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

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Reviews Views Date of last review
201 608733 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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af120835
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Registered: Apr 21, 2008
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 892
Review Date: Jul 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great IS, sharp without stopping down on all zoom ranges (OK, I think I got lucky), price is good for what you get.
Cons:
Roating and extending front element, no FTM,

Ok, firstly I think I must have a good copy of this lens compared with some other reviews.

Through all the zoom ranges the sharpness is pretty constant. There is a difference stopping down, but you have to zoom in to over 100% to see it. And it is sharp. OK, not razor sharp, but definitely sharper than some third party lenses I have seen and owned.

And the IS is brilliant- it is advertised to being 3 stops but I've got some acceptable handheld photos at 300mm with a shutter speed of 1/20s.

The AF isn't that fast, but I've noticed it is faster and more accurate on a 40D compared to my old 350D. It's just a shame it isn't FTM too.

Maybe the build quality could be better, the barrel wobbles a bit at 300mm, but to be honest with the pictures I'm getting, I don't care!

I give it a thumbs up.




Jul 15, 2008
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Reg Van Cleave
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Registered: Jul 3, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 44
Review Date: Jul 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good color, very sharp for the price. IS works great.
Cons:
Plastic body, but had own this lens for almost 10 months and still seems to work like new, Doesn't take converter very well.

I gave this lens a nine, because I feel everything is not perfect and this is true with this lens.
If you test this lens against L-glass or a prime this this will not compete. But test this against other lens in this zoom range and it is hands above them. I have owned one other of the competitors lens.
I shot one week-end with the competitors lens. Went on a Sunday to a local shop and bought this lens. That's why the
higher price. Have not been disappointed, even paying extra.
Have shot high school track, boat races on the Ohio River, and went to the races with it.


Jul 13, 2008
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IJGabor
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Registered: Jun 16, 2008
Location: Hungary
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 16, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:

Hi eveyone. I am just planing to buy such a lens. Or maybe a different. I can not really decide between this one, and the canon 55-250 IS. I have heard, that the picture of the 70-300 is not really sharp about 300 mm. Would be greatful if You could tell me Your ideas and opinions about these two products.
Thank a lot!


Jun 16, 2008
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Crazy Fool
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Registered: Aug 5, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1
Review Date: May 28, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $389.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality: colour, clarity, contrast, surprisingly nice bokeh
Cons:
Handling issues

This is one great lens. Bought for my first safari in a few weeks time on my 10D, and looking forward to it. Trialled it at a wedding last week, and happy with performance.

The IS works well. The images are great even wide open. Image quality compares to my excellent 24-70L, and has that non-consumer colour and contrast performance I expect from Canon's L range.

Processing in Lightroom, I dial clarity up to 25 and then the results are indistinguishable from my L zoom. No joke. Single hair strands sharp wide open with rich colours. I'm delighted.

With more money I would prefer the 70-200L f4 IS with 1.4 teleconverter or the 100-400L simply for the slightly faster focusing, and better build and handling.

But this is a winner if all you need is image quality and image stabilisation...I'm planning to sell it after my trip, but already I know I'll miss it!

P.S. Price paid in GBP.


May 28, 2008
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Mark Ormerod
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Registered: Aug 14, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Size and weight, sharp at F8, nice colours and contrast. IS really really works. Price. Image quality, not "L" but close. Pair it with a 500D for an IS macro(ish).
Cons:
Soft wide open, 300mm not enough. Rotating element, no FTM.

This lens is a compromise - and a brilliant one. Its not perfect - the colours and contrast aren't as good as my 24-105 but they're pretty close to my 100-400L at F8. The negatives are all outweighed by positives - sure you need to stop down to get sharpness, sure there's no FTM, sure the bokeh is going to be not as nice *but* it delivers excellent quality images even at 300mm. The IS really works - and more importantly look at the size of the lens compared to an L. Its a cracking travel zoom - and when you're in good light and don't need 400mm it's pretty much spot on for the money.

The compromises it makes to keep cost and size down are more than worthwhile.

Despite picking up a 100-400L I've kept this beauty. There's times I want something light, compact and this delivers in spades. A lot of lens for the money.

