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Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
173 337939 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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TechnoPhil
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Registered: Jan 3, 2006
Location: San Marino
Posts: 2
Review Date: May 13, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: quality contruction...light, sharpness, optical properties!!
Cons:
no "o-ring" !!but nithing special...

I was very impressed for this lens, expecially for the optical & build quality at low price!!

300mm are perfect for my use...wild photography, close up flowers and animals...


here some samples!!


http://spazioinwind.libero.it/technophil/samples/fil/sampleimages.html


May 13, 2006
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RichieHatch
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Registered: Nov 24, 2004
Location: Ireland
Posts: 131
Review Date: May 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,150.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very Sharp. Great contrast. Relatively Light. Usual 'L' Build Quality. Fast focus Speed. 'IS' is great regarless of version.
Cons:
Had a problem with filters causing image quality issues but thats nothing to do with the lens...!

Have this lens a month now and am kicking myself that i hadnt bought it sooner.....! I waited a month to post the review so that i would learn how to get the results out of it properly and by god am i amazed...! Very very sharp... even wide open. I would say its comparable if not better than the 200mm f2.8L that i also have. The colours and contrast are very good too. However I would advise not to use UV filters on this lens. I had image quality issues using a Hoya UV filter where weird diagonals would appear in the out of focus areas. I havent tried any other UV filters but had read about others that did and the problem remained. To be honest I am of the opinion that one should only use filters when absolutely needed so it suits me not to use one at all....!

Overall I am well impressed with this lens and cant reccommend it enough...!

Richie


May 9, 2006
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Lani Kai
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Registered: Oct 3, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 782
Review Date: Apr 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $980.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, sharp, sharp! Light, built-in hood, relatively inexpensive, IS, great colors, short MFD... the list goes on
Cons:
1st generation IS. Which is still much better than nothing.

I can't emphasize enough how wonderful this lens is. I use it for a variety of purposes--I've even shot some landscapes with it. I often use it for macro shots as well, even though I have a really sharp Sigma 50mm f/2.8 Macro... I've used it as a walkaround lens and it's light enough that this is possible. I wish I could use it more but not everything can be shot at 300mm... The images are stunningly beautiful.

Apr 14, 2006
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joezasada
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Registered: Feb 24, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 3062
Review Date: Apr 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,354.67 | Rating: 10 

Pros: really lightweight, ridiculously sharp, fast and silent AF, works well with 1.4X TC, wicked Image Stabilizer, a lot less money than the f/2.8 version, 77mm filter size so it's the same as most other high-end canon lenses, really high mangnification ration (0.25X) for a 300mm lens
Cons:
looks better with the lens hood retracted than with it extended...

what can I say, this is your best choice for a telephoto lens without moving up to one of the *really* expensive choices, like the 300mm f/2.8 or it's larger cousins...

Apr 11, 2006
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Xenedis
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Registered: Feb 11, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 6
Review Date: Mar 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Light (relatively), sharp, well-constructed, image stablisation, easy to carry around all day, very hand-holdable, relatively short minimum focusing distance, practical hood, and of course, it's L-series.
Cons:
Plastic hood, but that's no big deal.

I recently took delivery of a 300/4L IS, after a longer-than-expected waiting time.

I took it out for a shoot last week, and had a fantastic time with it.

I hadn't owned a 300mm lens before, so the experience is naturally different to that experienced with shorter lenses, and I've learned a few things along the way.

My main focus (no pun intended) that day was candid people photography, and for that, this is a terrific lens, as it allows one to tightly frame people's faces, beautifully blurring the background.

Of course, on an EOS 20D, the field of view is that of a 480mm lens, which is plenty large.

I took it out exclusively, leaving my walkaround lens (24-105/4L IS) at home, as I wanted to force myself to learn to shoot only with a prime (it's my second prime), and a long prime at that; and also see what sort of shots I could achieve. I'm happy to report that I've achieved some very pleasing results so far.

It's sharp, fast to focus, and having image stabilisation is an absolute lifesaver. In my view, image stabilisation is essential on a 300mm lens for hand-held work.

From a usability perspective, this lens is very hand-holdable, and comfortable on the EOS 20D. I walked around town all day with this lens, and its weight and size were never a burden. It's very comfortable to use, and delivers nice results.

I like the retractable hood, although I'd prefer if it were made of a lightweight metal rather than plastic. However, that's only a minor issue.

The relatively short minimum focusing distance of this lens (1.5m, substantially less than the 300/2.8L IS) makes it a good choice for macro photography (flowers and the like).

Here are some of my favourite shots taken with this lens so far:

1. http://www.flickr.com/photos/xenedis/104394442/
2. http://www.flickr.com/photos/xenedis/104155706/
3. http://www.flickr.com/photos/xenedis/104138623/
4. http://www.flickr.com/photos/xenedis/98614997/

While it would be great to own the f/2.8 version, besides the small issue of the huge price tag, it's somewhat bigger and bulkier, and is not the sort of lens I would want to carry around all day, whereas the f/4 version is very easy to carry, and is only a little larger than the 70-200/2.8L IS (sans hood).

