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Lens review

2007-09-23
 

Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

11. Summary

Pros:

  • very good image resolution in the center of the frame
  • good image quality on the edges of the frame (except for the area around the wide open aperture for 300 mm)
  • well corrected chromatic aberration
  • small distortion
  • well corrected astigmatism
  • vignetting almost completely absent
  • efficient stabilization
Cons:
  • the image resolution for 300 mm could be better
  • weak against bright light
  • autofocus, which could be described with one word - disaster

In our summery it would be worth answering two questions. How does the Canon look in comparison with a very popular Sigma 70-300 APO because of the good relation between the quality and the price? Is it worth paying extra for the Canona 70-200 f/4L?

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The answer to the first question is rather easy. Canon is better than Sigma, maybe not a whole lot but in almost every aspect. Even the unfortunate autofocus works better than Sigma's. The most convincing argument, however, should be picture stabilization which in such a light and focal length lens is obligatory. The question is whether it is worth paying an 350$ for the stabilization and slightly better optical values?

The answer to the second question is a bit more complicated. The price difference between the two Canons is 30$. The Canon 70-300 mm IS has a bigger focal length range and picture stabilization but on the other hand the L-grade lens has better sharpness with a wide open aperture, as well as having a sturdy body. Another point for the 70-300 IS is that with a body in the 20/30D class it is possible to carry this for a pretty long walk. It is much more difficult with the L-grade lens.

Truly saying I was faced with such a decision. I made my choice and so far so good. I don't want to suggest anything so I won't say which one I chose. I'm sure many people already know.


Sample shots:

Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - Summary Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - Summary Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - Summary
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 190 mm, f/7.1, exp. 1/160 sec, ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.5 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 300 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/200 sec, ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.3 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 300 mm, f/7.1, exp. 1/400 sec, ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.6 MB
Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - Summary Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - Summary Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - Summary
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 130 mm, f/9.0, exp. 1/500 sec, ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 3.1 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 150 mm, f/9.0, exp. 1/640 sec, ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.7 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 70 mm, f/10.0, exp. 1/500 sec, ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.6 MB
Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - Summary Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - Summary Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - Summary
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 300 mm, f/6.3, exp. 1/400 sec, ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 3.1 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 200 mm, f/7.1, exp. 1/400 sec, ISO 200
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.5 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 100 mm, f/5.0, exp. 1/100 sec, ISO 100
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.2 MB
Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - Summary Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - Summary Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4-5.6 IS USM - Summary
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 300 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/1000 sec, ISO 400
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 2.5 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 300 mm, f/8.0, exp. 1/400 sec, ISO 800
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 3.3 MB
Camera: Canon 20D
Parameters: 300 mm, f/9.0, exp. 1/500 sec, ISO 400
File: JPG, 3504x2336 pix, 3.5 MB


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