Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM L IS - Full Format Review / Test Report - Sample Images & Verdict
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Sample Images

Here're some sample images taken with the EOS 5D II and RAW converted via Canon DPP.

Click on a thumbnail to view the original file (opens in a separate window). Please note that the originals are FULL SIZE samples (=several megabytes) thus requiring a significant amount of bandwidth so please take care of the limited resources here.

Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 300.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/160s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 300.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/250s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 277.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/160s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 277.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/160s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 200.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/500s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 93.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/640s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 150.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/800s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 70.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/400s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 70.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/160s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 128.0mm
Aperture: f/9.0
Exposure 1/200s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 300.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/1250s
Make Canon
Model Canon EOS 5D Mark II
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 146.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/320s

Verdict

The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM L IS delivers high quality results throughout the zoom range but especially at 70mm. At 300mm it is clearly better than its in-house cousins (EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS & EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM DO IS) reaching very good to excellent center results combined very good(-) borders/corners. The light falloff at max. aperture is comparatively well controlled. The amount of distortions is about average for a lens in this class. Lateral CAs are very low. The quality of the bokeh is good for such a slow speed lens.

The build quality is outstanding and that's despite the zoom extension system - it doesn't really get any better in this class - and the sealing is the cream on the cappuccino here. The USM AF is extremely fast and near silent.

So does the EF 70-300mm USM L IS live up to the high expectations ? Well, I'd say mostly but not entirely. The optical quality is at the high end for a lens in the 300mm zoom class but it doesn't shine quite as bright as e.g. the (more affordable) EF 70-200mm f/4 USM L IS and, frankly, the pricing isn't aligned accordingly. Yet you won't find another EF mount lens with this build quality, range, compact size and very decent optical quality.

Optical Quality:    
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
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