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Canon EF 70 - 300 mm DO IS USM

By dpreview staff on Jan 29, 2004 at 04:01 GMT
Buy on GearShop$1,399.00

Pre-PMA 2004: Canon has today announced the new EF 70 - 300 mm F4.5 - F5.6 DO IS USM zoom lens, the first zoom lens ever to use Diffractive Optical (DO) elements. These new elements, seen previously only in the 400 mm F4.0 DO lens enable this 4.2x telephoto zoom lens to measure less than 10 cm long at the 70 mm position. On a digital SLR with an 1.6x FOV crop such as the EOS 10D this lens has an effective field of view of 112 to 480 mm, on the new EOS-1D Mark II the lens has an effective field of view of 91 to 390 mm. The lens will be priced at $1,299 (US) / €1,299 (EU).

Press Release:

Canon: First ever zoom lens with DO elements

Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 29 January 2004. Canon, a leader in photographic and imaging technology, today releases the EF70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM telephoto zoom lens. A new triple-layered diffractive optical element (DO) has enabled Canon to produce a 70-300mm lens less than 10cm long. The lens also includes Canon's Image Stabilisation technology to dramatically reduce camera shake, compensating for approximately three stops in shutter speed without any perceptible increase in image blur. A virtually silent ultra-sonic motor (USM) gives the lens extremely fast autofocus.

"This lens is symbolic of Canon's leadership in precision optics", said Mr. Komatsuzaki, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe, at the lens' launch. "Canon stands alone as the only company to have successfully commercialised Diffractive Optical elements in camera lenses, and the results speak for themselves."

Full time manual focusing, a circular aperture diaphragm, and a zoom ring lock mechanism to fix the lens at the shortest focal length are all built in. The lens boasts image quality approximating that of Canon's L series professional lenses. It is likely to appeal to professional photojournalists and serious advanced amateurs with a need to contain the size and weight of equipment carried.

DO Elements

This is the first DO lens to be released by Canon since it astonished the photographic community with the award winning EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM: A lens approximately 26% shorter and 36% lighter than any lens of comparable specifications. Use of the new three-layer DO lens drastically reduces the overall length and weight of the lens system increasing the refractive power of each lens element and reducing the spaces between elements. Chromatic aberration normally associated with increased compactness was corrected by positioning the Three-layer type DO lens on the front lens side. This, coupled with the correction of spherical aberration through the use of aspherical surfaces, delivers high image quality and high levels of resolution and contrast, rivalling the performance of Canon’s legendary L-series lenses.

Zoom lock

The EF70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM features a zoom ring locking mechanism, locking the lens at its shortest total length. This helps to protect the lens from potential damage by preventing the zoom elements extending under their own weight. This might otherwise occur when the lens is mounted to a camera that hangs from a neck or shoulder strap.

Image Stabilisation

The lens incorporates Canon's renowned Image Stabilisation (IS) technology, compensating for approximately three stops without any perceptible increase in image blur when shooting static subjects or panning.

This vastly increases the range of circumstances in which hand-held photography is possible, limiting the need to carry a tripod. During major movement in a single direction, IS Mode 2 technology automatically determines that the movement is conscious panning and halts correction in the relevant direction, thereby preventing shake-return. The IS system automatically detects lack of movement / vibration to prevent operation errors when a tripod is in use. IS efficacy increases and lower overall size have been achieved through improvements in the moving contact sections of the IS lens barrel, the IS lens group barrel locking mechanism and the shake-detection gyro.

Fast AF

A rear focusing ring type USM, high-speed CPU and new AF algorithms combine to give the lens extremely fast auto-focusing. The ring-type ultrasonic motor (USM) converts ultrasonic vibrational energy into rotational force to deliver high-speed, high-precision, super efficient and virtually noiseless auto focusing, with good holding torque for rapid response and accurate stopping. Full-time manual override is featured, removing the possibility of damage to the autofocus mechanism during manual focus. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1.4m throughout the entire zoom range.

Ideal for digital

Lens shape has been optimised and new coatings added to suppress ghosting and flaring. This makes the lens ideal for use with digital cameras that are more susceptible to reflections off the recording media than are film cameras. When fitted to digital cameras with an APS-C size sensor such as the EOS 10D, the lens will have an equivalent focal length range of 112 480mm in the 35mm format.

Attractive defocusing

Appropriate refractive and DO elements are combined to realise low distortion, high corner-to-corner resolution throughout the entire zoom range. As with all EF lenses, aperture is controlled with an EMD (electromagnetic diaphragm) for fast, quiet, highly precise control and the lens incorporates a near circular aperture diaphragm for beautifully pleasing background blur.

Working with EOS

The drive pattern of the lens is tailored to specifically match that of the latest EOS range, extracting maximum benefit from the lens’ speed advantage. The lens comes with a case LP1116 and an exclusive hood ET-65B for shading against unwanted direct light.

In harmony with the environment

In keeping with Canon’s stringent environmental policy, only lead free glass is used in the lens’ optics.

Canon EF 70 - 300 mm DO IS compared to Canon EF 75 - 300 mm IS

Left, the new EF 70 - 300 mm DO IS lens
Right, the old EF 75 - 300 mm IS
Both lenses at full telephoto extension

Canon EF 70 - 300 mm F4.5 - F5.6 DO IS USM specifications

Lens construction 18 elements in 12 groups, including diffractive optical elements
Coating Super Spectra Coating
Diagonal angle of view 34� - 8� 15�
Vertical angle of view 19� 30� - 4� 35�
Horizontal angle of view 29� - 6� 50�
AF Drive system Ring USM
Manual focusing Enabled with focus mode switch and focusing ring (full-time manual focusing)
Focusing range 1.4m to infinity (at all zoom focal lengths)
Maximum magnification (x) 0.06 (Wide); 0.19 (Tele)
Mount type Canon EF mount
Minimum aperture f/32-38 (f/32-40 for cameras featuring 1/3-stop increments)
Aperture blades 6 (circular type)
Filter diameter 58mm
Diameter x Length (mm) 82.4 x 99.9
Weight (g) 720
Lens Hood ET-65B
Lens Cap E-58U
Lens Case LP1116
Extension Tube EF12 II Compatible
Extension Tube EF25 II Compatible
EF 1.4x II or EF 2x II Not compatible
Image Stabilizer (IS) Included; activated by pressing the shutter button halfway
IS modes • Mode 1: normal image stabilization
• Mode 2: unidirectional image stabilization
IS max. deviation Approx. 0.9mm
IS max. correction angle Approx. 0.43� (at telephoto, infinity)
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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

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