Every Canon EF Lens: Read the Reviews, See the Specification & Check the Price
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Overview

Canon's general purpose 70-300 EF lens improves overall performance compared to the 75-300 it replaced. At f/5.6 at the long end, it's rather slow for anything but reasonable light levels, but at 630g is relatively light.

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Lens specifications

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture 70-300mm f/4-5.6
Lens Construction 15 elements in 10 groups
Diagonal Angle of View 34° - 8° 15" (with full-frame camera)
Focus Adjustment Front-focusing method with helicoid ring drive
Closest Focusing Distance 4.9 ft./1.5m
Filter Size 58mm
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight 3.0 in. x 5.6 in., 22.2 oz. / 76.5mm x 142.8mm, 630g (lens only)

EF70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM telephoto zoom lens block diagram

EF70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM telephoto zoom lens wide mtf chart EF70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM telephoto zoom lens tele mtf chart

A quick guide to MTF charts (which only measure contrast and resolution. Canon's guide to their MTF charts)

Black lines reflect lens performance at widest aperture.
Blue lines show the performance at f/8

Thick lines indicate lens contrast
Thin lines indicate lens resolution

Dashed lines: Lens performance with meridional lines.
Solid lines: Lens performance with sagittal lines

Closer sagittal and meridional chart lines indicate more 'natural' out of focus areas.

Remember that MTF charts are good for comparing similar lenses, so comparing ones from the 14mm f2.8L and 300mm 2.8L won't tell you much at all, whilst comparing the EF14 2.8L with the EF14 2.8L II will show meaningful differences. Note that other manufacturers may have different ways of displaying such information that may or may not match up with the Canon figures.

EF70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM reviews and articles

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Sample images

None available at present.

Product launch

Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 22 August, 2005: Canon, a leader in photographic and imaging technology, today releases the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM zoom lens.

Featuring the latest 3-stop Image Stabilizer for outstanding camera shake reduction, the lens also features super responsive auto focus. Replacing the popular EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, the world’s first interchangeable lens with Image Stabilizer (IS), the lens is expected to appeal to serious amateur nature and sports photographers looking to achieve outstanding results while shooting hand held.

Image Stabilizer

IS dramatically reduces image blur caused by camera shake. The EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM features Canon’s latest 3-stop IS, a one-stop improvement over its predecessor. This allows shutter speeds up to three stops slower than would otherwise be possible, with no perceptible increase in image blur. Photographers normally shooting a 300mm frame handheld at 1/500s can obtain the equivalent result with a shutter speed of just 1/60s, vastly extending options in low light conditions.

Gyro sensors detect unwanted vibrations, triggering the corresponding movement of a correcting lens group perpendicular to the optical axis. This alters the light path, returning the image to its correct position on the sensor or film plane.

The EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM provides 2-mode IS for shooting immobile subjects. Mode 1 stabilizes the image along both the horizontal and vertical axes. For shooting while panning to follow a moving subject, Mode 2 turns off correction in the panned direction and prevents the effect of dragging the subject back through the frame. IS switches off automatically when the camera is mounted on a tripod, thus preventing feedback loops between the IS sensor and stabilizer motor vibrations.

Superb auto-focus

The micro USM motor found in the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM employs ultra-sonic frequency vibrations to drive auto focus with unrivalled speed and near-silent operation. Good holding torque stops the lens with precision and accuracy, the instant it arrives at the correct focus point and without overshoot. A high speed CPU and optimised AF algorithm result in a significant increase of AF speed compared to that of its predecessor.

A zoom ring locking mechanism is provided that locks the zoom at the wide-angle setting. This ensures that the lens is carried or stored in its most compact position, preventing possible damage caused by the lens extending and hitting obstacles when being carried mounted on a camera with a strap.

Pleasing defocused background

The EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM employs an electro magnetic diaphragm (EMD) with a circular aperture. This helps create an attractive, even defocused background when isolating a subject at large apertures.

Image quality

By optimising Super Spectra lens coatings and lens element shaping, Canon’s engineers have been effective in suppressing flare and ghosting – more prone to occur with digital cameras due to reflection off the image sensor. By increasing light absorption, coatings reduce reflections off lens element surfaces to deliver crisp, undistorted images with natural colour balance.

Focal length translates to 112-480mm equivalent in 35mm film format when fitted to EOS 20D and EOS 350D cameras

The EOS system

The EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM includes distance metering information, providing compatibility with the E-TTL II flash system of late model cameras such as the EOS-1D Mark II N and EOS 5D . When used in conjunction with Canon’s range of EX Speedlite flash units, the lens passes distance information to the flash algorithm for markedly improved flash exposure metering.

Accessories for the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM include the lens hood ET-65B and the lens pouch LP1222. In keeping with Canon’s Kyosei philosophy of living in harmony with the environment, the lens features only lead-free glass

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Every Canon EF Lens: Read the Reviews, See the Specification & Check the Price
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