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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 605753 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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deansy
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Registered: Dec 30, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 25, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Price, Sharpness, Range
Cons:
Rotating front, not rugged as an L, extends quite a bit

Bought this lens for my 5D after reading numerous reviews.
I have to say I'm very pleased with this lens on the FF sensor.

Image quality is excellent and the AF is fast enough for general shooting. IS is very useful, if a little noisy.

Build quality is not up to L standard, but it doesn't feel cheap either. The only real issues I have are with the rotating front and the length of the lens when zoomed out.

However, for the money, it is a good buy. No regrets.

I wouldn't use it professionally at weddings etc because of the build and slightly slower AF than L lenses, but for general use it's ideal.

Recommended.


Aug 25, 2007
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Etienne_te_B
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Registered: Aug 18, 2007
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, low weight, image stabilizer
Cons:
Rotating front lens is a annoying when using polaroid filters, lens extends very long when zoomed in.

A planned vacation trip to South Africa finally provided me with the arguments to buy a telephoto zoom lens.

I wasn't looking forward to carrying around a few kilograms of glass. This combined with a budget of approximately 500 Euro made me choose between the EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM and the EF 70-200 f/4L USM.

Based on all review feedback I concluded that the IS feature would be of more value to me than the additional sharpness and more robust build quality an L lens would buy me.

Now, after owning the lens for 3 months and having completed my trip to South Africa I am a happy owner.
Build quality is o.k. Above all I am impressed by the sharpness of the pictures I took. Also the Image Stabilizer proved it's value by rescueing a few shots of sudden animal spottings while being hustled around in an open safari vehicle.

I always mount the long Canon lens hood and in bright sunny conditions I tend to use a polaroid filter quite often. The rotating front lens poses quite a challenge for this combination. Imagine holding the camera with one hand while with the other hand trying to rotate a deeply hidden polaroid filter into the proper position. Ít was quite a hassle.

Finally one thing I hadn't realized upfront: the lens is consuming a considerable amount of power. The situation is still acceptable but make sure to have your spare battery always fully charged.



Aug 18, 2007
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wcastleman
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Registered: Nov 21, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 318
Review Date: Jul 8, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent performance even at 300mm; Light and compact; Superb image stabilization; Relatively inexpensive for the performance level provided
Cons:
None within the working aperture limits of the lens.

This is a sharp performing light-weight travel lens that packs neatly into a small space and is easy to carry with you anywhere. Performance stopped down one f/stop is superb, and it provides excellent images with an APS-C camera, even at 300mm. Image stabilization works superbly. I wish I had bought this lens sooner.

My experience with the lens and lens performance data compared to L-lenses is posted here:
http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/70-300IS/index.htm


Jul 8, 2007
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Punchinello
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Registered: May 6, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jul 6, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Images surprisingly sharp, considering the available aperture range and the fact that it's a long zoom. Solidly built for a non-L lens, but not too heavy. IS really works.
Cons:
Haven't encountered any negative aspects that will remain in memory.

Although not an L-lens by far, this one produces more than acceptably bright and clear images that are excellent for all my usual purposes. I use it mainly for visits to the Miami Metro Zoo. There, the animals are kept in spacious pads, not cages, and you get a clear view of them that is perfect for zooming. I have usually obtained images that are clear, bright (if properly exposed of course) and surprisingly sharp, both on digital and film cameras, with a very tactile feel to the surface textures. The two-mode IS feature is particularly useful when shooting large cats while they're pacing around; not needed so much with the lumbering elephants.

Here's an example:

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1203/526333019_eb57cef123.jpg


Jul 6, 2007
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romad
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Registered: Apr 26, 2005
Location: Israel
Posts: 10
Review Date: Jun 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: light weight; 300mm; UD element; IS also with mode 2; not too much expensive
Cons:
rotating front (which is VERY minor)

very light weight compact lens, i even don't have to buy new bag.
IS really helps, even if you have stable hands, even the wind at 300mm can move you.

image quality: very satisfying, especially by comparing to other brands like sigma or tamron.

i think this lens is really enough for even pro shooting.
any other more expensive is passing to the Luxury (which is really not nesesary).

i gave build "10" because if you'll treat it right, you'll have it in one peace, as any equipment.
if you'll disrespect it, even L lens will break eventually.

i have my "pitty" 350D, with no weather sealing. it passed sand, drops, water, beach etc... and it's still works like a new one.

just like in Pulp Fiction: WINSTON "You hear that, young lady? Respect."


Jun 2, 2007
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WideOpenVision
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Registered: May 26, 2006
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 21, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IS works really good, sharp, beautiful colors, light and fast, very usefull range
Cons:
Front rotating lens, build quality could be improved, price (at least in Italy), no lens hood included.

