I find the 70-300 focal range very versatile. I use it for wildlife, flowers and I also use it for outdoor portraits. I had the non L version but was'nt happy with the sharpness past 200mm so when the 70-300L came out I sold the non L and bought the 70-300L. I can take this lens to the Zoo and not have to change the lens and still get shots of my family and the animals. The 70-300 non L is a good lens to get used to that focal range, you can get some really nice shots with it.And with the higher MP cameras you can crop the image and still have a very nice picture.