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Thread started 02 Jan 2020 (Thursday) 17:51
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List all reviews of Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM

Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM, reviewed by Tronhard

 
PentaxShooter
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Jan 18, 2020 22:58 |  #16
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I had the original 70-300 IS USM. It was a dog at longer than 250mm. I had version II. I agree with you that it is way better glass than the first version. I find it kind of amazing the you didn't mention the nano-USM focus motor. Blindingly fast, and nearly dead silent. Version II is a total upgrade over the first iteration. I sold version II to upgrade to the 55-250 STM. Yes, upgrade. It is smaller, cheaper, lighter than the II, and it is at least optically equivalent.

Oh, and one other point. All zoom lenses, whether they extend on zooming (70-300 II & L), or whether they zoom internally (all Canon 70-200) move air when they zoom. When they move air, they can suck in dust. Weather sealing the front element and rear mount has very little, if any, impact on that.


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Tronhard
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Tronhard. (5 edits in all)
     
Jan 19, 2020 00:09 |  #17

PentaxShooter wrote in post #18994400 (external link)
I had the original 70-300 IS USM. It was a dog at longer than 250mm. I had version II. I agree with you that it is way better glass than the first version. I find it kind of amazing the you didn't mention the nano-USM focus motor. Blindingly fast, and nearly dead silent. Version II is a total upgrade over the first iteration. I sold version II to upgrade to the 55-250 STM. Yes, upgrade. It is smaller, cheaper, lighter than the II, and it is at least optically equivalent.

Oh, and one other point. All zoom lenses, whether they extend on zooming (70-300 II & L), or whether they zoom internally (all Canon 70-200) move air when they zoom. When they move air, they can suck in dust. Weather sealing the front element and rear mount has very little, if any, impact on that.

Actually, apart from the odd lens retraction I found MY copy of the MkI not bad. That is why I enclosed the image of the seagull, taken with that lens.

As for your other comments: Hmm... I think you missed those points in my review. Let me quote, but you can check it yourself.

2. The body is still not weather sealed but the rear element, located flush with the metal plate at the rear of the lens, is fixed in place, so it may offer some resistance to bellows effect. The lens still extends and retracts like the old one, but I have had no experience of it locking up in awkward places as before.

3. The autofocus is blazingly fast thanks to the Nano USM motor that combines best of STM and ring-type USM - I can see this appearing in more lenses. I did not find it was hunting as the MkI did on a few occasions. Ir is an amazing performer in this area.


"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
We aren't remembered for the gear we use, rather the quality of the images we create. Me...
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Tronhard
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Post edited 11 months ago by Tronhard. (3 edits in all)
     
Jan 19, 2020 00:52 |  #18

To address the term "weather sealing."

If one wants to be 100% accurate, then of course no lens can be sealed - if that means unable to pass air, otherwise it would not be possible to move the elements as Pentaxshooter commented. But that was never Canon's intent, that is why it used the terms "weather sealing or weather proofing.". It was meant to describe environmental resistance to foreign materials, such as dust and moisture, the molecules of which are much larger than air.

See how the term is used by Canon itself for comments on L series: https://global.canon …hnology/weather​proof.html (external link)

It is also used colloquially by reviewers to describe this characteristic.
For example for this lens:
The Digital Picture's review: "A rubber gasket can be seen near the lens mount - this is a weather-sealed lens"
DP Review specs: " Sealing: Yes"

So, while no-one suggests that the EF 70-300 (non-L) series is weather sealed, certainly Canon uses that term in it documentation for L lenses..


"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
We aren't remembered for the gear we use, rather the quality of the images we create. Me...
Trevor

  
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Tronhard
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Tronhard.
     
Jan 19, 2020 01:09 |  #19

galelegg wrote in post #18994443 (external link)
Just recently I picked up a lens titled PHOT-ALL F2.8 135mm The lens is abled to be taken apart. It has 2 dials that go from F2.8 to F22, the lower dial closest to the camera body seems to work, the other ?. it has a M42 thread mount, No220360E on the outer side. Anyone know about or any links to explain this unusual lens?

I think you are posting to the wrong thread. This one is about the 70-300 telephoto zoom lens, so if you want to get responses to your issue I suggest you start a thread so that you will get more views and thus more responses.


"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
We aren't remembered for the gear we use, rather the quality of the images we create. Me...
Trevor

  
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galelegg
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Post edited over 1 year ago by galelegg.
     