I've bought this lens for sport photography and some nature. IS is really usefull and works very good. The front rotating lens is a bit annoying while you're using filters like a polarizer .. but .. you can get used to it. Except for that i'm wuite happy with the image quality not really as a L lens .. but .. i've saved a lot of money and i've bought a good flash (Metz 58 AF-1C).

I would recommend to everyone ..


May 21, 2007
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Erwin Foo
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Registered: May 3, 2007
Location: Singapore
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IS, affortable price, Sharpness, Image quality
Cons:

The IS is excellent!

I am quite happy with the images quality, the sharpness is good as well. I know this can't compete with the L lenses, but still a very good lens to have.

I am glad to have this lens and highly recommend it.


Sample:
http://www.pbase.com/erwinfoo/kowloon_park


May 3, 2007
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mortain
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Registered: Feb 28, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 5
Review Date: May 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Cheap, light, stabilised. fair image quality
Cons:
Nothing like as sharp as the 70-200f4 L, which currently is not much more expensive.

I have the Canon 70-200f4 L on a 350D, which is very sharp, fast focussing and a joy to use. I do a little casual birding and wildlife, and not wanting to stretch to a 400 f5.6 L, I plumped for the cheap and chearful 70-300IS hoping that the bit longer reach would be useful, even more so coupled with a 1.4x extender. When one month out of warrenty my 70-200L developed a focussing fault and it looked like I was about to be landed with a big bill, in a fit of pique I decided to dump the L lens and buy the 70-300IS. [Canon did the repair at no cost in the end, after a strongly worded letter]. I still have both lenses. Sadly at 200mm the 70-300IS is no where near as sharp as the 70-200L at 200mm, and at 300mm the 70-300IS is not as sharp as the 70-200L at 200mm, the image cropped to the same size. I will probably keep both, since in situations where there is little light, as in the cover of trees, the IS of the 70-300 may just allow a shot that the 70-200L would not. Sadly I was swayed by these reviews into thinking maybe the 70-300IS is a poor mans L series. I am afraid it isn't.

May 2, 2007
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mastadont
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Registered: Jul 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 75
Review Date: Apr 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpness, contrast, colors, IS, range
Cons:
Creeping barrel, build.

Damn good lens. Purchased it refurbished on Adorama.

I am glad I got this lens instead of Canon 70-200 4L. I just enjoy the images.

In terms of image quality, it is a hidden L lens. It produces much better images than Canon 24-105 4L (might have had a bad copy though) does with 70-105 range.

I just love the colors, sharpness, contrast and IS. Oh, by the way, IS is great... great... great! Was able to shoot late evenings on a lake with no tripod... 50% of the images turned out to be sharp.

The lens is light, so I have done a lot of hiking with it. At 300 mm, shooting the Moon is a pleasure.

I am an amateur so the build quality does not really bother me. At the same time, no dust or anything of the sort inside the barrel... The barrel wobbles a little bit but the images it produces are great.

I greatly recommend this lens for nature photographers. Even shooting macro on a hike is a pleasure. It's got enough magnification for me, and IS is just marvelous.

The slowness of the lens has not been an issue for me yet. I have had it for 9 month now.


Apr 24, 2007
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Joe A.
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Registered: Jun 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 119
Review Date: Apr 20, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $540.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Much faster focus than the 75-300, better image quality
Cons:

Basically this is a great improvement over the 75-300.

The 75-300 took so long to focus and was unacceptably soft at the longer end of it's range. The new 70-300 is better in both respects. The IS is a major plus.

The combination of IS, huge range, small size (relative to L series lenses) and reasonable price make this a good buy.


Apr 20, 2007
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Glen_A
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Registered: Jul 29, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 49
Review Date: Feb 17, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $465.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Price, size, weight, image quality, image stabilizer, color(not a noticeable white)
Cons:
Build could be better, front lens rotates during focus, no full time manual focus.

I just bought this lens from a fellow FM'er and I am very pleased with it. I have owned and used the Tamron 75-300 and the Canon 75-300 III, also the Canon 70-200 F4 L w/ Canon 1.4II teleconverter and this lens has the best image quality of all three. I hated having to stop and add and remove the teleconverter for the 70-200, whose zoom range always seemed to short to me. It is light enough to carry around for hours without being uncomfortable and the new image stabilization rocks. I can take shots at 300mm with a shutter speed of 1/60 and get a sharp photo. I think Canon really hit the mark with this lens. This lens is designed for consumers ie. hobbyist who generally have the luxury of babying their equipment instead of the professional who uses his gear like a tool day in and day out. That being said the build quality is sufficient for a consumer, for a professional, invest in professsional grade lenses (L). This would also make a great travel lens for those who have the big heavy L zooms but want to travel lighter and not give up alot in the image quality department.

