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Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
116 249302 May 8, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $3,728.32
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.93
9.17
10.0
ef300mmf_28_1_

Specifications:
Telephoto lens newly equipped with an Image Stabilizer enabling hand-held shooting for easier movement. The fluorite element and two UD-glass elements effectively correct the chromatic aberrations prone to occur with telephoto lenses. With the EOS-1v and EOS-3, the AF speed becomes the world’s fastest. To reduce the overall weight and enhance portability, the lens barrel and many other exterior parts use magnesium-alloy. Also, the detachable tripod collar revolves smoothly and locks securely.


 


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maljo
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Registered: Mar 1, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 454
Review Date: Oct 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: The reference point for optical quality, the 300 f2.8 is really a great lens. Highly recommended.
Cons:
Expensive, but you get what you pay for. Lens cap is a pain to install and remove.

I love this lens. Really, really sharp and contrasty.
Images look fantastic. Great lens for bike
races and triathlons.
Coupled with the 1.4x Teleconverter
it makes a superb wildlife kit. So much smaller
and lighter than the 500 f4 or 600 f4, this is
the lens I usually take on trips.
Built extremely well. Handles nicely.
Highly recommended.
maljo



Oct 1, 2007
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Xenedis
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Registered: Feb 11, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 6
Review Date: Sep 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Incredibly sharp, and produces fantastic images with beautifully diffused backgrounds. Contains all the features of a professional telephoto lens.
Cons:
Expensive, but worth the price.

I have owned my 300/2.8L IS for a little over three months, but it's only been in recent weeks that I've begun to use it more.

I took it on a trip away last weekend, and created some very pleasing images with it.

I also used it to photograph the total lunar eclipse on 28 August, 2007, and it delivered very pleasing results.

The images this lens produces straight from the camera are stunningly sharp, even wide open, which is how I tend to use my primes. Stopped down to f/5.6, it is tack sharp. It's not necessary to stop down to achieve a very sharp image, and I would only stop down to achieve a greater depth of field.

The lens is built like a tank, focuses quickly and accurately, is fantastically sharp, is as fast (aperture-wise) as you can get at 300mm, contains image stabilisation, weather-sealing, auto-focus stop and focus preset. The three-position focus limit switch is also handy, and improves the AF speed.

When shot at f/2.8, the lens produces beautifully diffused backgrounds which are thrown totally out of focus. If, like myself, you like to isolate your subject from the background, this lens will not disappoint.

Compared to the 300/4L IS (which I owned, and sold not long after purchasing the 300/2.8L IS), this is a large lens. The hood makes it look so much larger.

At over 2.5kg, it's not a light lens, but I find the term "heavy" to be relative. I personally can comfortably hand-hold this lens (and typically do so). Some people consider the 70-200/2.8L IS to be heavy, but the big 300 makes the big 70-200 feel small and light.

The rotating tripod collar (which can also be removed) makes tripod or monopod usage very convenient.

The included lens trunk is solid and provides a good storage mechanism. I haven't used it to carry the lens around, but a lens case would be of interest. It fits in my Lowepro Mini Trekker AW (without the hood) with other lenses present.

The big 300 takes the 1.4x tele-converter quite well. I don't own the 2x tele-converter, so I cannot comment on that. I am interested in that, however, to achieve 600mm reach.

As mentioned above, I used to own the 300/4L IS, which itself is a fantastic, sharp lens with which I achieved some very pleasing images.

The high quality and brilliant performance of its big brother is unquestionable, and frankly, there's nothing bad that can be said about it. However, one particular feature the 300/4L IS has over the 300/2.8L IS is a 1.5m minimum focus distance, as opposed to the 2.5m MFD of the latter lens.

In a lot of people's case, the size, weight and cost of this lens are going to be the main considerations.

If these considerations are not obstacles, then buy this lens; it will not be a decision to be regretted. It delivers fantastic results and is a pleasure to use.

It's a definite favourite of mine, and I look forward to exploring its capabilities more.

