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

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Reviews Views Date of last review
109 240839 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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gimmick
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Registered: Feb 23, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 23, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Small, light, silent, exceptional IS, not white - great for urban and travel photography. Excellent quality from 70-200mm wide open.
Cons:
Cost (although it's coming down), needs to be stopped down 2/3 stop to f/7.1 at 300mm for good results and f/9 for very good.

First off... this lens gets criticism for image quality, it almost stopped me buying it... It's true it's not a prime and it's also true a 100-400L beats the optical quality at 300mm, and it's true it **doesn't cost** nearly as much as those options.

If you want IS, 300mm and good optical quality in a non-white L barrel then this is your lens.

I found that 70-200mm f/5 produces sharp images. From 200-300 f/7.1 gives a noticeable improvement and f/9 is very sharp. I compare the images against my 70-200L f/4.

You do lose some light by stopping down to f/7.1 but only 2/3 stop compared to the 100-400L which is at f/5 or f/5.6 at 300mm.

I also compared images at 300mm with a 70-200L f/2.8 IS + 1.4xTC and the latter struggled to match the DO until it got to about f/8. Considering the cost, weight and size of that combination the DO doesn't look at all bad! (NB. A TC will always hurt performance, the 70-200L f/2.8 is otherwise a stunning lens)

Build quality is good. Solid metal outer barrel with platic zoom segments. When zoom locked at 70mm it's a tank.

Finally, IS is a must have over 200mm on a digital SLR. You're heading into shutter speeds of 1/300s to 1/500s to correct for shake. I've hand held at 1/60s indoors and 1/160s in windy conditions outdoors with no problems. The first step to a sharp image is no shake!

And it's been said before but I'll say it as well. A lens with you is far better than a larger lens left at home due to it's size. My 70-200L f/4 is regularly at home because of this.

RECOMMENDED! Smile


Feb 23, 2005
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DaveEP
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Registered: Aug 14, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3706
Review Date: Feb 2, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Small (ish)
Cons:
Not so sharp

I bought this lens so that i could walk around without a large white lens that attracts attention.

Some shots are sharp, but others are out of focus, or very soft. Not sure why yet .....


Feb 2, 2005
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cladnin
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Registered: Sep 8, 2004
Location: N/A
Posts: 150
Review Date: Jan 20, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Build quality (see below), IS, compact range, black, zoom lock
Cons:
Zoom slides when pointed up or down, slow apeture, lacks a little image quality

Slightly expensive but worth it if you need the range and what it's good for. Great for candid portraits. IS is second to none. The size on this lens is incredible, but you gain that at a little loss of image quality (but post processing fixes that). A lens taken with you takes better pictures than a lens left at home.

Jan 20, 2005
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Gil_W
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Registered: Sep 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1899
Review Date: Jan 19, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,130.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IS is great, Size, Quick focus, Good balance on 20D, Good bright pictures, Not Bad in low light, Pictures only need minor PS RAW work, Great walk around Lens, Nice 70-300mm range, It's black and not noticed
Cons:
Price, Zoom will drift out when pointed down (the lens lock IS needed), Not L quality pictures but not Bad either, Price, pictures are sometimes a little soft and a little flat (but easy fix in PS), Did I say Price?

I am NOT a pro photographer and have not been in the SLR world very long at all. I wanted a good zoom lens as a walk around to go with my 17-85mm that came with my B&H 20D Kit. I did a lot of research and did not want to be lugging a white 70-200mm f/4 or 2.8 around, and I did not find another lens in this range that caught my eye.

I really felt that I needed the IS and this was a very BIG factor in my choosing the 70-300 DO. The other things that were important to ME was the size and weight of the lens and range. I am VERY happy with the 70-300 DO's IS. It seems to me to be better (more responsivie and holds the view better) than the IS in my 17-85 and 100-400 (I mostly have to use my tripod with the 100-400). I find the size and weight of the lens just about right and feels very balanced to ME on the 20D. The lens's build and feel is solid (better than the 17-85) and the only bad point about the build is the zoom creep in vertical positions, but it does have the lens lock which is needed.

The pictures come out nice and bright. I normally have a +1/2 to +3/4 stop set on my 20D but with the DO it is not needed. The lens appears to suck in light and does well in low light settings without me needing to pump up the ISO very much.
When I bring the pictures up in PS, I do need to bump up the saturation and contrast a tad and use the USM a little, but not that much. I use USM on just about all my photos. I cannot say that all the shots from the DO do REALLY NEED the USM, but maybe about 5-10% do, all in all I consider this a fairly sharp lens. I think it is unfair to compare the saturation and contrast from the DO to my L lenses, but for all those that like to make that comparison, I Rarely bump contrast and saturation with those lenses (the L's).

The bokeh is nice and as some have noticed it can be different at times than what is normally observed on other lenses. However, I have found it pleasant to the eye though some purists may not. I have NOT observed (from the 350 or so shots I have taken with the lens) ANY targets, circles, flaring, fringing etc..., that I have read about. I have taken the lens to the beach and shot numerous shots over and around the water towards the sun with no problems on the photos observed.

