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

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Reviews Views Date of last review
77 138216 May 14, 2015
Recommended By Average Price
94% of reviewers $1,460.56
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.75
8.30
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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Robin Smith
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Registered: Dec 19, 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 189
Review Date: May 14, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great image quality. Comparatively compact and light in weight
Cons:
Zoom creep

I bought this lens to replace the 70-200mm f4IS. I use it in tandem with the 70-200mm f2.8II. This is a fantastically useful lens. Image quality is identical in practical terms to the 70-200 f4IS and yet it goes to 300mm, where it also performs excellently and considerably better than any 70-200mm with a 1.4X. It is f4 from 70 to just less than 135mm and is f5 at 200mm, a 2/3 of a stop penalty, but back it off to around 170mm and its f4.5. Not much of a penalty for the extra ease of getting to 300mm.

Although heavier than a 70-200mm f4 it is actually considerably shorter and therefore just as easy to fit vertically in a regular bag. No special case or back pack is needed for this lens, unlike the 100-400s which may require laying down in a regular bag, or requiring a separate lens case. The lens is much easier to handle size and weight-wise than a 70-200mm f2.8.

My only complaint is that the zoom does tend to creep when unlocked, which can be a bit of a nuisance. The lens does not need a tripod ring in normal use and on a good tripod it is quite stable without one, so the fact they don't supply one is a complete non-issue to me. The reversed focus and zoom is easy to get used to: some people are just lacking in flexibility.

If you are thinking of getting a 70-200mm of any type, then you should definitely check out this superb and versatile lens.


May 14, 2015
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teglis
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Registered: Aug 31, 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 1094
Review Date: Jan 20, 2015 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, fairly portable
Cons:
Zoom/focus rings in wrong places, no tripod collar, can't lock zoom when hood reversed

This lens replaced the 70-300DO for me. While obviously larger and heavier, it is still portable and makes a good travel lens. But the real difference is in image quality. Results are much sharper than the DO and have better contrast as well. I regularly shoot wide open at all focal lengths now, and get sharp results.

While this lens specs out well, Canon dropped the ball on the details. How can they sell an L series lens capable of using a tripod collar and not actually include the collar?

The swapping of the zoom and focus rings is frustrating. I constantly worry about accidentally shifting the focus because of the way I cradle the lens in my left hand while shooting.

Once you reverse the hood to put the lens back in the bag, it blocks the zoom lock switch, so you have to make sure you lock the zoom first (something that's not always top-of-mind when shooting on a cold Canadian winter day). While the lens doesn't suffer from zoom creep, the zoom can extend when pulling it out of the bag if not locked.

All-in-all I'm glad I replaced the 70-300DO with this lens. It's just not clear why Canon couldn't make it a bit more ergonomic.


Jan 20, 2015
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navyoeller
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Registered: Dec 26, 2014
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 26, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: very portable, sharpness, is, silent
Cons:
slightly heavy, price

After some time considering also the newer EF 100 - 400mm, I choose this lens. It's lighter and smaller and more transportable with excellent L build quality. On my 7D the lens works just greatly, no adjustment necessary.

Sharpness is very good throughout all range.

For being a all-rounder, it is a excellent companion trough the day and a good value for the bucks.


Dec 26, 2014
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moushu
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Registered: Oct 19, 2014
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 19, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Great quality, relatively lightweight, fast operation.
Cons:
Cost! (but quality comes at a price). Too heavy for my 17 year old daughter!

This is the most expensive lens I've ever owned, so it was a huge leap to justify it & then buy it.
It's attached to my 7D.
I used to have a EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM, and had a few issues with it missing focus. When I realised that for my photography I was using it for about 90% of my photos, and that I wasn't getting quite the quality I wanted, I decided to go for this L lens.
And quite frankly it's stunning! I hardly ever miss a shot now, focussing is fast and accurate, zoom smooth (with no creep), bokeh lovely. And nothing lacking in the IQ stakes.

A lot of reviews seem to have issues with the placement of the zoom ring.
However, for good hand-held support, you really want one hand up near the front of the lens to achieve a good balance, and so in that setup the zoom ring is in fact ideally placed. For me at least!
And of course on my crop 7D, it effectively goes to 460mm, yet the IS keeps things under control wonderfully.
I've owned it for 3 years now, no issues at all, just a great bit of kit.

Sheer quality!
Most of my pictures on https://500px.com/moushu were taken with this lens.



