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Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
173 335394 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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Andus
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Registered: Apr 26, 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 36
Review Date: Nov 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: fast, sharp, IS GOOD~
Cons:
not 2.8, won't work with 2x extender

i'm not a pro, so i'm not looking for a $4000 lenes like the 2.8 verson, at least.. not for now~
usually use this on wildlife, yes, is not far enough for birds, i did consider buying the 400 f5.6 non-IS, but i found that i can always add a 1.4tc to make it a 420mm 5.6 WITH IS!!~
IS works really well that allow me to lower my shutter down to 1/50 or 1/60 still with a crystal clear shots.
here's some of the pic samples of this len:

http://picasaweb.google.com/andus.luk/0711/photo#5136294428931078178
http://picasaweb.google.com/andus.luk/0711/photo#5136294416046176274
http://picasaweb.google.com/andus.luk/0711/photo#5136294355916634066


Nov 26, 2007
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mertmag
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Registered: Feb 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Nov 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,150.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, IS works well, Fast autofocus
Cons:
Not black

Having owned a Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 a Canon 70-200 f/4L a Sigma 100-300 f/4. I can tell you this is the sharpest one of the group. Can't zoom of course but shooting wildlife it doesn't matter much. And the extra reach over the 70-200 really helps when shooting birds. The comments about the IS making noise is over blown. If your using a 20D your shutter will make more noise. The IS really works great. I am able to hand hold as slow as a 60th and I am not a very steady shooter. Also the ability to focus at just under 5 ft and get a very sharp image. It's almost like having a macro.

Nov 3, 2007
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Peter Kotsa
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Registered: Nov 1, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 267
Review Date: Nov 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,700.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: light, IS, focusing speed quite good
Cons:
tripod collar sticks sometimes, not as sharp as f2.8 version.

overall a good lens, however for pro uses, you need the 2.8, speed winners and sharpnes, with or without converters.

Nov 1, 2007
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Steve Langton
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Registered: Oct 29, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp Light Relatively cheap Built-in lens hood Works well with 1.4X converter
Cons:
None

I've had this lens a few years and it's one of my favourites - VERY sharp, light, relatively small. Hardly any loss of quality with 1.4X and keeps AF. Fits easily in a smallish camera bag. Highly recommended.

Oct 29, 2007
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Phil UKNet
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Registered: Oct 20, 2007
Location: Thailand
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Capable of taking pleasing photos, weight and size for focal length, built-in lens hood
Cons:
IS noticeably less effective than current generation, unreliable focusing with 1.4x extender

I would have rated this lens higher had I reviewed it before buying the 70-200mm F4 L IS.

The 70-200mm F4 L IS illustrates the improvements that have been made by Canon in recent years in the areas of image stabilisation and lens coatings. The 300mm F4 L IS is not a bad lens but the IS it uses does not freeze what you see in the viewfinder in the same way as the latest generation of IS used in the 70-200mm F4 L, nor do images taken with this lens have the same degree of 'pop' as that of the 70-200mm F4 L IS.

It's not a lens I use often. With an effective focal length of 480mm on a 1.6x crop body camera, it is quite specialised and not suited for general 'walkaround' photography but it is still a handy lens to have at times.

The IS works - and you can easily notice the difference if you switch it off - but, as stated above, it is noticeably less effective than the latest generation of IS.

Combined with the Canon 1.4x II extender, results have been variable. The extender doesn't appear to degrade the optics very much but focusing is a lot less reliable (although this could be due to focusing limitations with my 10D). I am hoping that a future 40D upgrade will improve this weakness.

I have taken some decent photos with this lens but the 'keeper' rate is a lot lower compared to the 70-200mm F4 L IS which is a lens I find difficult to fault at any level.

I like the convenience of the built-in lens hood and a tripod ring is also included.

There is a nice opportunity for Canon to upgrade this lens and work the same magic they did with the 70-200 F4 L IS. Were they to do that, I would definitely sell my existing lens and upgrade.

A few sample images at:

http://phil.uk.net/photography/canon_300F4LIS.html


Oct 24, 2007
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john hutchison
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Registered: Aug 4, 2007
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 40
Review Date: Oct 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,308.00

Pros: fast,sharp as a really sharp knife thats just been sharpened by a guy in a sharp suit,see sharp,uh light,
Cons:
3 day wait from hong kong,price 652($1308)but then the dollar aint been having a good time

what i said^

Oct 23, 2007
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Lennard Price
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Registered: Sep 18, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 97
Review Date: Oct 10, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Brought my lowly Canon 350 XT to a new level Focus is DEAD ON and FAST
Cons:
None

After suffering with a Sigma 70-200mm 2.8 I jumped to this lens. Not sure if the Sigma or I was at fault but my keeper percentage went from 15% to 85% same day! Even as a newbie I was able to track baserunners during a MLB game with tack sharp focus. What really surprised me was that after I put a 1.4X TC on it the focus and speed still kept up!

Suggestions are always to upgrade lenses first and bodies second, and this sure held true with the 300mm. The 350XT feels like a totally different camera with the 300mm F4 IS! Yes, I'll upgrade my 350 in the future but until then I'll be very content with this combo... (Maybe a few shorter primes first!)



Oct 10, 2007
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speedblade2
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Registered: Jan 10, 2006
Location: Singapore
Posts: 44
Review Date: Jul 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Light, Sharp most of the time, build in hood is N.I.C.E.!, short minimum focusing distance.
Cons:
The IS seems to be not quite as effective as i had expected, coming from a 70-200 IS. The 300 f4 IS mechanism seems to be more jumpy and it's apparent when viewing through the view finder.

Poured through the reviews and the consensus on this lens is stella! I agree, most of the time, except on the IS. It is really quite flaky.