There has been some negative things said about this lens, price is #1. I do not argue that it is a pricey lens and I think a good price would be around $800 (US), but I am no expert.
There were other reports of bad copies of this lens, I guess I lucked out with MY DO, I lucked out with my 17-85mm too because that has given me no problems either and I have taken some wonderful pictures with it.

I posted a request for additional input on the 70-300mm DO on the FM Canon-mount SLR board and recieved a lot of good feedback and I appreciated that. I also saw, and continue to see posts on the DO at dpreview. Most opinions of this lens are NOW good to excellent and I have also seen many good pictures posted from the lens.

I think IMHO, that is, if a person wants a very good, moderate weight, relatively compact, non-L, IS lens in this focal length to carry around, and the price does not scare them, this may work for them. It has met ALL MY requirements for a walk around and actually has done better photo wise than I was hoping for. For these reasons, I am more than happy with the 70-300mm DO.

Gil


Jan 19, 2005
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Sinatausch
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Registered: Jan 13, 2005
Location: Argentina
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jan 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, very small, i cant see any Ca´s, the IS is a dream and the af very very fast!
Cons:
For now only the lightpower...

The best Canon i ever bought! I love this! I compared the pictures with the 200, IS 2.8 and their are no big differences!

Jan 13, 2005
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Porsche993
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Registered: Jan 13, 2005
Location: Albania
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jan 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Wonderfull fast, very good sharpness, less CA´s!
Cons:
Its short and mini, but heavy!

I would by it once more!

Jan 13, 2005
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Hrow
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Registered: Oct 18, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5332
Review Date: Nov 30, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: It is not a big white monster. Very easy to carry. Nice handholdable lens. IS works well.
Cons:
It is not a big white monster. Lack of sharpness was what sent this lens back to the store. For $1200 bucks Canon can and must do better. Zoom ring can get very tight depending on camera angle making it not a very pleasant lens to use.

I am glad others are happy with their DO but I have been shooting w/ this lens for 3 weeks and it is going back to the store. I really wanted to like this lens and it was purchased as a replacement for the 75-300 IS. Wanted to upgrade the quality and was concerned about size and weight of the 70-200 and 100-400 L IS lenses. I was thrilled to find that it fit perfectly in my belt bag w/ a D10 and 17-40L. How could life be better?

Well, for one thing, the image quality could be at least reasonable. I have been comparing images and my old 75-300 IS actually sharper to the eye. I am not willing to bet the farm that it would win a true resolution test but when viewing real world prints it is the clear winner. Part of the reason seems to be that the DO suffers from not only from a lack of sharpness but also from a decided lack of contrast and saturation, the combination of which fuels the overall sense of softness. Yes, both can be popped up in PS but for $1200 bucks you shouldn’t have to “fix” each and every image.

Perhaps most telling is looking at thumbnails from the same shooting spree where both the 17-40L and the 70-300 DO have been used. The 17-40L images are bright crisp and sharp whereas the DO frames look soft and flat. It almost seems that the lighting has to be perfect to get good results (and I have - to be fair to the lens) but if conditions are less than ideal then things go downhill pretty quickly.

I know the 75-300 IS is not the greatest lens in the world (which is why I was trying to upgrade) but it really isn’t all that bad. I certainly can't see paying $1300 bucks for no performance gain. At this point, I am going to keep the old zoom for times when I need easy carrying and trade the DO for a 100-400 L for times when lugging a monster around isn’t a big deal.

Like I said, I really wanted to like this lens and I hope I just got a bad copy so that others can enjoy the size and weight advantages that it offers.

PS. I have experienced problems with flare (be careful w/ hairlights in the studio); the luminous glow that people have described (the back of a white swan really showed off the problem but it was isolated to two out of thirty shots); the strange bokeh; and the tightness of the zoom ring. None of these problems would have been severe enough to cause great dissatisfaction if the lens had produced the quality of image that a $1300 lens should.


Nov 30, 2004
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DanPatrick
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Registered: Sep 11, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Review Date: Nov 28, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,290.00 | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: Light, small, good image stabilization, extremely convenient to travel with.
Cons:
Stiff zoom, poor image quality for the price, lights flare badly at night, so-so fit and finish, expensive. Image quality is the dealbreaker.

While I absolutely loved the convenience of this lens (the reason I purchased it), the image quality wasn't what I'd expected considering the price. It was disappointing enough for me to take it back and buy a 2.8 70-200. Bigger, heavier and certainly less convenient, but at the end of the day, when you're looking at pictures shot, who cares? Either the images have it or they don't. And for me, they just didn't with Canon's "new DO technology." Too bad.

Nov 28, 2004
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John Daniel
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Registered: Jun 6, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1337
Review Date: Oct 31, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,350.00 | Rating: 2 

 
Pros: Size, range, IS, the green ring, that's all.
Cons:
FLARE (honeycomb form flares), stiff zoom, lock unpractical, very ordinary precision, image quality. Autofocus is a bit slow.

Poor for the price. what a deception. After reading the hoo haaas from Canon, I rush to get this practical size long range zoom which I dreamed to be my vacation/travel lens. I have felt low...

See negative points. I have sold it 2 months after buying it with a 30% loss.


