canon rumors FORUM

Gear Talk => Lenses => Topic started by: Cory on March 14, 2013, 03:29:45 PM

Title: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: Cory on March 14, 2013, 03:29:45 PM
     I have a T1i, Sigma 17-50, Canon 100 2.0 and Canon 200 2.8 and am very spoiled by the image quality.  Anything less would be a very large fail.
     We're off for our big Alaskan trip and I'm undecided (for my telephoto needs) whether to just stick with the 200 2.8 and deal with the limitations (in exchange for the ridiculously great image quality), add a 300 f4 IS (which could potentially be a hassle) or get a 70-300L (which could serve many purposes to include outdoor sports and events). 
     Another option might be a 70-200 f4 IS or non-IS or one of the consumer grade 70-300's. 
     Any insight would be great.
     Thanks.
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: RS2021 on March 14, 2013, 03:42:55 PM
70-300L is a good lens, not too heavy, highly versatile, and nice image quality. On crop bodies like Ti's you will also have great reach. Contrast is awesome, and the IS is new and fast. It lags just a bit on the longer end at 300mm...but that will be really nit-picking.

300L prime of corse would beat it in image quality, but you will lose the versatility of this nice zoom and ability to frame more or less with wild life. Like everything in life, it is always a compromise.

It has a stable spot in my collection and while I periodically threaten I will get rid of this or that lens, this zoom has never been a candidate for unloading if that says anything. Well behaved, affordable, underrated gem.
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: RS2021 on March 14, 2013, 04:05:44 PM
Oh...and the 70-300L is fully weather sealed, has rounded diaphragm blades...if that matters to you.
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: wickidwombat on March 15, 2013, 12:59:51 AM
if you go the 300f4L you can get a 1.4TC and get 420mm f5.6 with IS too and retain AF on your rebel
the 300f4L takes both 1.4 and even 2x TC very well

i find if 200mm isnt enough then 300 isnt much better so over about 200 you need to go as long as is practical and affordable
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: Ellery Sneed on March 15, 2013, 01:57:56 AM
I use the 70-300L frequently on my 60D and to be honest it's hard to tell this lens apart from the 400/5,6L considering sharpness. Contrast is even better on the zoomlens.
I highly recommend it!
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: rolsskk on March 15, 2013, 02:28:51 AM
Go for the 70-300L, it's a sharp lens (obviously not as much as a 2.8), and I think the tradeoff for reach and maneuverability was worth it. I had never shot it before and I was impressed with it, as it's really not that much bigger than other 70-300s, but smaller than the 70-200L. Here's a couple examples when I shot the Iditarod:
(http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/5612/70300ex1.jpg)

(http://img833.imageshack.us/img833/1011/70300ex2.jpg)

And downtown Anchorage:
(http://img248.imageshack.us/img248/2214/downtownn.jpg)
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: axtstern on March 15, 2013, 05:49:46 AM
The above comment is correct, going over 200mm usually requires more than a mere 100mm more.
My suggestion is to go and check out the Sigma 150-500 OS HSM etc...

Yes it is slow, but so is almost everything shorter with an extender.
I limit myself usualy to just one rocket launcher per trip and always have to decide between the Sigma 120-300 and the 150-500. The IQ of the 150-500 is far above the 120-300 so you would not like the faster lens.

Ah.. and a tip: If you go larger then 300mm with stabilizer than consider some extra battery power. These lenses cost power especialy when they suck on the smaller rebel batteries.
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: Cory on March 15, 2013, 05:24:49 PM
Not to be a nitwit, but how's the Tamron 18-270? 
Thanks.
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: Truffaut on March 15, 2013, 06:53:09 PM
I had the non-L 70-300 and switched to the L-version. In my opinion, the non-L-version is overrated. Of course I can only judge it by the copy I've had and it was pretty soft and had low contrast, not only above 200mm. I am very happy with the 70-300L : It's  sharp, has nice colours and contrast, great AF and IS. It's IQ is much better than my 24-105L.  And I like the way it looks and feels, too. It's not exactly a lightweight, that's the big advantage of the non-L version beside the price. But I bought mine here in switzerland second hand, as good as new for about 1000$. It's worth the money.
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: wickidwombat on March 15, 2013, 06:55:18 PM
Not to be a nitwit, but how's the Tamron 18-270? 
Thanks.

absolutely horrible and that my nice way of putting it...
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: expatinasia on March 15, 2013, 07:43:36 PM
The 70-300L is a very nice lens. It is light and compact, making it easy to carry around.

