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  Reviews by: Alex Roe  

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

Review Date: Sep 5, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $640.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Light weight, 2 mode image stabilization, feels reasonably well built, quiet, focuses reasonably quickly, good colors, zoom lock, sharpness good. Value for money
Variable aperture, not L lens, but does not cost the same either!

Initially I got the older 75-300mm IS lens, but was very disappointed with the sharpness. I did not like the fact that there was no zoom lock and the lens motor was clunky and noisy too.

I took it back and swapped it for the 70-300 IS with USM motor. Then I went out and took some shots with it, after having been told by a guy in the shop that there was not much difference between the two.

I think he was wrong. I remember the first shots from the 75-300mm I looked at. They made me feel that I had made a mistake. Aside from the sharpness which was pretty awful at 300, the colors seemed muted too.

Well, I used the 70-300 today and it's not at all bad. Even at 300mm it is decent. The colors seem livelier as well.

The build quality seems better and there is the 2 mode IS which is great. Focusing is faster and seems more accurate too. The USM motor is quieter and not clunky either. The IS does its thing well too.

So far I'm very pleased with this lens, and as some others have commented, it's something which will keep you happy until you can run to a Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS, although you will lose 100mm -which a photographer friend of mine who went from a 70-300 to a 70-200 f4 missed.

I'd say that this is a lens well worth checking out if your budget cannot stretch to L glass. I know I'm going to enjoy owning this lens!