My thoughts on my newly purchased 70-300 4/5.6 USM IS L Lens

Started May 12, 2012 | Discussions thread
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rattlhed
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My thoughts on my newly purchased 70-300 4/5.6 USM IS L Lens
May 12, 2012

I purchased a Canon 60D around Christmas time, and I've been using the 17-55 2.8 IS lens for many years (on my 30D before the upgrade). I decided it was time to purchase a tele lens to broaden the focal length of my photography. I spend almost 2 weeks researching the lens options out there. I ended up narrowing it down to the 70-200 F4 IS L vs. the 70-300 F4/5.6 IS L. Once down to these final 2 lenses it was a very tough decision, but I decided to go with the longer zoom and sacrifice a bit of aperture speed. I do mostly outdoors/landscape photography and use a tripod a lot of the time, therefore I thought this lens would be a good choice.

I think I made a great decision. This lens is awesome in every way. The build is amazing. It's like a tank on my camera. Solid build, extremely smooth operation, and takes WONDERFUL pictures. When I first got it, I did a range of ISO tests with a standard ISO chart. The only place I could see this lens suffering with less than sharp shots is at 300mm at 5.6, step it down a bit and it definitely improves. But the real test is real world photography. Here are some of my first shots taken outside with the lens:

Original crop here, no resize. The details are amazing. As you can see from the 70mm shot below, this 300mm is quite the amazing zoom capability. You can actually make out individual people in the space needle. Just amazing.

Resized to 50% of original. This was during an evening sunset in Seattle. The color representation is just amazing with this lens.

Here is the lens at widest length. Again another 50% resize. The difference between 70 and 300 is quite amazing and really allows for a lot of composition options.

A couple of comments. First, in my research some of the negative comments addressed the lack of a tripod ring. I used this lens with a Gitzo tripod and a Really Right Stuff medium size ball head, and it had no issues at all holding up the camera/lens combination with the camera mounted on the tripod. So I don't think this will be an issue for me.

The other issue I read about was the zoom ring and focus ring seemed 'swapped' on this lens, with the zoom ring on the end. I do find this to be a minor issue. I have found myself grabbing the focus ring while trying to zoom out of habit. I may get over this (it's better than when I first got it), but it's by no means a deal breaker and just a minor annoyance.

Everything else about this lens is amazing. I can't wait to get out and use this lens as much as I can!

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