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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

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109 241663 Feb 20, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
82% of reviewers $1,155.47
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.67
6.38
8.1
ef70-300_45-56doisu

Specifications:
A superior performance, ultra-compact telephoto zoom lens with Canon's Image Stabilization. These Diffractive Optics elements are combined to reduce size and boost image quality. AF is super-fast and silent with a ring-type USM, and it focuses down to 4.6 feet – without rotating the front element. A new zoom lock button keeps the lens safe and secure when not in use or used at the wide angle.


 


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robster99
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Registered: Dec 2, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Black, compact, extremely sharp, colours
Cons:
Colours sometimes troublesome but can be corrected in PP. Cannot use a permanent protective filter/UV filter.

I use this with a 5D and I have a 24-105L and 50/f1.4. The reason for purchasing this lens was simple. I wanted the nearest thing to L quality but black. The cheaper 70-300 just isn't up to scratch when it comes to build quality. That one feels like it's gonna break at any moment with it's huge, bare, barrel spinning around waiting for someone to grab it and kill the motor! White L lenses are for professionals. God knows why any amateur would need one. It's not all about the equipment when making great photos ;-) I'm from the camp that wants photos that are great straight from the camera, with no post processing required.

This lens is extremely sharp and has accurate sharpness (i.e. the AF on the 5D with this lense is very accurate and quick). Very rarely do i have unsharp photos straight out of the camera from this lens. You cannot have a protective filter on this lens, if you do then the sharpness will noticeably degrade but can be corrected easily in post processing. I tried a Hoya Pro1 D protective filter (not even UV - basically just a plain piece of glass) and noticeable lost sharpness. I use the lens hood where possible to avoid anything touching the front element. The colours from this lens can be L quality but sometimes you get some "off" colours - i found those to appear in very bright sun light. I'm not sure why but it happens rarely. Maybe it's from flare but i did have the hood on at the time. Best colours were obtained after rainfall. The build quality is not bad but when i started using the 24-105L again i did notice the "juicy" zoom mechanism on the L. It just feels so much nicer. My copy of 24-105L has a tight zoom mechanism but i understand others might be looser. Sometimes it's very hard to distinguish between photos taken with this lens and those from the 24-105L (i.e. from a colours and sharpness perspective). I have a Hoya Pro1 D Wideband polariser on order for this 70-300.


Dec 2, 2007
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chromedome
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Registered: Dec 4, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1
Review Date: Nov 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Size and weight are great for travel, used alongside the EF-S 17-85 and 50mm1.4 this makes a great travel set on my 20D. Very Sharp and contrast is good with hood on.
Cons:
Slightly soft wide open at 300mm. Needs hood as any extraneous light lessens contrast quickly on this lens. Doesn't like UV filters (No biggie) Lens Lock has to be on when carrying or it extends by itself.

I absolutely love this lens, I took it with me to Portugal recently and found it to be the surest focussing lens that I have on my 20D. That includes the 100-400L and the 70-200F4L. I've had more keepers out of this lens than either of the other two combined (although I don't have any complaints about the 100-400).

The DO has become the lens that goes with me everywhere as it's just so easy to carry and use. For what it is it does it's job well. I wanted FTM which instantly excluded the non DO from my list of prospective lenses. I would recommend that anyone try this lens, rather than listen to the negatives, those are minor niggles from my point of view.

It should perhaps be a little less expensive due to it's slightly less than "L" build quality and the lens creep. however it focusses quickly, quietly and accurately. It's IS is effective for me up to between 2 and 3 stops (no more). It's definitely easier to hold and use than the 100-400. I've also had success with it when coupled with a Kenko Pro 300 1.4x TC. I still get AF which I find surprising on a 20D.


Nov 9, 2007
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poodlelvr
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Registered: Aug 25, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 508
Review Date: Oct 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Wonderful travel lens; useful range. Small & light in comparison to others and excellent quality photos.
Cons:
Lens does creep; I keep locked when not using and have learned to live with it. Not a big deal.

I find this to be a very useful lens to take when travelling; with current airline restrictions I pack this & my 17-55 and am pretty well covered. Recently flew across the country and used this to cover my granddaughter's soccer games as well as landscape photos. Handheld all and I came home with wonderful photos of the games, both action and coaching moments, taken both at mid-day and close to sunset. Photos are clear with excellent color; many would have been impossible with a smaller range. I paid full price when I bought this and have not regretted it although it did take me awhile to learn to use it properly.

The lens DOES want to creep and although a bit annoying it is not a big deal. Highly recommend this one.