In closing, here are some of the photos I've taken with the 300/2.8L IS:

Profile of an Egret
http://www.flickr.com/photos/xenedis/1384448689

Partial Eclipse of the Moon
http://www.flickr.com/photos/xenedis/1256966787

Orange Flowers
http://www.flickr.com/photos/xenedis/1389346937

Noisy Miner
http://www.flickr.com/photos/xenedis/1354131197

J.


Sep 15, 2007
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Ted Belleza
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Registered: Jul 6, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Review Date: Sep 12, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality! Image quality! Image quality!
Cons:
It's so great you don't to use any other lens.

I've owned this lens for two months. I just came back from a 10 day trip to Southern Botswana (wildlife photography workshop) and the northern part of the Kruger Natl Park in South Africa. Although I brought two camera bodies, one with a 100-400LIS and the other with this lens, I used this lens almost exclusively. I attached a 1.4 or a 2.0 TC depending on the situation. Yes there is a noticeable degradation of IQ with the latter but IMO it is quite acceptable. Captures I took of raptors and even small birds are exceptional. I was able to take close up shots if the Big 5. The workshop instructor who uses a different brand was very impressed. I used it on a monopod even though I was prepared to mount it on a tripod with a ballhead. Bouncing around in an open Rover, this set-up is emminently more manageable than using a tripod with a Gimbal head.

Sep 12, 2007
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Kari Post
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Registered: Jan 9, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 660
Review Date: Sep 10, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super sharp, fast focusing, accurate AF, IS, excellent image quality
Cons:
none

This is a fantastic lens. The optics are excellent. Images are crisp, sharp, and detailed. The AF is fast and accurate and the IS works like a dream. I've used this lens with and without both the 1.4x and 2x converters on a 1D Mark II N body with amazing results. I've even got critically sharp shots when stacking both converters with this lens. I use this lens for wildlife photography, including birds in flight, and it performs flawlessly. I normally write more in depth reviews, but this lens leaves nothing to complain about and its performance just amazing. I've owned many lenses, including those from Nikon, Canon, Tamron, and Sigma, and this is my absolute favorite.

Sep 10, 2007
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Leehman
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Registered: Mar 29, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 524
Review Date: Aug 11, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Fast, Well built. I am amazed that you can hand hold this lens. At first concerned about the weight. If you shoot the 70x200 f/2.8 IS then this is a touch heavier, but sharper.
Cons:
If I were to nit pick it would be the switches. They are easily moved by mistake.

Purchased the f/4 version and loved it. Tried the 300 f/2.8 and sold the f/4 The bokeh that this lens produces is incredible. It is the fastest focusing lens I have ever used.

Do not attach one to your camera. You will buy it .
Leehman


Aug 11, 2007
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Studio58
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Registered: Apr 21, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 862
Review Date: Aug 7, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,899.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, image quality, portability, price.
Cons:
None

A lens I did not really need to get but bought it cos I can. I have just purchased the 1DMK3 so I get 390mm or a straight 300 on my 1DSMK2.
While I could live without this lens I have a vision of the direction my photography will go given the opportunity to shoot with a new perspective.
In the very short time I have used the magnificent 300 f2.8 is, I have been blown away blown away by the incredible quality of the images it produces. Very natural colour, sharp as a tack, beautiful contrast & backgrounds that are thrown so far out of focus...... it is gorgeous.
You want this lens ? Just get it.... Can't afford it..... just get it. If you are serious about photography & are making a living out of it. You need it.


Aug 7, 2007
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swormley
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Registered: Feb 15, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,899.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent image quality. Never disappoints.
Cons:
None

As many know, the optics and function are superb.

Before purchasing a EF 300mm F2.8L IS USM I used its predecessor
in the FD mount. I've been using this lens in its EF mount for a
year and a half. This lens never disappoints me. On occasion I
will handhold this lens on a 5D body, but I find it is most
convenient to use with gimbaled set up like a Wimberley Sidekick
with a RRS BH-55 ball head on a Gitzo series 3 or 4 tripod.

