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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 608885 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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ralph m
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Registered: May 26, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 24
Review Date: Mar 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $525.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very good optics. Big improvement over previous 75-300 class lenses.
Cons:
Build quality is good but when the lens is racked out to 300, I find myself being very careful. It seems a little vunerable.

I have used this lens for about two months now and I find it to be a very good performer. As noted by others, the price is close to the 70-200 L and that is a choice you have to make. I wanted the 300 end so I gave this lens a try. The IS is really a life saver for this lens. When you half press the shutter button and the IS kicks in... you got to be impressed. The jitters disappear. I have used the 75-300 non-IS versions and this lens is a huge step up. Also, this lens was in the fall 2005 Canon US rebate list so I did get the benefit of the price break. I would recommend it to those interested in this class lens. The build quality is good but as I noted in the neg. section, I tend to want to baby this lens when it is extended. It is a long extension and it seems a little vunerable to me. It has a lock to keep it closed when toting it around and that is a good feature. It is most likely capable of taking more abuse than I give it credit for, but I will treat it with some care and I think it will give me good performance for a long time.

Mar 14, 2006
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marxzed
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Registered: Dec 8, 2005
Location: Australia
Posts: 74
Review Date: Mar 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very very good optical quality (up till around 250mm) for a consumer grade lens, 3rd gen IS works a treat, light weight.
Cons:
poor build quality, sloooooow aperture wide open, optical quality drops to average around 270-300, price, poor build quality, sometimes a bit flat contrast and colour wise. AF hunts _a_lot_ in low light. - ow yeh and poor build quality

As an earlier review stated - this lens seems like a bit of an enigma.
I meen just where do you place it in the Canon product/consumer mix?

Anyway.

Optically Canon need to pat themselves on the back - this is one serious step up from the old 75-300's (IS or otherwise). Even wide open (not that 4-5.6 is much of a "wide open" to brag about) From 70 to around 250'ish it's almost as sharp as some of their good non L primes and the 70-200 L's at similar apertures. Pity it almost falls apart after 250mm - not totally atrociously but you really would want to fill the frame with the subject - a shot taken at 270-300mm that needed tight croping and enlarging is going to be pretty much beyond P.P. ability to sharpen without introducing noticable intrusive artifacting.

Both colour fringing (high contrast areas) and colour aberration (OoF fringing) are _very_ well controlled for a non L series zoom.

At least on a 1.6 crop body sharpness seems even edge to edge.

Colour can be a bit flat at times though - particularly sunrise and sunset's warm tones tend to be a bit washed out compared to L's.

I haven't witnessed any of the "portrait mode" sharpness problem some other reviewers have stated.

IS works briliantly 'nuf said except that it's the best thing since sliced bread, zoom lenses and affordable D-SLR's.

Build quality is poor though, particularly for the price. Not a lens I'd want to keep attached to the camera else it suffer all the little knocks and blows of everyday use and I purchased a Lowe case for it the same day to protect it in transit.

so were does it fit in my collection given I have a Sigma 50-500 and almost free and easy access 70-200 L and 100-400 IS L lenses?

I found were this lens is perfect has been:
For slipping in to a nook in the camera bag for casual shoots were you don't think you'll need telephoto lens (but suspect, just maybe, you might).

For street photoraphy like festival, parade and candid work where a tripod would be an absolute liability in the crowds.

As a travel telephoto lens - indeed it's probably what the 70-300 IS DO should have been (though should have kept the DO's slightly better build quality)

All up: Good enough optics to produce quality images, light enough not drag you down during that 5 week trek across (insert continent of choice here) and with IS you save another 3+KG by (OW sin of sins to suggest!) being able to leave the tripod at home - but pack it right least it comes to grief and being slow you can pretty much put it way between dusk and dawn.

