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Canon 70-300L, initial thoughts

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Thread started 01 Sep 2012 (Saturday) 23:44   
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kevindar
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there was a good deal for a new 70-300L, and in a moment of weakness, i ordered on. received the lens yesterday, and have been shooting a little with it.
Initial impressions:
out of the box, the lens is nice and compact, though not very light. built is excellent. It packs well. It is very well built. it extends while zooming, but overall balances well on a 5d3.
The focus and zoom ring are in reverse order. very annoying.
Focus is very fast and very quiet.
Image quality is excellent with good color and contrast, and sharp at 300 mm and 5.6. image stablization is very effective, 3-4 stops.
things I dont like.
1. The reverse order of zoom and focus as mentioned.
2. The lens feels heavy after a while, at least compared to 70-200 f4L IS
3. I did not think i would care about variable aperture, but I do. right now my 100-400L is my only other variable aperture, and thats almost always at 400mm
4. It does not like my taped kenko 300 DG 1.4x extender. even though it does autofocus on the 5d3 its very jittery, hunting back and forth. in comparison, my 100-400L locks confidently and tracks like a champ with the extender.

I am not sure if I am going to keep it. the 70-200 f4L is is stellar for walking around, and I think I prefer it over the 70-300. on full frame, I find that if 200 is not long enough, I would usually like to have 400. I may have felt differently If I was shooting with a cropper.
I may end up doing some comparison shots later.
In the meantime, here are a couple of shots.

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IMAGE: http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8299/7911003088_3b023110b2_b.jpg

Post #1, Sep 01, 2012 23:44:20


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KarlGB77
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I found the same thing Kevin when I had mine.
Although I used it almost not at all, I was hard pressed to put it on my 5D2 (at the time, now a 5D3 as well), but having the 70-200 f4 IS and the 2.8 Mark II, I didn't see enough to merit keeping it.
But it is 300mm and it is affordble so it is a good option.
Tried the 2X III Extenders as well and I now think that the 400 5.6 is the one I want now for the reach.

Post #2, Sep 01, 2012 23:53:43


Canon 5D Mark III, 5D Mark II, T2i (2), 24-105 f4LIS, 17-40 f4L, 70-200f4L IS, 70-200 2.8L IS II, 100 2.8, 85 1.8, 50 1.4, 50 1.8, 15-85 f4-5.6 IS, 60 2.8, 18-55 IS, 55-250 IS, 430 EX II, 580 EX II, Manfrotto 055XPROB Tripod w/ 498RC2, Calumet 8121 Tripod, Manfrotto 679B Monopod w/ 234 RC2 head

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Scott ­ M
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It certainly looks like a quality lens. However, if you already own a 70-200 f/4 IS and 100-400L, then it's also very redundant, IMO.

Post #3, Sep 02, 2012 06:30:54


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cdifoto
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70-300L? Never heard of it. Looked at B&H and it doesn't seem to exist.

Post #4, Sep 02, 2012 06:41:08


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renfield
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cdifoto wrote in post #14937324external link
70-300L? Never heard of it. Looked at B&H and it doesn't seem to exist.

http://www.bhphotovide​o.com ...70_300mm_f_4_5_6L_I​S.htmlexternal link

Post #5, Sep 02, 2012 06:45:16




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cdifoto
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That's odd. I typed in ef 70-300 and all I got was the consumer and DO versions.

Edit: Never mind. It was on page two...past the covers...which makes no sense whatsoever.

Post #6, Sep 02, 2012 08:01:05


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ateet
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I also ordered on same Adorama deal last week which was excellent deal IMO. I would never pay more than $1300 for this lens.

Got rid of 70-200 f4 IS. Kind of sad, but I think in terms of IQ, it is almost the same. Have to use it more outside to see real differences, if they exist and I doubt they do.

Post #7, Sep 02, 2012 09:24:07


Canon 5D Mk III | EF 24-70L II | EF 135L | EF 70-300L | EF 50mm f/1.8 | 580EX II

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kevindar
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ateet wrote in post #14937618external link
I also ordered on same Adorama deal last week which was excellent deal IMO. I would never pay more than $1300 for this lens.

Got rid of 70-200 f4 IS. Kind of sad, but I think in terms of IQ, it is almost the same. Have to use it more outside to see real differences, if they exist and I doubt they do.

Yeah, it was the price of average used copy, so I figured its a free test to see how much I like it. I thought the introductory price of 1500 was ridiculous honestly, given the price of 100-400L.
I think when all is said an done, on a full frame, I will favor my 70-200. I think its perfect for portrait and landscape, and lighter. and as I said, on a full frame if 200 is not enough, I usually want the 400. I will however try to get some hummingbird shots with it and play with it a little more before it makes its way to the buy and sell forum.

Post #8, Sep 02, 2012 11:00:37


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gocolts
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ateet wrote in post #14937618external link
I also ordered on same Adorama deal last week which was excellent deal IMO. I would never pay more than $1300 for this lens.

Got rid of 70-200 f4 IS. Kind of sad, but I think in terms of IQ, it is almost the same. Have to use it more outside to see real differences, if they exist and I doubt they do.

I bought on this Adorama deal as well. Great lens, and the 4 stop IS, combined with the light weight of the lens, makes hand holding down to incredible levels possible.

