Opinions Pls; Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM lens

Discussion in 'Canon' started by Alan K., Mar 23, 2006.

  1. Alan K.

    Alan K. Guest

    'Evening all,

    I come seeking advice, as many do.

    I'm considering getting an upgraded lens for my Canon EOS300D. The kit
    that I bought way back when came with the standard EF-S 18-55mm lens
    plus a 55mm to 200mm one. Now I'm looking to get (semi) serious and
    the lens mentioned in the subject line looks like it might have some
    potential, particularly as it includes an Image Stabilizer. (I work
    with a tripod wherever possible, but obviously you can't "set up" for
    candid shots and the like.)

    I'm not by any means a professional, and for the most part my existing
    lenses give decent results, but I'd like to up the ante a bit and
    particularly improve the sharpness when shooting hand held. (Though I
    realise that an IS lens can only assist in this; good technique is
    more important.) I mostly do landscape (including cityscape) shots,
    some people shots, nature shots and the like.

    In other words, I want something that is a fairly reasonable general
    purpose lens, at not too ridiculous a price. (RRP on this one is $AUD
    1,099 anyway, but that's significantly cheaper than most of the lenses
    in the EF range...)

    Any opinions about the suitability or otherwise of the lens, or
    desirable alternatives, would be most welcome.
    Alan K., Mar 23, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  2. Alan K.

    p*ssedorf Guest

    check out the forums on fredmiranda.com
    The DO version is interesting
    p*ssedorf, Mar 23, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  3. Alan K.

    Alan K. Guest

    Thank you kindly, Rob.

    I'm more confused than ever with the question of whether the lens is
    any good when used in a portrait orientation, but at least it's a much
    more *informed* confusion!

    The only option is to try one out, I think, but at least *now* I have
    a good idea of what to look (and look out) for.

    Thanks again.
    Alan K., Mar 23, 2006
  4. Alan K.

    HC Guest

    G'day Alan

    I've got this lens without IS and find it quite satisfactory. Haven't
    used it for a while and pulled it out last weekend and happy with the
    resuls on a 30D.

    Where are you located? Just thinking that if someone lived nearby they
    might be able to give you a trial run?

    Bronwyn ;-)
    HC, Mar 23, 2006
  5. Alan K.

    alx Guest

    "without IS"...

    Are you referring to the old 75-300?

    This is a very different beast to the new 70-300 IS USM lense.
    alx, Mar 23, 2006
  6. Alan K.

    googlegroups Guest

    If you can live without IS and an extra 100mm of telephoto, you might
    also want to consider the similarly priced 70-200mm f4 L lens. This is
    a stop faster at full reach compared to the 70-300mm and it has "L"
    build and image quality. It's a great value lens; I'm buying one as
    soon as I'm sure I can afford it. :)

    centre.net.au currently has it for $1033


    Just remember that digital bodies are what you upgrade every few years;
    a good lens will last you yonks. Will a 70-300mm consumer lens be good
    enough when you have a 20 megapixel body in your hands?
    googlegroups, Mar 23, 2006
  7. Alan K.

    googlegroups Guest

    googlegroups, Mar 23, 2006
  8. Alan K.

    l e o Guest

    I have the 70-200/4 L and agree that the color is more accurate. With
    the old 75-300IS, it's muted. I believe the new 70-300IS is sharper than
    the old one but it won't beat 70-200 for build quality and image, so you
    have to decide whether you want IS and IS is quite useful though. It's a
    l e o, Mar 23, 2006
  9. Alan K.

    Stan Birch Guest

    That would tend to mirror my thoughts, as I read through this thread.
    I would far prefer to invest in great optics before going the IS
    route. The natural budgetary progression would be:

    1. 70 - 200mm f4 L;

    2. 70 - 200mm f2.8 L;

    3. 70 - 200mm f2.8 L IS;

    leaving IS as a last perk, after you've already done the best you can
    with optics.

    The optical quality of the 70 - 300 is not all that great; although
    you can achieve reasonable results with post-processing. Throwing away
    $$$ on IS for a lens of this quality, IMO is a waste of $$$.

    If you *really* need a 300mm reach, then one of the 70 - 200 L lenses,
    with a 1.4X extender will offer significantly better quality than the
    basic 70 -300.
    And that's an important consideration: the 70 - 200 f4 L is f4 right
    across the spectrum.

    From a personal perspective, I really agonized over spending big bucks
    on a high-end lens. But the hole in my budget quickly disappeared. The
    only thing I have left, is a really great lens, with absolutely no
    regrets whatsoever.

