April 26, 2017, 09:30:23 PM

Author Topic: Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM  (Read 10848 times)

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Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« on: January 05, 2017, 12:41:24 PM »

The-Digital-Picture has completed their review of the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM lens.


From TDP:


The technology upgrades appearing in this lens make it potentially a better choice than even some higher-priced lenses for at least some applications including video. Those already having a high end telephoto zoom lens in their kit may still be interested in having a light weight, low cost alternative available for casual photography opportunities. The attractively-designed 70-300 IS II features great AF and IS systems, but it is the excellent price-to-performance ratio that makes it an easy choice and worthwhile addition to a great many photographers’ kits. Read the full review


Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM at B&H Photo


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Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« on: January 05, 2017, 12:41:24 PM »

SkynetTX

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Re: Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2017, 04:24:57 PM »
Canon states again that the lens is capable of FTM. In my opinion FTM means that you can turn the focusing ring when the camera is off or the lens are not even attached to it. Therefore no lens equipped with STM or NanoUSM motors – focus-by-wire technology – support it. I might will never use manual focusing with a wide angle or telephoto (zoom) lens but the feature MUST exist just in case I'll do.
As I do not shoot videos with my camera I don't need nor the smoothness neither the silentness of focusing NanoUSM provides. I hope that no more lenses will be equipped with FBW technology unless released as EF-V lenses for videographers. The LCD screen that replaced the mechanical distance window is totally useless as well.

AJB

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Re: Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2017, 04:40:58 PM »
Canon states again that the lens is capable of FTM. In my opinion FTM means that you can turn the focusing ring when the camera is off or the lens are not even attached to it. Therefore no lens equipped with STM or NanoUSM motors – focus-by-wire technology – support it. I might will never use manual focusing with a wide angle or telephoto (zoom) lens but the feature MUST exist just in case I'll do.
As I do not shoot videos with my camera I don't need nor the smoothness neither the silentness of focusing NanoUSM provides. I hope that no more lenses will be equipped with FBW technology unless released as EF-V lenses for videographers. The LCD screen that replaced the mechanical distance window is totally useless as well.
Why is it ever useful to you to be able to manual focus whilst the camera is off or the lens isn't attached? I think it's effectively Full Time, as manual focus can be used any time it'd be useful.

Also, granted the LCD screen doesn't do anything useful that a mechanical distance scale wouldn't, but I don't think the mk1 had any sort of distance scale. Surely an LCD one is better than none at all if it doesn't add too much to the cost. I imagine a mechanical one might cost a lot more.

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Re: Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2017, 05:06:20 PM »

Why is it ever useful to you to be able to manual focus whilst the camera is off or the lens isn't attached? I think it's effectively Full Time, as manual focus can be used any time it'd be useful.


Likely he means you have to "wake the camera up" to manually focus. Can be irritating.

Disappointed by the reviews, I'm always on the lookout for a lightweight good value lens; this isn't it. The mk 1 version was dire at the long end, this looks to be similar.

SeanS

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Re: Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2017, 05:21:18 PM »
Why is it ever useful to you to be able to manual focus whilst the camera is off or the lens isn't attached? I think it's effectively Full Time, as manual focus can be used any time it'd be useful.

Also, granted the LCD screen doesn't do anything useful that a mechanical distance scale wouldn't, but I don't think the mk1 had any sort of distance scale. Surely an LCD one is better than none at all if it doesn't add too much to the cost. I imagine a mechanical one might cost a lot more.

Actually, I have come across a scenario where not having traditional FTM focus was a hindrance - Light Blaster use.

When mounting a lens to a Light Blaster, you must focus the lens manually in order to obtain focus on your projection surface.  Moving the rig forward and away from your surface can also help you obtain focus, but with the size of the projection being affected. 

Granted, few people would find it practical to use this narrow aperture zoom with the Light Blaster, but... it is a real problem with the EF-S 24mm f/2.8, EF 40mm f/2.8 and EF 85mm f/1.2L II which would otherwise be well-suited for the application.

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Re: Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2017, 05:23:29 PM »
Disappointed by the reviews, I'm always on the lookout for a lightweight good value lens; this isn't it. The mk 1 version was dire at the long end, this looks to be similar.

+1. This one's off my list of potentially good lightweight travel lenses. Looks like Tamron will have continuing success selling the 70-300 VD USD.
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Re: Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2017, 05:28:08 PM »

Likely he means you have to "wake the camera up" to manually focus. Can be irritating.

Disappointed by the reviews, I'm always on the lookout for a lightweight good value lens; this isn't it. The mk 1 version was dire at the long end, this looks to be similar.

It is annoying the the focus gets lost when adjusting zoom with the lens "asleep", but he doesn't mention that. Adjusting manual focus with the lens asleep could be useful I guess with back button focussing, but with AF on half shutter press I don't see any point adjusting MF before half pressing the shutter anyway. I certainly don't see the need to MF with the lens off the camera, which he explicitly says is necessary for FTM.

Agreed about the disappointing review. The mk1 was indeed very poor at the long end, and after trying one I ended up getting a 70-200 f4 IS instead. It'll be a real shame if the mk2 hasn't improved there.

