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

70-300_isusm
Review Date: Jul 6, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Images surprisingly sharp, considering the available aperture range and the fact that it's a long zoom. Solidly built for a non-L lens, but not too heavy. IS really works.
Cons:
Haven't encountered any negative aspects that will remain in memory.

Although not an L-lens by far, this one produces more than acceptably bright and clear images that are excellent for all my usual purposes. I use it mainly for visits to the Miami Metro Zoo. There, the animals are kept in spacious pads, not cages, and you get a clear view of them that is perfect for zooming. I have usually obtained images that are clear, bright (if properly exposed of course) and surprisingly sharp, both on digital and film cameras, with a very tactile feel to the surface textures. The two-mode IS feature is particularly useful when shooting large cats while they're pacing around; not needed so much with the lumbering elephants.

Here's an example:

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1203/526333019_eb57cef123.jpg