focus accurately. The first day I received it I shot a FB game on a very dull and dreary day and it nailed almost every shot in Servo. If it didn't get the shot it was me.

Dec 17, 2012
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edseiz
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Registered: Mar 13, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 256
Review Date: Apr 25, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact, sharp and very fast focusing.
Cons:
No tripod ring included and needs to accept teleconverter.

I just bought this lens used due to the fact that I may want to sell my 70-200mm f2.8 IS version I. The verdict is still out. I am going to test it tomorrow but just playing with it and seeing the color and how fast it focuses. I am impressed. If you are considering it, go for it, you won't regret it.

Apr 25, 2012
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irispatch
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Registered: Feb 3, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 111
Review Date: Apr 15, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, focus speed IS , size.
Cons:
Price focus and zoom rings are reversed.

When my 35-350L broke I took a long time trying to decide what to replace it with. The 28-300 is a nice range, a heavy expensive beast. The 100-400 is a popular lens that I have rented twice and both times not really satisfied with the results. I had a 70-300 DO which was nice but not quite sharp enough and for a bout the same price the 70-300 L turns out to be good enough for me to give up my 300F4LIS. A solid performer that has given me sharp handheld shots that usually I would need a tripod to get. finding one on the used market tells you a lot, they just cannot be found used.

Apr 15, 2012
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iclaudius
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Registered: Aug 31, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 8
Review Date: Apr 12, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,440.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Compact size, build, IS is amazing, image quality, minimum focusing distance
Cons:
no tc

I have had the lens since new for about 7 months. Especially useful for travel photography because it packs down so well into small space. This cannot be overemphasized.

Image quality is beyond reproach and helped greatly by new IS system. Also own 100-400, but when exta reach not needed, would opt for this, especially for travel. Same reason I have no desire to own 70-200L 2.8 IS despite its great image quality.

For those worried about speed of lens, it is mainly an outdoor lens, but even so, just for kicks, i have obtained some terrific stage shots at concerts at higher iso's (2500) with the 5dII when too far away to use my 135L. The IS is so good that you can capture some real keepers.

The excellent minimum focusing distance, floating lens, and IS makes for a real treat in close up photos with or without a tripod.

All in all, am finding this to be a favorite lens.


Apr 12, 2012
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John57
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Registered: Jun 13, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 53
Review Date: Apr 9, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, focus.
Cons:
Zoom ring the opposite way to what I expected. Cost.

I bought this lens when it was still rather expensive .... but don't regret it as it is so good. Some people wondered where it would sit in Canon's line up but I thought it was just what I wanted for my 5D II ... and I was right.

I use it for weddings and general photography and find it is not too slow in any way for the use I put it to.

The images are the sharpest I have seen from a zoom of this kind except the 70-200 f2.8L. The focus speed is good and the lens though heavy balances better on my 5D than the 70-200. The IS is great though takes a second or so to click in like most IS systems.

It is built like most big L lenses ... like a tank ... but feels OK.

The biggest issue I have with the lens is personal preference really - in that I love the twist zoom style like the 70-200 as opposed to the push pull of a 100-400. The problem is on this lens that the zoom ring is at the front of the barrel - the opposite way round to the 70-200 and I find it ungainly to use .. This is, however, a minor issue for what I consider to be a stunning lens and one I would highly recommend !


Apr 9, 2012
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jackbreakfast
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Registered: Apr 1, 2012
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 1, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size, weight, versatility, sharpness, color rendition, IQ
Cons:

I was spending much of my time waffling between this lens and the 100-400 and in the end I was swayed by this lens' size and weight and newer IS. I'm delighted with the lens' sharpness and color rendition. The optics are very spiffy indeed, and the pictures are SHARP O YES THEY ARE VERY NICE AND SHARP at 300mm, f5.6...a versatile and handholdable lens, to be sure. My primary interest is bird photography, and I would love the extra 100mm provided by the 100-400 but I also heard about a lot of soft-at-400 copies of the 100-400. Who knows if that's true or not? Anyhow, I use this little white zoomer constantly and I've been very pleased with the results thus far. I'll also tell you that it feels very good in the hands and is very well-balanced on the 7D. Last: The AF is surprisingly swift for a zoom lens!