I'd recommend this lens.

J.


Mar 4, 2006
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keith_g_wagner
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Registered: Mar 7, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 8
Review Date: Mar 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $850.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, fast focus, image stabilization makes hand-held use the typical mode of operation.
Cons:
None. Well, okay, its beige. You'd think Canon would figure out that nobody thinks that's cool.

Any attempt to compare this lens to Canon's IS zooms, any of them, is a joke (I know, as I have recently owned the 75-300 IS, the 70-300 DO IS, the 100-400L, and the 70-200 f/2.8L). But that, I guess, is the nature of a prime.

I purchased this lens, the 100-400L and the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS lens all at the same time with the plan to have a "shoot out" between them, and then to keep the best and sell the other two.

Well, the 100-400L and the 70-200mm have been sold, and this lens is the keeper, folks. The 100-400 wasn't even close. The 70-200mm was a very nice lens, but just a little too short for the birds in the bushes.

The price on e-bay runs typically at about $900-1000. I got
lucky and picked one up for a little under $900. It can be done if you wait for the right price/timing.


Mar 4, 2006
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Adam73
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Registered: Aug 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1576
Review Date: Mar 3, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $500.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Not as Heavy as people say, built in hood, great minimum focal length, works great with 1.4tc
Cons:
Nothing.

I do have the 100-400L also and I see this lens compared to it all the time. Somone stated below that the 100-400L focuses just as fast as the 300mm with the TC but it isn't true. I tend to like my 300mm a bit better than the 100-400 but somtimes like the versatility of the 100mm range of the 100-400mm. the 300mm does focus faster with the TC. The difference witht he 300mm and the 100-400mm with the TC is that with the 300mm you don't have to tape any pins and still have all 9 of the AF points to use. the 1.4tc on the 100-400 you have to tape the first 4 pins to get autofocus and you are limited to only the center AF point to focus.

Mar 3, 2006
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barabus
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Registered: Jan 22, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 441
Review Date: Mar 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,149.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast focus, easy to carry yet has reach, inexpensive, built-in hood, good close focus
Cons:
This will get you hooked on the white L's and then you will really spend

I use this lens more than I ever thought- birds, coyotes, humming bird, butterflys, ect. I love it with a 1.4x tc. It lives on my 5D. Cannot wait to get an upgrade to a 500mm f4 IS, but will not get rid of this lens. It is too easy to take on wildlife walks. Rented a 600mm gun the other weekend, but it stayed in the case unless I knew I was going to get a shot at ... On the other hand, I love to take the 300mm with the 5D out for a walk. Got some great, unexpected shots that way. My favorite lens of my three L's

Mar 2, 2006
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joeyseager
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Registered: Sep 19, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 67
Review Date: Mar 1, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: The best there is. Superb optical quality and bomb-proof mechanical construction, with useful IS - and a cool case too! AF fast and silent.
Cons:
Big, heavy and expensive but that's what you have to expect. IS is not as good as the latest generation IS lenses - and it's a bit noisy too. Beige colour not to all tastes.

300mm lenses don't come much better than this. Images are pin-sharp, high contrast without visible aberrations or distortions.

My copy makes a noticeable 'clonk' noise when the IS stops - take your finger off the shutter button for about 2 secs and listen - my other IS lenses don't do this, but they're the later 3-stop IS whereas this is an older lens design and has only 2-stop IS.

I use it with the canon 1.4x mark II teleconverter and the combination works well, but the images are noticeably less sharp, with less contrast and more chromatic aberration. Not bad, just noticeable. I guess when you use a lens which is SO good and then add a converter, you notice the inevitable image degradation more.

It is a very heavy lens compared to my 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS zoom but it offers an extra stop at 300mm, better image quality (though the zoom is surprisingly good) and compatibility with Canon's converters. Does that make it worth twice the price? That depends on your point of view. The law of diminishing returns dictates that a £400 lens will be much better than a £200 lens, but that an £800 lens will be only slightly better than a £400 lens and so on. The 300mm f/4 L IS lens is somewhere between 'much' and 'slightly' better than the 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS in my opinion. So I bought both.


Mar 1, 2006
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shuber182
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Registered: Feb 22, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 23
Review Date: Feb 24, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,149.99 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super, super sharp. Lightweight, TC works flawlessly.
Cons:
None

I just purchased this lens and it is SHARP !!! The contrast, color and sharpness of this lens is absolutely fantastic. Works great with the 1.4 TC, retains full AF and IS features. I didn't like the 100-400 with a TC (used the pin tape method) so I decided to try the 300 f4. This is a fantastic lens. With the 1.6 crop it gives you 480mm and with the 1.4 TC you get 672mm. Would like to try it with the 2x TC. Image qualtiy with the 1.4 TC is excellent with no appreciable degredation. Highly recommended.