It can be a little slow in low light, and while I have used it for sports, I do prefer to use the 70-200 f/2.8 mark ii.

If you want to stick an extender on the 70-300L it should be a Kenko, as the Canon's do not work (though some claim Canon's do work if the lens if fully extended - not something I would every try).

At the end of the day, I am a very strong believer in you get what you pay for. The 70-300L is a great lens, and it is very affordable when compared to the long primes and some of the other whites.
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: Cory on March 15, 2013, 08:54:55 PM
Thanks for the help.  I've got it narrowed down to the 70-300L or the 300 4.0 IS.

 ;D
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: emag on March 15, 2013, 09:46:46 PM
 Took a 70-200/2.8 to AK and found it plenty.  Wish I'd had my Tokina 11-16 back then.  PL won't work that wide, so bracketed and post work is needed.
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: Greatland on March 15, 2013, 10:07:57 PM
I just took my 70-300 to Tanzania and had it on my MK IV most of the time, while I had my 600 II on my 1DX....The 70-300 performed superbly as my wife used it and got some very nice shots at the max aperture.....It is a very fine lens....Oh, and before I forget, the combination of the 1DX and the new 600, WITH THE 1.4 EXT. is as fine a long range camera set up as there is...the pictures that I got with the extender were as good as the ones without using it....THIS IS AS GOOD AS IT GETS FOLKS....If you are contemplating the 1DX and/or the new 600 and doubting either for any reason, STOP THE DOUBTING....unbelievable I all I can say!!
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: SteveCSmith on March 15, 2013, 11:16:33 PM
I, too, upgraded from the 70-300 IS to the 70-300L.  The upgrade was worth every penny.  The 70-300L was my first L glass and, of course, I'm hooked.  The consumer version I had was horrible - hazy pictures all the time.  I finally got what I expected when I upgraded.

The only time the 70-300L isn't suitable is high speed in moderate light or just low light.  Actually, I thought it was okay until I got my 70-200 2.8 IS v2 - then I saw the low light/focus speed difference.  That said, though, I was able to "stop the prop" on some photos of an airshow last year at high noon with the 70-300L on the 60D.

The 70-300L is certainly more walk-around friendly, hands down, than the 70-200 2.8.

Can't comment on the 300 F4 - never shot one - but I have no desire for one with the 70-300L in the toolkit.
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: RS2021 on March 16, 2013, 11:05:27 AM
I, too, upgraded from the 70-300 IS to the 70-300L.  The upgrade was worth every penny.  The 70-300L was my first L glass and, of course, I'm hooked.  The consumer version I had was horrible - hazy pictures all the time.  I finally got what I expected when I upgraded.

The only time the 70-300L isn't suitable is high speed in moderate light or just low light.  Actually, I thought it was okay until I got my 70-200 2.8 IS v2 - then I saw the low light/focus speed difference.  That said, though, I was able to "stop the prop" on some photos of an airshow last year at high noon with the 70-300L on the 60D.

The 70-300L is certainly more walk-around friendly, hands down, than the 70-200 2.8.

Can't comment on the 300 F4 - never shot one - but I have no desire for one with the 70-300L in the toolkit.

Glad it found a place in your line up.

As for low light performance, one has to remember the zoom's intended use. Given the longer focal length range and the aperture range, this is clearly not a lens intended for typical indoor use even in large venues or super low light outdoors.

What it is intended for is as a walk around medium- to "upper-medium" telephoto zoom that is affordable, light weight, weather-sealed with overall L quality build, and provides crisp images.

It is great for safari from Jeep or elephant or open van tours...with herds and big cats...minimal air show work or racing...visits to your local zoo... photographing urban birds like odd owls, chickadees, cardinals and bluejays that visit backyards... meaning closer range telepho work...but not ideal for really super-tele work with skittish animals at far distances.