Feb 17, 2007
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Jose Carrelas
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Registered: Oct 10, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 70
Review Date: Feb 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp,IS,price(good prices used)
Cons:
build quality,no lens hood

For the price you pay(easily get a good copy for under 500.00)This is one great lens. Having owned a tamron zoom of the same range, this lens blows it out of the water. Sharper, faster focus(and quiter) and holy crap does the IS help.

comparing it to my L lens, I would say the IQ is close(considering I payed almost a third of the price)I would say the only down fall is that the build quailty is not as good(again keeping in mind the price)

Overall I am very pleased with my purchase and at this time feel that I am well outfitted with my three lenses. The image quality at all lengths is excellent. Go ahead and buy one , you wont regret it.

Oh and by the way bought this lens recently from a fellow FM'er Mandy Klemchuk , and the product and experience was a great one and I highly recommend buying from this person.


Feb 15, 2007
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Jan Waumans
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Registered: Oct 16, 2006
Location: Belgium
Posts: 21
Review Date: Feb 11, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

 
Pros: IS, compact, 300mm
Cons:
Optical difference with 75-300 insufficient

After reading the very positive test results, I compared this lens with my old 75-300 f/4.5-5.6 II (non USM).

On a tripod the sharpness and contrast is better wide open, but at 300mm f:8 the difference does not convince me to choose this lens as an upgrade for the old one.

IS allowed me to take some sharp indoor shots at 70mm 1/8 sec, outdoors the advantage was much less, even in winter.

The 70-300 IS gives a lot for the money, but the 75-300 (IS or not) stays a valid second-hand alternative (even 70-300's already go for €350 second hand)

Personally I expected more from this lens and (un)fortunatily will have to spend the money for a 70-200 f/4 L IS + 1.4 TC.

My interest are travel, hiking, landscape and nature, I use a 400D with EF-S 10-22mm USM, EF 24-85mm USM, EF 50mm 1.8 II and EF 100mm 2.8 Macro USM as other lenses.




Feb 11, 2007
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accr
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Registered: May 5, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 4
Review Date: Feb 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 3-stop IS, Image Quality
Cons:
no FTM/Ring USM

IS is extraordinary !! I can hand hold 1/25 at 300mm and get sharp images.

IQ-wise is good as long as you step down 1 stop. It is a little soft at 300mm but from 70-200 is great.

As I mention about no FTM + no Ring USM, however I find the focusing ring quite usable. Focus hunts abit at low light but outdoor it snaps right on.

I find the build quality above average. Can't compare with any "L" but it's much better than my 24-85 or the old 75-300.

It is priced the same as the 70-200/F4, but I chose this only the F4 because of the IS. But priced at close to 1k, it should have included the $65 hood Sad

Mine has 4 as the 3rd serial digit from the right, I find no zoom-crep at all. Maybe Canon improved their QA ??

*Highly recommanded*




Feb 7, 2007
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Scott Welch
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Registered: Feb 3, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 107
Review Date: Feb 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: weight, IS
Cons:
Lens extends very long when zoomed in. The AF system hunts a lot even in bright lighting.

I bought this lens because I needed to take sports pictures of track and cross country meets. It has not let me down outdoors. This lens takes tack sharp pictures outdoors. Indoors not so much. The IS is kinda a waste because if your shooting outdoors most of the time you dont need it. There is enough available light and you dont need to slow down the shutter speed to compensate for any low light situation outdoors. I bought this lens because I thought the IS would compensate for the f/4-5.6 indoors. I was wrong. Even if you use the IS indoors and you slow your shutter speed down your not going to get a good shot because of the f/5.6. I am going to upgrade to the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS as soon as I get the money.

In conclusion this lens is VERY good for outdoor photography. (I say VERY meaning ALMOST as good as "L" series. Not quite.) It struggles in indoor and low light situations. Although I should have already guessed that from its specs. Smile


Feb 3, 2007
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Psilonaught
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Registered: Jan 3, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 17
Review Date: Jan 20, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Superb value for money Sharp IS works a very well Light travel lens
Cons:
Not L build (half the price) IS is noisy Needs slightly fragile

Price is excellent considering the IQ, IS works very well indeed, although it's noisy compared to that on my 24-105 L.

Due to the plastic constuction the lens is very light, and I have yet to require a mono/tripod whils shooting at 300mm.

PQ is sharp, even wide open, and 99% of the wildlife images I took on the trip i took to the Galapapos came out superbly, with nice bokeh at F4.

Noisy compared to my 24-104, and USM motor not as accurate/fast. Build isn't great, don't drop it!

Some samples
http://images.fotopic.net/original/ylihcr.jpg
http://images.fotopic.net/original/ylx367.jpg
http://images.fotopic.net/original/ylx36x.jpg


Jan 20, 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 605753 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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