Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM UD Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras
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- Impressive focal range.Diagonal Angle of View 34° - 8° 15'
- Travel friendly size, packs small and stays small with a manual lock switch on side of barrel. Note: lens can only be locked at 70mm range as it is for travel only. Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 70-300mm 1:4-5.6
- Note that when the inner lens is fully extended (300mm) it's approximately 8.25" in overall length. The 5.6" measurement is at the 70mm range when lens is closed/locked.
- Suitable for Nature/ landscape/ sports/ travel photography
- Focus Adjustment Type - lens extension via inner focusing focus cam, plus floating mechanism.Closest Focusing Distance: 1.2m/ 3.9ft
Product detailsStyle:Lens Only
- Batteries : 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 14.3 x 8.9 x 8.9 cm; 1.05 Kilograms
- Date First Available : 26 August 2010
- Manufacturer : Canon
- ASIN : B0040X4PQI
- Item model number : 4426B002
- Customer reviews:
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Ultra-high quality and lightning fast Canon L series lens Optical Image Stabilization System increases usability by approximately four stops. The lens features a function that prevents erroneous operation when the lens is mounted on a tripod or monopod. The EF 70-300 f/4-5.6L IS USM incorporates a floating focusing mechanism for sharpness from 3.9' (1.2m) to infinity Two Ultra Low Dispersion (UD) elements for improved image quality and reduced chromatic aberration. The lens accepts an optional removable tripod collar, and is dust and water resistant The Fluorine coating keeps soiling, smears and fingerprints to a minimum.
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM UD Telephoto Zoom Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras
The EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM is part of Canon’s prestigious L series offering performance excellence with a versatile zoom range and superb image quality in a robust and compact design.
- High performance telephoto zoom lens
- Part of Canon’s acclaimed L series
- 4 stop Image Stabilizer
- Two UD elements
- 8 blade circular aperture
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Concerning handling, some reviews criticize the location of the zoom ring on this lens. I find that to be an empty criticism unless perhaps you are very set in your methods and very much in a hurry. Here is what I find using this lens: The focus ring is wide so it feels just as natural to hold either focus ring or the zoom ring (which is closer to the end glass). Holding the lens farther forward (the zoom ring) improves stability, and shot composition using the zoom is then easy to tweak. Meanwhile, the fast and very accurate ultrasonic focus motor does a great job in critical focusing. If focus isn't exactly correct you could move your hand to the focus ring and get it perfect. But doing that is typically slower than re-aiming the focus sensor and refocusing automatically before taking your shot. So think about how you approach fast-action shooting and decide for yourself whether the zoom ring needs to be in the same location for every lens. For me - I get more useful material thinking about composition, using autofocus, and taking extra shots.
Optically, this lens is a gem. It is extremely crisp. Details are sharp and (with the 6D body) colors have beautiful, natural saturation. I couldn't believe the minimal lens flare when the sun is in the frame! These are sophisticated optics! Still, there are always compromises. In this lens, you get a wide zoom range (70-300) in a small overall package. What you give up is long-end maximum aperture - only f5.6. While that f5.6 is a bit of a downside, here is the nominal maximum aperture (reported by the EOS 6D body) vs. zoom range - you can decide for yourself whether the working apertures are adequate. f4.0 = 70-100mm, f4.5 = 100-160mm, f5.0 = 160-220mm, f5.6 = 220-300mm. In the shooting I have done so far, any kind of daylight and you're good. In dim conditions, you will be pushing ISO (and loosing detail) or needing a steady rest or tripod. FWIW, I find I'm rarely zoomed out into the f5.6 range, plus the image stabilization has never given me a shaky image in daylight. At long reaches I get slightly sharper images when the lens aperture is stopped down at least to f8.
In summary, color rendition, contrast and sharpness are the really strong points of this lens. The fact that it is relatively small and easily packed means it can be with me whenever needed. I can hardly wait to tote this little rig on a flight to some exotic spot where the beauty of nature and people is there for the taking. Update: I have now been halfway around the world with this kit (6D body and two zoom lenses), carrying it all day/every day. You do notice some weight but it is very manageable. The trade-off is there is no substitute for the L series lens quality and the results speak for themselves. Looking at the photos people comment that the places visited look incredible! That impression starts with the technical quality of the lenses and body. [Tip from experience: I find it useful to check the AF and IS switch settings each time the lens goes on the camera because they can accidentally change during handling plus it is easy to forget that you intentionally changed them.]
What makes this lens a winner for me is consistency, from start to finish. My initial results, simply using the DSLR's familiar 'green box' were quite pleasing. This setting lets you simply twist to zoom in and compose your frame and click. Nice! This was great for concentrating on some gorillas who were a bit camera shy. We visited the zoo for three days straight and this carry along didn't get in the way. It performed admirably each time called upon. Especially enjoyable was the long reach to capture a cheetah in repose, five lion cubs at feeding time, some gorillas, and even some close in shots of the gorgeous flora displays. Using servo mode autofocus, I was able to pull in some very clear shots of the zoo's steam locomotive train. Image stabilization was on for all photos and was doing its job well.
The Canon 70-300mm L lens is definitely a heavy lens after you have been carrying it around for a while, and you have to expect that. The tradeoff, though, is that you have quite a wide range of zoom to pull in far away subjects, like cheetah or the lions close in, just beyond the glass enclosure. Overall, it was manageable, but must be supported by your arm rather than left to hang off your neck!
I especially liked being able to easily stow the combination 70-300 and 5dMII straight into my shoulder bag while still having room for a 135mm F2.0 L lens which I brought along for special effects. The 135 is one definite speciality lens for when you need more than a quick snap.
The bottom line takeaway:
a. This is a great general purpose zoom you can rely upon. Consider this lens if you need high quality images AND lens build quality, reliability, longevity, and overall value. This a "permanent collection" quality lens. Expect considerable utility and performance for years to come. I only dropped one of these tank bodies once on concrete. I can only say don't ever do that if you can help it, but if you do, it will probably just work like always. mine did. That is probably why they are built this way. Built to last, in my opinion.
b. This zoom range is a long time standard, and it works very well on a full frame DSLR. Canon's choice of optics and coatings for this lens captures details and color "with punch" (especially on an over cast day). Out of focus backgrounds were pleasing. Image quality was very good to high. It lived up to all of it's advertising claims.
c. Expect premium results with this lens when pared with a premium dslr. That said, it was not the ultimate choice for every situation or condition. Provisioning for that would have involved a whole bag full of lenses. But it was a great choice for three days at the zoo! Recommended for enthusiasts who are getting passionate about their hobby as well as pros who depend upon their equipment.