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Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
173 335735 Jul 7, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $1,060.87
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.70
9.11
9.6
ef300mmf_4_1_

Specifications:
Compact L-series telephoto lens with an Image Stabilizer which compensates for camera shake with the equivalent effect of a shutter speed two stops faster. Two Image Stabilizer modes are provided: Stabilizer Mode 1 (the same mode featured on the EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM) and the new Stabilizer Mode 2 which steadies the image during horizontal or vertical panning. Mode 2 detects the panning direction automatically. The closest focusing distance is 4.9 feet (1.5 m).


 


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Teague
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Registered: Nov 9, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 183
Review Date: Sep 17, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,624.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Really sharp even wide open, Light weight, image quality, built in hood, IS, beats 100-400 hands down.
Cons:
haven't found any.

Sold my 100-400 to buy this and boy am I pleased I did. 2 lenses in one with my 1.4x extender and no discernable loss of image quality. Its lightweight make it easy to carry around for long periods and the built in hood is great at saving space in my AW Photo Trekker. Excellent build quality, if you need a 300mm with IS, go for this. My first pic with this lens.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/131032


Sep 17, 2004
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Choun W
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Registered: Jul 3, 2003
Location: Thailand
Posts: 27
Review Date: Aug 2, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,268.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp @wide open, very good contrast and color reproduction, resolution is very good and not seen any drop on sharpness with EF1.4X combination, IS mode is very usefull for hand holding.
Cons:
none

my interesting for this lens is Bird photo which I could not buy a very expensive prime lens for this moment.
This combination 300f4 IS with EF1.4xII is very good for me to start get myself into this birding photo.
Here the link to some sample of what result I got from this lens.

http://www.pbase.com/image/32039523
Updated: So far I'm very happy with this combination, one point that have to awared, since the picture I take with 1D MarkII I found that the contrast and color saturation has to increase a bit (one step each in camera setting) for this combination.
http://www.pbase.com/image/32585705
Updated: here the link to some photos of bird I took with combination of this 300f4IS together with Canon EF1.4xII, let see at: http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/124760


Aug 2, 2004
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Argyle Monkey
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Registered: Dec 13, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 258
Review Date: Jul 30, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,139.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great image quality, relatively compact, IS, well balanced, great minimum focusing distance.
Cons:
AF could be quicker.

Ended up buying this instead of the 100-400 because I prefer primes. Not to mention the fact that it's a couple hundred bucks cheaper. It's a great lens. Has excellent bokeh and an awesome minimum focusing distance. The IS works as advertised even though it does have a clunck when it engages. The only thing that could be better is the AF speed. It's noticably slower than my 200 2.8.

Jul 30, 2004
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dzar
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Registered: Nov 19, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jul 5, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,135.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: -large, rubberized, smooth feeling focus ring -built in hood -came with a tripod mount -maintains autofocus with 1.4 extender
Cons:
-this will eventually lead to the bigger primes, probably the 500(con?) -the little clunk when IS kicks in thats really all I can think off.

Went through the common dilemma as others when first looking at this lens: should I get the 100-400 or the 300 w/1.4 extender. I tried both and kept both. Yeah, I know...alot of help that was. The main reason I kept the 300 was that it felt quicker on the draw. Also, the less than 1 stop advantage in speed @300 was, to me, significant.
The 100-400 felt better for quickly framing objects moving toward and away from the camera. But, I felt much more comfortable with the 300 in hand. Nothing againts the push/pull...I would feel the same way if it was a twist. Plus, I like not having to always worry about the zoom friction adjustment. Composing objects that I would otherwise zoom out for left me with some interesting shots. Ones that I would not have taken with the 100-400 and vice versa. Sometimes I feel like I need the 100-400 to get what I want. Hope this helps one make the decision.
Of course, shots had great contrast/sharpness throughout. Even with the 1.4 extender. Never tried the 2x. When I can get the distance between subject and backround, bokeh looks evenly shaped and smooth.
I would definately buy again. More Canon telephoto primes will definately follow.


Jul 5, 2004
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fpnunes
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Registered: Apr 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 384
Review Date: Jun 17, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,199.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, Color and Contrast. Weight and built in hood. IS baby all the way
Cons:
None - perfect!

I needed something fast and sharp for local soccer and little league - 300 f/4 IS was just the ticket. AF works like a charm and the images blow me away. I have also shot a few portraits and am floored by the bokeh and color. Truely one of the gems in the Canon lineup.