Oct 19, 2014
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jrobichaud
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Registered: Feb 21, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 429
Review Date: Jul 16, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Outstanding IQ, easy to travel with
Cons:
zoom/focus rings reversed

Traveling by air, I decided to bring only a lowe pro slingshot 200 for my camera gear. I about decided not to bring a tele other than the 100mm 2.8L. My 70-200mm 2.8 II wouldn't really fit, and the 300mm 2.8 and 500mm f4 were obviously out of the question. I hate owning really good glass then shooting with cheap stuff just for the sake of travel space. The 70-300mm focal length had never really interested me because none of them are sharp.
Researching this lens lead me to give her a try. Wow! what a great image maker! In need my 2.8 glass for events, but for travel, this 70-300mm L IS is perfect. much smaller than my 70-200mm and I can bump the ISO up on my 5DIII to cover the speed issues. I ended up marrying this lens to a 70D giving me even more reach (although the ISO is more limited that with the 5D) and the 16-35mm f4L IS on my 5DIII.
Worked great on Maui. Love the lens!


Jul 16, 2014
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W6jhb
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Registered: Mar 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3
Review Date: Jun 23, 2014 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,399.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Zoom range, build quality, look and feel.
Cons:
No tripod mount supplied, funky placement of zoom ring.

I've been using a Canon 17-40 f/4L and a Canon 24-70 f/2.8 L lens for some time. Used to have a Canon 70-200 f/2.8 L IS and the Canon 100-400 L IS. Sold the two big while lenses a couple years ago and ever since have missed having telephoto capability. I was torn between this lens and the 70-200 f/4 L IS and finally decided the extra 100mm would be nice. I am soooooo glad I got this 70-300. Have only had it a couple days, but the shots I've taken, all hand-held, have been far beyond what I'd expected. We attended a church picnic on Saturday and I was able to take great hand-held shots even as the sun was going down. The IS worked great; focusing was instant, spot on, and silent.

I'd heartily recommend this lens to anyone on the fence about getting one!


Jun 23, 2014
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israeljruiz
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Registered: Apr 12, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 344
Review Date: Aug 26, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,050.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ, sharp, compact and focused very effectively
Cons:
No TC and focusing in different spot!



I was very impressed with IQ.

I used it on a recent trip as a general purpose, zoo and some birding and loved it!

I used it in conjunction with my 500 is and it was a perfect set up for me...


Ps
I'm tempted to try the 28-300 for wide angle purposes ...I do love my 16-35 though...

Non the less, this is a great lens...I would surely recommend it!


Aug 26, 2013
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ChrisRD
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Registered: May 19, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 935
Review Date: Jul 29, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,200.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent IQ, fast/accurate AF, great IS, nice build quality & hood
Cons:
It's not cheap for a F/4-F/5.6 zoom...but given the pluses it's still worth it IMO

I bought this lens during a sale out of curiosity. I was often finding myself putting a 1.4X on my 70-200/2.8 II IS and was hoping this lens would be a bit more compact/convenient option to cover that range.

I was very surprised at the IQ and AF performance of this lens on a 5D3 and I'm actually considering selling the 70-200 at this point since I have some primes to cover that range when I need more speed. It's remarkably sharp...even with at 420mm with a 1.4X Kenko attached.


Jul 29, 2013
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rbussmann
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Registered: Apr 11, 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 14, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast and accurate zoom, image quality, color rendition, built like a tank
Cons:
No tripod ring, does not accept Canon converters

One of my most frequently used outdoor lenses on rough expeditions. Built quality is outstanding - this lens is really tough. Nice zoom range. The missing tripod ring is annoying, given the price. Excellent for what it is supposed to do. Less good for city environments / people (we work a lot in markets), because it naturally is rather visible.

Apr 14, 2013
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Kathy White
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Registered: Apr 30, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 1559
Review Date: Dec 17, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: size, weight, fast and accurate focus.
Cons:
the focus and zoom design are backwards. Drives me crazy but I still love the lens. I just deal with it.

The combo of this with my 5DIII are great together. I have at least as many keepers with this lens as with my 70 200 II when shooting sports. It is actually my go to lens for Football unless I am shooting at night. I have had it a couple of months and with its fast and accurate focus and light weight it has become a favorite. This lens and my pancake make a great travel pair. I keep wishing they would redo the 100 400 and make it perform like this lens for the extra distance. It does not need great light to focus accurately. The first day I received it I shot a FB game on a very dull and dreary day and it nailed almost every shot in Servo. If it didn't get the shot it was me.

Dec 17, 2012
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edseiz
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Registered: Mar 13, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 294
Review Date: Apr 25, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Compact, sharp and very fast focusing.
Cons:
No tripod ring included and needs to accept teleconverter.

I just bought this lens used due to the fact that I may want to sell my 70-200mm f2.8 IS version I. The verdict is still out. I am going to test it tomorrow but just playing with it and seeing the color and how fast it focuses. I am impressed. If you are considering it, go for it, you won't regret it.

Apr 25, 2012
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irispatch
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Registered: Feb 3, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 111
Review Date: Apr 15, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,350.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, focus speed IS , size.
Cons:
Price focus and zoom rings are reversed.