For Canon, I suspect, they aim this lens fair and square at casual hobbyists and travelers who don't want the inconveniance of lugging around a tripod. (oh yeh and to gadget freeks - like me Wink )



Mar 12, 2006
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hoi_roy
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Registered: Jun 28, 2005
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 4
Review Date: Mar 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp lens, decent focusspeed, superb IS
Cons:
rotating (&extending) front when focussing



Mar 7, 2006
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mntpop
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Registered: Oct 25, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 44
Review Date: Mar 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $475.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Great Lense , love it , get one..But see nagative..
Cons:
Turn the lense off after you turn the camera off. The IS kills the batt.



Mar 1, 2006
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joeyseager
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Registered: Sep 19, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 67
Review Date: Feb 28, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Surprisingly good optical quality. Lightweight so suitable for travel. The IS is superb - the best I've used. MUCH less expensive than L glass but nearly up to L quality optics.
Cons:
Atrocious construction quality - the focus ring feels gritty, the front element when partly extended wobbles. You can't point the camera up or down because the lens zooms all by itself. The front element rotates when focussing so polarising filters are difficult to use.

Quite an enigma - very good optics, excellent IS in a compact lightweight lens that's built cheaply and incorporates design flaws that limit its usefulness. I'd have gladly paid 50 more for ring USM and a smooth focus ring with full-time manual focus, and a zoom ring that would stay where you put it even if you tipped the lens upwards or downwards. As it is the feel of the lens at the sales counter is of a much cheaper product and it doesn't feel worth the price.

I bought this lens because I was about to go on holiday and needed a long lens, but couldn't afford an 'L' lens at the time. I fully expected to trade it in for a 300mm f/4 L IS after the holiday and when I'd saved up some more loot. However I fell in love with the lens and have kept it although I've bought the f/4 L lens as well. It is VERY versatile - the IS is actually quite a lot better than the L lens and I can carry it around with me all day which I can't do with the bigger lens. I use it within its limits: I don't put any filters or a lens hood on it, I don't point it much away from the horizontal (I rarely want to) and I don't use it fully open (f/5.6) at the long end of the zoom where it's a little softer than at other focal lengths.

It makes sharp, high contrast images with very little spherical or chromatic aberration and insignificant linear distortion at all focal lengths, slightly softer at 300mm but still quite acceptable. I am still surprised at the high image quality, since its predecessors with and without IS (75-300mm) were mediocre performers.



Feb 28, 2006
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canonlight
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Registered: Feb 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 42
Review Date: Feb 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ comparable to "L"-glass, Produces rich colors, "UD" glass really minimizes CA, 3rd generation "IS" a tremendous boon, Micro USM makes AF fairly swift and silent, Zoom "lock" switch at 70mm handy, Grippy zoom ring, Nice size and weight, IQ "good" even with 1.4xTC (better than the DO version).
Cons:
300mm "portrait orientation" issue (copy-to-copy), Build is average, Zoom tension lacks refined dampening, Ring USM would be better (along with FTM), Zoom barrel extends fairly far, HOOD NOT INCLUDED (my gripe with Canon).
Feb 27, 2006
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jaglad
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Registered: Nov 9, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 207
Review Date: Feb 20, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent lens for the price
Cons:
Cost of lens hood

First impressions are very good, I have no hesitation in reccomending to other members.

Although early days the results are very good and I have had no problems when using in vertical mode as poited out by some previous reviewers.



Feb 20, 2006
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deedub
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Registered: Nov 30, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 2
Review Date: Feb 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, good contrast and color
Cons:
Build quality

My copy is tack sharp when using IS in both landscape and portrait. I could not be happier with this lens and have had hardly any bad pictures. The bokeh on it is outstanding and at the price I paid is an outstanding bargain. Canon has hit this one out of the ballpark.

Feb 18, 2006
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SharmaVishal21
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Registered: Feb 15, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $546.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Superb IS, Sharp images, Zoom is good, not too heavy to hold, Lens locking is a good feature.
Cons:
Not too good photos under low light

I have been testing this lens a lot on my field trips and indoor. Taken some very sharp potraits and beautiful sunsets. IS shows its presence during the sunset.

