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Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
173 334252 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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Andy Biggs
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Registered: Sep 16, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 1624
Review Date: Nov 28, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $975.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Lightweight, price, optical quality
Cons:
none

What a great lens. Optically barely shy of the f2.8 version. Works great with the 1.4x II tc. Everybody should own this lens!

Nov 28, 2003
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John Meara
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Registered: Apr 18, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 20
Review Date: Nov 25, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very Sharp, Compact, Fast focus
Cons:
Cost is too low for a great L lens

Great sports and wildlife lens. The best value in Canons Tele primes. You will not regret buying this lens..

Nov 25, 2003
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Richard Smith
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Registered: Jan 16, 2002
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 517
Review Date: Nov 23, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Lightweight (comparatively), Sharp, IS.
Cons:
None that I can think of.

Brought this lens on the strength of all the good things I read about it here and in the Canon Forum.

Although I have yet to shoot any "keepers" with it, it has not dissapointed.

The 1.4TC seems to work well with it, that + the 10D makes this an absolute bargin (672mm f5.6)

I really like the built in lens hood, one less rattling loose around my camera bag !


Nov 23, 2003
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Lars Johnsson
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Registered: Jun 29, 2003
Location: Thailand
Posts: 33640
Review Date: Nov 21, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality, Very sharp, IS, Minimum focus distance 1,5 m, Build quality
Cons:
None

Very sharp even wide open. Works good together with the 1,4x extender. Very easy to handhold. And I really like the 1,5 m minimum focus distance. It make the lens great for shoting butterflies & dragonflies.

Nov 21, 2003
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Henk Bos
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Registered: Jun 28, 2002
Location: Jordan
Posts: 4153
Review Date: Oct 3, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great quality of shots. Never let me down.
Cons:
Price (it's still quite a chunck of change)

This is my baby. Don't mess with her!

Oct 3, 2003
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FredericB
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Registered: Jul 22, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 248
Review Date: Aug 1, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: sharp, sharp, sharp, beautiful bokeh, cheap
Cons:
loss in quality w/ *1.4 multiplicator

The afordable lens to enter IS and wildlife photography. For the money it costs, and w/ the incredible improvement brought by IS it is the best starter lens for nature photography.

And w/ an eos 10d it even turns into a 480mm f:4 L IS for $1000 - a miracle.


Aug 1, 2003
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Theresa Z.
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Registered: Mar 19, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 2828
Review Date: Jul 25, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: This lens is super super sharp, great contrast. Easily hand holdable but I always use a tripod. Super fast focus and nice build quality.. Did I say sharp?
Cons:
The built in shade seems a little looser than I'd like. Focusing ring a little looser than I'd like too. I prefer a little more resistance on both but they do feel very well made.

I can't believe what I've been missing. This takes unbelievably sharp shots, even with my sigma 1.4X, in fact I can't tell the difference in sharpness between with and without. Beautiful out of focus backgrounds when using a large aperature. I was struggling between this and the F5.6 400mm. I chose this one because of the one stop bigger aperature for focusing my D60 which I think is the issue so many folks have with the 28-135 at the long end. With the F4, I get consistently good focus. And with the 1.4X I get a super sharp 420mm. I definately wasn't expecting performance this good with the converter. Can't wait to do some experiments with a 2X.
My review is for an older, bought used, non-IS version. I don't know how it compares to the IS version but since most of my photography is with a tripod, IS was an unnecessary cost.


Jul 25, 2003
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tzrider
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Registered: Jun 17, 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 5
Review Date: Jun 30, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, lack of IS, low weight, nice price but super finish
Cons:
????

Attention: this review is about the 300/4.0 without IS which is
in nearly all aspects a much better lens then the 300/4.0 IS,
both in professional test as in readers reviews, so don't waist
your money on an IS version, especially if you are going to
use it on a 10d or a 1Ds, see:

http://www.cmpsolv.com/photozone/lsurveyEOS.htm

For the unbelievers: this lens and also the 400 5.6 L are MUCH
sharper then the 100-400 L IS USM. I own all three of them.

I bought mine second hand but in new state. Before I was using the
100-400 intensivly. The 300 4.0 is very, very sharp, compact and on
the 10d with its excellent noise values at ISO 400+ I don't miss IS.

After the good results with this lens I purchased a new 400 5.6 L.
The 100-400 has retired and is only used on occasions I need
the zoom. I mostly use the 300 4.0 on the 10d with ISO 400 or 800.

