October 30, 2014, 03:17:54 PM

Author Topic: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS  (Read 12626 times)

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2013, 09:25:18 AM »
I don't want this lens.  But then, why am I checking the current price on Amazon??   :-X

Actually, what I'd find useful is a comparison between the 100-400L at 400mm and the 70-300L at 300mm cropped to the 400mm FoV, on a FF body.  Since getting a 600, I use my 100-400L less, but I do still use it.  If it could be replaced by something smaller and lighter (70-200 II + TC need not apply!) without sacrificing IQ, I'd be quite interested in the 70-300L.

I've found myself in a similar place before.  Through 300mm there is no question that the 70-300L is a far more competent lens.  You might want to check out the new gallery with crops to see if the use with teleconverter helps.  I have found that the bare lens holds up to cropping exceptionally well.  Here is an unedited sample from the backyard of my cat:

--------------------------------

Where I can't help is that I have not used the 100-400L.  I am relying on other's information as well as the many pictures and chart testing that I have seen.
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 #15 on: April 24, 2013, 09:25:18 AM »

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #16 on: April 24, 2013, 09:29:35 AM »
Great review!

I bought this lens month ago and I love it. I initially didn't want this lens. I was looking for Tamron 70-200 f2.8 VC and Tamron 70-300 VC to supplement my Tamron 24-70 VC but when I found this lens among used items on web site of my local retailer, I gave it a try. It cost me 70% of the new one and it still had one year of warranty. I also bought a tripod collar - Canon really can make money from nothing. The collar cost more than 50 f1.8! I somehow found the collar quite good for handling the camera with the lens.

My copy has IMHO little bit loose focus ring and IS makes a strange noise when starts and stops operating (it is only audible in silent environments) but otherwise it is flawless. I use it for animals (dogs, birds, zoo), flowers and close details in general. It has a very compact size (and pleasing weight) and fits to quite small backpack together with body, other lens and external flash.

I'm beginner and I still shoot with Rebel (and slowly collecting money for 6D) so I cannot compare IQ or build quality with other L lenses. This is my first one but it really make a great impression and I doubt it will be the last L lens I will ever buy (I already itch for 100L f2.8 ).

Edit: It is also lens which makes me think again about moving to FF. Extra reach on APS-C is a great bonus.

High quality glass is addicting.  I strongly recommend the 100L Macro.  It is also a superb lens.  The loss of reach is certainly a challenge when moving to full frame.  At this stage, at least, I find that the improved image quality more than makes up for it.  My FF images are just much smoother in color transition, noise, and dynamic range.

Might I recommend that if you take the plunge to FF, hold onto that Rebel and use it when you want the extra reach.  One area that can make a big difference above your Rebel is the ability to fine tune the AF  to your camera body through AFMA.  It made a very big difference on the 70-300L.  It was good before; great after.
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

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #17 on: April 24, 2013, 09:31:00 AM »
Great review. I like the simple and without emphasis way of writhing. Please make more reviews like this one!
 
I am thinking for a while at this lens and I was curios how good this is.

Thanks to you, now I know!

You're welcome.  I'm not trying to compete with the more technical reviewers.  I am a real world photographer, not a chart shooter.  It just gives a different perspective for those potentially interested.
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

AlanF

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #18 on: April 24, 2013, 09:48:59 AM »
It states under "pixel peepers" that the Canada Goose was at 420 mm. However, the exif data on the download has it as 309 mm. The others are correctly registered at 420 nm.
5D III, 70D, Powershot SX50, 300/2.8 II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, 70-200/4 IS, 24-105, 15-85, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 150-600.

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2013, 10:54:20 AM »
Thanks for the real world review.  I find real world reviews to be far more useful than technical reviews and chart shots.
Canon EOS 7D, EF-S 10-22, EF-S 17-55, EF 100 Macro, EF 50 1.4, EF 70-300, EF 100-400L

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2013, 11:10:20 AM »
It states under "pixel peepers" that the Canada Goose was at 420 mm. However, the exif data on the download has it as 309 mm. The others are correctly registered at 420 nm.

Alan - good catch.  I overlooked that one although I thought I had checked them all.  I just double-checked in LR and you are right.  I have replaced that pair with another set.  Here are the replacements:

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

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2013, 11:16:12 AM »
Thanks for the real world review.  I find real world reviews to be far more useful than technical reviews and chart shots.