Most of what I list is done in daytime typically under adequate light...the lens performs fine even on grey days just not under really low light. Overall a nice zoom.
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: sagittariansrock on March 16, 2013, 11:28:34 AM
I'm surprised Paul hasn't chimed in yet! Must be busy with other stuff...
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: pj1974 on March 16, 2013, 12:46:27 PM
I'm surprised Paul hasn't chimed in yet! Must be busy with other stuff...

Who? Me? Or another Paul?  :)

I have the 70-300mm L USM IS - upgraded from the Canon 100-300mm USM - and the L is night and day a MUCH better lens.  I've also used the Canon 70-300mm nonL, and Tamron 70-300mm.

The 70-300mm L is one of the best all purpose tele zoom lenses out there, portable, great range, awesome IQ.

Go for it!! (if within yr budget).

Paul
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: Mt Spokane Photography on March 16, 2013, 02:12:36 PM
Not to be a nitwit, but how's the Tamron 18-270? 
Thanks.

absolutely horrible and that my nice way of putting it...

Yes, you are being too nice about it.
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: twagn on March 16, 2013, 03:10:32 PM
Probably my next lens, Love my 70-200 f/4 IS and it can hold it's own with a 1.4x tele, but the 70-300L is reasonably priced (for an L) with no tele converter. 70- 300MIL is a great intermediate focal length lens. Other than being a tad slow on the long end...I've heard good things!   
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: sdsr on March 16, 2013, 03:57:16 PM
The statement that the 70-300L isn't so good in low light may be true when the lens is attached to some bodies, but in my experience it works superbly when attached to a 6D (the same is likely true of other FF bodies); focus is fast and accurate, and the results look excellent even when the camera is hand held thanks to the first rate IS (provided your subject isn't moving around, at least).  I would (and did) buy it instead of the 300mm f/4.   
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: shtfmeister on March 16, 2013, 04:47:10 PM
use it on my 7d and find it to focus well in all light
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: TAF on March 16, 2013, 07:05:34 PM
I have the 70-300L IS USM for use with my 5D3, and I find the images it provides excellent.

Build quality is outstanding, it seems to work decently in low light for me (never had any issues), and though I find the forward zoom ring a bit annoying, I adjust quickly enough.

But I will take issue with the folks who think it is "light".  Hardly.  It is sufficiently heavy that it gets used less than it might otherwise, in favor of the 24-105L and some "foot zoom".

However, it is great at air shows and the zoo - places where you can't adjust the framing by walking.

Very glad I didn't get the 28-300L (which I considered), as that lens is substantially heavier still.

Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: djwave on March 16, 2013, 07:11:53 PM
(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8505/8525205609_8287553d1f_b.jpg)

and

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8099/8526303700_29c9c4897c_b.jpg)


Good lens on 5d mk3
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: RS2021 on March 16, 2013, 08:11:26 PM
@djwave   great shots. The zoom is great for this kind of work. And it is absolutely built like a tank.
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: Random Orbits on March 16, 2013, 08:41:44 PM
I have the 70-300L IS USM for use with my 5D3, and I find the images it provides excellent.

Build quality is outstanding, it seems to work decently in low light for me (never had any issues), and though I find the forward zoom ring a bit annoying, I adjust quickly enough.

But I will take issue with the folks who think it is "light".  Hardly.  It is sufficiently heavy that it gets used less than it might otherwise, in favor of the 24-105L and some "foot zoom".

However, it is great at air shows and the zoo - places where you can't adjust the framing by walking.

Very glad I didn't get the 28-300L (which I considered), as that lens is substantially heavier still.

Light is relative.  It's a bit lighter than the 70-200L II + ext or the 100-400L, which are the some other L zoom options.  It's also more compact than the 70-200 II, which helps because I can stuff in a a small camera bag.
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: sagittariansrock on March 16, 2013, 08:57:19 PM
I'm surprised Paul hasn't chimed in yet! Must be busy with other stuff...

