Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM 35mm Zoom

Available At:
EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Improved Image Stabilizer Technology provides up to three stops of "shake" correction, and the "Mode 2" option stabilizes images while panning with a moving subject. Compared to the original Canon EF 75-300mm IS zoom lens, this telephoto lens has faster autofocus, and overall the lens is lighter and has a smaller diameter than the original. The zoom ring can be locked at the 70mm position, making this powerful lens easy to transport, too.

User Reviews (9)

Showing 1-9 of 9  
bleu73   Expert [Oct 28, 2007]
Strength:

Light, compact and very good quality images.

Weakness:

Maybe 300 mm is a little bit soft at max aperture.

I've bought it to make pictures while I am hiking in mountains. So, I was looking for a telezoom not too big, no too heavy and providing good quality images. This 70/300 IS provides surprensigly sharp photos. For the price... it is incredible. I have found lab tests and the figures were almost the same as the Canon 100/400L.
I am so glad to bring it in my rucksack for hours and hours whithout breaking my back... and taking nice shots as well !

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
andrewsfoto   Expert [Aug 19, 2006]
Strength:

Surprisingly good optical performance considering the price. At the short end this lens delivers results indistinguishable from primes and top of the range L zooms. Absolute optical performance declines a little as the lens is zoomed out but I have made clear, sharp, well detailed photos of subjects 3 kilometers away, hand held at 300 mm. Quite impressive. Performance is really good wide open at all focal lengths, improving just a little at f 8 and f 11. A very versatile long zoom, an absolute must for the traveller with a Canon EOS camera.

Weakness:

Lens construction and design have some cost saving features, I guess you can't have everything. You either have the cost or the cost saving features.There is no distance scale, which is no big deal. With a long lens like this a distance scale is not much use anyway. The whole front barrel of the lens including the focus ring rotates with auto or manual focussing, be careful where you put the fingers of your left hand. There is no FTM, even though the AF drive is USM. The front lens barrel extends substantially when fully zoomed out.
Buyers note. Some examples of this lens have a strange optical fault, acknowleged by Canon. Images go soft in the corners at the longer focal lengths when the lens is held in the vertical ( portrait ) format orientation. My lens had this problem. Canon fixed it without demur, apparently by replacing one of the lens groups which contained the fault. After the fix the lens is working perfectly. This experience makes a good argument for buying lenses with full manufacturers warranty even though this cost a bit more.

This excellent general purpose zoom is a step up from the previous 75 - 300 mm zoom, with better optical performance at all focal lengths and apertures. I have used it on a Canon EOS 20D for several months and am very pleased with its performance, but see weaknesses below. The lens covers the full 24 x 36 frame so can be used on film cameras or the EOS 5D.
For the focal length range it is light in weight, moderate in size and very reasonably priced. IS works really well making this lens ideal for handheld use even at the longest focal length. There are two IS modes available. A zoom lock prevents barrel creep.
Distortion is low with slight barrel at the wide end and slight pincushion at the long end. Some colour fringing is visible at contrasty edges, easily correctable in Photoshop. Filter size is a handy 52 mm. Field of view on the 20D is equivalent to a focal length range of 112 - 480 mm on full frame.

Customer Service

Excellent from Canon Australia.

Similar Products Used: EF 75 - 300 IS Zoom
A range of Canon EF zooms and primes.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
T.P. MCMANUS   Expert [May 08, 2006]
Strength:

fast focus, light weight

Weakness:

Softness

Purchased this lens with Canon eos 20-d, found to be overall soft, 200+ images all sole ft. Contacted Canon TS, was informed there currently is an unresolved focusing issue with this lens. Placed on a recall list when solution is discoved will be notified to return for adjustments. Unacceptable product.....

