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

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201 608537 Jun 6, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $566.98
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.63
8.63
8.9
70-300_isusm

Specifications:
The EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM telephoto zoom lens has been developed to meet the high-performance standards that today's photographers demand. Improved Image Stabilizer Technology provides up to three stops of "shake" correction, and the "Mode 2" option stabilizes images while panning with a moving subject. Compared to the original Canon EF 75-300mm IS zoom lens, this telephoto lens has faster autofocus, and overall the lens is lighter and has a smaller diameter than the original. The zoom ring can be locked at the 70mm position, making this powerful lens easy to transport, too.

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 70-300mm f/4-5.6

Lens Construction: 15 elements in 10 groups

Diagonal Angle of View: 84° - 23° 20' (with full-frame camera)

Focus Adjustment: Front-focusing method with helicoid ring drive

Closest Focusing Distance: 4.9 ft./1.5m

Zoom System: 6-group helical zoom (rotational angle: 84°)

Filter Size: 58mm

Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.0 in. x 5.6 in., 22.2 oz. / 76.5mm x 142.8mm, 630g (lens only)


 


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sdsean
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Registered: Oct 16, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Oct 24, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent Build, Fast Focus, Stabilizer 1 and 2.
Cons:
Little less Contrasty

I dumped the 55-250 IS and bought this and now I wish why I bought the 55-250 IS in first place.

Red Bull Air Race
http://picasaweb.google.com/SAlware/PhotographyMarch09#5351504330396220898


Oct 24, 2009
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platypus
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Registered: Oct 29, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $300.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp and contrasty, particularly from 70-200mm - practically L quality? Build not bad. Good price from Canon UK, refurbished. Handles nicely.
Cons:
No internal focus, slightly slow AF, pretty bulky. Not quite so sharp past 200mm but still impressive.

I have used many tele-zooms over the years: Tamron 80-210mm, Tokina 80-200mm, Zuiko 65-200mm, Zuiko 50-250mm, Canon 75-300mm Mk 1, Canon EF 70-210mm USM and non USM, Sigma 70-300mm APO, Tamron 55-200mm, Canon 55-250mm IS.

I would wager this lens beats them all optically, and most in terms of construction quality.

Having recently used a Canon 55-250mm this 70-300mm restores my faith in Canon. On my 40D I can confidently use it wide open at all settings - for me the mark of a good lens. Ok, at 300mm the edges go off a little but considering it's range this lens excels. Many have compared it to 70-200mm L glass - I have never used an L lens but I could easily believe this one matches pretty closely.

Texture is depicted with a clarity missing from most tele-zooms and contrast is high too. I might add that the IS seems to work better on this lens than it ever did on the cheaper Canon.

I'm yet to test it on a shoot- I've only shot a few frames at home, but I can safely say this is a keeper. I am surprised and delighted with it's clarity after persevering with the toyish 55-250mm for too long. Lucky for me I got a good price refurbished along with a guarantee direct from Canon on Ebay- 300GBP. It was a no-brainer- this lens will keep it's value. I will likely be able to get back what I paid for it for years to come. That's if I ever sell it, which is looking doubtful Smile

Recommended


Sep 25, 2009
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fox1
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Registered: Jun 10, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 76
Review Date: Sep 5, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:

I rated this product a few years ago, still have not changed my mind about it.
http://www.klickthis.com/gallery-aircraft-scotland-large-2320.html


Sep 5, 2009
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Alex Roe
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Registered: Sep 5, 2009
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 5, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $640.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Light weight, 2 mode image stabilization, feels reasonably well built, quiet, focuses reasonably quickly, good colors, zoom lock, sharpness good. Value for money
Cons:
Variable aperture, not L lens, but does not cost the same either!

Initially I got the older 75-300mm IS lens, but was very disappointed with the sharpness. I did not like the fact that there was no zoom lock and the lens motor was clunky and noisy too.

I took it back and swapped it for the 70-300 IS with USM motor. Then I went out and took some shots with it, after having been told by a guy in the shop that there was not much difference between the two.