Oct 7, 2007
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Radim Horak
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Registered: May 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 213
Review Date: Sep 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,099.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Range, image quality, FTM, excellent IS, non-rotating front element, size, portability - great travel zoom
Cons:
Non-L build for L lens price, lens creep, fairly heavy, slow on the long end,

I needed a travel lens that would not be too big and white. My 70-200 f2.8L IS was just too bulky and conspicuous. I've read some nice compliments from M.R. at Luminous Landscape regarding this lens.. I've tried it .. and it is really really good non-L long zoom lens. Very portable but a little bit on the heavy side.
The slow aperture at the long end is offset by the excellent IS and with the low noise of my 5D most of the time you won't even notice it.
I use this lens primarily as a travel lens together with my 24-70L... But it does not replace the 70-200... have to have the right tools for the job Smile



Sep 26, 2007
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Arthur Chen
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Registered: Jun 5, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:

This lens produces extremely sharp photos if used properly, even with no post processing. Plentiful light will increase your keepers, as well as increasing iso (using a 30d, it was amazing that pictures were still acceptable at ISO speeds of 800 to 1600). It is second to none in size relative to other lenses of its range, a very stealth lens, and convenient. I love how far I can shoot from, and the closeup pics I can get. This lens is for people who put a premium on convenience and can afford it, you WILL appreciate its size. If you don't have the money to spend or want the best value for a lens, look somewhere else. I have absolutely NO regrets purchasing this lens!

At first, my pics came out blurry as a result of my own fault, not keeping a steadier hand while shooting, and not having a high enough shutter speed. This is a slooooow lens, plus you have to work harder for tack sharp pics, so not a lens for beginners (I am a beginner, so it took me a while to recognize what situations will produce optimal photos, and the limitations of the lens). If you like slapping on a lens and shooting away, don't get it. If you put some thought into your photos, it will work well for you. Heavier and wider than I thought, but not uncomfortable (5 hours of straight handheld shooting and my hand was not even a bit sore). Works very well on non-moving images and animals; but I found people to be harder to shoot, less keepers and produces more mixed results. Great at around F8 or F9, soft at around 300mm.


Jun 30, 2007
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hallbert
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Registered: Dec 11, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 1088
Review Date: Jun 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: It's black, compact, less weight than the L telephotos, fast focus and well built
Cons:
I don't find any negatice aspects for this lens

I like my 1D MarkII and my 5D. My wife wanted a setup that was light, inconspicuous and easy to use. We decided on the 30D with the 17-85 IS and this 70-300 IS DO lens. She loves the light weight and that this is not a WHITE lens. We recently had a trip to New Orleans and I didn’t want to take my 1D. The 5D had not gotten to me in time so we took her “bag”. I found I really like the 30D, 70-300 combination. Not quite as many “keepers” as with the Mark II and the 70-200 f2.8 IS but I was pleasantly surprised. I won’t hesitate using “her” camera and lens again. It is certainly much lighter and easy to fit in a back pack. I would highly recommend this lens. It may not be an “L” but it certainly holds its own.

Jun 9, 2007
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monsterdeer
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Registered: Mar 3, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 278
Review Date: May 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: This lens is great for situations where you only brought one/two lenses and some wildlife appears. Put the lens on a rest--bean bag or tripod--and shoot with confidence.
Cons:
Feels somewhat cheap, compared to white lenses of this type. This lens is not a substutute for Canon's supertelephotos.

This lens is not for everyone. It is a slow lens and relying on IS to make your pictures sharp, will be hit and miss at best. When this is on a tripod, MLU, and cable release it will take wonderful sharp photos. Likewise, shooting with lots of light will also help with your number of keepers. Shooting in shade/low light and handheld is a recipe for iffy sharpness. Just put it on a tripopd or rest and your sharpness will be comparable to L glass.

May 5, 2007
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willis
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Registered: Jul 23, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 476
Review Date: Apr 11, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Zoom range, size, superb IS, FTM, non-rotating front element, AF speed, NO CA, sharp wide open at 300mm!
Cons:
Pretty expensive for a slowish lens, nothing else.

I bought this for its size and hand-holdability and expected mediocre image quality. I have been extremely pleased with its performance. As good as my 100-400L. Don't know whether Canon have modified it or I've been lucky to get a good one but I certainly don't recognize the criticisms made by many reviewers. I would highly recommend it (I use it on a 5D).

Apr 11, 2007
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pc168
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Registered: Mar 9, 2007
Location: China
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, color and contrast are comparable to my 24-105 f4L IS. In general, very sharp even wide open across the whole focal range. Very effective IS and ultra compact.
Cons:
Difficult to zoom in or out. Very heavy. A bit pricey.

Have read a lot of negative reviews. As such, I've prepared to accept average IQ and bought it merely for its portability and IS. Unexpectedly, the image quality is so great! In general, I got very sharp images across the whole focal length even wide open. However, it's true that the weak spot is at 300 f5.6.

I've tested the infamous scenario of shooting many white objects at 300mm f5.6. The result is very impressive. In the 100% crop from the original image, I couldn't see the so called 'a faint white halo around the object'. May be there is a way to reproduce the problem. But for normal field test, I can't see any of the problems mentioned. All in all, I'm very satisfied with that DO lens.


Mar 24, 2007
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mottainai
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Registered: Feb 12, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 7
Review Date: Mar 22, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: nice pictures, small size, good look and feel.
Cons:
lock to prevent zoom creep, fairly expensive.