Similar Products Used: Nikkor 80 - 400 VR
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Available At:
CanonFreak   Expert [Apr 28, 2006]
Strength:

- 75-300mm range
- sharpness over total zoom range
- light weight
- compact size
- zoom lock at 70mm range
- 3-stop, dual-mode IS
- price
- value

Weakness:

- small (f/5.6) aperture at longest reach (300mm)
- loose, plastic construction
- AF sometimes hunts at long range in low light
- AF only 50-50 with 1.4x teleconverter
- possible edge softness/blurring in portrait-orientation in a few
samples

Based on tests at:

http://photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_70300_456is/index.htm

this lens is just as sharp as the Canon 70-200 L zooms, both f/2.8 and f/4.0, plus it has 50% more range. While its not as fast or well built, it is much lighter and somewhat smaller than even the 70-200 f/4.0 and therefore is a great travel and field lens.

I replaced the original 75-300 f/4.0-f/5.6 IS with this one, which is much sharper at the long end. (I sold the 3.5 year old one on eBay for 92% of my original purchase price!). I had planned to get a 70-200 f/4.0 L, but at virtually the same price this one was a better match for my needs -- as always, YMMV.

This lens is an absolute joy to use given its equivalent sharpness from the shortest to longest reach and 3-stop IS. Like the original, its a great travel and field lens. However, the small aperture at the longest reach can be a problem, especially for bird/animal photograpy. At the 300mm range, the aperture is only f/5.6 and the autofocus on my EOS 350D can stutter-hunt with subjects not brightly lit.

The close focus (about 6ft) allows for near macro use on flowers, faces, etc. at 300mm with stunning, L-lens style, resolution, contrast and saturation!

In its locked, 70mm position, the lens is unimposing and so facilitates getting candid, intimate shots in a populated area.

This lens is NOT suited for use with a 1.4x teleconverter -- the autofocus works only about 50% of the time. Forget about using a 2x teleconverter.

As another reviewer notes, it makes a great match with the17-85 IS. Throw in the 10-22 and you've just about covered every useful focal length on a digital Canon with the 1.6 field of crop factor.

This lens isn't "better" than either of the 70-200 L's -- its a viable alternative depending on your photographic purposes.

PS: An undetermined but apparently small proportion of these lenses are reported to have edge softness/blurring when used in the portrait mode. This appears to be experienced by only a minority of users, but it behooves a buyer to get it from a reputable vendor who will replace or refund without a problem. Your first priority, once you've taken delivery, should be to take enough portrait-orientation shots early on to tell whether or not your sample has this problem -- flat, vertical, patterned surfaces are ideal for this purpose, for example, the side of your house. I determined in the first day of ownership that mine doesn't have this problem, but caveat emptor!

Similar Products Used: Canon EF 10-22
Canon EF 17-85 IS
Canon EF 75-300 IS
Canon EF 300 f/4.0 L (non-IS)
Vivitar EF 100mm f/3.5 Macro
Tamron SP 500 f/8.0 Mirror (all manual)
Tamron SP 90mm f/2.5 Macro (all manual)
No Name 500mm f/8.0-f/32 manual tele
Bunch of FD mount lenses in prior photographic life
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike Lima   Intermediate [Apr 21, 2006]
Strength:

- IS
- Pricing

Weakness:

Individual copies may vary in quality

On my analog EOS I always used a 70-300mm f/4-5.6, and always the result was very satisfying. Then I got myself a digital EOS and the trouble began: soft, soft, soft, unsharp and soft. Based upon what I read on this site about I decided to give the 70-300mm IS f/4-5.6 a try. I managed to borrow one from a colleguae and was positively surprised by its quality: contrast, sharpness and the effect of the IS, all were perfect. Another colleguae could borrow me a 70-200mm L f/4 and surprisingly it did not produce significantly better results. So I bought the 70-300mm with IS. However, this one turned out to be a 'monday morning copy' as it made poor quality pictures (way too soft) and lost sharpness when the camera was held in portrait position (known problem with this lens). I exchanged it for a new one and this one works fine. Highest sharpness can be achieved when using apertures around f/9-16, but even wide open (300mm at f/5.6) gives good results. The IS enables me to take pictures over 200mm at shutter speeds even 1/60th!! Of course this lens is a compromis: not as solidly built as an 'L', not as fast as an 'L', but all together decent enough for heavy amature usage, and against a very attractive price!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Available At:
ray_099   Professional [Apr 20, 2006]
Strength:

Range, IS, inconspicous sp?