Apr 1, 2012
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Nektario K
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Registered: Jan 5, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 261
Review Date: Mar 27, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very light weight for such a zoom, IQ very good, and fast focus.
Cons:
Ridiculous positoning of focus and zoom rings -they just should have kept it as normal - ie: 70-200 and almost every other lens.

This lens came today.. I love how light weight it is.. I had read about the focus ring being closer to the body and the zoom ring being away..in other words, the opposite set up from 24-105 24-70, 70-200 and probably every other lens.. Why on earth ..but why...why would some engineer design the zoom ring all the way down there..How the heck are you suppose to zoom in a steady supported motion if you have to have your hand a football field away from the camera body..
I'm giving it a week and its going back strictly due to this set up they made.. Completely ridiculous.. If you plop this lens on a tripod.. and don't care..then its fine I guess.. (Oh ya.. no tripod collar, but that didn't bother me as much)..so you'll be ok with it on a tripod.. but any freestyle, pj wedding work..its going to be a pain...

I give it a week...did I say how ridiculous a design this focus ring & zoom ring is?


Mar 27, 2012
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sbay
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Registered: Aug 10, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 50
Review Date: Dec 28, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: image sharpness, build quality, compact size
Cons:
price

I've been searching for a good tele-zoom to use in my travel photography and finally decided on the 70-300 L lens. This lens exceeded my expectations and is extremely sharp with IS that works very well. Before I got this lens, I used either the 70-200 f/4 L IS or the older 70-300 IS (non L) lens. However, the 70-200 always seemed to be too short and the older 70-300 had very poor image quality.

When I got the 70-300 L, I tested it thoroughly and my hope was that it would be close in sharpness to the 70-200 f/4 L which has received very good reviews. I was surprised to find that on a full-frame camera (5DII) that the 70-300L was actually superior to the 70-200 f/4: in the center their sharpness was similar but the 70-300L had much better corner performance. You can see 100% crops from the lens at http://bayimages.net/blog/reviews/canon-70-300mm-l-lens-review/

There is some chromatic aberration at 70mm (red fringing) and 300mm (blue fringing). For me, this is a relatively minor issue as it can be corrected easily in software.

Unfortunately the lens doesn't come with a tripod collar which would help improve stability for tripod mounted shots. Canon sells this separately for nearly $200, which seems outrageously expensive for item that should have been included.


Dec 28, 2011
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jonbrach
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Registered: Dec 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 896
Review Date: Dec 4, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: outstanding IQ,quick AF,light,relatively small,great build quality
Cons:
price,focus ring arrangement

I have been on the fence concerning this lens for some time but I finally decided to take the plunge when I got the chance to buy a second hand copy.I must say i am very impressed.The lens fits a niche for me,a long range telephoto lens that is not only sharp and quick to focus but also extremely easy to carry around due to its size and weight......a winner !

Dec 4, 2011
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Daniel Yee
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Registered: Jun 3, 2009
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 23, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: very good range, very sharp wide open, very effective IS
Cons:
none, although constant f/4 will be nice

Was hesitating between 70-200L f/4 IS and 70-300L. Got this baby instead of the 70-200 because:

- longer reach
- I need a decent telephoto to compliment my landscape needs
- don't mind the slow aperture

on my 1D3 this lens is really really sharp on all focal lengths. I don't find the price expensive a this lens has better built than the 70-200 f/4. The only thing I find it expensive is the tripod ring... which I got it as well.


Nov 23, 2011
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yank74
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Registered: Oct 22, 2011
Location: Slovenia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 22, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size, weight, IS, sharpness, weather sealing
Cons:
none

Have this lense now for 4 months.....
Before I owned a 70-200 L IS f4 and a 100-400 L IS for few years... After couple of weeks i was ending to seel both and keep only this pearl. it is fast and sharpe as 70-200,and with 1.4x kenko pro300 easily cover the range of 100-400(with working AF on 5D) Highly recommend this lens


Oct 22, 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
73 126740 Jul 16, 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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