I recently picked one of these up and so far so good. The minimum focal distance of 1.5 meters is a plus, and I like the retracable hood. As for comparisons to the newer 70-300L, I can't say as I have never used one. No doubt it's nice, but it is more expensive. You don't see many used ones and when you do they won't be in the sub $1000 range, which can happen with the 300L. Constant apperture is nice too and it works well with the 1.4 TC's from reports I've read. That gives you the option to go to 420mm at 5.6. I don't believe the 70-300L takes a TC.