I think he was wrong. I remember the first shots from the 75-300mm I looked at. They made me feel that I had made a mistake. Aside from the sharpness which was pretty awful at 300, the colors seemed muted too.

Well, I used the 70-300 today and it's not at all bad. Even at 300mm it is decent. The colors seem livelier as well.

The build quality seems better and there is the 2 mode IS which is great. Focusing is faster and seems more accurate too. The USM motor is quieter and not clunky either. The IS does its thing well too.

So far I'm very pleased with this lens, and as some others have commented, it's something which will keep you happy until you can run to a Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS, although you will lose 100mm -which a photographer friend of mine who went from a 70-300 to a 70-200 f4 missed.

I'd say that this is a lens well worth checking out if your budget cannot stretch to L glass. I know I'm going to enjoy owning this lens!



Sep 5, 2009
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Gonemad
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Registered: Sep 2, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 73
Review Date: Sep 2, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp stopped down, Very convenient zoom range, Decent build quality, Relatively fast and quiet AF, Switch to lock at 70mm
Cons:
Barrel extends out in zoom, Slight softness @f4

I debated quite a bit between either getting the Canon 70-300 IS USM or the Canon 70-200L f4 (non-IS). I figured that for a 1.6x crop body, without IS, even at 70mm you'd need at least 1/100s shutter speed to avoid camera shake. Likewise, at 200mm you'd need 1/320s. Now, I don't know about where you are but in cloudy days or indoor arenas, at ISO 200 and f4, you might barely get 1/150s or so. Since I exclusively shoot hand-held, that pretty much limits my zoom to about 100mm - not good enough if I'm shooting slow-moving wild life. One option is to bump up the ISO to say 800, which would afford you higher shutter speed but at the expense of image quality (more digital noise). So, for me the IS is the crucial piece of technology that would allow me to lower the shutter speed and lower ISO level enough that results in an optimized image quality. Of course, none of this would be an issue if you: 1) use a tripod/monopod, and/or 2) have another $500 to burn, then the Canon 70-200mm f4 IS USM is the way to go.

Moving on to Auto-Focus (AF). I've read that quite a bit of users are having trouble with AF in low-light. The issue is not entirely on this lens, but also on the camera body. Just like "it takes 2 to tango", it takes both a quality lens and camera body to capture decent photos. Now, I'm not a pro by any means, but I've done enough research to choose a camera body that fits my needs. Just like buying a car, you wouldn't buy a Honda Civic and expect it to have as much space as a pick-up truck to haul things around. Conversely, while you could buy a Ferrari to drive the kids to school but that would be a waste of money. So, what's my need, you might ask? Over 80% of the time, I plan to shoot in indoor arena (horse competition, sports complex, etc). And, given my budget, most of my lenses will probably have a range in f-stop (say, f4-f5.6). Given these 2 criteria, I chose the consumer-level Canon XS body, instead of XTi, XSi or T1i. The reason being is that the XS is the only camera in the consumer end that employs a cross-type AF algorithm that is optimized for lenses f5.6 or faster. So, I rarely have AF issues even in extreme low-light conditions. Love it!

So, is the lens perfect? No, not quite. For one, I wish I had more money to buy a fixed f2.8 IS USM zoom to capure indoor fast-action shots. But then again, as a budget concience user, I've learned to take opportunitisc shots of actions in transition. Just like when you throw a ball upwards at high-speed, eventually the ball will momentarily stop to make a downward transition. You just have to learn to use the lens for your application.

Well, enough said. Go buy it and you won't be disappointed. By the way, my copy has the number '4' as the 3rd-digit on the SN#, so no zoom creep nor the vertical image quality problem as part of the Canon recall notice. Good luck!


Sep 2, 2009
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stephenmak
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Registered: Feb 16, 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 7
Review Date: Jun 4, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Cheap. Long Range. IS. Great Image Quality.
Cons:
Build Quality. Slow.

This is a great lens. It's inexpensive, and while not bullet proof build quality, but whaddya expect for two-thirds the price of an L which has shorter reach, and no IS? It's not until you're paying twice the price you're getting IS, and you're still short At three times, you're getting more reach on the long and less on the short (the 100-400 IS).

