Review: Canon EF 70-300mm IS lens

Yesterday I acquired a Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM lens. I had read mixed reviews about it online, everything from "this lens isn't worth it's price you're better off with the 400mm Luxury class lens" and "you'll never find a professional using a lens like this" to "This is my new workhorse, the best lens I've ever used in its price range."

After shooting 2GB of photos with the lens over several hours this morning, I have mixed thoughts about it myself.

First, I have to say this is by far one of the best lenses I've used. The people who claimed no professional would be caught dead using this lens are totally wrong. I love it and will take it with me on every shoot. It won't be my primary portrait lens, but it will definitely find a lot of use.

The Image Stabilization is exactly as advertised by Canon. I was impressed with their demo shots IS vs no IS on their website, but figured the company would obviously choose photos that best-represented their lens and their company so I wasn't totally convinced about their claims. Now I am.

Even handheld in low light (something I would have never done previously, especially not using a 300mm lens) the pictures came out beautifully. I snapped one with and one without IS just for comparison. The results are just spectacular.

kowka with IS turned off kowka with IS turned on

This isn't a Canon lens lovefest article. There were some negatives to using the Image Stabilization lens. It's so power-hungry it could have been manufactured in Germany during the war. Normally, I can take my camera out for the weekend and forget my spare batteries with no trouble while I shoot through my 2 and 4GB cards with no trouble.

This morning I shot 2GB (about 140 RAW photos) and was down two bars on the battery indicator. I'll definitely need to start carrying more than one spare battery when I intend to use this lens on shoots.

This lens is loud and the IS makes a constant chattering noise about as loud as the auto-focus, and speaking of the AF, it's a bit on the slow side. Part of my intention is to use this lens for action sports where I'm not able to get particularly close to the participants. I'll have to put the lens through a few more trial runs to see if it will be capable of doing this. As it stands now, I'm doubtful.

The most important thing about any lens for me is whether it's capable of consistently producing clear, crisp, beautiful photos. And in that area, this lens is a winner all the way.

The Canon EF 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM is an excellent tool and a great asset to 29k Productions and our customers.

Other photos with this lens are below:

Spring in CdA Spring in CdA Spring in CdA

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