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Need Help On Canon 70-300mm F/4-5.6 Is USM!  
User currently offlineMnazarinia From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 122 posts, RR: 4
Posted (7 years 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 6527 times:
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Hi everybody,

Last year I bought the Twin kit of Canon EOS 400D. The tele lens in the kit is the simple 75-300mm f/4-5.6. It worked OK for me by now, but I now think is the time to change/upgrade my lens. Of course I cannot afford 100-400 lens at the moment, but maybe EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM one.

Can I seek your comments and suggestions on this particular lens? Do you guys have any other suggestion? Maybe Tamron, sigma (50-500) or whatever?

Thanks and regards,
Mehdi.

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4881 posts, RR: 37
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 6518 times:

Sigma 50-500 is a good lens for bright conditions, but it doesn't have OS/IS/VR (whatever you want to call it) so it might take a bit of learning to get the best from it.

User currently offlineMnazarinia From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 122 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 6514 times:
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Thanks for that. Any other experience on the Canon IS USM lenses?

User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6491 times:

If you want L-series quality but can't afford the 100-400 try the 70-200 F4 L - you'll lose 100mm but the increase in quality compared to what you're used to is phenomenal.

Karl


User currently offlineF9Widebody From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1604 posts, RR: 10
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 6445 times:



Quoting JakTrax (Reply 3):
If you want L-series quality but can't afford the 100-400 try the 70-200 F4 L - you'll lose 100mm but the increase in quality compared to what you're used to is phenomenal.

True statement. I could crop in from 200 with my 70-200 f/4L and match the quality of a 75-300 @ 300.



YES URLS in signature!!!
User currently offlineCpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4881 posts, RR: 37
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6404 times:



Quoting Mnazarinia (Reply 2):
Thanks for that. Any other experience on the Canon IS USM lenses?

I'm not a Canon camera user (I have Nikon, but previously a 35mm film EOS). But the "Bigma" is okay. It still won't hold much against the really high quality OEM lenses from Canon or Nikon, but you'll also save a huge packet of money.


User currently offlineGPHOTO From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 833 posts, RR: 24
Reply 6, posted (7 years 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 6357 times:
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Mehdi,

You need to think about what you want to shoot. I had the same dilemma. Could afford either a 70-200mm L or the 70-300mm f/4-5.6. IS USM In the end I went for the 70-300mm. Some might think that a strange choice, but as I normally shoot small stuff (airshows and general aviation), the increased range was more important. Also the version of the 70-200mm L that is in the same price range as the 70-300mm does not have image stabilisation and I am not the steadiest of camera holders. If I shot mostly airliners at my local airport, I would probably have gone with the 70-200mm L.

The quality of the 70-300mm is perfectly satisfactory for my needs. Mine begins to get soft above 230mm-ish, but is usually quite usable up to about 290mm, especially if the subject fills the frame. I do get a fair shore of non-keepers at the longest lengths, but it is not excessive.

I have no doubt that the 70-200mm L is superior, but the IS, slightly cheaper price and extra range of the 70-300mm was the clincher in what was a very close race. This was a very difficult choice, for someone on a budget like myself. Each has some advantages and disadvantages over the other and ultimately, it comes down to exactly what you want to do with the lens and what you intend to do in the future. Ultimately, I hope to get the 100-400mm L IS USM. If you think about it in a positive light, which ever one you choose should keep you happy.

Best regards,

Jim Groom



Erm, is this thing on?
User currently offlineMnazarinia From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 122 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (7 years 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 6355 times:
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Jim,
Thanks for all your explanations. Well at this stage I should say that I mainly want to use it for large airplanes, but once in a while I may use it for general aviation as well, which as you said I need longer focal length as I have experienced I need more than 200 mm focal length. Of course in a loooong looooong term I am thinking on 100-400 as well.

But how about Sigma 70-200 f2.8 OS?

Cheers,
Mehdi.


User currently offlineTRVYYZ From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1375 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (7 years 5 days ago) and read 6334 times:

I have the above said lens. The 700-200f4L is cheaper in Canada. The 70-300mm IS is very close optically to the closest "L". The colour and contrast is slightly better for the "700-200f4L". The extra 100mm and the IS comes in handy at many occasions. If you really want the "L" you should go for the 70-200mm F2.8. The bigma cost is closer to the "L" lens than the 70-300 IS.

User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6318 times:



Quoting TRVYYZ (Reply 8):
The 70-300mm IS is very close optically to the closest "L". The colour and contrast is slightly better for the "700-200f4L".

