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

70-300_isusm
Review Date: Jul 30, 2012 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $360.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Size. Weight. Optical Quality. Value. No Zoom Creep
Cons:
Rotating Filter Ring.

Originally chose the Tamron SP 70-300 over this lens for the Tamron's reported build quality and non rotating filter ring. Ended up being disappointing with softness throughout the frame, crazy CA and really unpleasant OOF areas. So I sent it back, and picked up this lens (New in Box) from the used market here at a great price.

I can not be more happy. Is it as good as the L version? Probably not. But for 4 to 5x less money, it certainly wins in terms of value for hobbyist shooters on a budget like myself.

I can't even complain about f4 or f5.6, because all of the lens choices with this reach, in this price range, are the same.

- Optically, it's very good.
- Some CA in high contrast areas, but not horrible.
- AF is reasonably fast, and quiet.
- The IS is 2 mode, and easier to compose moving subjects than the Tamron was.
- It has a zoom lock, but I've yet to experience any zoom creep.
- The light weight makes it a JOY to carry around.

- The rotating filter ring is annoying and requires you to reset the polarizer after focus. I'll get over it.

- I thought that using a Hood and a Polarizer would be all but impossible. However, I've solved the problem by buying a rubber threaded hood that fits on the Polarizer, and is a reasonable solution.

This is one of my first shots with this lens of a Butterfly from about 6 feet.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/timcoop/7558120968/