My favorite review of this particular lens was actually the one done here at Canon Rumors and served as my introduction to this great forum: http://www.canonrumors.com/reviews/ef-70-300-f4-5-6l-is-review/.  The beautiful real world images are what helped sell me on the lens.  I hoped to add my own voice in a similar way.
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 #21 on: April 24, 2013, 11:16:12 AM »

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2013, 11:25:23 AM »
I thought I would also include the worse case scenario of the day.  A black subject that was in shadow with bright, harsh light in the outer area.  I initially grabbed focus pretty fast, but then recomposed as the bird continued to move.  The further it got into the shadow, the more hunting the AF did.  When I got focus confirmation, I shot, but the picture was NOT focused right, as both the original and the crop show.  I jumped to ISO 1600 to get this one (most are at ISO 500 or less) so that should tell you how reduced the original light was for the middle of day.  This is pretty ugly...
« Last Edit: April 24, 2013, 11:30:21 AM by TWI by Dustin Abbott »
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

AlanF

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2013, 04:57:16 PM »
Thanks for the thoughtful review and additional 100% crops.  It looks a very good safari lens. I bought a 70-200 f/4 IS for a safari trip just before the f/2.8 II and the 70-300 L.  I'm holding on to it because it is so sharp and small. If I was doing it again maybe I would get the 70-300L.
5D III, 70D, Powershot SX50, 300/2.8 II, 1.4xTC III, 2xTC III, 70-200/4 IS, 24-105, 15-85, Sigma 10-20, Tamron 150-600.

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2013, 05:37:17 PM »
Thanks for the thoughtful review and additional 100% crops.  It looks a very good safari lens. I bought a 70-200 f/4 IS for a safari trip just before the f/2.8 II and the 70-300 L.  I'm holding on to it because it is so sharp and small. If I was doing it again maybe I would get the 70-300L.

My pleasure
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

TWI by Dustin Abbott

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #25 on: May 05, 2013, 08:02:37 AM »
Here's a quick shot taken yesterday of the new spring leaves.  The 70-300L continues to surprise me by the quality of the defocused areas.  To me this looks like it was taken with a larger aperture lens.


Hello, Spring 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

SpecialGregg

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #26 on: May 05, 2013, 10:20:43 AM »
... me, too, and I bought it back when it had a reputation as being an overpriced version of Canon's non-L lens - but it's interesting to see how it gained much more recognition since then. I esp. like the still handholdable weight for ext. periods of time and walking around vs. the 70-200Lii (ymmv).

Just in case there's anyone still out there wondering if there's a difference between the L and the non-L, here are two similar shots I took of a bee in my backyard with each lens.
7D, Rebel XTi, 10-22 f3.5-4.5, 20-35 f2.8L, 24-105 f4L, 70-300 f4-5.6L, 100 f2.8L Macro, 50 f1.4

tombu

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2013, 10:56:20 AM »
^So you are telling me L-lenses handle the noise better?  ;)

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2013, 10:56:20 AM »

SpecialGregg

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2013, 11:10:14 AM »
Haha yeah the noise in the non-L picture is ridiculous, and I ran it through noise ninja 2 or 3 times. The images were taken a year apart, and were never intended to be a comparison. I just knew it could be significantly improved upon, and honestly every picture I took with the non-L at 300mm needed a significant amount of noise reduction and masked-sharpening. And they still look subpar. That lens is for soccer moms and dads only, IMO.

The 70-300mm L on the other hand, is spectacular.
7D, Rebel XTi, 10-22 f3.5-4.5, 20-35 f2.8L, 24-105 f4L, 70-300 f4-5.6L, 100 f2.8L Macro, 50 f1.4

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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2013, 12:18:11 PM »
fantastic lens, fast af, light & compact, wonderful is, and sharp, what more can u ask for! oh the zoom and focus rings are reversed which takes a little getting used too and it could be faster but its near perfection, sold my 70-200f4is for it, couldn't be happier and it's a killer on my 1d4(91-390mm) ;)
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Re: Review - The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS
« Reply #29 on: May 05, 2013, 12:18:11 PM »