When my 35-350L broke I took a long time trying to decide what to replace it with. The 28-300 is a nice range, a heavy expensive beast. The 100-400 is a popular lens that I have rented twice and both times not really satisfied with the results. I had a 70-300 DO which was nice but not quite sharp enough and for a bout the same price the 70-300 L turns out to be good enough for me to give up my 300F4LIS. A solid performer that has given me sharp handheld shots that usually I would need a tripod to get. finding one on the used market tells you a lot, they just cannot be found used.

Apr 15, 2012
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iclaudius
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Registered: Aug 31, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 8
Review Date: Apr 12, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,440.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Compact size, build, IS is amazing, image quality, minimum focusing distance
Cons:
no tc

I have had the lens since new for about 7 months. Especially useful for travel photography because it packs down so well into small space. This cannot be overemphasized.

Image quality is beyond reproach and helped greatly by new IS system. Also own 100-400, but when exta reach not needed, would opt for this, especially for travel. Same reason I have no desire to own 70-200L 2.8 IS despite its great image quality.

For those worried about speed of lens, it is mainly an outdoor lens, but even so, just for kicks, i have obtained some terrific stage shots at concerts at higher iso's (2500) with the 5dII when too far away to use my 135L. The IS is so good that you can capture some real keepers.

The excellent minimum focusing distance, floating lens, and IS makes for a real treat in close up photos with or without a tripod.

All in all, am finding this to be a favorite lens.


Apr 12, 2012
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John57
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Registered: Jun 13, 2003
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 53
Review Date: Apr 9, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,400.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, focus.
Cons:
Zoom ring the opposite way to what I expected. Cost.

I bought this lens when it was still rather expensive .... but don't regret it as it is so good. Some people wondered where it would sit in Canon's line up but I thought it was just what I wanted for my 5D II ... and I was right.

I use it for weddings and general photography and find it is not too slow in any way for the use I put it to.

The images are the sharpest I have seen from a zoom of this kind except the 70-200 f2.8L. The focus speed is good and the lens though heavy balances better on my 5D than the 70-200. The IS is great though takes a second or so to click in like most IS systems.

It is built like most big L lenses ... like a tank ... but feels OK.

The biggest issue I have with the lens is personal preference really - in that I love the twist zoom style like the 70-200 as opposed to the push pull of a 100-400. The problem is on this lens that the zoom ring is at the front of the barrel - the opposite way round to the 70-200 and I find it ungainly to use .. This is, however, a minor issue for what I consider to be a stunning lens and one I would highly recommend !


Apr 9, 2012
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jackbreakfast
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Registered: Apr 1, 2012
Location: N/A
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 1, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size, weight, versatility, sharpness, color rendition, IQ
Cons:

I was spending much of my time waffling between this lens and the 100-400 and in the end I was swayed by this lens' size and weight and newer IS. I'm delighted with the lens' sharpness and color rendition. The optics are very spiffy indeed, and the pictures are SHARP O YES THEY ARE VERY NICE AND SHARP at 300mm, f5.6...a versatile and handholdable lens, to be sure. My primary interest is bird photography, and I would love the extra 100mm provided by the 100-400 but I also heard about a lot of soft-at-400 copies of the 100-400. Who knows if that's true or not? Anyhow, I use this little white zoomer constantly and I've been very pleased with the results thus far. I'll also tell you that it feels very good in the hands and is very well-balanced on the 7D. Last: The AF is surprisingly swift for a zoom lens!

Apr 1, 2012
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Nektario K
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Registered: Jan 5, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 264
Review Date: Mar 27, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very light weight for such a zoom, IQ very good, and fast focus.
Cons:
Ridiculous positoning of focus and zoom rings -they just should have kept it as normal - ie: 70-200 and almost every other lens.

This lens came today.. I love how light weight it is.. I had read about the focus ring being closer to the body and the zoom ring being away..in other words, the opposite set up from 24-105 24-70, 70-200 and probably every other lens.. Why on earth ..but why...why would some engineer design the zoom ring all the way down there..How the heck are you suppose to zoom in a steady supported motion if you have to have your hand a football field away from the camera body..
I'm giving it a week and its going back strictly due to this set up they made.. Completely ridiculous.. If you plop this lens on a tripod.. and don't care..then its fine I guess.. (Oh ya.. no tripod collar, but that didn't bother me as much)..so you'll be ok with it on a tripod.. but any freestyle, pj wedding work..its going to be a pain...

I give it a week...did I say how ridiculous a design this focus ring & zoom ring is?


Mar 27, 2012
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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
77 138216 May 14, 2015
Recommended By Average Price
94% of reviewers $1,460.56
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.75
8.30
9.5
70-300mm


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