Last updated (11 April’13):
- Review by Lenstip.com
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM is a telephoto zoom lens. The lens features 70-300mm at focal length with maximum aperture of f/4-5.6. The lens construction has 15 elements in 10 groups and has diagonal angle of view at 84° – 23° 20′. Closest focusing distance at 4.9 ft./1.5m and has a filter size of 58mm. The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens weighs 22.2 Ounces and it measures 3 inches in diameter and 6 inches long.
Overall Rating: | Latest Price Info: sold start from $305.99
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Reviews
Lenstip.com reviews the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and writes;
“Canon is better than Sigma, maybe not a whole lot but in almost every aspect. Even the unfortunate autofocus works better than Sigma’s. The most convincing argument, however, should be picture stabilization which in such a light and focal length lens is obligatory… “
SLRGear.com reviews the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and writes;
“it delivers excellent sharpness from corner to corner, across most of its focal length range. It softens slightly at 300mm and f/5.6, but stopping down to f/8 returns it to excellent sharpness. … Across the rest of its range though, it’s simply outstanding.”
Bobatkins.com reviews the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and writes;
“For me the new EF70-300/4-5.6 IS fits the bill as an ideal “walking around” lens for nature, travel and sports photographers. It’s small enough and light enough to carry around as part of a kit (it would pair well with an EF-S 17-85/3.5-5.6 USM) and the image quality and stabilization are improved enough over the old lens to justify its additional cost. It’s a lens that I currently carry with me most of the time and I’m very happy with it.”
Photozone.de reviews the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and writes;
“The performance of the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS came as a total surprise. Unlike its predecessor the lens is capable to produce a very high performance throughout the zoom range without the significant drop in quality at 300mm typical for most consumer grade lenses in this range. It seems as if the new UD element helps to lift the optical quality significantly. Distortions, CAs as well as vignetting are also very respectable.”
Photo.net reviews the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and writes;
“The original lens was very sharp at 70mm (as is the new lens), but became softer when zoomed to 300mm and shot wide open. I typically tried to shoot at f8 if I was zoomed out to 300mm. The performance of the new lens is improved at 300mm. Both sharpness and contrast are increased and it’s possible to shoot wide open at 300mm and get good results.”
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Reviews
Review Video By Artnology
Review Video By slrlens
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM User Reviews
Perfect For Us Soccer Moms | Rating:
“I’m sure the pros will say there are better lenses on the market, but really. For me, a mom wanting outdoor photos of her kids playing soccer. This is the best lens. It’s also very comfortable and easy to use. It feels good and responds well. I let a friend of mine borrow this several months back and she also took some amazing more artsy photographs with it and she more pro than I’ll ever be. Overall, this is a great lens, you can read the specs for product details, I won’t go into all that, but know that if you need it for outdoor field-range shots, this is the perfect lens. Soccer moms unite! The only thing that this really needs and I keep forgetting to buy is a hood. Sometimes my photos are too exposed if it’s really sunny. “ – by Candace Beauchamp “CandyTX”
Better than Tamron 70-300mm | Rating:
“I bought this lens after using the Tamron 70-300mm lens for about 4 or 5 month. At first I was totally ready to trash the Tamron lens. Due to my economic situation I could not afford replace the Tamron. With time and practice it started producing better and better images quality and I started having more fun with it. The truth is, I was learning how to use it correctly. The Tamron is a good, well made lens at an excellent price which I intend to keep. Now the Canon 70-300mm with IS USM is a totally different class of lens. Twice the price of the Tamron but the IS alone is worth that. Image quality can be anywhere from very good to breathtaking. This lens is very easy to use, well made and looks good. If you can afford this lens, buy it, you’ll like it. If money is a little tight, get the Tamron. You’ll have fun and become a better photographer as you save your pennys for the Canon 70-300mm IS USM. “ – by Oscar C. Pinero
I like this lens | Rating:
