Canon 70-300 is review
The Canon 70-300 is a consumer grade Canon zoom telephoto lens. Sooner or later many people think after the kit lens to have a cool telephoto. What a telephoto lens does ? It allows you to take pictures of distant subjects, which is cool.
Compatibility – Canon 70-300 is review
The lens is compatible with Canon Full frame and Aps-C cameras as well.
Specifications – Canon 70-300 is review
Focal length range: 70-300mm
Optical formula: 15 lens elements in 10 groups included ED element
Brightness: f/4.5(70mm)-5.6(300mm) – f/32-45
Minimum focusing distance:1.5m (4.92′)
Weight: 630g (1.39 lb)
Dimensions: App. 7.62 x 14.22 cm (3.0 x 5.6″)
Aperture diaphragm blades: 8
Magnification: 0,26 X
Filter thread: 58mm
Build quality Canon 70-300 is review
The lens has a reasonable build quality but not pro grade metal lens, but plastic. After some usage it can be felt it is not built for eternity.
Autofocus – Canon 70-300 is review
The autofocus is fast, precise but not a real ring type USM motor like the one in my Canon 200mm f/2.8 L.
Range – Canon 70-300 is review
Optical quality – Canon 70-300 is review
The Canon 70-300 is a very nice lens, I was pleasantly surprised by the optical quality of the consumer grade lens. Don’t think though in extremes it is not better than the Canon 70-200mm “L” zooms, or even primes. But compare to the range, the price, this lens produce nice images. If you want to live from wildlife photography you will sell this lens at a point. The lens produces nice saturated colors with good contrast. The pictures the lens takes looks nice and natural.
At 300mm the pictures looks very good at closer distances, but at longer distances (50-100mm and longer) the weakness in sharpness is more apparent.
50% crop of the Canon 30D 3504 pixel 8Mp image 300mm f/8 ISO 400 1/2000s
Uncropped image for reference
Canon 70-300 is USM 70mm f/8 Canon 30d 50% crop no post-processing ISO 400 1/1250s
Wide open at 70 and 300mm – Canon 70-300 is review
Bokeh – Canon 70-300 is review
Stabilizer – Canon 70-300 is review
The lens is equipped with stabilizer which claimed to give 3 stops gain by Canon. The stabilizer has two modes: standard and panning. A stabilizer is a very useful feature of the lens like this, helps in non or slowly moving subjects or still life, doesn’t help with moving subjects like small birds or kids.
Teleconverters – Canon 70-300 is review
The results are not so good with teleconveters. Kenko ones autofocuses with this lens as well, but the results are not impressive. If you have one you can use it for looking at distant objects if you like to. I wouldn’t put 2x teleconverter on this lens, the viewfinder will be extremely dark, picture quality very low. Better to buy a higher grade lens for the price of the converter.
Alternatives – Canon 70-300 is review
There are many telephoto lenses available today. The Classic 70-200mm beige Canon L zoom lenses for example. These lenses are sharper but doesn’t have this long reach, only they goes to 200mm. On the other hand that lenses are significantly better, better built, brighter and has better optical quality. I like the 70-300mm range and feel it is a more fun lens but it would be hard to recommend it as a reviewer over the Canon 70-200mm f4 which is a very nice lens, has f/4 constant aperture and excellent build quality which the 70-300 has not. The resale value of the 70-200 is also much better, while you lose money for sure on the 70-300, unless you buy cheaply used. Tamron and Sigma also has a 70-300mm. The Tamron has excellent stabilizer if video is on top of your priority list. I think Canon holds it’s own again other lenses very well regarding optical quality.
Verdict – Canon 70-300 is review
The Canon 70-300 is is a very good consumer grade lens, which can produce very nice images. On the used market one can get it relatively cheaply compare to pro grade telephoto lenses. With little post processing the lens is able to produce excellent images. The two function stabilizer is an added bonus, but in long term the Canon 70-200mm f4 L seems to have a better value.