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Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
173 334431 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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jcharity
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Registered: Aug 22, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 169
Review Date: Apr 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, even with a TC it's still sharp! Fast focus, nice bokeh, beautiful color.
Cons:
Noisy IS system but I don't care.



Apr 23, 2007
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Peter Wirtoft
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Registered: Sep 7, 2006
Location: Sweden
Posts: 2
Review Date: Apr 19, 2007 Recommend? no | Price paid: $1,500.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Decently sharp, nice colors, Super fast AF.
Cons:
Not sharp enough for L lens, Price. Buy EF 70-300 IS instead.

Yes, this lens disapointed me.
But so do most lenses.

I Compared this one with "EF 135 f2 L", "TSE 90 f2.8", "EX 150 APO f2.8".
This one is just slightly less sharp than the EX150. And EX150 is sharp.
And a bit more less sharp than TSE90 and EF135.

With extender x1.4 this lens gives you the same results as the cheapest lenses on the market. Nothing you like to pay $1500 and more for.

Do not misunderstand me. Without the extender this lens is super fast and gives you quite good results. But for the Price tag, buy the EF 70-300 IS instead for less than half the price.

Full size pictures at:
http://www.wirtoft.com/foto/EF300test/index.html



Apr 19, 2007
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BillBrowning
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Registered: Oct 25, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 51
Review Date: Apr 16, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp! Color! Contrast! Af speed! IS!
Cons:
Yes the IS makes a little noise, it may be a problem around birds, I don't know.

I've had this lens over a year. I never knew how fast the AF was until I got my new XTi. I went to a Blue Angels airshow this week end and the lens camera combo were excellent! I have been a pro and now retired and this is the most impressive lens camera combos I have had. I've had Hasselblad, Mamya RZ, view cameras, etc. I still have my old professional negs and trans. When I scan them at the same pixal per mm as the Canon the Canon is as good as the best of my old work. And some of the old stuff is very soft, I was surprised as they made sharp looking prints. Often my pro work was printed 8X10 or smaller so a medium format neg is not magnified much.

Apr 16, 2007
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misanthropic a
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Registered: Sep 26, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 448
Review Date: Mar 30, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fantastic sharpness, great color, solid build and fast AF. Everything that is to be expected of an L.
Cons:
IS is a bit noisy, sort of clunks when it first starts. Minor nitpick on an otherwise great lens.

Absolutely phenomenal lens. Not that heavy, included tripod ring makes use with a pod easy. Typical L build and quality, the IS though its rated for only 2 stops makes handholding down to even 1/30th possible, though at those speeds only if necessary. Most everything great about this lens has been said.

Mar 30, 2007
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Herb Houghton
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Registered: Feb 14, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 20492
Review Date: Mar 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: sharp image clarity, fast AF even with 1.4x attached
Cons:
Need to remove lens from body to detach tripod ring. noisy rumbling IS

This is my second lens and I'll keep it forever.I bought this used on this site. It's been on my rebel XTi ever since with the 1.4x attached. It has a fast AF even with the teleconverter. I use it all the time now for birding. I used to use the 70-200 F4 but this one works better for wary birds. I'm looking into the 400 F 5.6 L lens. Does anyone have any good experience using the 400 with the 1.4x, and does AF work like it does on this F4 lens ?

Mar 29, 2007
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thedutt
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Registered: May 15, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2007
Review Date: Mar 20, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ - Out there, IS - hand held up to 1/60 keepers, built in hood, size, takes to 1.4x really well
Cons:
None. Got it used at a decent price so no complains what so ever

I had been debating adding a 100-400 to my lenses, but was not ready to spend that kind of money and was intrigued by the reviews of 300 F4 here. I came across a great deal on the 300 F4IS a couple of weeks ago.

I am extremely glad that I did. I bought it with the intent that I will resell if it the lens does not work for me and assume the loss as rental fee, though after using it for only 10 days on my vacation, this lens has assumed a dominant position on my camera.

This is my first prime L, and it has quite simply blown me away. (My frame of reference for IQ for telephoto is 70-200 F4). My first IS lens also, and I am amazed to see quite a few keepers at 1/60, which gives great capability to shoot low light photos. I do not like to use tripod with telephoto as subjects are usually quite fast moving, and so far I have seen no need to do the same.

It takes very well to 1.4x, to the point were it is hard to tell the difference. If you are on the fence for this lens, do yourself a favor, rent/borrow it asap and you will be placing your order in matter of few shutter clicks.