“I have owned the 70-200 L lens and now I purchased the 70-300 IS. I like the 70-300 IS better and the pictures have been better. Actually I was disappointed when I bought the 70-200L but have not been disappointed with the 70-300 IS. I also owned the 70-300 non IS and would not recommend that one at all.I took pictures when it had rained all day and heavy overcast and the pictures were awesome. I would recommend this lens to anybody that’s not professional but wants some nice pics that are close to professional. “ – by Bank Of America “David”
Excellent lens for the price | Rating:
“The optical quality of this lens is really good. The pictures are sharp, with beautiful colors and contrast. This lens gives a very pleasing bokeh. Take a look at image 334 of customer images ( African Daisy) to see what I mean. I haven’t extensively tested the speed of Auto Focus, but from whatever little testing I did on flying birds I was satisfied by its performance. And finally the IS feature on this lens works really great. “ – by N. Hegde
Read many comparisons with 70-200 f/4L | Rating:
“I read nearly every review and discussion about the Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens, especially as compared with the Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, and finally bought the 70-300 yesterday for my new Rebel T2i (550D). Particular concerns others have had were sharpness vs. the L, non-ring USM, and the extending, rotating lens barrel. So far I’m quite satisfied. Shooting at f/8 I’ve gotten some very nice test shots, including fast AF lock and good sharpness at 300mm on a flying seagull (which fills my computer monitor width at 100%). Sharpness at 200mm and 300mm seem about the same, but I like the extra reach of 300mm, either to fill the frame or to downsample for more sharpness. I think the biggest variable in the sharpness of my test photos is what part of the scene I lock focus on (as in a landscape with a lot of depth); I’d conclude from my best shots that the lens itself is quite sharp. I’m still learning the camera and lens. “ – by Darrell Clarke
Great choice for a Telephoto/Zoom | Rating:
“I debated for a long time between purchasing this lens versus the more expensive L-series. I know that I made the right choice after using this lens for about 2 months. It has given me tack sharp images up to approx. the 275mm focal length but softens slightly at full length. It is easy to mount, moderate weight and has excellent 2 mode IS capability. Sample shots are posted.” – by Nancy
Superior lens for the price | Rating:
“Since obtaining the lens, it has complimented my two other lenses quite nicely, one being the Canon 18-135mm “walk-around” lens and the super-fine Canon 17-55mm 2.8 IS USM non-L lens. The Bokeh is unbelievable; the sharpness of detail is as good as I could have desired. During a recent trip to the Canaveral National Seashore, I was able to get distant photos of Alligators and Roseate Spoonbill birds that were exceedingly sharp. And I was able to use the Canon IS feature to take shots at 250-300mm without a tripod.” – by G. Stant
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Sample Photos
- Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Sample Photos @ Mylensdb.com
- Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Sample Photos @ Pixel-peeper.com
- Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Sample Photos @ Photographyreview.com
- Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Sample Photos @ Flickr.com
- Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Sample Photos @ Pbase.com
- Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Sample Photos @ The-digital-picture.com
- Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Sample Photos @ Amazon.com
Tom has recently posted his test on the new Canon EF 70-300mm IS VS Canon EF 200mm on Canon EOS 350D. He commented:
“All 100% crops, only the tree bark was sharpened. I concluded that IS is amazing! I also concluded I need to check my prime for front focusing, although most of the problem with it is too slow shutter speeds with no IS.
The 70-300-IS appears to be a very nice lens – although noisy focus, and hunts a lot with the TC on it. If I find my prime is focusing correctly, it’s going to be sold!”
Guitarman has some samples from Canon 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM with Canon 20D at his website:
@300mm and Tamron 1.4x SP(pro)TC
More samples are available here
Steve Huff has some samples from Canon 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM with Canon EOS 5D at his Pbase gallery:
Canon 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM with Canon EOS 20D by Albert Juwono – Added 21.10.05
Comments: “The only information I had on this lens is just from web. I had never actually using it, or tested it. I took my chance and get this lens yesterday. It’s awesome. The IS is nothing but incredible. I think this is gonna be my most used lens. For indoor portraits and other fun things Some of the pics are taken with very slow shutter speed.”