Samples from this lens here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/weisphotos/tags/canonef300mmf4lisusm/


Jul 29, 2007
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Ospi
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Registered: Aug 14, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jul 28, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build Quality, Sharpness, Bokeh, Weight, AF
Cons:
Not much

Bought this to replace my Sigma 70-300 and it was like taking off glasses that were not made for me, clear, sharp, awesome. Owned this for 5 months now and its been great, mainly used for motor sport photography but wildlife has been shot and the results have been great.

Selling this shortly for a Sigma 100-300 f/4 EX but only because i was finding the lack of versatility was an issue with my motor sport shooting, otherwise i would hold onto this for sure.

I really do recommend this lens.

Here is a sample motor racing shots and a shot of a Kookaburra.

http://ospi.smugmug.com/photos/175349663-O.jpg
http://ospi.smugmug.com/photos/175349813-O.jpg

http://ospi.smugmug.com/photos/133829413-O.jpg


Jul 28, 2007
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factoryphoto
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Registered: Jul 5, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 303
Review Date: Jul 20, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Best glass for the buck, bokeh is beautiful from this little guy. Build is CANON "L" period :)
Cons:
none this lens rocks

Ive owned this lens for a few years and absolutley love it. I shoot motocross photography for a living and was very skeptical about purchasing the F4 instead of the F2.8 but the price was such a big difference I could not justify the extra $3000 dollars so I took a chance and went with the F4. One word___ WOW this is one lens that I will never get rid of even when my 300 F 2.8 comes in a few days I still will never get rid of this one. I have nothing but positive results with the lens.

Jul 20, 2007
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HMZRHS
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Registered: Apr 10, 2007
Location: Brunei
Posts: 62
Review Date: Jul 6, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb Outcome
Cons:
IS Noise
Jul 6, 2007
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berksan
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Registered: Jun 12, 2006
Location: Turkey
Posts: 15
Review Date: Jun 28, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, IS, fast AF, very versatile ...
Cons:
IS + TC slows down AF

WITH TC:
This is a very versatile lens. It's birding & close up lens at the same time. It's very sharp wide open and sharpen up, stopping down.

Birding: (wide open or one stop down)
For BIF(bird in flight) you can speed up AF by turning IS off. And AF is speedy enough to track even fast flying birds.
IS is very effective shooting still birds. It's possible to handhold it 1/60 and take tack sharp images.

Close-up: (stop down till f8-13 according to subject)
Perfect close up lens with IS from a distance(1,5 mt). Magnification is about 1/3 or more. Most used magnification of a macro lens. When you stop down to gain field depth, IS helps a lot.

WITHOUT TC:
Portrait and action lens. Not fast as f/2.8 but fast enough Smile

Good value for money !! It's my favorite and most used lens ...


Jun 28, 2007
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breenj
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Registered: Sep 24, 2005
Location: Marshall Islands
Posts: 318
Review Date: Jun 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: IS, fast AF, little quality loss w/1.4x extender, built in hood
Cons:
Not quite as sharp as my 400 f/5.6? (I'm just nitpicking here.)

Not much to say that hasn't already been said. In a comparison, I found that my 400mm f/5.6 was a little sharper than my 300mm f/4 IS. But if the lighting isn't good, the 300mm will be better, with the IS.
Since I use it mostly for surfing (need longer focal lengths) I sold the 300 and kept the 400. I did feel the 300 was worth the price, but the 400 was better for me.



Jun 24, 2007
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Wayneb
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Registered: Jul 2, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Jun 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,125.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very Sharp, I.S. works great even though it is an older version. Still sharp even with a 1.4x TC
Cons:
Lens hood does not move smoothly on my copy, my old non I.S. version did not have this problem

I have wanted to get this lens for qutie awhile, I had the original 300 f4.0 L and I loved that lens. I can't say for sure but it seems to be as sharp as the non I.S. version I used to have and that was one of the sharpest lenses I have used.

I took a pic of some small text from 20 ft. away indoors at 1/25 of a sec @ f5.6 hand held with a tamron 1.4TC and it came out sharp and blur free. I can't wait to give this lens a good workout at a racetrack on fast moving vehicles.



Jun 15, 2007
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ABSTRACT ART
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Registered: May 11, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 11, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: LIGHT WEIGHT (compared to my old 100-400 street sweeper). I like the retractable lens hood. FAST FOCUS. This lens will suit me well for portraits in the field, as well as street action scenes and the artsy things one can do with wide open aperture.
Cons:
Not an f2.8 - but then again I was not willing to fork over another $3,000.

This lens, with its 2-stop IS and super fast focus, is hand-holdable. (The first thing I did was take off the ring mount.) The build is solid, and the glass is very nice. A keeper in my good-glass inventory.

May 11, 2007
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zeytee
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Registered: Oct 24, 2006
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 116
Review Date: Apr 25, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Lightweight, sharp, fast, built-in lens hood.
Cons:
2-stop IS

It's my first L prime lens and as usual, it doesn't disappoint me. In terms of image quality, it's really good even at wide open. And the result improves even more as you stop down to F/8. Perhaps I'm lucky that I got a sharp copy. AF speed is reasonable on my EOS350D, and it's much faster on the EOS30D (applies to any other lens as well). The supplied tripod collar allows me to mount it on a monopod for a steady yet versatile shooting. It'll be better if the lens is equipped with the new 4-stop IS, or at least the 3-stop IS mechanism.

In future if I require a longer focal length, I might consider the 1.4X TC. I think it shouldn't be a main concern if it's used outdoor for motorsports or birding.

There are a few sample bird photos taken with this lens at Kuala Lumpur Bird Park. Mind you, it's my first time shooting birds, so it's considered an amateur shots.

http://www.pbase.com/zey/kl_bird_park


Apr 25, 2007
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Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
173 335394 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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