October 22, 2014, 01:42:19 AM

Author Topic: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS  (Read 12551 times)

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2013, 09:09:01 AM »
Here's another nice thing to note about the lens - Canon's modern approach uses the curved aperture blades that means that bokeh highlights stay round even when stopped down.  In this shot (f/7.1) you can see some large OOF highlights that are still almost perfectly round.  I needed the extra DOF to make sure the whole primary leaf was in focus.


Spring Inferno by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr

BTW, check out the 100% crop of the detail from the shot:
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2013, 09:09:01 AM »

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #31 on: May 10, 2013, 11:03:06 AM »
I needed the extra DOF to make sure the whole primary leaf was in focus.

+1 - in my observation people seem to underestimate how very thin the dof is for 70mm@f4 or 300mm@f5.6 if the subject is near - and I'm even on crop with a larger dof at same object size. What I usually want is a nice bokeh with overlapping light circles and not a smaller dof, and the 70-300L is able to deliver this if the background is a bit away.

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #32 on: May 10, 2013, 11:44:11 AM »
I needed the extra DOF to make sure the whole primary leaf was in focus.

+1 - in my observation people seem to underestimate how very thin the dof is for 70mm@f4 or 300mm@f5.6 if the subject is near - and I'm even on crop with a larger dof at same object size. What I usually want is a nice bokeh with overlapping light circles and not a smaller dof, and the 70-300L is able to deliver this if the background is a bit away.

Absolutely.  According to my dof calculator, the DOF at 300mm f/5.6 at or close to minimum focus distance is about .22 inches (5.5 milimeters).  That is actually a smaller DOF than my 135L f/2 wide open at the same distance (.39 inches or 9.79mm)

Even for this shot (f/7.1, 200mm), the DOF was only .62 inches (15.83mm). 
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #33 on: May 10, 2013, 12:22:31 PM »
Dustin, When you zoom to 200mm on the 70-300L, is the aperture still F/4? At what focal length does it lose F/4?

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #34 on: May 10, 2013, 03:44:21 PM »
Dustin, When you zoom to 200mm on the 70-300L, is the aperture still F/4? At what focal length does it lose F/4?

According to Bryan over at the Digital Picture (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-70-300mm-f-4-5.6-IS-L-USM-Lens-Review.aspx ) the 70-300L hits f/5 at 155mm through 224mm before it moves to f/5.6.  I wish it was still f/4 at 200mm.  Then there would really be no advantage to the 70-20mm f/4 lenses.
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #35 on: May 10, 2013, 03:50:31 PM »
Absolutely.  According to my dof calculator, the DOF at 300mm f/5.6 at or close to minimum focus distance is about .22 inches (5.5 milimeters).  That is actually a smaller DOF than my 135L f/2 wide open at the same distance (.39 inches or 9.79mm)

Thanks for the calculation, that's really interesting. I recently discovered the severity of the "small dof effect" when I was wondering why so many of my images are just slightly out of focus - and atm I think the reason is that focus & recompose simply doesn't work reliably anymore.

At the moment I have to take multiple shots and then select the sharp(est) one, but I'd be grateful for any hints for circumventing this problem w/o purchasing a 5d3...

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #36 on: May 10, 2013, 04:37:36 PM »
Absolutely.  According to my dof calculator, the DOF at 300mm f/5.6 at or close to minimum focus distance is about .22 inches (5.5 milimeters).  That is actually a smaller DOF than my 135L f/2 wide open at the same distance (.39 inches or 9.79mm)

Thanks for the calculation, that's really interesting. I recently discovered the severity of the "small dof effect" when I was wondering why so many of my images are just slightly out of focus - and atm I think the reason is that focus & recompose simply doesn't work reliably anymore.

At the moment I have to take multiple shots and then select the sharp(est) one, but I'd be grateful for any hints for circumventing this problem w/o purchasing a 5d3...

Despite reports about the 6D being "center point only", I actually have a pretty close to perfect success rate using the outer points.  I don't know that I would try it in really low light, but most of the time it works fine.  I can't remember missing a lot with the 60D either, though.  One your biggest advantages when you move to a 6D will be the ability to AFMA your lens to the body.  On my two bodies, one is a -1W 2T and the other is 2W 2T.  That little bit of adjustment can make a big difference.