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Re: Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2017, 05:28:08 PM »

ajfotofilmagem

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Re: Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2017, 05:30:41 PM »
I see this update in the same way that the 50 F1.8ii replaced by the 50 STM:

Best mechanics, focus system, image quality, (only at 300mm), and quite nice price.
Unfortunately, the image was slightly worse at 70mm in this update.

rrcphoto

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Re: Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2017, 06:26:42 PM »

Likely he means you have to "wake the camera up" to manually focus. Can be irritating.

Disappointed by the reviews, I'm always on the lookout for a lightweight good value lens; this isn't it. The mk 1 version was dire at the long end, this looks to be similar.

It is annoying the the focus gets lost when adjusting zoom with the lens "asleep", but he doesn't mention that. Adjusting manual focus with the lens asleep could be useful I guess with back button focussing, but with AF on half shutter press I don't see any point adjusting MF before half pressing the shutter anyway. I certainly don't see the need to MF with the lens off the camera, which he explicitly says is necessary for FTM.

Agreed about the disappointing review. The mk1 was indeed very poor at the long end, and after trying one I ended up getting a 70-200 f4 IS instead. It'll be a real shame if the mk2 hasn't improved there.

you must be seeing a different review than I did.

for a $549.00 70-300mm telephoto zoom, it's a very nice lens.

if you want better, there's an L lens waiting for you.

jd7

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Re: Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2017, 06:39:16 PM »
Disappointed by the reviews, I'm always on the lookout for a lightweight good value lens; this isn't it. The mk 1 version was dire at the long end, this looks to be similar.

+1. This one's off my list of potentially good lightweight travel lenses. Looks like Tamron will have continuing success selling the 70-300 VD USD.

Generally agree the new lens is not sounding fantastic, although looking at the TDP IQ comparison test between the new lens and the 70-300L at 300, the new lens seemed pretty close. I was looking on a phone screen though - won't have access to a big screen for a couple of days. Is there a clear IQ difference once you see it on a bigger screen?

Apart from TDP, are there other reviews of the new lens up yet? I didn't spot any when I looked yesterday.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 06:42:13 PM by jd7 »
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ajfotofilmagem

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Re: Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2017, 06:46:06 PM »
Disappointed by the reviews, I'm always on the lookout for a lightweight good value lens; this isn't it. The mk 1 version was dire at the long end, this looks to be similar.

+1. This one's off my list of potentially good lightweight travel lenses. Looks like Tamron will have continuing success selling the 70-300 VD USD.

Generally agree the new lens is not sounding fantastic, although looking at the TDP IQ comparison test between the new lens and the 70-300L at 300, the new lens seemed pretty close. I was looking on a phone screen though - won't have access to a big screen for a couple of days. Is there a clear IQ difference once you see it on a bigger screen?

Apart from TDP, are there other reviews of the new lens up yet? I didn't spot any when I looked yesterday.
In fact, the new 70-300 IS ii, compares well against the "L" model at 300mm.

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=1077&Camera=979&Sample=0&FLI=4&API=1&LensComp=738&CameraComp=979&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=4&APIComp=0

hubie

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Re: Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2017, 07:07:55 PM »
Why is it a great choice for photographers with already great lenses just because it's a good buy price-to-performance wise  :o?
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Woody

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Re: Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2017, 09:37:12 PM »
I used TDP comparison tool to check performance of the newly released 70-300 Mark II lens against the ancient 70-200 f/4L IS. The disparity in image quality is incredible.

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Re: Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2017, 09:37:12 PM »

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Re: Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2017, 01:34:37 AM »
Pity about the image quality. It's not "bad" but was hoping it would be a noticeable improvement over the old model.
I suppose my ideal lens would be a 70-300 f/4 or similar (to fill the annoying gap I have with choosing a 70-200 or 100-400 lol)
Hurry up Canon and do something with your sensors! :P

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Re: Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2017, 03:51:50 AM »
@woody: I have done the same, because I bought a 70-200 4 IS second hand for half the new price in mint quality after waiting 10 years to upgrade my non-IS.
If you decide something, situation changes meaning a new lens with much better quality at the same price is available - Murphy sends greetings. But in this case it is not the case.
I was very satisfied with the strong and very consistent IQ of the 70-200 4 IS which will help me to use the full potential of  EOS M, and in the future perhaps EOS M5 or a high res full frame body.

@dufflover: See above - I chose the f/4 non-IS variant of the 70-200 lenses 11 years ago and upgraded recently to the IS version for: IS, wather sealing, better flare resistance/flare patterns.
A 70-300 f/4 would be a dream lens but I am shure it will be a 2 kg lens and that leads to MY decision for the 70-200 4 IS: It is light enough to use it hours holding it in your hand. I wouldn't accept much more mass - so 70-300 L, the f/2.8 variants of 70-200 and 100-400ii aren't the right solution for ME.
On the other hand, there are 150-600mm solutions and maybe Canon will produce one at reasonable price with reasonable IQ - 70-200 for everyday-use, 150-600 when needed ...
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Re: Review: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS II USM
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2017, 03:51:50 AM »