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

70-300_isusm
Review Date: Jun 27, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Optical quality, light weight, IS, moderate price
Cons:
Zoom action is a bit loose so that zoom lock feature is helpful. The legendary sharpness problem in portrait position does show up, but I never saw it until I tested for it with a 5D (was using a 350D before), so it's not a big problem.

After some research, it became evident to me that this lens was going to offer the best bang/buck ratio of longer lenses. I previously used an original-style Tamron 28-300 which I liked ok, but this blows it out of the water, particularly because of the IS.

My wife and I travelled in Africa this May, including a safari in Kenya, and this lens was my workhorse, and I don't see how I could be any happier with the results. I took along my Manfrotto tripod and monopod, and did not use either of them even once, thanks to the IS. I shot pretty well everything raw + large, mostly at 200 ISO, and you can a selection of the resulting images at www.pbase.com/DougC43

I breathed deeply and bought a 5D about 3 days ago, but haven't really tried it out very extensively, so I will be very interested to see how the 70-300 stands up under the microscope of a full-size 12.8 mp sensor.

Bottom line, at least with the crop body, is that this is a relatively affordable lens that delivers the results big time.