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

Available At:
EF 300mm f/4.0L IS USM

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

  • User Reviews (23)

    Showing 1-10 of 23  
    jackthehat   Expert [Apr 06, 2008]
    Strength:

    Lightweight
    Portable
    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

    Weakness:

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

    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.

    Customer Service

    Not needed (fingers crossed)

    Similar Products Used: Canon 70-200 f2.8L IS
    Sigma 400mm f5.6
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Available At:
    mertmag   Intermediate [Nov 10, 2007]
    Strength:

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

    Weakness:

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

    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

    Customer Service

    N/A

    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
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Daniel Lee Taylor   Expert [Mar 04, 2007]
    Strength:

    * 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.

    Weakness:

    * 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.

    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.

    Customer Service

    Not needed on this lens. I did have a DSLR repaired once by Canon and they were excellent.

    Similar Products Used: Too many to list...
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Available At:
    markandpor   Intermediate [Oct 10, 2006]
    Strength:

    Quality, weight

    Weakness:

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

    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

    Similar Products Used: 70-200 f/4 L
    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    jimz   Professional [Sep 29, 2006]
    Strength:

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

    Weakness:

    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

    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!

    Customer Service

    bone

    Similar Products Used: 100mm 400mm L
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Available At:
    CLJohnson   Expert [Jun 30, 2005]
    Strength:

    - optics - mechanics/build - image stabilization - built-in hood - tripod collar attaches reliably and feels strong

    Weakness:

    - slightly heavy but not inappropriately so - focus limiter not exactly helpful, but not a problem either

    I am absolutely thrilled with this lens. It is my third L lens - and it is perhaps the best of the three (probably because it is a prime). The build and mechanics of the lens are top shelf - switches and dials are laid out well and function soundly and reliably. The focus ring, for example, is nice and wide and has exactly the right amount of resistance IMO. The built-in lens hood is fantastic. I wish every L lens had this - it makes life so much easier! The focus limiting range seems a bit odd to me: 1.5m-to-inf and 3m-to-inf. Seems to me that there are other options that make more sense - such as 1.5-6m and 5m-to-inf. or such. This is the only mechanical/structural oddity/concern I have - and it's pretty minor! The glass is superior. Extremely sharp and contrasty. The auto-focus is whisper quiet, fast and reliable under most situations. Full time manual focus override makes compensation very easy. The f/4.0 max aperture may not make it the fastest lens, but its not a 5.6 - and the Image Stabilization helps to compensate. It being a 4.0 means that it's possible to get one for under $1000 too. If you are unfamiliar with Image Stabilization or are wondering if it works - it does. It's a fantastic feature. The weight of the lens is totally acceptable. It's no light-weight, it is fairly substantial, but not a burden. I find very few issues about this lens and strongly endorse it.

    Customer Service

    I've been shooting with Canon products for 24 years and have yet to have the need.

    Similar Products Used: Canon 75-300 IS Canon 24-70 L Canon 70-200 L
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Christiano   Professional [Jun 17, 2004]
    Strength:

    Sharp sharp (its a fixed lens!) Build in hood Nice strong BAG A mini tripod is standard!***** Ok filter lenght 77 mm

    Weakness:

    a little to heavy to much noise from the IS motor

    I have just recently bought this Lens nearly used or named as a demo version. In short i think it equals my beloved working tool the 70-200(both f2,8 and f4) i think mine is extraordinary sharp and have wonderfull colours and i find it very versatile and usable as it has the IS stabilizer and the little tropod as a standard. The pictures i get to my clients are more than satiesfying! Its a little weighty to the heavy side but that goes with the pro,im glad i didnt chose the 300 2,8 ! As a press photographer i find this F4 very good and this item gets my bread and butter-its a good investment.Dont forget its a fixed lens! I use it as a supplement to my 70-200 in my kit and have with succes also tried it with the 1,4 X converter. Absolutely stunning pix,for the price i paid for both.

    Customer Service

    None needed

    Similar Products Used: many others from canon and nikon/ sigma
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Available At:
    Runtzais   Intermediate [Jul 15, 2003]
    Strength:

    - SHARP, fast focusing, image stabilized L prime. - nice balance with the 10D (good for shooting birds in flight) - 1.5m minimal focusing distance - gives high quality photos even with the 1.4 converter

    Weakness:

    - wish it had the more advanced weather sealing like the other bigger Canon telephotos...but that's not really a weakness...just a suggestion for Canon :)

    My longtime dream lens (apart from the 500f4L IS)...light and sharp, just the best thing for wildlife photography. Coupled with the 1.4x converter it gives a nice and versatile setup that works great for birds as well as for some nice close-up shots of insects. Sharpness with the converter is very good on my 10D, although focusing is somewhat slower. I have to say that I debated wether to get the 100-400L instead, but finaly decided and went with the prime mainly because of the better design (I did not like the feel of the push-pull design I experienced with the good old 100-300L) and the slight sharpness advantage over the zoom. Get this lens if you plan on also buying a 500 or 600mm big telephoto for photographing wildlife.

    Customer Service

    not yet used...

    Similar Products Used: - Canon 100-300L and also tried out a friends Nikon 300f4...
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Tom   Expert [Dec 30, 2002]
    Strength:

    Relatively compact for the big results it can produce.

    Weakness:

    None for the size.

    I've had one for near four years and it is my favorite lens. I bought a 100-400 to replace the 300, but quickly found out that the 300 was lighter, faster and sharper. If I was only allowed one lens it would be this one (along with a 1.4x teleconverter). I don't have a f2.8 telephoto so maybe I'm missing something, but IMO the images I get from this lens are extremely good. And I can't imagine lugging a big f2.8 telephoto through the woods.

    Customer Service

    None

    Similar Products Used: 100-400
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Available At:
    AJ   Professional [Nov 17, 2002]
    Weakness:

    A waste of time for a serious photographer

    I had to wait until I sold this lens to write this. (I have tried 3 of these out. All the same) The only thing 'L' about this lens is that it is white! And F/6.7 and down to f/11 give good Sharp results. But it is so slow I thought the USM was broken. F/4 is so soft it blures the subject. This lens is nice and light. Which is why I wanted one. Something to keep mounted out in the woods. But it needs a sunny day for good results. A 200mm f/2.8 L with a 1.4 teleconveter is a much better setup. Even in dim light. Fast focus results and no subject blur at f/4. No 'IS' but 3 good photos is better than 10 bad photos. Also much cheaper and lighter.

    Similar Products Used: 28-70 f/2.8 L, 70-200 2.8 IS L, 200 1.8 L 85mm 1.8 USM.......
    OVERALL
    RATING
    2
    VALUE
    RATING
    2
    Showing 1-10 of 23  
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