My applications include
o documenting speakers
o candid portraiture
o theater
o concerts
o wildlife
o railway photography
o landscapes

This lens never disappoints me.



Jul 24, 2007
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nm_hiker
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Registered: Nov 14, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,900.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Perfect lens, I really can't complain.
Cons:
A little expensive



Jun 1, 2007
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Stono
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Registered: Dec 4, 2005
Location: Norway
Posts: 1
Review Date: Apr 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,100.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Extremly sharp and very fast focus.
Cons:
Really nothing, except it is very BIG!!

It is said before and I can confirm: Canon’s 300mm f2.8 IS L is unbelievably sharp. Owing 12 different Canon L lenses I ran systematically a series of test with regard to sharpness. Every time the 300mm f2.8 came first, on any f-number. Number two kind of changed (depending on f-number, sharpness in the corners, etc.), but to my surprise Canon’s 180mm often came in second competing with my long time favorit Canon 135mm. A few times Canon’s 300mm F4 IS took the second prize. No at all about discussion the first prize, it went every time to Canon’s 300mm f2.8 every time. This is simply the sharpest lens I ever tried! Can it be handheld? Yes, but not for long (especially not if you use Canon's 1ds MarkII, as I do). A monopod is highly recommended. Will I now sell my old beloved Canon 300mm f4 IS? No, by one reason: it is far handier when travelling. The 300mm f2.8 IS is simply MONSTER BIG, very heavy and it attracts a LOT of attention. Not really a walk-around lens, for sure. But if you are a sharpness freak like me, then don’t miss the 300mm f2.8! It is worth the money.

Apr 1, 2007
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RikWriter
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Registered: Jun 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2501
Review Date: Mar 22, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,750.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Incredible sharpness, relatively light weight, IS, works great with TCs, lightning fast autofocus.
Cons:
Price.

This lens is just a gem. Nothing I've ever owned or used comes close to it in terms of focus speed and it is incredibly versatile as it performs better than any other lens with teleconverters. Great for sports, with TCs it's also an excellent wildlife lens and even a birding lens for larger birds.

Mar 22, 2007
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fortinaa
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Registered: Jan 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1034
Review Date: Mar 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,475.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great build quality, sharpest and most contrastly lens I own, comfortable for hand holding.
Cons:
None that would influence a purchase decision

I picked a mint copy of this lens up about 2 months ago. It begins to impress right out of the lens trunk! Every time I shoot with this lens, it amazes me over again. Most of that amazement comes from comparison. The 70-200IS is a staple lens for me. Yet, when I shoot both at the same event, I can typically pick out the shots from the 300L right from the filmstrip view in Bridge. To me that takes quite the quality piece of glass. Thus far, I have really only used the lens for indoor sports, so I haven't seen the superfast AF that people rave about. That's probably because the gyms I've shot in are so low light and if I'm off target there is no contrast to pick up. The times I've goofed around with it outdoors, it seems to be very snappy.

Without the tripod collar, I find this lens to be very comfortable to handhold. I tested out a Sigma 120-300, and it was much more cumbersome to handle. From looking at the specs on this lens, I don't have to tell you that it's going to get heavy rather quick.

So far, my only minor quibble with the lens is that the hood is so huge and obtrusive. It's hard to find a bag to hold this lens ready to shoot without spending a small fortune. It fits nicely in my Tenba DB17 backpack, but limits the other items I can carry. Most other bags geared to carry this lens with the hood cost as much as the backpack I use.


Mar 16, 2007
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dave griffiths
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Registered: Sep 21, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3
Review Date: Mar 9, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp as a sharp thing
Cons:
None

I've gradually moved up the scale of Canon lenses, and each time (for some strange reason) find myself surprised at the continued increase in quality.

The move to this lens has convinced me that I need to move to an all-white, all-prime collection.

I simply love using this lens on its own or with 1.4x or 2x TC.

It's sharp. It's quick. The images are a treasure.

You won't regret buying this lens.