The following taken at F8, 300mm, handheld shows why this lens shines :

http://www.cousin-jacks.co.uk/gallery/gho.jpg

Also worth mentioning is that pair it with a Canon 500D and you've got a perfectly servicable image stablised almost-a-macro. Google it and you'll see what I mean.

http://www.cousin-jacks.co.uk/gallery/wild_garlic.jpg

300mm, handheld, F8 with 500D.


May 20, 2008
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beepclick
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Registered: Mar 31, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 170
Review Date: May 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $425.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 2-mode IS, sharp throughout range, nice size/weight/handling, price, UD element
Cons:
barrel extends when zooming

I originally purchased a new copy from Amazon, but returned it for reasons not related to the lens' performance. It wasn't long before I missed this lens quite a lot. I was fortunate to find a used one locally through craigslist, still under warranty, for a decent price.

This lens is a hidden gem in the Canon lineup. In this range, most folks drool over the 70-200 L's. Well, I recently bought a new 70-200mm f/4L IS, and my 70-300 stands right up to it. Granted, the L has a nicer build. Please note, also, that I am fairly new to dslr's, having just started 2 months ago, and I am just learning how to use my 30D body, so the performance I've had with the 70-200L is likely more my fault than the lens.

Anyway, let me get back on topic - the 70-300. The lens has a UD element, which you don't see very often in this price range. If you look at the MTF (resolution) charts at photozone for this lens and the 70-200 L, they are very close to each other.

This lens produces very nice colors and contrast straight out, and the sharpness is at a high level. It took me a little time to learn how to pick an area of my subject to lock focus on so it didn't hunt, but now I can lock on pronto. The IS gives a good 3-stops.

Finally, the first time I used this lens, when I was only a week with a digital slr, I tried taking images of flying birds while on vacation. Considering how un-skilled I am at this, this lens produced quite a few very nice images.

I highly recommend this lens and give it a '10' based on the price/performance and compared to what else is out there.


May 15, 2008
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mikadoOne
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Registered: May 14, 2008
Location: Turkey
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 14, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros:
Cons:



May 14, 2008
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dhphoto
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Registered: Feb 15, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 9847
Review Date: Mar 28, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Cheap, sharp, good focusing, IS works very well, relatively light
Cons:
Extends a LOT, no full time focus, a bit slow at the long end, no included hood

A very good general purpose telephoto zoom. Not in the same league as my 70-200 2.8L but much smaller and cheaper.

The IS works very well and enables me to shoot as low as 1/20th at 200mm.

The lens extends hugely upon zooming and sadly doesn't have full time focusing but at this price that is acceptable.

It's good to see that the 5.6 max ap doesn't come in until quite a long way out, unlike the 17-85 for example.

This is a much better lens than I expected it to be.


Mar 28, 2008
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Nello Milanese
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Registered: Sep 22, 2007
Location: Italy
Posts: 7503
Review Date: Mar 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Very good IS (3 stops from my experience), good colour, contrast. Price.
Cons:
Focus hunts a bit at 300mm and low light, no full-time MF, a bit soft at 300mm.

I bought this about a year ago for wildlife,birs etc. You can't go wrong for the price and it's a wonderful lens for what its meant to do. IS works great (I get decent shapness at 1/40s or 1/75s at 300mm on a crop body). I'm using it now w a Tc and I have to say that if you really wanna go serious about wildlife / birding it's a bit short, even on a x1.6 crop body.
Better take the plunge for the 100-400mm IS. For occasional park shooters it's fine! IQ quite good, though a bit soft towards the long end.
All in all i've been very happy w this lens and it delivered what I expected, but it's time to move on for longer FL.


Mar 7, 2008
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rgboy
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Registered: Jan 28, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 343
Review Date: Feb 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $580.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Zoom range. Auto Focus. IS works great.
Cons:
No hood. Extends on zoom. Soft.

It is a good general use lens. Very nice image stabilization, good zoom range. The USM AF motor works fast and silent. However for those who needs very sharp and neat image it's not a right piece of gear.
I owned this lens few weeks making about 1000 shots. Generally I was happy with this, except that all images were soft to me. I replaced it with EF 70-200L F4. Using it with 1.4 TC and getting better results.