Jan 19, 2020 04:40 as a reply to  @ Tronhard's post |  #20

Sorry for posting wrong location. Have owned Canon EF 70-300mm probably version I. Shocking lens, low contrast and images of people seemed soft, sold it after about 1 month of use also owned older 100-300mm USM lens at same time and could tell the older 100-300mm was far better. From my reading about these older 1990's Canon lenses that were aimed at the budget buyer, far better than modern budget equivalents.




  
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PentaxShooter
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Jan 19, 2020 06:49 |  #21
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Tronhard wrote in post #18994431 (external link)
Actually, apart from the odd lens retraction I found MY copy of the MkI not bad. That is why I enclosed the image of the seagull, taken with that lens.

As for your other comments: Hmm... I think you missed those points in my review. Let me quote, but you can check it yourself.

2. The body is still not weather sealed but the rear element, located flush with the metal plate at the rear of the lens, is fixed in place, so it may offer some resistance to bellows effect. The lens still extends and retracts like the old one, but I have had no experience of it locking up in awkward places as before.

3. The autofocus is blazingly fast thanks to the Nano USM motor that combines best of STM and ring-type USM - I can see this appearing in more lenses. I did not find it was hunting as the MkI did on a few occasions. Ir is an amazing performer in this area.

Well, I apologize for that. May I blame either not enough coffee, or too much beer? Nice review, even if I obviously missed part of it the first time. :oops:


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Tronhard
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Tronhard.
     
Jan 19, 2020 12:00 |  #22

galelegg wrote in post #18994499 (external link)
Have owned Canon EF 70-300mm probably version I. Shocking lens, low contrast and images of people seemed soft, sold it after about 1 month of use also owned older 100-300mm USM lens at same time and could tell the older 100-300mm was far better. From my reading about these older 1990's Canon lenses that were aimed at the budget buyer, far better than modern budget equivalents.

Hi Gale :-)

I think the original version of the EF 70-300 suffered from variations in quality assurance, as those people who had one, or whose reviews I saw had a wide range of experiences with them. The one I got was good for optics but had some interesting traits as regards lens retraction that I described in the OP. The image of the gull I posted to show that it was possible to get decent shots from a unit, and it sure was a step up from the horrendous 75-300 kit lens series that is arguably still the worst Canon lens out there! (The gull shot was taken at the beach when I was supposed to be studying for an exam and got bored - to be fair it was IT Management theory... ;-)a)

As for modern kit lenses: I have found the 18-55 STM, 18-135 STM and USM, and the 55-250 STM are all pretty competent lenses for the price point. I have copies of each and while they may not be my go-to units, there are times when their light weight and compact form factor make them suitable for a project.

I would still rate the new EF 70-300 f4-5.6 MkII as a step up in both optics and reach (which I hope I demonstrated in the review), plus being an EF it makes sense as starter lens for someone starting out with FF, perhaps with a used unit.


"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
We aren't remembered for the gear we use, rather the quality of the images we create. Me...
Trevor

  
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galelegg
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Jan 19, 2020 20:42 as a reply to  @ Tronhard's post |  #23

I should also add that I have Tamron SP 70-300mm Di Ultrasonic Silent Drive bought as a cheap substitute for the Canon 70-300mm L lens, trying to upgrade beyond Canon 100-300mm. After comparing my Canon 100-300mm 1990's USM with the Tamron I found no difference between photos taken at 70 meters of my neighbours gas meter at 300mm. camera used was Canon 70D. I say to myself why keep the Tamron when it could be sold for $250 AUD the Canon 100-300mm I bought for $60 AUD, keep it. Put the $250 AUD towards the Canon 400mm L prime. Spoke with a pro sports photographer at Melbourne Cricket Ground during a cricket match he said this is the number 1 lens for IQ. Said his photos were sent to India for cricket magazines.




  
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Post edited over 1 year ago by Tronhard.
     
Jan 19, 2020 21:02 as a reply to  @ galelegg's post |  #24

Hi Gale:

It is not uncommon for a lens to get a good or bad reputation (probably more the latter) from feedback on the web. I think there may be a mass of photographers out there that are getting decent results with the early version of the Canon EF 70-300 but just haven't said so. We often focus on the negatives.

Yep, having the two identical focal lengths is probably a luxury you could dispense with, and if you are happy with the Canon then keep it and get something to suit your subjects.


