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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
74 127957 Oct 19, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $1,471.48
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.75
8.32
9.5
70-300mm


Specifications:
Designed to deliver ultra-high quality images along with lightning fast operation, the new Canon EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS USM telephoto zoom lens brings a favorite zoom range to the celebrated Canon L-series of lenses. It features two Ultra Low Dispersion (UD) elements for improved image quality and reduced chromatic aberration, incorporates a floating focusing mechanism for sharpness from close up to infinity, plus an IS system that increases usability by approximately four stops. The EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS USM features a function that prevents erroneous operation when the lens is mounted on a tripod or monopod. Gleaming white, with a removable tripod collar, dust and water resistant construction, and a newly developed Fluorine coating that keeps soiling, smears and fingerprints to a minimum, its phenomenal performance and flexibility is assured. For portraiture or to bring what's far away up close, this addition to the L-series is guaranteed to perform.

- Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 70-300mm 1:4-5.6
- Diagonal Angle of View: 34 - 8 15'
- Focus Adjustment: Lens extension via inner focusing and focus cam plus floating mechanism
- Closest Focusing Distance: 1.2m/ 3.9ft
- Filter Size: 67 mm dia., P=0.75 mm /1 filter
- Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 3.5 x 5.6 in, 2.31 lbs. / 89 x 143mm, 1050g


 


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iammikie
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Registered: Oct 20, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 430
Review Date: Jan 3, 2011 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build quality, sharpness, improved IS, fast AF, size
Cons:
None, a little high priced compared to other options, but if you want the best in this range this is it.

I had purchased the new Tamron 70-300 VC as the price was great, and the lens performed very well for a lens in that price range. Somehow it was missing something so I thought that I might as well pick up the new Canon 70-300 L and give it a try. Now I have what I was looking for in a high quality walk around package. I am amazed at the sharpness at all focal lengths, and how well it performed on the Mark IV, 7D, and 5D Mark II.

I consider this one of the best zooms out there, and I believe that it tops the 70-200 f/4 IS with or without the TC at any focal length. YMMV


Jan 3, 2011
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marty fred
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Registered: Dec 28, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 28, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,599.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: IQ, super-fast AF, superb IS
Cons:
none for what it is

I carefully followed this discussion since I also have a 70-200 f/4 IS and was not sure whether that (steep) amount of money was worth adding 100 mm at f/5.6. Well, I took the plunge after some initial reviews indicated that its IQ was great. And it is, as discussed by others. What impressed me most, however, is the fast AF and the IS - I don't know about any potential differences in IS technology compared to the 70-220 f/4, and I have no quantitative data to support my view, but the IS on this lens seems to beat the IS of the 70-200 f/4. As others commented also, you can shoot at 1/30 or so out of hand for keepers (couldn't quite do that with the 70-200 f4 IS). (Using a 5DMII). That, and that this lens is short enough to easily transport in a relatively small bag and to walk around with, I am happier about this lens than I thought I would be... my 70-200 f/4 L is for sale...

Dec 28, 2010
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PRS1
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Registered: Dec 23, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 23, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Smaller size and weight, nicely built and good IQ
Cons:

First let me say it's my first post here but have learned a lot from all of you. Thanks! That said I want to upgrade my 70-300 IS USM (non L) lens as it was very soft at full zoom. After reading all the reviews and comments about this lens as well as the 70-200 f4 and f2.8 I decided to test them all on my camera, a T2i. I'm posting here to perhaps help others who are on the fence and how this lens compared to others I actually tried.

When I took my first couple of shots with this lens I was sold.....kinda

Here were my results....Yours may differ. I set my camera on a tripod, automatic timer, spot focus and shot 100 and 400 ISO.

The 70-300L was awesome for its size and weight. IQ was far better than the non L glass. A HUGE difference in IQ at 300mm and better feel and contrast. Much sharper at 300mm than the non L but not a huge difference at the 200mm range (with good light). In my tests it was actually sharper at 200mm at f5.6 than the Mark I 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM.