Feb 26, 2008
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Spam Lover
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Registered: Nov 10, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 8
Review Date: Dec 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $540.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Inconspicuous black, fast & accurate AF. IS will same your butt on the long end.
Cons:
Sometimes might be a little soft at 300 but just zoom back 20-50 mm and details will be sharp, sharp, sharp. Not a constant aperture. Should come with a hood.

My first zoom and it has IS so I was very excited to try it out. Give her lots of light and she'll stop the action in most situations beautifully. You can squeeze very nice bokeh out of it (just give good distance to the background and zoom in tight).

I sold mine to upgrade to the EF 70-200 f/4L USM. I'm sure there a debate going on somewhere about these 2 lenses. It's all about personal preference IMHO.


Dec 17, 2007
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PratyushPandya
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Registered: Sep 28, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 14
Review Date: Oct 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $549.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very sharp, Good colors, IS, Surprizingly low vignetting, Very usable zoom range.
Cons:
Feels a little "plasticky", Could be a better build quality, Using filters can be tricky.

I was amazed at the results produced with this lens. This is supposed to be Canon's consumer lens; however, it produces excellent results. It displays very good sharpness, corner-to-corner. The build quality cannot be compared with that of an L lens, but then again, you're not paying an L price, either.

Highly recommend it, if this is your price range.


Oct 29, 2007
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yorkie
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Registered: Oct 19, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 5
Review Date: Oct 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light weight, useful range. IS, image quality
Cons:
Some distortion at 70mm and 300mm

Bought for use as a travel lens on a 5D. Image quality across the whole frame is fine with very little CA and IS works a treat.

Some barrel distortion at 70mm and pincushion at 300mm but only really noticable on straight lines and easily fixed with PTlens.

Solved the problem of using a polariser with the rotating front element by using a 58mm screw-in lenshood from an old Tamron lens.


Oct 26, 2007
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Sea Dragon Rex
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Registered: Oct 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 31
Review Date: Oct 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $523.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Photo quality, IS, lightweight and price.
Cons:
No FTM, rotating front element.

I purchased one of the earlier versions of this lens and sent it back for the service notice (the barrel was loose and would go always go to 300mm when tilted downward). Since the service, the lens has been great. The build quality is okay (obviously not an L). The images are sharp for. The focus is fairly fast and accurate (used on XT and 40D). The IS works great.

The biggest complaint I have about the lens is the rotating front element. This make use of a polarizer difficult. FTM would also be nice but for the price, it's hard to beat.



Oct 23, 2007
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RichNYSME
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Registered: Oct 9, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $669.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Easy to handle, IS works great, crisp image quality
Cons:
The AF works fine but could be a bit faster

I purchased this lens to use at auto racing events. This past week from Oct. 3 -Oct. 6 I used it at the Petit Le Mans held at Road Atlanta in Georgia. I took about 600 pictures in the 3 days and came up with about 350 very nice photos. If that doesn't sound like a good ratio of keepers, keep in mind that the cars are traveling upwards of 180 mph depending on where you are shooting and there are some wasted shots. I am very pleased with the results, the lens locks on and tracks well but could focus a bit faster. Colors and sharpness are excellent and the lens feels right on my Rebel XTi. I would highly recommend this lens to anyone needing this focal length.

Oct 9, 2007
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Fernando Salas
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Registered: Mar 31, 2007
Location: Mexico
Posts: 1
Review Date: Sep 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Exelente definicion, color. Muy cerca de la serie L.
Cons:
Construccion de plastico. Constante ajuste de filtro polarizador.

Hace casi un aņo compre la 5D despues de leer en muchos foros acerca de ella. Inicie con un tamron 70-300 y me quedaba con la sensacion de que faltaba nitidez, compre un canon Canon EF 28-105mm f/4-5.6 USM y seguia quedandome con la misma sensacion, finalmente despues de leer acerca del Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM decidi comprarlo y oH! sorpresa, la nitidez, colores, definicion son exelentes, ahora si siento que puedo sacarle jugo a mi 5D.

Sep 2, 2007
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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 608733 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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