"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
We aren't remembered for the gear we use, rather the quality of the images we create. Me...
Trevor

  
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galelegg
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Jan 20, 2020 17:11 |  #25

Thanks for opinions and ideas. The move towards greater focal range in zoom lenses is staggering to me. I used a Tamron 18-270mm version I for a European holiday, what a fantastic lens, covered almost every shot needed, birds nesting on cliff face couldn't get quite close enough with APS-C camera. Streetscapes worked fine only 2-3 shot panoramas to get long buildings. Have to seriously think about Tamron 18-400mm for future 1 lens holidays. This makes the 70-300mm range somewhat obsolete irregardless of the brand name.




  
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Tronhard
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Jan 20, 2020 17:26 |  #26

galelegg wrote in post #18995461 (external link)
Thanks for opinions and ideas. The move towards greater focal range in zoom lenses is staggering to me. I used a Tamron 18-270mm version I for a European holiday, what a fantastic lens, covered almost every shot needed, birds nesting on cliff face couldn't get quite close enough with APS-C camera. Streetscapes worked fine only 2-3 shot panoramas to get long buildings. Have to seriously think about Tamron 18-400mm for future 1 lens holidays. This makes the 70-300mm range somewhat obsolete irregardless of the brand name.

Well, like anything else it's a balance of priorities. If you want "one lens to rule them all" you must accept that there will be compromises in the optics in a lens running from wide angle to super telephoto. I agree that degree of that compromise has dropped thanks to improved optics design and manufacture.

If your purpose is to have a lens to take on holiday, I would expect that bulk and weight will be of some consideration to you. Another consideration will be what you will do with the images - see them on media devices, share them on social media or at the other end of the scale produce large, detailed prints. The optical requirements will be worlds apart. So if you are more inclined to the former then I would suggest considering a bridge camera with a 1" sensor. The Canon PowerShot G3X has a 24-600mm Equivalent lens, has intelligent IS, and is weather resistant. I would personally add the optional EVG if you are going to shoot tele as you need the third point of support to stabilize the camera. Another like that is the Sony RX10 MkIV, which is more DSLR-like.

Both have the advantage of producing high quality images while being compact and rugged.

If you really want to stick to DSLRs then you might also want to consider the Sigma 18-300, it seems to be a good lens too.


"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
We aren't remembered for the gear we use, rather the quality of the images we create. Me...
Trevor

  
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Post edited over 1 year ago by duckster.
     
Jan 20, 2020 19:17 |  #27

A friend has a Tamron 18-400 for his 80D. Not a bad lens but not great at the extremes, IMO. The Canon 70-300 II USM is much better, to my eyes at least. Matter of fact, he is looking to sell it for a 100-400 of some type.




  
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PentaxShooter
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Jan 20, 2020 20:44 |  #28
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duckster wrote in post #18995515 (external link)
A friend has a Tamron 18-400 for his 80D. Not a bad lens but not great at the extremes, IMO. The Canon 70-300 II USM is much better, to my eyes at least. Matter of fact, he is looking to sell it for a 100-400 of some type.

Between the 70-300 II and the 100-400L v1, go for the II. I've never owned the Sigma 100-400, but it gets good reviews. There is one for sale in the Market Place. I also know where you can get Sigma 150-600 C for a decent price. :)


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Jan 20, 2020 21:31 |  #29

His son is a college baseball player so he is looking for some glass to handle shots from the grandstand.




  
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Tronhard
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Post edited 11 months ago by Tronhard. (4 edits in all)
     
Apr 05, 2020 20:11 |  #30

Impressed by the image of this lens under challenging situations.

This morning, on full lock-down we were startled by the sounds of several police cars, sirens blaring, racing along the streets very close to our home. Soon the police Eagle helicopter was flying a circular pattern, virtually centred on our home. It was probably 150m up and about 100m at its closest point, so the image was not huge. I nipped in and grabbed the first camera I had to hand - in this case the Canon EOS 80D with the EF 70-300 II attached. I took a bunch of shots, and enclose both the unprocessed original SOOC JPG, and the result of processing. At the time of shooting I did not have Servo Tracking turned on, so I was focusing as it moved, but the lens has blazing fast focusing and that meant pretty much all my images came out like this one.

To me it is a tribute to this lens that I could crop so much and still give me some good results. Not only can one see the hi-res/infra-red camera tracking the centre of its circuit, but if you look carefully at the front cockpit door you can see the arm badge of the officer inside.


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After cropping and processing this is what the camera/lens combo rendered.


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"All the beauty of life is made up of light and shadow", Leo Tolstoy;
"Skill in photography is acquired by practice and not by purchase" Percy W. Harris
We aren't remembered for the gear we use, rather the quality of the images we create. Me...
Trevor

  
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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM, reviewed by Tronhard
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