Seems to be one of the most controversial canon lenses. Friends and sales personal tried to talk me out of it, but I wanted to have a good, compact and solid telezoom lens > 200mm, and I don't regret my choice. No quality issues as reported by early buyers (purchased in March 2006). I have to mention that I have never used one of canons 70-200 L lenses. So my comparison is limited.
(I like the green ring)


Mar 22, 2007
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Nezza
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Registered: Nov 24, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 470
Review Date: Mar 10, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: IS. Light.
Cons:
Image quality


I bought this lens as a replacement for a worn out IS zoom. From the start I was not happy with the image quality, especialy wide open. It became reasonably sharp at F11 or smeller, but was just unuseable wide open.


Mar 10, 2007
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Bob Kane
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Registered: Mar 2, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 294
Review Date: Mar 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light and sharp, very low chromatic aberration. Effective IS.
Cons:
Not "L" build. Zoom lock.

I like to carry the smallest kit possible for hiking and nature work, and this fits the bill perfectly for me. IS works very well. The negative reviews of image quality are puzzling, unless copy-to-copy variability is an issue. I use it more than any other lens.

I don't like having to lock the zoom (in fact, the zoom lock jammed and the lens currently is in for repair). I have run into flare (although only shooting nearly into the sun) but haven't tried a hood extension. The cost seems high, but image quality is really good so I guess you get what you pay for. Subjectively, focussing seems on the slow side.


Mar 4, 2007
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Billhansen2003
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Registered: Mar 12, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 164
Review Date: Feb 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: length - Image quality (yes!) - reach - black color
Cons:
price - diffraction in backlighting - relatively slow

After reading dozens of reviews, I hesitated for months before buying this lens. I rented a copy and used it for a week. I wasn't prepared for how good it actually is. It is a much, much better lens than many people claim. I bought a copy and I'm delighted with it.

If it's used properly, the DO lens produces excellent images. I was prepared to see very soft images, hazy images, images lacking in contrast. None of these has been true. Images are clean, sharp, with good color and contrast. The lens is as good as my 100-400L, probably sharper. It's not quite as sharp as my 70-200 f4L IS, but after processing, images are very very close. It is slow, which is a relative disadvantage for low light action shots. The lens hood should be used, and it requires a different sort of processing, but I haven't found any of those to be burdensome.


Feb 16, 2007
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dcmiller
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Registered: May 21, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 3650
Review Date: Feb 11, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Length of lens
Cons:
Less than perfect light reduces IQ, Costly in terms of price and image quality compared to the Canon alternative

Carefully review the specs of this lens compared to the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS before purchase. Is the 1.5 inch reduced length of this DO lens worth twice the price and lower image quality compared to the newer 70-300? That is the buying decision.

Feb 11, 2007
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RedRebel
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Registered: Oct 13, 2005
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 183
Review Date: Jan 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent image quality, great zoom range, excellent stabiliser, relative small and light weight, virtualy no CA
Cons:
Prone to flare in harsh conditions, no "L" build quality

I bought this lens last september but I waited with my review because I was a bit reserved at first. The image quality has never been an issue with my copy, but during a holiday in Tuscany (Italy) I had some trouble with the zoom mechanism especially at higher temperatures. The zoom mechanism became sticky and sometimes nearly blocked.

I sent it back for repair and it came back in a good condition (waranty). They said they have replaced something and the cleaned the lens. I expect it had something to do with the lens lock mechanism, because it didn't lock fully, I expect something broke off. This is why I don't rate this lens as L quality, the quality is good but not build like a tank as the 24-105 or 24-70 L lenses.

Since it was repaired the zoom operates quite smooth but not as smooth as my 24-105 L main lens. The image quality is in the same leage and it almost lacks CA. The only negative thing about this lens is that it's quite prone to flair (sunsets). As soon strong sunrays enter this lens, the contrast drops and flare becomes visable.

The main advantage of this lens is that it's small and there is no reason not to cary it arround, this can not be said from the white L super zoom leage, which are large and heavy.

I use the lens with a Canon 5D.


Jan 16, 2007
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JD Fisher
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Registered: Oct 29, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Dec 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Size, length, weight makes for easy travel. Images are great.
Cons:
Cost. Haven't figure out how to use a good extender with it.

I picked this lens because it matched the size of my two other lenses. When changing lenses I knew each lens would fit in the bag slot that had the replacement. This make things much simpler when making quick lens changes. If I had a long white lens it would not fit into by bag. So for travel and city prowling this lens works great.

Another thing is when I go to basketball games at arenas the lens is only 6 inches in length, thus it is not considered a "professional" lens by the ushers. I can take all the shots of LeBron James I want with my 20D (1.6 crop gives me a 450mm range)!


Dec 10, 2006
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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
109 241663 Feb 20, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
82% of reviewers $1,155.47
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
8.67
6.38
8.1
ef70-300_45-56doisu


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