Who? Me? Or another Paul?  :)

It's you.. someone with real-life experience with the lens and fond of it :)
My very brief experience reflected the same but isn't as informative.
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: RGF on March 17, 2013, 12:38:51 AM
About a year and a half ago, I got the 70-300L and I use almost all the time when I need something in this focal range.  THough not as sharp as my 70-200F2.8, it is much lighter and sharp enough.

Great lens.
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: jhanken on March 17, 2013, 02:32:34 AM
Quote
I had the non-L 70-300 and switched to the L-version. In my opinion, the non-L-version is overrated. Of course I can only judge it by the copy I've had and it was pretty soft and had low contrast, not only above 200mm. I am very happy with the 70-300L : It's  sharp, has nice colours and contrast, great AF and IS. It's IQ is much better than my 24-105L.  And I like the way it looks and feels, too. It's not exactly a lightweight, that's the big advantage of the non-L version beside the price. But I bought mine here in switzerland second hand, as good as new for about 1000$. It's worth the money.

I agree with this assessment.  I own the non-L 70-300 IS, and while I have enjoyed having and using it, the photos I took on my 5D with the 70-300L (rental) show a significant improvement in contrast, color and overall image quality.  Something about the non-L version, there is almost a color dampening haze compared to images from the L taken at the same event.
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: Crocker64 on March 17, 2013, 06:01:29 AM
I have owned the the EF 70-300mm L IS USM for about a year now.
I bought it secondhand at a prize of around €1.000 - hardly used and as good as new.

It´s a fantastic lens. I use it with a 5d Classic for aviation and motorsports. I have even shot a few portraits with this lens, and the results were quite good.
Previously I used a Sigma 50-500mm, and I could not believe the difference I saw in image quality after taking my first pictures with the 70-300mm L lens.
Using focal lengths above 200mm, it´s a good idea to stop the lens down to F/8 - that will give you tack sharp pictures in this range.
Get to know this lens and the image quality will blow you away :-)

As others have said: Worth every penny. Highly recommendable :-)

I have since aquired a 300mm F/2.8 IS USM prime, but I wouldn´t dream of selling the 70-300mm anyway. The zoom is great for travelling: Very compact, light, built like a tank, weather-sealed and not overly expensive.   

A few examples:

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-vxmRykbWHIc/T_maiGVCAOI/AAAAAAAAA08/hzTBejG_p68/s800/IMG_4929.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-rIieX0BWyVg/UUWQc0Zg3BI/AAAAAAAABEg/wWKBrCU9qW4/s800/911_997_GT3.jpg)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-6f1nmluB9tk/UUWY_RPtj1I/AAAAAAAABGQ/7haepx8v9w4/s800/Beluga_1_touchdown_3.jpg)

Best regards
Bo
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: Cory on March 17, 2013, 09:51:24 AM
Narrowed down to the 70-300L.  I don't think my wife will notice.  All will be well.
Thanks for the insight.

 8)
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: sagittariansrock on March 17, 2013, 01:18:50 PM
Narrowed down to the 70-300L.  I don't think my wife will notice.  All will be well.
Thanks for the insight.

LOL!
I told my wife my 70-200 2.8 was the same black telephoto I was using previously (Tamron 70-300) but without the black covering. I don't know if she really believed me or merely pretended to, but she didn't bring that up again...  :-X
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: LetTheRightLensIn on March 17, 2013, 03:11:35 PM
Great and nice and compact. 300mm reach and can be weak for wildlife though, sadly.
It's small enough that lots of stadiums let it in.
Image quality is better than the 70-200 f/4 IS at the ends of the 70-200 range and a bit worse in the middle (better than 70-200+1.4x TC over 201-280).
Title: Re: How's the 70-300L?
Post by: RS2021 on March 17, 2013, 03:23:55 PM
Narrowed down to the 70-300L.  I don't think my wife will notice.  All will be well.
Thanks for the insight.

LOL!
I told my wife my 70-200 2.8 was the same black telephoto I was using previously (Tamron 70-300) but without the black covering. I don't know if she really believed me or merely pretended to, but she didn't bring that up again...  :-X

Women are smart...they let somethings go knowing full well what it is....sometimes out of sheer pity for this grown adult behaving like a little schoolboy and sometimes out of "I'll bide my time till he tries for that big ticket item". But they never let things go in vain. ;)