If you are shooting narrow DOF shots off center for composition and have time, using Live View focus is a pretty sound choice.  Slower, but highly accurate.
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #36 on: May 10, 2013, 04:37:36 PM »

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #37 on: May 10, 2013, 04:40:39 PM »
Absolutely.  According to my dof calculator, the DOF at 300mm f/5.6 at or close to minimum focus distance is about .22 inches (5.5 milimeters).  That is actually a smaller DOF than my 135L f/2 wide open at the same distance (.39 inches or 9.79mm)

Thanks for the calculation, that's really interesting. I recently discovered the severity of the "small dof effect" when I was wondering why so many of my images are just slightly out of focus - and atm I think the reason is that focus & recompose simply doesn't work reliably anymore.

At the moment I have to take multiple shots and then select the sharp(est) one, but I'd be grateful for any hints for circumventing this problem w/o purchasing a 5d3...

Despite reports about the 6D being "center point only", I actually have a pretty close to perfect success rate using the outer points.  I don't know that I would try it in really low light, but most of the time it works fine.  I can't remember missing a lot with the 60D either, though.  One your biggest advantages when you move to a 6D will be the ability to AFMA your lens to the body.  On my two bodies, one is a -1W 2T and the other is 2W 2T.  That little bit of adjustment can make a big difference.

If you are shooting narrow DOF shots off center for composition and have time, using Live View focus is a pretty sound choice.  Slower, but highly accurate.

P.S.  I use a App called DOF Calculator from the Apple App Store.  It allows you to enter the focal length, distance to subject, f/stop, and then calculates based on your camera model.  It obviously provides highly accurate results and that is my source for the above statistics.
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #38 on: May 10, 2013, 05:34:33 PM »
Dustin, When you zoom to 200mm on the 70-300L, is the aperture still F/4? At what focal length does it lose F/4?

According to Bryan over at the Digital Picture (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-70-300mm-f-4-5.6-IS-L-USM-Lens-Review.aspx ) the 70-300L hits f/5 at 155mm through 224mm before it moves to f/5.6.  I wish it was still f/4 at 200mm.  Then there would really be no advantage to the 70-20mm f/4 lenses.

Heh, I knew canon wouldn't want to steal away any business from another lens.  ;D I really did consider this option over the 100-400L.

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #39 on: May 10, 2013, 08:28:21 PM »
Dustin, When you zoom to 200mm on the 70-300L, is the aperture still F/4? At what focal length does it lose F/4?

According to Bryan over at the Digital Picture (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/Canon-EF-70-300mm-f-4-5.6-IS-L-USM-Lens-Review.aspx ) the 70-300L hits f/5 at 155mm through 224mm before it moves to f/5.6.  I wish it was still f/4 at 200mm.  Then there would really be no advantage to the 70-20mm f/4 lenses.

Heh, I knew canon wouldn't want to steal away any business from another lens.  ;D I really did consider this option over the 100-400L.

That's the truth, although it's probably true for all lens makers.  Still, I have owned two copies each of the 70-200mm f/4L (IS and non IS) and, while they are great lenses, I certainly prefer the 70-300L.  That might not be true if I didn't have the 135L for event work.  I used to use 70-200 f/4L IS in my event work and it works quite well for that.  I rarely use the 70-300L for indoor work, although the truth of the matter is that with the great high ISO of the current FF bodies (I use 6D's), you could.

Actually, one of the best lenses for event work when I shot crop was the Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8.  Pretty sharp wide open (not mindblowingly so), but very nice build quality and a great focal length for event work.  It was an excellent size, internal zoom and focus.  It was also a very nice portrait lens stopped down a bit.
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #40 on: May 29, 2013, 09:56:31 AM »
Here's the dreamy size of the 70-300L


Butterfly Kisses by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #41 on: June 04, 2013, 10:42:11 AM »
Here's another "dreamy" shot.  I am so impressed with the smooth transition from focus to defocus on this lens.  The blade of grass in focus is super sharp here, but the lower portion of the image that is out of focus is exquisitely rendered.  Nothing harsh about it.


Where the Long Grass Blows by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #42 on: June 04, 2013, 06:02:17 PM »

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #42 on: June 04, 2013, 06:02:17 PM »

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #43 on: June 10, 2013, 11:46:36 AM »
Here's one in terrible light (ISO 12800) with the Kenko, wide open, 420mm (Bull Moose in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada):


Bull Moose Portrait by Thousand Word Images by Dustin Abbott, on Flickr
6D x 2 | EOS-M w/22mm f/2 + 18-55 STM + EF Adapter| Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 | Tamron 24-70 f/2.8 VC | 35mm f/2 IS | 40mm f/2.8 | 100L | 135L | 70-300L -----OLD SCHOOL----- SMC Takumar 28mm f/3.5, Super Takumar 35mm f/3.5, SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8, Helios 44-2 and 44-4, Super Takumar 150mm f/4

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #43 on: June 10, 2013, 11:46:36 AM »