The lens is contrasty, pretty quick autofocus, quiet, light, and sharp. Frankly, it's sharper than some L glass I have. It's got great range.

The only downside is that it's pretty slow at f4.0 to f5.6 and not constant aperture. But for one additional stop, with today's high ISO abilities, the L at 2.8 is a very costly upgrade.





Jun 4, 2009
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margelatu
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Registered: Jan 6, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 43
Review Date: Apr 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: very sharp, IS is great
Cons:
none

I had tried the 70-200 f4 the non-IS, the IS, also the 2.8 non IS and the IS.
The 2.8 IS is the best of the four.
And then i tried the 70-300 mm IS, and I got stunned. It is as good as the 70-200 f4. As sharp, as good bokeh. What else?
Oh, yes it's got IS which the f4 does not and it's got a longer focal range.
I am amazed at how many people found it less sharp then the L, they either had a bad copy, or were themselves a perfect copy of snobism.
Find a sharp copy and you got yourself an awesome deal, better then the L.


Apr 25, 2009
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recordproducti
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Registered: Jul 11, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 217
Review Date: Apr 18, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Compactish, light, good zoom range, pretty good optics and very good value
Cons:
If you own 'L' lenses you won't be quite so pleased with the construction, no MF in AF mode, extends massively, lens hood is extra, it's noisy, IS kicks lots. Feels cheap.

The good bits first: It's able to produce very good images. I compared with my 70-200L IS f/4 + 1.4 TC II to get close in FL at the long end and compared images from both. I was very surprised at the 70-300, it was difficult to tell apart and at 1/3 the cost, it's excellent value.

The bad: It's pretty cheaply made, IS on mine kicks around and the lens barrel rotates during AF. It's a less than perfect lens in this regard but it is an ideal lens for someone who doesn't shoot long that much and needs an occasional longer lens.

I've just sold mine as I can't live with the downsides though to be fair my regular lenses are the 85L and 35L so I'm judging harshly.


Apr 18, 2009
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Fernando Salas
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Registered: Mar 31, 2007
Location: Mexico
Posts: 1
Review Date: Feb 15, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: $650.00

 
Pros: Me sigue soprendiendo por su excelente definicion y nitidez. Imagenes bien definidas, claras, colores brillantes.
Cons:
Construccion de plastico.

Tengo este lente desde hace 2 aņos y aun me sigue sorprendiendo. Cuando lo compre lo pense bastante ya que mi deseo era tener una lente que me proporcionara buenas imagenes sin sacrificar la potencia de mi 5D. Porque he de decirles que es un Maquinon !!! Originalmente queria comprar el 70-200 4.0 IS L pero no pude, mi presupuesto no era muy bueno. Asi es que despues de entrar a algunos foros y ver las califificaciones de este lente,70-300 IS, me decidi por el. y Oh sorpresa ! que excelentes imagenes me ha dado. Excelente definicion en todo su rango, bueno en 300 mm un poco suave, pero muy cerca de la definicion que alncanza a los 200 mm en todos los rangos de apertura. Pasado el tiempo pude comprar finalmente el 70-200 L tan aņorado y he tenido la oportunidad de tomar bastantes fotos con ambos, en diferentes circunstancias y en casi todos los rangos, velocidades y aperturas. Y todavia mi 70-300 me sigue sorprendiendo. Al comparar aun con imagenes bastante amplificadas, no puedo notar diferencia alguna, es mas, en algunas fotos la definicion, PUEDO ASEGURARLO, es mejor con mi 70-300. Si ! aunque no lo crean !!!! y no puedo decir que mi 70-200 este daņado. NO.
Para Retrato (70-100 mm) es una magnifica opcion aun si eres un profesional y por su rango zoom (300 mm en formato completo) es muy bueno. Lo unico negativo que le veo es su construccion, es un poco debil porque es plastico en su totalidad y la verdad se siente un poco fragil (nada que ver con mi 70-200 en ese aspecto), su anillo frontal gira al enfocar por lo que el usar un filtro polarizador es un poco incomodo ya que tienes que enfocar y luego ajustar el filtro, pero en fin, no se puede tener todo en la vida y por el resultado de las imagenes, vale la pena. Mi 70-200 IS L esta guardado y lo voy a vender, Ya no lo uso, con mi 70-300 obtengo la misma calidad y con una rango mas amplio.
Si estas pensando en comprarlo....Ni la pienses...Adelante !!!!


