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Canon EF 300mm f/4.0L IS USM 35mm Primes

4.74 star rating
                      4.74 / 5 (23 Reviews)
MSRP : $2000.00

  • Lens TypeFixed Focal Length Lens
    Lens Max Aperturef/4
    Focus TypeAutofocus
    Macro LensWithout Macro Lens
    MountCanon EF
    Closest Focusing Distance58.8 in
    Picture Angle8.25 degrees
    Attachment / Filter Size77 mm
    Groups / Elements15 Elements in 11 Groups
    Image StabilizationWith Image Stabilization
    Diameter3.5 in
    Length8.7 in
    Weight41.6 oz
    Product ID25649325

Product Description

A compact 300mm telephoto lens equipped with Canon's optical image stabilization system.
  • Autofocus telephoto lens
  • Image Stabilization(IS)
  • Aperture range: f/4-32
  • Min focus: 1.5m / 4.9 ft.
  • Built-in lens hood

  • Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

    Reviews 1 - 5 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by jackthehat a Expert

    Date Reviewed: April 6, 2008

    Strengths:    Lightweight
    Built in lens hood
    Great image quality
    Fast AF
    2 mode IS
    Pro build quality
    Good manual focus ring
    77mm filter thread
    Reasonable price
    Good with 1.4x extender
    Comes with good quality case and tripod collar

    Weaknesses:    1st generation IS
    No weatherproofing
    Only available in white (not good for wildlife - or muggers!)

    Bottom Line:   
    I bought this lens as I needed more pulling power than my 70-200 f2.8L IS could give me.

    Initially I was surprised how compact and lightweight it was. It is no bigger than the 70-200 f2.8 and it is noticeably lighter too. This lens is easy to carry all day and is perfect for handholding so no tripod is necessary unless you're shooting in low light.

    I was also surprised at how quick the autofocus is. Given that it's a 300mm lens the AF is extremely quick, far quicker than consumer zoom lenses. The lens has a switch that allows you to limit the autofocus to 3m-infinity which greatly speeds up the AF if you're shooting subjects over 3m away. Focus is fast with no hunting around, not quite as fast as the 70-200 f2.8 but almost as quick.

    The lens' workings are entirely enclosed which means nothing moves on the outside of the lens during focusing. It also means there is little chance of any dust or debris getting inside the lens. Manual focus is available 100% of the time without having to flick a switch. The manual focus ring is large and perfectly weighted and a joy to use.

    In line with most other L lenses, the filter thread size is 77mm which is great because you can swap filters with your other lenses without having to spend more money on expensive filters.

    One of the best features of this lens is its built in lens hood. It slides out and then twists into a locked position where it stays rock solid. This is great, no more faffing around with flimsy plastic hoods that take up valuable space in your camera bag. It's also good if you use filters... just slip the hood back, change filters and slip out the hood again.

    The IS is the older type which is suppsed to give you around 2 extra stops of shutter speed. It's good and does exactly what it says. Obviously with it being a 300mm lens the IS is less effective than it is on a 200mm lens but it's still a benefit you would be sorry to lose. People complain about it being noisy. Sure, it makes a low whirring noise but it's certainly not what I would call noisy. Put it this way - it's a lot quieter than the AF motor on non USM lenses. I use it for wildlife and the noise will never disturb your subject so it's nothing to be concerned about.

    The lens really needs to be updated by Canon because it has no weatherproofing like it's newer L lenses which is a little disappointing.

    Image quality: That's the easiest part. It's exactly what you would expect - crisp contrasty images with lovely bokeh thanks to its 8 aperture blades. Bitingly sharp images all round. Some people have said it is soft at f4. Certainly not on my lens. I do not hesitate to use it wide open.

    With the 1.4x extender you'll get 420mm (or a whopping 672mm on a DSLR with a 1.6x crop factor). You still retain autofocus and IS which gives a very potent wildlife lens indeed - the main reason I chose this lens! The lens is far lighter and more portable than the 300mm f2.8 version and at almost a quarter of the price. If, like me, you shoot wildlife on a 1.6x crop SLR and love portability you must have this lens. The only real-world advantage of the f2.8 lens over the f4 is the extra stop of light it'll gather. Image quality is equally good on them both. Just up the ISO by 1 stop and you've saved US$3500 at the press of a button.

    The lens comes with a great quality carry case and the tripod collar.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

    Price Paid:    $878.00

    Purchased At:   www.jackthehat.co.uk

    Similar Products Used:   Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS
    Sigma 400mm f5.6

    Type of photography:   Outdoor

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by mertmag a Intermediate

    Date Reviewed: November 10, 2007

    Strengths:    Image quality even at f/4.0, IS, Build quality

    Weaknesses:    Not black. I really wish Canon would offer the L lenses in a black version. I think the users would be pleased.