I use it on a 10D with Big Ed attached and it balances great on a monopod or hand held. I have carried it for 5+ hours at the zoo and it never gets too heavy.


Jun 17, 2004
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iceland
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Registered: May 25, 2004
Location: Iceland
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jun 14, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,120.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IS, Sharpness, Size
Cons:
None so far

This is very good lens! I bought it in March 2004 (B&H) and I'm very happy with it. I think it is sharper when you are taking photos from a short distance. I recently have bought a Canon Extender 1x4 and now I'm testing how it works but what I have seen looks great! I highly recommended.

Jun 14, 2004
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gelo7
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Registered: Jan 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jun 4, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,035.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharpness, contrast, color, size
Cons:
none

i own the 135mm which i adore, this is my new favorite lense. i shot a track meet this weekend, about 400 or so images, only about 3 or 4 oof. i can distinguise the 300mm images from the other lenses. awesome, awesome piece of glass. af is cat quick.

Jun 4, 2004
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paulboes
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Registered: Jun 13, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 94
Review Date: May 16, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,279.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Size, IS, Lens Hood, and 77mm Filters
Cons:
AF Hunting

I love the weight of this lens and the size. Iíve used it for birdshots and kid shots recently. This lens is very sharp, and I like the integrated hood on the lens. Auto Focus is my only issue for this lens. Sometimes it seems to be in a hunting mode. Looking for something to focus on, or it focus on something that I donít want. I would recommend this to anyone starting in telephoto photography. Lens feel great on the Canon 10D with BG-ED battery pack.

May 16, 2004
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Jim Cowsert
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Registered: Jul 10, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1768
Review Date: May 12, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Lightweight, Built in Hood, Uses 77mm Filters, Extremely Sharp
Cons:
None that I've Found

I bought this lens used from a local camera shop. It was my first "L" purchase and is what has pursuaded me to go all "L" glass. It is very sharp, contrasty, and produces beautiful colors. I have the 70-200 f/2.8 and the 24-70 and the 300 is still my favorite of all.

May 12, 2004
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Sneakyracer
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Registered: Mar 24, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2557
Review Date: May 3, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Compact Size (for 300mm f4), build quality, sharpness, IS performance, minimum focus dist.
Cons:
AF/IS could be quieter

This review is for the 300mm f4L IS version. This lens is awesome. IS works amazingly well and has allowed me to take very sharp images of static subjects at 1/50 sec! Handheld! Which is amazing for a 300mm lens without support. That is a Huge bennefit of the lens and takes it into another league compared to other 300mm lenses. I used to own the 300mm f4 nikon and the Canon lens is somewhat better optically and focuses MUCH closer and better built so even without IS is a better lens, not by a lot but better, add IS and it isnt a contest. The canon lens is just more capable and allows me to implement more of my ideas.

The only negatives are that the elements inside make sounds when AF engages and I suspect IS too. It isnt too loud but its noticable compared to my 24-70L zoom. But one gets used to it and it really doesnt hinder performance at all.

I, like most here, have read reports that the non IS version is sharper and what not but I really dont think its an issue + the IS lens focuses closer which is a significant benefit. The 300mm IS compares very well against my 24-70 L and 70-200 L, its at least as sharp as those lenses or better! and the IS is a very very powerful tool. Do not underestimate its power on a 300mm lens, once you use it you will want it in all your lenses.


May 3, 2004
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jmuellermmsd
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Registered: Mar 18, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: Mar 19, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,119.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light weight, fine optics that allows pro-quality images with a wide-open aperture, beautiful and solid construction, fast auto-focus, 1:4 close-ups, and most of all, Image Stabilization increases the value of this lens ten fold.
Cons:
I wish it were longer but not any bigger or heavier! :-)

The optics are sharp enough to use wide open with professional results. The close focus is 1:4 plus the 1.6X cropping factor of my 300D make this a superb butterfy lens. I can focus from infinity down to 1/2 life size (with the 1.6X cropping factor). When I use my EF 1.4X II Converter the effective 420mm results are still outstanding. Sharpness and contrast are excellent. I've even used an EF 2X II Converter with good results. With a little sharpening in software the images can be incredible. Imagine, a hand holdable 600mm with the 1.6X cropping factor is equal to a 930mm FOV!!! With Image Stabilization it is possible to hand-hold at all focal lengths. NO MORE TRIPODS! I love it. It has "IS" Modes #1 and #2. Mode #1 is for stationary objects. Mode #2 is for panning moving object such as a bird in flight. It's hard to find any faults with this lens. I wish it were longer but not any bigger!