Feb 15, 2009
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mazamabill
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Registered: May 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Nov 18, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $433.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light, excellent optics for price
Cons:
Front element rotates

I spent a couple of hours testing this lens against the 70-200 f2.8 IS and the 70-200 f4 IS, and I have to say that it held its own very well. It may be an exceptional copy, but even pixel peeping I had a tough time distinguishing the 70-300 photos from those of the "L" lenses. I wouldn't have any hesitation taking this lens on a trip where weight is an issue.

Nov 18, 2008
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jwmelrose
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Registered: Nov 13, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Macro, fairly light for its fl range
Cons:
not internal focus so it can be a bit awkward, also sometimes has trouble locking focus, though this may just be my particular lens camera combo.

a good lens. I mostly use it for macro and as a lightweight tele. I use an f/2.8 when shooting serious tele stuff.

Nov 13, 2008
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skibum5
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Registered: Jan 20, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 16259
Review Date: Oct 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: very sharp through 250mm, very compact, excellent contrast on wide end, low CA away from 300mm
Cons:
poor build quality, sometimes dodgy AF, weak contrast past 240mm or so, rather ugly and distracting bokeh at certain settings

really rather excellent IQ although above 240mm contrast definitely fades away/ i mean really sharp anywhere away from the longer end and even there it is more contrast and colors that are low than pure sharpness

not the best build and the original even sagged and wouldn't work in portrait orientation!

AF is kind of clunky

very compact, great for touristy stuff, can stick it in a cargo shorts/pants pocket easily


Oct 13, 2008
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Todd Cphen
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Registered: Oct 13, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 28, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very nice lens. Works well in high and medium light.
Cons:
Can be a bit touchy in low light.

Good overall les - especially for kids sports.

Sep 28, 2008
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kriszty
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Registered: Sep 12, 2008
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Sep 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $458.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: small, light, IS really works good, af fast enough for soccer
Cons:
not yet

first i wanted to biy the 70-200 F4 IS, i was afraid the 70-300mm was a big difference in picture quality, i was wrong, this lens is very good at the low end and still sharp wide open.

Sep 12, 2008
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klosz007
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Registered: Aug 5, 2008
Location: Poland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 5, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image quality, very effective IS, very reasonably priced. Decent build quality.
Cons:
USM but not ring-USM - AF a bit slow and loud. Rotating front lens when focusing.

This is the second lens I bought for my 40D, to complement with my 17-85 (now also 17-55).

I strongly recommend it to everybody who cannot afford any of the "white" 70-200 L's.

This lens costs half or less than any of those 70-200's but still gives you high image quality (esp. sharpness) and versatility (focal lenght range is even better). IS is very effective, offers two modes (Mode 1 - full IS and Mode 2 - only vertical IS when panning). Very decent build quality.

Weak points: front lens rotating when focusing so it might be difficult to use polarizer filters. IS though effective is a bit too loud when active (much louder than in 17-85 and 17-55).
It is an USM lens but it is not a ring USM. So it is a bit slow and loud (still better than classic DC motor lenses) when compared to other ring USM lenses I have and does not allow full time manual focusing (cannot focus manually when in AF mode - you have to switch to MF mode before manual focusing).

Highly recommended telephoto lens (if you cannot afford L's) !


Aug 5, 2008
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LUHAMER
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Registered: May 2, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 43
Review Date: Jul 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp. IS function works very well, compare to 70-200mm, this is a good deal.
Cons:
No full time manual.

This is a very good lens, espically the IS function, it helps a lot when I shoot at 300mm range. Although a is not as sharp as the famous 70-200mm. But the price is just half of it. And you gain another 100mm. Highly recommanded.

Jul 22, 2008
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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
201 608537 Jun 6, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $566.98
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
7.63
8.63
8.9
70-300_isusm


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