Mar 9, 2007
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Andybrightuk
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Registered: Feb 23, 2002
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 77
Review Date: Jan 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Blindingly fast AF, Sharp as it gets
Cons:
Wish focus recall was on a button close to camera body

Purchased, after my switch to Canon, to act as a replacement for the Nikon 300mm f2.8 VR and to used as a walk around lens in combination with teleconverters.


Not particularly heavy as 300mm f2.8 lenses go, though I would advise replacing the supplied Canon strap for a Neoprene type.


All the normal features of the Canon professional telephoto lenses are present.


3 AF Focus range limits are available, the 2.5 metres - infinity (full) setting allows the lens to focus from minimum distance to infinity. Then the 2.5 metres - 6.4 metres and finally 6.4 metres to infinity. Basically, if your target is expected within a known distance from you, it speeds up autofocus if the lens is not hunting through its entire range to get a lock-on.


It is a fulll time manual lens, which means you can use the manual focus ring at any time.


Two I.S. mode 1 controls movement vertically and horizontally, mode 2 just counteracts vertical movement... so as to allow you to pan along with a subject without the I.S. system trying to compensate.


Lastly in this panel is the focus preset functions. Basically, you can set a focus distance on the lens, press set and you can recall this distance at any time via the twist ring (the ring with the serrated edge) just in front of the focus ring. It is a handy feature if you are likely to be shooting at 2 vastly different distances. I would prefer it if focus recall was an option on the 4 focus lock buttons and in a really ideal world, a focus recall button would be situated far closer to the camera body, or indeed controlled via the camera itself, as some lens functions are on the Canon 1Ds MkII.


In use this lens is awesome in AF speed, even with a 1.4x teleconverter. With a 2x teleconverter, the AF speed is still as fast as many bare lenses, it is still rapid. AF is almost silent in operation.


Results from the bare lens are very sharp, even wide open. With a 1.4x teleconverter, virtually nothing is lost in image quality, stopping down makes for marginally improved images. With a 2x attached, the results are still remarkable though stopping down is certainly preferrable.


Even using stacked 1.4x and 2x teleconverters can produce acceptable results, though very much a method for desperation and manual focus is recommended even with a 1Ds camera body.


More detailed review and photos here
http://www.digiscoped.com/canon300mm.html


Jan 29, 2007
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EXSPeter
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Registered: Jul 30, 2005
Location: Germany
Posts: 81
Review Date: Jan 4, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,699.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast AF, brilliant colors, low weight
Cons:
None (so far)

I love this lens for shooting supermoto and motocross. It is a little short for wildlife but I love the weight for carrying the lens around all day.

Peter


Jan 4, 2007
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emandavi
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Registered: Feb 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 998
Review Date: Jan 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp images, with beautifully rendered backgrounds. Images look good!
Cons:
Heavy, but then, you knew that

this is probably the best lens I've tried from Canon!!!!!
Beautiful images, especially the way it blurs the background and turns it all into painterly colors.

check out some of the images, many taken at ISO 800:

http://www.efelarca.smugmug.com/gallery/2273289/9/119207937


Jan 2, 2007
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John Daniel
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Registered: Jun 6, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1337
Review Date: Dec 2, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: $4,000.00

 
Pros: Precise, sharp at the max, sharp with 1.4X & 2X (I have proofs), fast, contrast, superbe.
Cons:
Weight, that is the only one. (nothing's perfect)

This is a follow up to my first post. After working with this lens for 4 months, I still think this is the best lens Canon has made. The speed, precision, crisp images produced, sharp, contrast; in a word: perfect.

I use it all the time with a Canon 2X II on it with my 5D & 1DMkII and I get sharp shots you would not beleive. But my back & shoulderares complaining. I tried the 400 DO and it does not come near what I get with this lens.

I sell framed 12X18 prints which are sometimes from a cropped shot, and people are checking it so close, they are almost putting their nose on it to see if it is clean and sharp and I always get the sames response: Wow.

JD


Dec 2, 2006
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Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
116 249302 May 8, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $3,728.32
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.93
9.17
10.0
ef300mmf_28_1_


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