Weakness:

Image quality was more in line with the Consumer zooms from Canon.
Focus hunts in low light and lens extends and turns when zooming.

I needed a long range zoom and the 70-200 2.8L is just too heavy
and expensive.
I liked the range but wasn't thrilled with the feel of the lens.
The micro usm isn't as quick and responsive as the ring usm so low light
is challenging and the lens will hunt while turning and extending.
Also you have to lock the zoom at 70 or it will extend while walking around with the camera on your shoulder. IS worked great though.
I went with the 70-200 4.0L which matches my other lenses
16-35 2.8L, 50 1.4, 85mm 1.8
If you are happy with the 28-105 4.5-5.6, 28-135mm IS then this would be a good
match. If you are used to the pro quality of the Canon primes or L series
lenses then you could try this one but make sure the store has a 2 week return
option. I strongly recommend the 17-40 4.0L & 70-200mm 4.0L for their
light weightprice and feel.

Customer Service

None needed.

Similar Products Used: 16-35mm 2.8L,17-40mm 4.0L, 70-200mm 2.8L,70-200mm 4.0L,
50mm 1.4, 50mm 1.8, 85mm 1.8, 100mm 2.0, 200mm 2.8L.
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
conorblewis   Intermediate [Mar 07, 2006]
Strength:

good lens, good IS

Weakness:

none really, could be f2.8 and an L

Great lens, my yearbook class is looking to get a bunch b/c they are affordable, fast and look great zoomed all the way out to 300mm.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Available At:
Steve00J   Expert [Feb 18, 2006]
Strength:

High Image quality - sharp and brilliant images. Image quality good at both 70mm and 300mm. Image Stabiliser easily give 3 stops better performance. Light weight lens - Good build quality. Well balanced on EOS 350D

Weakness:

Front of lens revolves during focussing. Lens is quite long at 300mm. Feels fragile when extended to 300mm.

I had been looking at a zoom with at least 200mm, and when the 70-300mm IS was announced this looked about right. I also have a Canon 17-85 IS and this has proved to be a superb lens. Reading other online reviews confirmed my decision, and I purchased a 70-300 IS in January 2006. The reviews did not lie, the image quality is superb, sharp and vibrant colours. A dramatic improvement on the old Canon 75-300 IS, these lenses are not in the same class. Image quality of the 70-300 can approach that of an L lens in many circumstances. The image stabiliser works better than advertised, I have regularly obtained usable images at 300mm and 1/30sec. Under normal conditions the quality of images is very good, when there is enough light to use an aperture of between f8 and f16 the sharpness is stunning. A worthwhile purchase, I would recommend to anyone looking for a high image quality zoom. Don't forget though! Image Stabilisation only helps to eliminate camera shake, it does NOT make the lens faster! It is still an f4-5.6 lens. If your subject moves during a long shot, it still follows the normal laws of physics - 1/30 second is still 1/30 second - and you will record however your subject moves in this time! This lens is great for wildlife, and street/landscape photography. It is only good for sport when there is enough light to turn the IS off!

Customer Service

Not used.

Similar Products Used: Canon 17-85 4-5.6 IS Canon 75-300 4-5.6 IS
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
sespence   Intermediate [Nov 07, 2005]
Strength:

Good picture quality on "posed" shots.

Weakness:

Poor picture quality on "action" shots

I purchased this lens over another based on recommendations from the sales staff at Ritz camera. I needed a lens to take pictures of my son at an indoor soccer field, however this lens did not perform well. Stationary shots were great in the low lighting conditions, however any moving shots did not turn out well. These were six year olds playing, so the action was not that fast! Since a replacement lens would have to be ordered, I didn't try another one to see if I just received a defective lens. So I returned it for the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 lens. Waiting to try that one out.

Similar Products Used: Tamron 75-300
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Showing 1-9 of 9  
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