The only problem i face is under low light condition where i need to have f/2.8 and there it come to its limitation. But its not the fault of this lens.

Tried MF and it works very well too. Will recommend this lens for field trips, nature walk and taking some potraits.


Feb 15, 2006
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cdgerston
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Registered: Mar 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 314
Review Date: Feb 15, 2006 Recommend? no | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 4 

Pros: IS is excellent, lightweight, relatively sharp horizontal (as reported)...
Cons:
...but, also as reported, blurry edges when shooting in portrait.

I really want to like this lens, and I do when holding it landscape, but as many are reporting, my copy is bad on the vertical portraits at the top and bottom of the frame...it's really noticeable between 150-300. I've still got a couple of days to return this copy to the store and try to find a better one, but unless and until I do, I can't imagine keeping it. I hope Canon addresses this, because the range w/IS is so great, and it does work nicely when held horizontally/landscape = sharp pictures, though a bit softer at the long end.

Feb 15, 2006
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dave chilvers
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Registered: Jan 11, 2002
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 1691
Review Date: Feb 14, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros:
Cons:
Read below

Follow up on the 70-300 Is.
I`ve now encountered the problem that some of you might have read about! when used in the vertical position shooting through the bottom of a milk bottle might give similar results!

I`m really so upset about this vertical shooting problem, some have said that it only happens at the 300mm end but I can assure you it happens right through the range. It`s not so marked at the wide end but it is still poor but above 135mm the difference when viewed at 100% after sharpening is very pronounced. I will be contacting Canon ASAP to ask them what they intend to do about it. My advice to any would be purchasers is to hold fire till we find the outcome.
OK, we shoot a hell of a lot of our long shots in the horizontal mode but I will have to shoot my verticals in the horizontal mode and suffer the cropping till this thing is sorted. It`s got to be something to do with the Image stabilising mechanism I would think.
Not Good Canon


Feb 14, 2006
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tutumon
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Registered: Jan 3, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1086
Review Date: Feb 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $579.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Good range on the 20D, Decent images, Super IS!
Cons:
A little loose, too long(physical size) @ 300mm

A nice lens functionally. Could have been built more robustly for the price. Nice sharp images though.

Feb 13, 2006
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cbresciani
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Registered: Jun 12, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 414
Review Date: Feb 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Picture quality is very good with my version, IS is great!!
Cons:
Hood not included.

After reading the reviews here at FM I went out and bought one. I have been extremely satisfied with this lens and the IS works fantastic.

I went to the Phoenix Zoo and took some shots at 300mm with my 20D using an ISO speed of 100, AV f5.6, SV 1/80s and the quality was excellent even wide open, and the bokah is great! I would highly recommend this lens!


Feb 7, 2006
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Chris Fawkes
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Registered: Feb 1, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 3814
Review Date: Feb 6, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

Pros: Non
Cons:

This lens is a dog. build ok but not great focus compared with other Canon lenses in this price range.

Feb 6, 2006
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RainKing
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Registered: May 5, 2004
Location: Spain
Posts: 103
Review Date: Feb 5, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, fast, easy to carry around. IS is fantastic.
Cons:
Build feels cheap. No hood.



Feb 5, 2006
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Chris Fawkes
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Registered: Feb 1, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 3814
Review Date: Feb 5, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 4 

Pros:
Cons:

I don't think the build quality is that bad. The optics are a dog though. After several test it was not as good opticaly as the ono I.S version.
I use L lenses as well as non L lenses. Partucularly the 17-85 and the 28-135 in the non L.
This lens i could not use.
If you are just planning to use it for personal use and not enlarge beyond 8x10 then it may not be a bad buy.
For serious use, forget it.


Feb 5, 2006
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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 608885 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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