Mar 20, 2007
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Nezza
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Registered: Nov 24, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 470
Review Date: Mar 10, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness. Weight. USM focussing.
Cons:
None


The sharpest (and only L series) lens I have. Razor sharp from wide open. My sample is a bit old now and the built in lens hood flaps about a bit, but optically it beats every other lens in my bag.


Mar 10, 2007
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Bigfoot1
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Registered: Sep 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 10
Review Date: Feb 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: the colors and the contrast are very good, focusing is very quick and precise and I found that focusing on a moving object using AI servo worked very well also
Cons:
the IS made a bit more noise than I am used to, not sure if it because this lens is brand new or I am just not used to hearing the noise

recently picked this lens up at a pretty fair price and spent the entire weekend shooting with it, wonderful lens to use on wildlife and some outdoor sports, I know some have commented on the weight but I did not find it to be an issue considering I am used to shooting with a 70-200 F2.8, overall if you are looking for a good prime lens then add this one to your collection, you will not be disappointed

Feb 26, 2007
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veroman
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Registered: Aug 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 3742
Review Date: Feb 23, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp Very fast AF Excellent build
Cons:

Simply superb, even when used with a 1.4 extender. An exceptional lens and an exceptional value.

Feb 23, 2007
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rbart
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Registered: Oct 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Feb 19, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Light Weight (relatively), Image Stabilization, Close focus.
Cons:
Image Stabilization makes a clacking noise when engaging. Had a problem with manual focus ring slipping.

This one of my favorite wildlife lenses. I started with the Bigma 50-500mm. I was really happy with the Image Quality and flexibility of the Bigma, but I began to realize that I was losing a lot of shots because of its slowness (aperture and focus speed). I decided that I should try something with IS. This brought me to either the 100-400mm or the 300mm f4. My wife loves the Bigma said that she did not want to lose the zoom range and rotating zoom to the 100-400. It didn't make sense to me to keep the Bigma and get the 100-400 too, so I bought the 300mm f4 IS. I don't regret my decision at all. I would say the 300 is a lot sharper than the Bigma. It's a lot lighter and lot faster too. With a 1.4x teleconverter, I still get great quality at 420mm f5.6. On top of that, you get IS and close focus cababilities. I pretty much never use my Bigma any more. However, I did also get a 500mm f4 IS. I still probably use the 300mm more than the 500mm because it's so easy to carry around.

I did have a problem with the 300mm. The manual focusing began to slip during precision focusing. Canon's support was pretty poor. I sent it to Illinois to be repaired (under Canon instructions) and they shipped it off to California to be repaired. After a few weeks without status, I called the IL shop and they told me they didn't know where it was. After a couple days, I was notified that it was in CA. After a week or so in California, they sent it back to me and said they couldn't find a problem. That left me about a month without my lens and it still had a problem. I ended up shipping it off to NY hoping that they had a clue. I finally got it back with a functional manual focus. It almost seems to be slightly less sharp though. It could have just been me shaking from the excitement of having it back.

Although I mostly use this lens for birding, I've found that it makes a great portrait lens if you have the space to work with.

Here is a sample of a horse portrait with the 300mm:
http://bobbarthen.com/photos/view_photo.php?full=1&set_albumName=Chloe&id=chloe3

Here is a sample bird shot through the window of my house:
http://bobbarthen.com/photos/view_photo.php?full=1&set_albumName=BlackCappedChickadee&id=black_Capped_Chickadee2


Feb 19, 2007
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abqnmusa
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Registered: May 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 2085
Review Date: Feb 6, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,104.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: excellent image quality, mode 1 IS works well for handheld shots, mode 2 IS works well for panning shots (birds, race cars), focusing is fast & reliable on my 5D & XTI bodies, close focusing marcro works well with good working distance.
Cons:
price is a bit high, wish it had the new 4 stop IS like the 70-200 F4L IS. I struggle to find negatives as I am very happy with this lens.

I find it easy to take sharp images with this lens. Image quality is fantastic.

I like the built in lens hood. Its always attached and does not get knocked off like the plastic lens hoods. I like to take this lens when hiking and the IS is fantastic for this. Often I am not able to carry, or do not desire to carry a tripod. So the IS of this lens is great.

purchased new at B&H


Feb 6, 2007
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alfieri
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Registered: Feb 25, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 175
Review Date: Feb 1, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,039.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: a little better sharpness and contrast than even the great 135L and 200 2.8L; minimum focusing distance of 4.9 ft. allows for killer close-ups; IS comes in handy a lot; lightweight; versatile; great IQ and overall value at a very fair price
Cons:
focusing is a little slow; focus tracking with moving subjects is a little hit or miss with 5D (and thus lower-end bodies), not sure about 1DIIN; my copy needed to be sent in for calibration (came back much better); older IS (2 f-stops vs. newer with 4 f-stops); finally, it's not the 300 f/2.8L IS so i can't give it a 10

sample images and ramblings:

http://alfieri.smugmug.com/gallery/2310142


Feb 1, 2007
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Espen Hildrup
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Registered: Nov 10, 2006
Location: Norway
Posts: 141
Review Date: Jan 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent value: A superb lens !
Cons:
Maybe F4 ??

