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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

Review Date: Dec 2, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Black, compact, extremely sharp, colours
Colours sometimes troublesome but can be corrected in PP. Cannot use a permanent protective filter/UV filter.

I use this with a 5D and I have a 24-105L and 50/f1.4. The reason for purchasing this lens was simple. I wanted the nearest thing to L quality but black. The cheaper 70-300 just isn't up to scratch when it comes to build quality. That one feels like it's gonna break at any moment with it's huge, bare, barrel spinning around waiting for someone to grab it and kill the motor! White L lenses are for professionals. God knows why any amateur would need one. It's not all about the equipment when making great photos ;-) I'm from the camp that wants photos that are great straight from the camera, with no post processing required.

This lens is extremely sharp and has accurate sharpness (i.e. the AF on the 5D with this lense is very accurate and quick). Very rarely do i have unsharp photos straight out of the camera from this lens. You cannot have a protective filter on this lens, if you do then the sharpness will noticeably degrade but can be corrected easily in post processing. I tried a Hoya Pro1 D protective filter (not even UV - basically just a plain piece of glass) and noticeable lost sharpness. I use the lens hood where possible to avoid anything touching the front element. The colours from this lens can be L quality but sometimes you get some "off" colours - i found those to appear in very bright sun light. I'm not sure why but it happens rarely. Maybe it's from flare but i did have the hood on at the time. Best colours were obtained after rainfall. The build quality is not bad but when i started using the 24-105L again i did notice the "juicy" zoom mechanism on the L. It just feels so much nicer. My copy of 24-105L has a tight zoom mechanism but i understand others might be looser. Sometimes it's very hard to distinguish between photos taken with this lens and those from the 24-105L (i.e. from a colours and sharpness perspective). I have a Hoya Pro1 D Wideband polariser on order for this 70-300.