Next I tried the 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM. It blew me away. I like 300mm for wildlife but I experimented cropping images on this lens to equal the 300 and they still surpassed the 70-300L.

This lens does not compare to the 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM in any category (except reach) but it gives you a lighter and smaller package that's easier to carry around with excellent IQ. I felt the IQ was as good if not better than the (Mark I) 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM at 200mm and f5.6.

Bottom line....If you need IQ and small and can live with a slower lens this is a great one. I was impressed but will buy the 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM for the few hundred more.



Dec 23, 2010
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Venus
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Registered: Aug 15, 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 620
Review Date: Dec 21, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Solid, built like a tank. Has that professional feel about it.
Cons:
For what it was made for - compactness, quality IQ - no complaints.

I don't like comparing lenses when I know they are all good. So what I can say is that I have no regrets buying this lens. I have a 70-200F4 L (non IS) and I say that the AF is quieter and I am sure it's faster, too. The IS works like a dream and if *used properly* can really deliver incredible results. I have gotten sharp images at 1/10 sec at 300mm, *hand held*. That is not a joke! By the way, I found that images taken at 300mm F5.6 (full opening) rival that of the 400mm F5.6 prime. And again, that's not a joke.

Dec 21, 2010
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clauderobidoux
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Registered: Dec 14, 2010
Location: Canada
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Review Date: Dec 14, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build and optical quality, fast and silent autofocus, great IS
Cons:
Tripod collar not included for the price, can't use teleconverters

I have had this lens for over 2 weeks now. Here in Canada I paid $1600 + tax.
Honestly I believe that if the tripod collar was included, it would be worth that amount of money. It is quite frustrating that Canon not only does not include it, but sells it for a ridiculous price, and I know I'm not the only one feeling this way.
At the store, I basically tested this lens and the new Tamron 70-300 side by side. For more than three times cheaper than the Canon, the Tamron was surprisingly good, but the Canon was better. The autofocus is really fast and silent, the IS is really effective and barely noticeable, it's built like a tank, and it has a zoom lock.
I know some people are complaining about where they placed the zoom and focus ring, but it really makes sense when your handholding the lens at 300mm, it creates a better balance, and feels more stable than if your were zooming to 300mm and handholding with your hand just in front of the camera.
The optical quality is excellent, and corner sharpness is actually quite good. Obviously it's not perfect at 300mm, but it's actually pretty sharp.
The reason I decided to go with this lens is because I work with a 5D Mark II. If I had a 7D or any of the cropped sensor EOS, I would probably have gone with the 70-200mm f/4 IS.
In my opinion, IS is a must now so the 70-200mm f.2.8 non IS was not an option, and the new IS II sells for a ridiculous $2500 here so no thank you.
The reason I didn't go with the 70-200 f/4 IS is because it's just not enough reach with the full frame, and I find that it's really annoying to always reach for a teleconverter, maybe miss a wildlife shot and get more annoying dust on the sensor.
Being mostly a nature photographer, I encountered one little problem with the lens when used on a tripod, which brings me back to the tripod collar. When I zoom in between 200-300mm, the lens is harder to focus in live view mode because when I'm manually focusing, I'm creating a slight vibration, which makes it harder to focus really precisely at 5x and 10x magnification. It's not that big of a deal, but I take more time to make sure that my focus is right where I want it to be.
So I will be saving my money and eventually purchase the tripod collar.
I am really happy with the lens and am confident it will get a lot of use for many many years.


Dec 14, 2010
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Chris B.
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Registered: Oct 7, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1223
Review Date: Dec 14, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,569.99 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb optical performance, easy to hold with good balance, "bullet-proof" build, excellent IS, more than worthy of it's "L" designation
Cons:
Well, it's a bit pricey and Canon does NOT include the over-priced Tripod Ring!