    Bottom Line:   
    Having owned a Sigma 70-200mm EX APO HSM f/2.8 a Canon 70-200mm f/4L a Sigma 100-300mm EX APO HSM f/4. I can tell you this is the sharpest one of the group, even at f/4. Can't zoom of course but when shooting wildlife it doesn't matter much. And the extra reach over the 70-200mm really helps when shooting birds. The comments about the IS making noise is over blown. If your using a 20D your shutter will make more noise. The IS really works great. I am able to hand hold as slow as a 60th and I am not a very steady shooter. Hunts a little in low light. But what lens doesn't at f/4. Also the ability to focus at just under 5 ft and get a very sharp image is almost like having a macro. I am now hooked on Canon primes. Also I like the built in lens hood. Just pull it out and rotate it to lock. This is the finest lens I have ever owned. Including the much praised Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L And at 1/3rd the price of the 2.8 version I would call this a steal.
    P.S. It also take sharp images with the 1.4x teleconverter at f/5.6

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

    Price Paid:    $1150.00

    Purchased At:   B&H of course

    Similar Products Used:   Sigma 70-200mm F/2.8 EX APO HSM
    Sigma 100-300mm F/4 EX APO HSM
    Canon 70-200 F/4L

    Type of photography:   Outdoor

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by Daniel Lee Taylor a Expert

    Date Reviewed: March 4, 2007

    Strengths:    * Sharp with great contrast wide open at f/4. Sharper at f/4 than consumer 70-300 zooms at f/8 or f/11. This lens can produce stunning images. I am comfortable cropping f/4 and f/5.6 shots to half their size in post processing to further magnify the subject. They still remain tack sharp printed 8x10 and 11x14. This lens is that good.

    * Great color.

    * Very good bokeh at f/4, especially with close subjects.

    * IS is fantastic and buys you 2-3 stops of shutter speed. It also helps with framing which would otherwise be difficult while hand holding a lens with this field of view.

    * Excellent build and finish.

    * Fantastic manual focus ring with USM and full time manual override.

    * Very positive AF always locks onto the subject under the AF point.

    * Built in hood.

    * Nice case included.

    * Tripod ring included.

    Weaknesses:    * If you forget to use the limiter switch and AF hunts, you'll notice the AF delay. This lens has larger elements with further travel for close focusing than mid-range lenses, so use the limiter to speed up AF.

    * Shallow DoF at f/4, especially close up. This isn't really weakness, in fact it's a plus for many types of photos. It's just something to be aware of when shooting.

    Bottom Line:   
    Let me cut to the chase: this is one of the finest gems in Canon's line and a real improvement over the various zooms that cover this range. You will not be disappointed in this lens.

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

    Price Paid:    $1100.00

    Purchased At:   B&H Photo

    Similar Products Used:   Too many to list...

    Type of photography:   Sports

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by markandpor a Intermediate

    Date Reviewed: October 10, 2006

    Strengths:    Quality, weight

    Weaknesses:    IS can be a little noisy at times (if I can classify a low whirring nose as 'noisy'

    Bottom Line:   
    I bought this, together with the 1.4 TC II for a safari trip in South Africa. Boy was I glad I bought this combination. It covered almost all of my photo needs, including some great captures of cheetas!

    The lens delivers GREAT contrast & is pin sharp & not too heavy to use for hand-holding.

    Even with the 1.4 TC, I noticed no noticeable drop in performance, apart fro mthe obvious 1 stop reduction.

    The built in lens hood is a very nice touch

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   11-20 years

    Price Paid:    $1200.00

    Purchased At:   MBK, Bangkok, Thaila

    Similar Products Used:   70-200 f/4 L

    Type of photography:   Outdoor

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:5
    Submitted by jimz a Professional

    Date Reviewed: September 29, 2006

    Strengths:    L glass the best bar none. built like a tank.

    Weaknesses:    hate the color, for wildlife or birds would rather have black or camo. price is a little stiff but I tried Sigma and others no match

    Bottom Line:   
    I purchased this lense before getting a 100mm to 400mm L 5.6 and was glad I did. If you have the extra money, the 300mm f4 is great early in the morning for wildlife, and large birds, that mostly move and eat at that hour. The Prime lense lets more light in and is much lighter then a multible mm lense. I alos have the IM image stab/ on it, ans when shooting gulls etc. it is faster then the 100 to 400. I have both and wouldnt want to give up either!

    Expand full review >>

    Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

    Price Paid:    $999.00

    Purchased At:   ebay used

    Similar Products Used:   100mm 400mm L

    Reviews 1 - 5 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

    Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

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