I also have the 300 2.8 IS but this lens is used as 'winter lens',
the 300 4.0 is as near as sharp. Only the 10D revealed how
good both the 300 4.0 and the 400 5.6 really are, I think this
is because of there relative 'simple' construction without IS.

Less = more in this case !

As camera's will become more and more precise and ISO
values become more and more noiseless it is the question how
Canon will be able to build sharp lenses in the future to match
there bodies if keeping on building them with IS and also trying
to keep the price down



Jun 30, 2003
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SportsPix
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Registered: Mar 17, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 151
Review Date: Apr 6, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: The BEST thing about this lens is the mode 2 IS feature and it's modest price. Resonably sized for a 300 f/4 lens and operates as one used to Canon's super teles would expect it to.
Cons:
Surprisingly, image quality where IS is cannot play a factor in steadying the image on film. This lens on its own is not as sharp and lacks the snap of the EF 300 4L non IS. Of the 300mm "L" class primes that Canon has produced this is the worst by far.

I have owned several Canon EF 300mm primes, two EF 300 2.8L, one EF 300 4L and two EF 300 4L IS lenses. After careful comparisons of these lenses in the field and shooting targets the best of the bunch is the EF 300 2.8L and EF 300 2.8L IS followed very closely by the EF 300 4L and trailing a distant fourth the EF 300 4L IS. I don't know why but images from these lenses lacks the snap so apparent in images from the others on FILM. I still like it though as a sports shooter it offers images that you cannot get with any other lens except the EF 300 2.8L IS. BUT sometimes the EF 300 2.8L IS is just too big and heavy to safely shoot with. A good example would be the foredeck of a racing yatch, the EF 300 4L IS would be the clear choice in lenses. Or would have been untill the EF 70-200 2.8L IS came out! Still a versatile lens at a reasonable price given what it is capable of capturing!


Apr 6, 2003
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Jack Flesher
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Registered: Oct 23, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 3489
Review Date: Apr 1, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $800.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light, compact, great image quality, IS
Cons:
None

Incredible lens for the money. My copy works superbly with the 1.4xII converter -- even wide open -- making for a very compact pair of hand-holdable teles. With the 2xII converter, stop down one or two stops for acceptable performance. IS is a real benefit to this lens, easily adding 2 or 3 stops of hand-holdability to this focal. One sometimes-overlooked advantage to this lens over its big brother, the 300/2.8 IS, and other long L glass is its relatively close MFD, making it a superb option for small creatures up close. It is also an excellent medium 'macro" lenss when combined with tubes and/or the 500D diopter.

Apr 1, 2003
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Sheila
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Registered: Apr 28, 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 5456
Review Date: Mar 31, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super sharp - the IS is great - no more blur at low shutter. No need for tripod. And superb with Sigma 1.4x TC
Cons:
None that I can think of.

If you take a lot of candids as I do, this is the prime lens for you. The IS feature makes me want to look at more primes with IS.

Mar 31, 2003
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stevenrs
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Registered: Feb 24, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 60
Review Date: Mar 30, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,150.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: clear, reliable
Cons:

I have been using the lens for only a couple of months. It has yet to disappoint - images are clear, IS is great. This is lens is used in virtually every day of shooting. The alternative is the heavy and expensive 2.8. For the money, the lens is worth the investment!

Mar 30, 2003
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araz
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Registered: Jan 1, 2002
Location: Canada
Posts: 739
Review Date: Mar 30, 2003 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: prime L lens quality, very sharp, great resolution, IS, relatively inexpensive, big & smooth focusing ring, tripod collar included, built-in hood (retractable), did I mention **IS**, works great with ef 1.4x
Cons:
I really can't think of any...

I have only owned this lens for a short time but it has already become one of my favorite lenses. This is a very sharp (even at wide open), high-quality prime L lens with high resolution. The IS works great and is very needed at this focal length. The auto-focus is very fast (tested with Canon 10D) and the full-time manual focus ring is big and operates very smoothly. I really like the built-in, retractable hood. This lens works great with the 1.4x (becomes f5.6, most cameras can still auto-focus at this aperature), image degradation is insignificant, specially if you post-process the image.

Overall, this lens is a joy to use, it is an L lens afterall!


Mar 30, 2003
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Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
173 334252 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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