I bought this lens as a replacement for a 100-400. Yes, I know it's a 100mm shorter but it's also 30mm wider and that's what I needed. I ordered the lens the day Canon announced it, and received it on November 12th. I went out shooting with it the very next day, and was simply blown away by the quality of the images! Great sharp images with superb color rendition and contrast. All aspects of the lens are excellent. It balances well with both a 7D and a 40D; the zoom and focus rings are as smooth as butter; IS functions exceptionally well and is very quiet. I can't wait to try it out during the 2011 Airshow season.

Dec 14, 2010
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mvinson
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Registered: Dec 13, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 13, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Brilliant optical quality, handholdable, fast, quiet autofocus
Cons:
Way too expensive, odd placement of zoom ring, variable aperture

I took this lens for a 1 week test drive (rented from Borrowlenses.com). Optically the lens performed as advertised. No complaints there. While heavy, the weight was well balanced with my 5DMII. Fast, quiet autofocus.

So what are the complaints? The price! It is a lot of money for what you get (and what you don't get - an extra $200 for a tripod collar, seriously?). The zoom ring is at the front of the lens which makes hitting the focus ring while you are zooming difficult to avoid. The aperture remains at F4.0 only until 100MM when it switches to f4.5; 150mm to f5.0 and about 225mm to f5.6. Finally, did I mention the price?

Bottom line, I'm sticking with my Canon 70-200mm F4.0 L IS USM AF and a 1.4 teleconverter. The 70-200 F4.0L IS is a brilliant lens, much lighter, much cheaper, and comes with a tripod collar. In my tests, this lens with the 1.4 teleconverter was optically equal to the 70-300 at 280MM.


Dec 13, 2010
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eric1057
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Registered: Aug 6, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 6, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, great image stabilization
Cons:
Wish tripod mount came with lens.

There is something about this lens that is hard to describe unless you've held it--it has a balance that just "feels right." The latest generation of stabilization, combined with its shortness, heft and balance, make it easy to handhold consistently at 1/60th sec., and often as slow as 1/30th sec. without any visible blur.

At 1:1 on a 30" monitor I don't see any chromatic aberration. This has become my standard "street" lens for walking around. Whether on a 5D MkII at 70-300mm, or on a 7D at 112-480mm, this lens has a great AF motor, and reacts quickly and decisively, despite the designer's need to trade off aperture speed for a hand holdable size.

Canon hit it out of the ballpark with this one. It is a bit pricey, but it's solid, sharp, slick, and doesn't compromise on making you feel you're holding an optical gem.


Dec 6, 2010
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LarrySH
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Registered: Dec 6, 2010
Location: United States
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Review Date: Dec 6, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,600.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very sharp, relatively small and light, fast USM and great stabilizer, exceptionally rugged
Cons:
Pricey

A really fine lens with a great range of focal lengths, very sharp and beautiful images, very fast and accurate focus, and a very effective stabilizer.

A significant step up from my prior non-L Canon 70-300 USM IS, and a perfect lens for zoo and outdoor event use. With the high ISO bodies now available, this lens can even be used at faster shutter speeds and smaller apertures to freeze sports and active children and pets indoors.

All considered, a really great addition to my camera bag.


Dec 6, 2010
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johneasterly
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Registered: Sep 4, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 88
Review Date: Dec 5, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,699.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Small, Fast Focusing, Locks in place so it does not creep out when carrying like the 100-400 does, feels like and handles like a dream, build quality is like a super tank
Cons:
None

Using this lens this weekend on a T2i it worked great, I captured more sharp in-focus hand held shots than I ever got with my 100-400 L simply because I can handle the weight better when hand holding. Zoom ring placement takes getting used to but overall it fits my use

Dec 5, 2010
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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
74 127957 Oct 19, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
93% of reviewers $1,471.48
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.75
8.32
9.5
70-300mm


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