Canon EF 300mm f/4 USM L - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews -
Canon EOS (APS-C)
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Special thanks to Michael Huonker for providing this lens!
The Canon EF 300mm f/4 USM L is the predecessor of the current 300mm f/4 IS version.
During its time it was and still is a highly regarded lens and it remains a well sought-after
lens on the used market. On APS-C DSLRs such as the EOS 350D (used for testing) its
field of view is equivalent to 480mm on full frame cameras so the obvious applications are
sports and wildlife photography.
Due to the lack of an IS correction group the optical design is totally different with
significantly less lens elements - just 8 elements in 7 groups including 2 UD elements.
The aperture mechanism features 8 aperture blades. The min.
focus distance is a little disappointing at 2.5m with a max. object magnification of
about 1:8. As to be expected from such a lens it not exactly small with a size of 90x213mm
and a weight of 1165g. The filter size of 77mm is in-line with many other pro grade
Canon lenses. The lens can accept all Canon EF tele-converters resulting in either
a 420mm f/5.6 (300mm + 1.4x) or 600mm f/8 (300mm + EF 2x) combination. In the scope
of this review we can take a closer look at its performance with the Canon EF 1.4x II
(=420mm full frame or equivalent to 588mm on APS-C).
The mechanical quality of the lens is excellent with an outer barrel made
of metal and a broad rubberized focus ring which is smooth and well damped.
The focus range can be restricted to 6m-∞ and 2.5m-∞. The
lens also features a detachable tripod mount for a better balance on tripods -
certainly a good idea regarding the weight of the lens. There´s also a
pretty convenient build-in lens hood (see the middle product shot above). Unfortunately
is cannot be locked in its outmost position so it tends to get retracted when