Oct 31, 2004
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menardmam
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Registered: Apr 10, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 2
Review Date: Oct 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,800.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Size, Weight, Range, Color (black), IS
Cons:
Sharpness, not compatible with teleconverter from canon, zoom ring

I got this lens for many reason:
1) Size. a lens that stay home because it is too big... is not usefull
2) IS. Stabilization is a must... It do the job perfectly
3) Fit in my small traveling bag
4) Do not attrac too much attention
5) Well balance, not too heavy

What i dont like:
1) L price, prosumer quality
2) Not really sharp
3) 300 mm even at 1.6 crop not enought for me... need more
4) Zoom ring way too stiff, use it as a pushpull lens
5) minimum focus dictance too far..

If ask if i will buy this lens again.... NO... because i will buy a bigger bag, I will get a 100-300 or 100-400 white L lens with IS and teleconverter...

I will attrac way too much attention... but will get better photo

Will i keep this lens for travel, sure i got it, i will keep it... but too much money for quality

I am looking for review about the Sigma 50-500 or 80-400 that seem to have a good range... heavy but complete lens... but cannot figure out the quality....


Oct 30, 2004
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philmguy
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Registered: Jul 16, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 16
Review Date: Oct 29, 2004 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Size, weight, good IS and focusing.
Cons:
Price, image quality, price, image quality and price.

I REALLY wanted to like this lens. The size and range make it a great walking-around lens for travel photography. And the IS adds to the versatility. But . . .

If Canon wants to price a lens like an L lens, then it should have L lens image quality, and this lens doesn't. I shot this lens on a tripod and matched it up against my 35-350 L and my 28-135 IS. The 35-350 was clearly superior optically. And most of the images from the 70-300 were no sharper than those from the 28-135, a $400 lens.

I'm surprised at the number of reviews here that call this a great lens while admitting the image quality doesn't match the price. Sure, you can improve the soft images in Photoshop, but photos from a lens in this price range shouldn't require much improvement. This would be a great lens at half the price. Mine went back to the store.


Oct 29, 2004
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John Wolff
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Registered: Jul 13, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1334
Review Date: Oct 23, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very compact and lite, Reasonably sharp, works well mechanically
Cons:
Price, not as sharp as some L zooms

I bought this lens because walking around with the 70-200 f2.8 L IS plus teleconverter was very cumbersome. The 70 - 300 f4.5 - 5.6 DO IS is perfect for what it is intended for - a compact high quality tele-zoom. While the out-of-the-camera shots are not as sharp as the70 - 200 or my 300 f4 L IS, the shots sharpen up just fine. I'm finding this to be a versatile lens and my main lens in places like zoos or wildlike shoots.

Oct 23, 2004
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Wayne Fox
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Registered: Feb 28, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 566
Review Date: Sep 11, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Lightweight and small
Cons:
Average sharpness, has some chromatic problems.

I'm surprised at all of the 5/5 reviews here. I shot side by side comparisons of the 70-300 DO, the 70-200 f2.8 and the 100-400 f2.8 lens. There really isn't any comparison in the quality of the images, the 70-300 DO is lacking in sharpness. I also saw some strange things going on in certain areas with color clarity and accuracy. While it still delivers a nice image, you lose some quality.

The only reason I bought this lens is to have handy when I'm trekking around shooting mainly wide to medium angle stuff. I'm usually carring a 16-40, and 28-70 as well as a 100mm macro and a a TS lens. I like this lens because its so light and small I can carry it, just in case I run into something that requires more than 100mm.

I will still use the other two when doing telephoto work ... they really are far superior.


Sep 11, 2004
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DavidHall
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Registered: Mar 6, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 611
Review Date: Sep 9, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,299.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Compact, less weight than the L telephotos, fast focus and well built
Cons:
It is not 2.8, it cannot be used in dim light without increasing the ISO, and it does not produce an image quite as sharp as most of the L lenses, but it is close. And, did I mention that it is convenient, very convenient?

This lens is quite convenient? This is not my favorite lens......the 70-200 2.8 is. But, if you don't need the 2.8, meaning there is plenty of light, this is a great lens---and quite convenient. And, it is inconspicuous compared to the 2.8 and its brethern. You can sneak in places and situations with this inconspicuous lens where others may draw too much attention........

Sep 9, 2004
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Kai Wing YIU
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Registered: Feb 19, 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 175
Review Date: Aug 31, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light, compact, a strong solid feel. Good image quality.
Cons:
a bit expensive

A good quality lens which is convenient to be carried around for trips and for city shots. I find the build quality excellent and handling good. IS works well. I could take rather sharp photos at around 1/2 second.

Aug 31, 2004
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ario arioldi
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Registered: Sep 15, 2002
Location: Italy
Posts: 39
Review Date: Aug 21, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light and compact, black, excellent IS, reasonably sharp, fast and accurate AF (with my 10D).
Cons:
Zooming and manual focusing are not smooth enough to my taste.

I bought it to replace my too heavy 100-400 L IS and I do not regret.
This is a lens I can carry on any time, anywhere and the quality is absolutely comparable to the one of the big white sister.


Aug 21, 2004
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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 240839 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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