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

70-300_isusm
Review Date: Aug 18, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, low weight, image stabilizer
Cons:
Rotating front lens is a annoying when using polaroid filters, lens extends very long when zoomed in.

A planned vacation trip to South Africa finally provided me with the arguments to buy a telephoto zoom lens.

I wasn't looking forward to carrying around a few kilograms of glass. This combined with a budget of approximately 500 Euro made me choose between the EF 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM and the EF 70-200 f/4L USM.

Based on all review feedback I concluded that the IS feature would be of more value to me than the additional sharpness and more robust build quality an L lens would buy me.

Now, after owning the lens for 3 months and having completed my trip to South Africa I am a happy owner.
Build quality is o.k. Above all I am impressed by the sharpness of the pictures I took. Also the Image Stabilizer proved it's value by rescueing a few shots of sudden animal spottings while being hustled around in an open safari vehicle.

I always mount the long Canon lens hood and in bright sunny conditions I tend to use a polaroid filter quite often. The rotating front lens poses quite a challenge for this combination. Imagine holding the camera with one hand while with the other hand trying to rotate a deeply hidden polaroid filter into the proper position. Ít was quite a hassle.

Finally one thing I hadn't realized upfront: the lens is consuming a considerable amount of power. The situation is still acceptable but make sure to have your spare battery always fully charged.