This is one great lens !
It is sharper than my 70-200 2.8 IS - with superb colors and contrast. At this price, the lens is a bargain.

I cannot recommend this lens enough: It is almost a must-have !!


Jan 29, 2007
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rebelxtnewbie
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Registered: Jun 19, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 708
Review Date: Jan 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $900.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, Fast focus, Lighte weight, L build and optics!
Cons:
Loud IS!

Had the lens for a week now and after some testing I gotta say that this lens is all it's cracked up to be. Sharper than my 70-200 at f4, good color reproduction is about even. I love the retractable hood. That makes it easier to use polarizers if needed.

IS is the main reason I bought it. I was having trouble getting stable images at 300mm on the Sigma with a 1.6x crop camera. I figured I shoot mostly at 300mm (since I have a 70-200 already) and IS would be nice to control camera shake. When I first held the lens I thought, WOW this thing is light. Compared to the 70-200 f/2.8 IS and the Sigma 100-300 f/4 and this thing is like a feather. On paper it doesnt seem much of a difference but in my hands it does. I thought I would need the IS, but it's light enough that I probably wont need to worry about camera shake too much. But indoors it should be bennificial at school events where I won't have room for a tripod (haven't tried it yet but got some events comming up).

This lens has the older IS without a tripod sensor, so when mounted on a tripod you have to turn it off or your pictures will be blurred.

The only downside I see is the focusing is loud even though it's USM. Both the 70-200 & this lens are louder than my other canon USM lenses and even the Sigma 100-300 HSM is quieter. And when you turn the IS on it's annoyingly loud. I don't mind it too much when I'm in a busy place were the noise can overshadows it. I'm just worry about the times I need to use it in a quite place indoors like a school play. People might look around and wonder what that noise i...but then again a big white lens doesn't neccessarly blend into the crowd either.

No other complaints about the lens. If I were to do it again, I might get the non IS and put that money towards another lens.


Jan 26, 2007
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John Abbey
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Registered: Jan 6, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 6, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very sharp even wide open. Excellent build quality. IS is very useful at 300mm.
Cons:
The IS unit in this lens is noisy.

Even though I sold this lens to buy a 100-400m L, I really miss this lens. The only reason I sold it is because I found the 300mm range limiting. I found it to be sharp even wide open and it produced fantastic colors. It is also not very heavy and the built in lens hood is very nice. I would strongly recommend this lens if you need 300mm. The 100-400mm L lens is also very nice but not quite as sharp as this prime. The IS unit on this lens is also very noisy (no big deal though).

Here is a moon picture I shot with this lens:

http://www.johnsfilm.com/html/9-30-06.html


Jan 6, 2007
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mohamed alfari
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Registered: Sep 5, 2006
Location: United Arab Emirates
Posts: 1125
Review Date: Nov 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Everthing, sharp images handheld, light
Cons:
nothing

i was wondering like everyone about the 100-400, 300f4 IS, 400f5.6. when i saw the images of the primes and the zoom i said to my self there is noway i am getting that zoom. because all i care about is image quality even if the zoom is easier to use. the 400 f5.6 is so amazing too yes it doesnt have IS but who cares use tripod and the best thing about it is the fast focus, even faster than the 300f4 which is nice for moving objects like flying birds. now the 300f4 is so amazing, i want to Everglades national park and i forgot to turn on the IS and i got very sharp images. but my advise is always use tripod for max sharpness for all ranges.
heres some samples:
bokeh
http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=301162981&size=l

speed
http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=301111167&size=l

sharpness
http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=301111161&size=l
http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=301192246&size=l

Handheld IS off
http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=301162962&size=l

funny
http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=301192233&size=l
http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=301192235&size=l

i am not professional. primes arent hard to use at all, these photos are taken after i receive the 300 in one day. so i dont have experience in using it and its my first time using 300. i longest was 100 for me so its easy to use and alot of fun.




Nov 19, 2006
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Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
173 334431 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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