Post #9, Sep 02, 2012 12:05:59




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Bearmann
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I bought one too. I'm planning on selling my 100-400L. The 70-300L is only slightly sharper than the 100-400, but noticibly so off center at 300mm. I like the 4 stop IS, and it focuses more quickly than the 100-400. I'm not fond of the zoom ring position or width, but hope to adapt. And the slightly lighter weight is nice too when it's in my camera bag. When the 100-400L II comes out, I'll re-evavluate.

Post #10, Sep 02, 2012 12:52:10


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jrbdmb
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I had a 70-200 f4L, now I have the 70-300L, no regrets. Image quality is very similar, and I find I use the 200-300 range a lot. Shorter length is nice too (but offset somewhat by the extra weight).

Post #11, Sep 02, 2012 12:57:13


Tools: 70D, 10-22, Tamron 24-70 VC, 70-300L, 135 f2L

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jnadz
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I had one and loved it with my 7d but then all my gear was stolen... I started over after the insurance settled up and I just bought one back from the canon refurb site when they had the extra 15% off for $1080 plus tax... Great deal since used ones seem to go for around $1200.

I like the range better on the 7d (I replaced it with a 5D3) but due to its compact size, I still love it for travel and for my sons outdoor sports.

Post #12, Sep 02, 2012 12:59:26


5D Mark III | SL1 | EOS-M | S100
Rokinon 14 f2.8 | Σ35 f1.4 Art | Canon 40 f2.8 | Canon 50 f1.8 mark I | Canon 100L | Canon 135L | Canon 70-300L
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sebr
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I am very happy with my 70-300L. Sharpness, contrast and color rendition are excellent, focus is fast and silent, and it balances really well on the 5D2. IS is very efficient. I also have a 70-200/2.8L IS II and the 2 lenses have similar IQ. Of course, the 70-200 has an aperture advantages and it is my most used lens for this reason. I am keeping the 70-300 for when I need a smaller lens to carry around, or a bit more reach...

Post #13, Sep 02, 2012 13:52:06


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5D mkIII ; 17-40L ; 24-105L ; 70-200L II ; 70-300L ; 35L ; Σ85/1.4 ; 135L ; 100macro ; Kenko 1.4x ; 2x mkIII ; 580EXII
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ateet
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kevindar wrote in post #14937971external link
Yeah, it was the price of average used copy, so I figured its a free test to see how much I like it. I thought the introductory price of 1500 was ridiculous honestly, given the price of 100-400L.
I think when all is said an done, on a full frame, I will favor my 70-200. I think its perfect for portrait and landscape, and lighter. and as I said, on a full frame if 200 is not enough, I usually want the 400. I will however try to get some hummingbird shots with it and play with it a little more before it makes its way to the buy and sell forum.

gocolts wrote in post #14938177external link
I bought on this Adorama deal as well. Great lens, and the 4 stop IS, combined with the light weight of the lens, makes hand holding down to incredible levels possible.

Bearmann wrote in post #14938321external link
I bought one too. I'm planning on selling my 100-400L. The 70-300L is only slightly sharper than the 100-400, but noticibly so off center at 300mm. I like the 4 stop IS, and it focuses more quickly than the 100-400. I'm not fond of the zoom ring position or width, but hope to adapt. And the slightly lighter weight is nice too when it's in my camera bag. When the 100-400L II comes out, I'll re-evavluate.

I guess this is one of the best deals recently on brand new Canon L lens from authorized seller in recent memory. I got some cashback as well, so hopefully I'll be able to cash it all in by end of the year and $1180 after everything said and done for this lens is an amazing deal.

I am no professional by any means and just shoot pictures of my 2 year old daugther. I went to Philadelphia Zoo recently and didn't take my 70-200 f/4L IS. I think due to 70-300L lens size, I should be able to take it to more places more often. I didn't take many pictures yet with this lens, but sure it seems amazing one.

Post #14, Sep 02, 2012 14:28:30 as a reply to sebr's post 36 minutes earlier.


Canon 5D Mk III | EF 24-70L II | EF 135L | EF 70-300L | EF 50mm f/1.8 | 580EX II

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Christina.DazzleByDesign
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I love mine :) Its fast, accurate, great IQ (on par with the 70-200 2.8 II - I've owned both, sold the 2.8 II since I didn't need the aperture for the price - and can't tell a difference in IQ between photos of each), the IS is easily 4 stops, and DEAD SILENT (literally, head to press my ear to the barrel of the lens to check it was working :p the faint clicking sound can only be heard when you put your ear that close).

I don't mind the reversed zoom/focus ring. I figured they designed it that way because of how compact the lens is - on a longer lens, the zoom ring would be roughly where our hand sits now on the 70-300L for the zoom ring - if they had made it come "first" then your hand would be awkwardly close to the camera body, on a lens this compact. That is my theory, anyway.

The focal length is just perfect for what I needed from leaving a crop for FF. It's a sadly overlooked lens, yet delivers so much :) I'm having fun using it for equestrian sports, and now wildlife and bugs - an area of photography I hadn't really explored until I got this lens

Post #15, Sep 02, 2012 20:35:51


5D3 | 7D | 85L II | 70-300L | 24-105L | Nifty Fifty | 600EX-RT_______________
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