    Cameras may come and go; but lenses last forever!
    Stan Birch, Mar 23, 2006
  10. I totally agree. I decided on the 70-200 F4 L over the new 70-300 IS, and
    haven't regretted it at all. The 24-105 and 100-400 are next on my list :)

    Matt Richards, Mar 23, 2006
  11. Alan K.

    JPS Guest

    In message <HzzUf.143$>,
    That's only because there is a little bit of light scatter in the lens,
    which reduces contrast and saturation by adding a blanket of light that
    represents all the colors coming through the lens. This would be fairly
    easy to eliminate in a RAW converter if it were appropriately
    programmed, as it would simply subtract a value from the RAW data for
    each channel. The average color of the entire frame could be used as a
    starting point, and the amount subtracted determined with a slider.

    The scatter was one of the first flaws I noticed with my 75-300 IS. I
    shot a dark cave entrance, and the darkness came out grey.
    JPS, Mar 23, 2006
  12. Alan K.

    Tom Guest


    I recently switched from the 75-300 to the IS version 75-300 and I tested
    both. The IS is a much better lens then the standard. The test shot were
    sharper and the magnification is slightly stronger. I would have prefered
    the 100-400 IS put it is out of my price range for now, if you can afford
    it, this would be my choice.

    Tom, Mar 24, 2006
  13. Alan K.

    Ken Ellis Guest

    here's my two cents:

    I own the 70-300 usm is lens...it's nice and i use it alot. I want the
    70 - 200mm f2.8 L IS. If you can jump over the cheeper one, i would
    suggest the 70-200. Alot more money; a wiser choice in the end.
    I like the tele for composing landscapes at a distance...i think the
    better glass would do a much nicer job and as the previous
    poster said...use a 1.4 telecov..will yeild better results. I believe
    the 70-200L also use 2types of IS (one for tripod). I don't believe
    they are in the same league.

    That said, i enjoy the 70-300 usm is lens and it works fine. You can
    take very nice pictures with it.

    Ken Ellis, Mar 24, 2006
  14. Alan K.

    Mr.T Guest

    Of course it did if you relied on standard metering, it would come out at
    approximately 18% neutral grey, just as it would with *ANY* lens.

    Mr.T, Mar 24, 2006
  15. Alan K.

    Mr.T Guest

    Until the lens mount becomes obsolete, then you better hope the camera lasts
    forever too :)

    Mr.T, Mar 24, 2006
  16. Alan K.

    Fred Guest

    I bought one of those lenses last year from B&H in the US.
    The exchange rate was quite good at the time so it was a lot cheaper than
    buying in Oz.
    I would rate the lens as average. OK in good light but struggling when the
    light is dark.
    Having said that it is possible that the lens is not good enough to overcome
    my shortcomings as a photographer ;-)
    I would like a better quality, equivalent lens but it is difficult to
    justify the expense considering how much I would use it, so this one will
    have to do :-(
    A couple of example shots one at f8 and the other at f5.6 both at 300 which
    may be of use to you.
    The lens also has slow focus, noisy IS operation.
    Fred, Mar 24, 2006
  17. Alan K.

    Roy Smith Guest

    It's no wonder it gets light and dark confused. You bought a northern
    hemisphere lens and you're trying to use it on the wrong side of the
    equator. The photons are all spinning in the wrong direction. You need to
    have your lens re-aligned for southern hemisphere use.
    Roy Smith, Mar 24, 2006
  18. Alan K.

    JPS Guest

    In message <44236857$0$20112$>,
    The dark cave was only a fraction of the entire image. The rest of it
    was grey rock, which came out just as you would expect. The blackness
    was sorely missing in the cavity.
    JPS, Mar 24, 2006
  19. Alan K.

    Mr.T Guest

    Which still proves nothing unless you compared it to another lens taken with
    the exact same camera settings and conditions.

    Note : I am not saying you are necessarily wrong, as I have no experience
    with that particular lens. However your test does seem to be lacking in
    scientific method.
    There are at least a dozen reasons why you might get such a result.

    Mr.T, Mar 25, 2006
  20. Alan K.

    Paul Furman Guest

    JPS's opinions are pretty well balanced from what I've seen & others
    will agree. He said: "The scatter was one of the first flaws I noticed
    with my 75-300 IS." and from that I'd generally trust that flare/scatter
    is an issue with this lens. It wasn't a scientific study, just an
    observation from someone with a pretty sensible scientific mind.
    Paul Furman, Mar 25, 2006
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.