Feb 24, 2006
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drfrank
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Registered: Apr 2, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Review Date: Feb 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,149.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, Fast auto focus,IS, Retains AF and IS with 1.4x Converter, Built in hood
Cons:
None

I spent many hours reading reviews and comments about this lens as well as the 100-400 L. I borrowed a friends 100-400 L and a 1.4x converter to try out. When all was said and done I decided on the 300mm F4L IS and a 1.4x teleconverter. I did not like the slide action zoom of the 100-400 L.

The lens focuses very fast on my 20D (similar my 70-200mm F4L.). The 300mm F4L IS is sharp as a tack and has excellent contrast, color, and background blur. The IS modes work really well and I like the built in hood. The lens works really well with the 1.4x II extender. Auto-focus and image stabilization are maintained.

Build quality is excellent. Made to last a long time. All in all, and excellent investment.



Feb 15, 2006
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DaveEP
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Registered: Aug 14, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 3706
Review Date: Feb 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Light wieght, cheaper than the f2.8 version, has IS, built in hood
Cons:
F4

This is a good lens, a very good lens, but it's not perfect.

Many people buy this lens to use with a 1.4x TC instead of the 100-400L, or the 400 f5.6 which lacks IS.

In my testing (both handheld and tripod/MLU etc), the 300F4 only 'slightly' exceeds the quality of the 100-400L (at 300mm) when 'pixel peeping', but in terms of real world prints (up to A3), you would find it hard to tell the difference. The 300F4 focuses a little faster, but after that you have really look very closely to see any difference at all.

If I had known this before I bought the F4 (given that I already had the 100-400L), I would not have bought it. I always wished I have spent the extra and bought the f2.8 version.

When adding the 1.4x, my 100-400L seems better, focuses at least as fast, if not faster.

With the 2x, it is better than my 100-400L + 1.4x.

Don't get me wrong, this IS a good lens, and I have no real complaints about it, but if you already own the 100-400L, do yourself a favour and skip this one, and go for the 2.8IS version instead.




Feb 4, 2006
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marc1
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Registered: Jan 29, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 29, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Outstanding Sharpness, Image Stabilization & Macro Mode
Cons:
none

I spent hours researching many web sites, forums, & other reviews to help me decide which lens to buy. This site was the best reference and the positive reviews posted about this lens are not BS!

My choice was between the canon 400 f5.6 and the 300 f4 with image stabilization. After reading both lens reviews, I decided to go with the 300 f4 & the canon 1.4 teleconvertor.

This lens is super super sharp!!! The image stabilization works great. I have handheld shots at 1/30 shutter speeds with great results. The image quality is insane!!!!!!

In summery this lens has:

1)Super sharp optics & fast auto focus
2)Image Stabilization
3)Excellent Marco Capability (itís mind boggling)
4)F4, one stop lower then the 400mm & a min. focus of just 5ft for macro mode
5)a 420 mm focal length at F5.6 when paired with the canon 1.4 tele-converter which retains auto focus & image stabilization. (Shots are equally sharp)

The 400 f5.6 is optically just as good, with an even faster auto focus. This is great especially if birding is your primary objective & you travel with a tripod.

However, the 300mm gives you many lenses in one, especially when paired with the 1.4 tele. The best bag for the buck!

Hope this was helpful.

MP




Jan 29, 2006
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dan221081
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Registered: Dec 6, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 195
Review Date: Jan 22, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very Sharp, Vibrant Colours,Build Quality
Cons:
None

This was my first Canon L lens, having tried out some Tamron and Sigma XXX -300mm zoom lenses and not being that impressed with the 300mm sharpness I decided to go for this one. All I can say is WOW :D The images are extremely sharp / colours amazing and the lens is incredibly smooth at focusing. I use it for taking pictures of birds and other wildlife and I will soon save up for a canon 1.4 TC. The build quality of this lens is very good and is build to last. It may cost more than the competition but its a good investment.

Jan 22, 2006
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jonbrach
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Registered: Dec 22, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 896
Review Date: Jan 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $950.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp,fast focus,IS
Cons:
size

This is an exceptional lens....the sharpness,handling and focus are outstanding..the IS is terrific and the build quality is first rate.I can only imagine what the 300 2.8 must be like if this lens is so incredibly good....the only disadvantage i can mention is size....having used the 200 2.8 previously this lens is alot bigger and more cumbersome...and of course white...that said i cant recommend the lens more highly if you seek this focal range...

Jan 10, 2006
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smac
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Registered: Sep 28, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 11
Review Date: Dec 10, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,049.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Extremely sharp! Great IS.
Cons:

I had the non IS before this one and whereas they may be comparable optically (I think this is better), the IS makes it a much more useful and versatile lens in the field. Excellent w/ TC-1.4 I love it!

Dec 10, 2005
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†††



Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
173 337939 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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