Here's a link to my folder. The birds were shot with the 300/4 IS + 1.4X TC II or 2X TC II: http://www.birdforum.net/pp_gallery/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/8092


Mar 19, 2004
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LUIS
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Registered: Nov 23, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 118
Review Date: Feb 8, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: A FIVE star lens on the Canon line, long shots with pizzaz!! Easy to hold, IS is great for this lens, very sharp and good contrast.
Cons:
none

With the 1.4 x TC and 1.6 sensor cropping factor, is like having a 600 mm plus lens in youur bag, and very sharp too.

Feb 8, 2004
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dcharles
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Registered: Jan 14, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 281
Review Date: Jan 29, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $925.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build; punchy contrast; IS; very convenient size and weight; great with the 1.6 crop of the 10D
Cons:
Nothing

I really like this lens. In concert with a 500 f4.5 it completes what I consider to be the premier "light" birding combo. The versatility of these two lenses and the 1.4 and 2 TC is unparalleled. I love just walking down the beach with this lens and seeing what images I can make. From what I hear, this lens is virtually as sharp as the 300 f2.8! This is remarkable indeed, especially when one considers the price and weight difference. I frequently use this lens with the 1.4 TC and leave the 500 at home. You just can't beat this lens for bird photography with the 10D. Get one!

Jan 29, 2004
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Antje
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Registered: Aug 18, 2002
Location: Germany
Posts: 6157
Review Date: Jan 19, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp even wide open, of manageable weight and size, good lens hood, fast and reliable AF, seems sturdy
Cons:
Makes you want more, longer L primes

I'm commenting on the non-IS version here which seems to be a bit sharper than the IS lens. Wondering why I have bought the non-IS? Well, obviously it's much cheaper which is a good thing European prices being so very high, and I didn't want to pay for IS because I use a tripod anyway most of the time. Plus, I shoot mainly small birds with this lens so I have to have a high shutter speed anyway. Oh, and I got it used.
How does it perform? Coming from a rather crappy Tamron 70-300 telezoom, I fell in love instantly with this lens. The viewfinder is much brighter of course, the AF is almost instantaneous and reliable most of the time, even with the 10D. It misses in perhaps 5% of all shots, and that's while shooting birds so I think this is quite good for this combo. Images are sharp straight out of the camera and need only very little post-resize sharpening. Colour is beautiful too, very natural, and it has a beautiful, smooth bokeh. Backgrounds are really really nice wide open with this lens. The tripod collar comes in handy actually, it feels bad flipping this combo even with my sturdy 3-way-head but with the collar, it's no problem at all.
I own this lens now for maybe three months and have taken around 1.000 shots with it, maybe more. I have never been able to shoot at apertures smaller than 5.6 in that time because of a particulary gloomy winter, but I have found the image quality to be outstanding even under these conditions.
The only thing I long for is more reach. This is the perfect lens for shooting small, relatively tame birds from a blind and maybe bigger birds like herons, but this prime makes me want longer primes desperately - so beware! Smile I found there isn't any noticeable deterioration in image quality with a 1.4 teleconverter, but focus tends to hunt in low light (which is what I'm shooting in now, actually) so you end up getting really sharp shots of the surrounding branches, not of the bird which is a shame considering what this lens can do without the teleconverter. It's a 10D problem too, no doubt, I'd think a 1D might perform better. I feel this lens was only the beginning, more L primes will no doubt follow.

All in all, it's a wonderful, reasonably priced lens that delivers outstanding image quality and has great AF performance. I can't think of things I don't like. I can only recommend it!


Jan 19, 2004
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ed woo
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Registered: Oct 28, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 1003
Review Date: Dec 19, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp images, size, f4 aperature
Cons:
AF, focus hunting

I believe the images can be tack sharp if the AF locks on properly. I got the lens recently & used it only three times as of this review. The tack sharp images from the third outing were amazing. A lot better than the images from the first outing which were a disappointment.

Dec 19, 2003
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spartan123
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Registered: Nov 9, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 3683
Review Date: Dec 1, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everything
Cons:
None

Once you have this lens, it is hard NOT to take it off the camera... It is that good.

Dec 1, 2003
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†††



Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
173 335735 Jul 7, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
97% of reviewers $1,060.87
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.70
9.11
9.6
ef300mmf_4_1_


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