- @1/640s f/8.0 at 300.0mm ISO400 (100%crop, straight from the camera)
- @1/13s f/4.5 at 90.0mm ISO1600 (original, straight from the camera)
- @1/20s f/4.0 at 70.0mm ISO400 (original, straight from the camera)
- @1/50s f/5.6 at 275.0mm ISO3200 (original, straight from the camera)
Bruce Gilling has posted some samples on Canon 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM with Canon EOS 350D and commented:
“Well first thing is the weight it’s light and inconspicuous compared to my 70-200 L with its black finish, it feels very nice and it’s fast to focus, image stabilizion is excellent and the range is great 112mm to 480 mm on my xt rebel. Colours and sharpnesss are a not nice as my 70-200 f4 L but image stabilization and weight and extra range make it very attractive I am happy with it”
Canon 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM with Canon EOS 350D by Greg Lavaty – Added 09.10.05
Canon 70-300mm F4.0 – F5.6 IS USM with Tamron 1.4x MC4 TC
- 1/400s f/5.6 at 300.0mm iso100 (original – large file)
- 1/200s f/5.6 at 300.0mm iso100 (original – large file)
- 1/160s f/5.6 at 300.0mm iso100 (original – large file)
Canon 70-300mm F4.0 – F5.6 IS USM VS Canon 70-200mm F/4L USM
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM User Manual
- Download Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM User Manual (PDF – 1.7Mb)
Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Specifications
Featuring the latest 3-stop Image Stabilizer for outstanding camera shake reduction, the EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM zoom lens also features super responsive autofocus. Replacing the popular EF 75-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM, the world’s first interchangeable lens with Image Stabilizer (IS), the lens is expected to appeal to serious amateur nature and sports photographers looking to achieve outstanding results while shooting hand held.
IS dramatically reduces image blur caused by camera shake. The EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM features Canon’s latest 3-stop IS, a one-stop improvement over its predecessor. This allows shutter speeds up to three stops slower than would otherwise be possible, with no perceptible increase in image blur. Photographers normally shooting a 300mm frame handheld at 1/500 second can obtain the equivalent result with a shutter speed of just 1/60 second, vastly extending options in low-light conditions.
Gyro sensors detect unwanted vibrations, triggering the corresponding movement of a correcting lens group perpendicular to the optical axis. This alters the light path, returning the image to its correct position on the sensor or film plane.
The EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM provides 2-mode IS for shooting immobile subjects. Mode 1 stabilizes the image along both the horizontal and vertical axes. For shooting while panning to follow a moving subject, Mode 2 turns off correction in the panned direction and prevents the effect of dragging the subject back through the frame. IS switches off automatically when the camera is mounted on a tripod, thus preventing feedback loops between the IS sensor and stabilizer motor vibrations.
The micro USM motor found in the EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM employs ultra-sonic frequency vibrations to drive auto focus with unrivalled speed and near-silent operation. Good holding torque stops the lens with precision and accuracy, the instant it arrives at the correct focus point and without overshoot. A high-speed CPU and optimised AF algorithm result in a significant increase of AF speed compared to that of its predecessor.
A zoom ring locking mechanism is provided that locks the zoom at the wide-angle setting. This ensures that the lens is carried or stored in its most compact position, preventing possible damage caused by the lens extending and hitting obstacles when being carried mounted on a camera with a strap.
Pleasing defocused background
The EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM employs an electro-magnetic diaphragm (EMD) with a circular aperture. This helps create an attractive, even defocused background when isolating a subject at large apertures.
By optimizing Super Spectra lens coatings and lens element shaping, Canon’s engineers have been effective in suppressing flare and ghosting–more prone to occur with digital cameras due to reflection off the image sensor. By increasing light absorption, coatings reduce reflections off lens element surfaces to deliver crisp, undistorted images with natural color balance.
Focal length translates to 112-480mm equivalent in 35mm film format when fitted to EOS 20D and EOS 350D cameras.
The EOS system
The EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM includes distance metering information, providing compatibility with the E-TTL II flash system of late model cameras such as the EOS-1D Mark II N and EOS 5D . When used in conjunction with Canon’s range of EX Speedlite flash units, the lens passes distance information to the flash algorithm for markedly improved flash exposure metering.
Accessories for the EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM include the lens hood ET-65B and the lens pouch LP1222. In keeping with Canon’s Kyosei philosophy of living in harmony with the environment, the lens features only lead-free glass.
See also: Canon Lenses | Lens Reviews