I disagree. Although the 70-300 (or is it 75-300? I forget but I owned it) is a great lens for the price it can't seriously be compared to an L series lens. The only thing that makes this lens financially comparable to the 70-200 F4 L is the IS - and I never shoot in light low enough to require IS. If you shoot often in poor light then IS is useful, but not essential.

Quoting TRVYYZ (Reply 8):
If you really want the "L" you should go for the 70-200mm F2.8.

Why? The optics in the two lenses are virtually identical, and once again unless shooting in really poor light how many times is one going to need to go down to F2.8? Additionally, the difference in price far outweighs any benefits (in my opinion) - if you're thinking of buying the 70-200 F2.8 L then you may as well just plump for the 100-400 L.

Karl


User currently offlineMnazarinia From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 122 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6316 times:
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Karl,
I was sort of thinking same as you. In some circumstances I may need to go to f2.8 as most of the times the weather in Melbourne is not really good, but I really cannot afford it at this stage. And you are also right if I want to spend for f2.8, I'd rather prefer to spend more on 100-400 instead.

The thing still am not sure about is to either go for the IS or non-IS version which as I said might be handy in Melbourne's weather!!

Cheers,
Mehdi.


User currently offlineGPHOTO From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 833 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6305 times:
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Quoting JakTrax (Reply 9):
I disagree. Although the 70-300 (or is it 75-300? I forget but I owned it) is a great lens for the price it can't seriously be compared to an L series lens. The only thing that makes this lens financially comparable to the 70-200 F4 L is the IS - and I never shoot in light low enough to require IS. If you shoot often in poor light then IS is useful, but not essential.

Don't confuse the 70-300 with the 75-300. The 70-300 is superior, although it is not an 'L' series lens. This lens is unusual. It combines features of Canon's cheaper consumer range and the more expensive professional 'L' range. It manages to pull off a successful balance too, mostly.

Some links for the 70-300mm are below. The last one may be of particular interest,as it compares the 'new' 70-300 with it's predecessor, the 75-300. There is a noticeable improvement in quality all round. It is interesting to note that the reviewers were pleasnatly surprised by the performance of the 70-300 and had similar problems when considering the pros and cons of the 70-200 L and the 70-300 non-L - which should the photographer choose? A difficult choice, which ultimately will come down to exactly what the individual photographer will need.

http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_70300_456is/index.htm

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/
Note: For the above site, I can't get the exact page link to work here. Look under Canon Zoom Lens reviews then click the picture of the 70-300mm lens.

http://photo.net/equipment/canon/70-300is/review.html

Again, the 70-300mm was the right choice for me. It fits my needs perfectly. I could have got by with the 70-200 'L' but almost certainly would have wanted to add a 1.4x teleconverter, pushing up the total price. I feel a little sorry for anyone stuck with the same decision as myself - the unquestionably better quality, but shorter range lens against the lower quality (but still good), longer ranged, stabilised lens. Either is a significant purchase for anyone on a tight budget and there is pressure to make the right choice. The good news is that I think either will do the job, but do read the reviews for both lenses, think about your own situation and if possible, try them out before you buy.

Mehdi, try going back through the shots you have taken with your kit 75-300 and see what the EXIF data says about your focal length. How many of your shots, ratio wise, are above and below the 200mm mark? This should give you a bit more information to ponder as to what you are looking for.

I think the ultimate clincher for me was that the lens I really wanted (needed?) was the 100-400 L, but this was too expensive for me. In this case the 70-300 gave me a lot of the reach I needed in a price range I could afford.

Good luck! If it helps, have a look at both Karl's and my photos. Karl puts the lens used in his remark text. I don't, but you can assume that any non-walkaround shot from 2006 onward is taken with the 70-300 IS USM.

JakTrax photos

Jim Groom's photos

Best regards,

Jim



Erm, is this thing on?
User currently offlineJorge1812 From Germany, joined Apr 2004, 3149 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (7 years 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6299 times:

I can recommend the 70-300 IS USM. as I use it for almost two years now.
http://www.airliners.net/search/phot...=Georg%20Noack&distinct_entry=true

If I wouldn't be in the need of 300mm I would sure've buyed the 70-200L f4 but IS is often helpful and 300mm are needed most times when I'm out.

georg


User currently offlineJakTrax From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 4936 posts, RR: 7
Reply 13, posted (7 years 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 6281 times:

It seems we're all sailing on the same boat here, after some initial confusion. Quality-wise the choice has to be the L lens, but it does lack the range. I'm fortunate to shoot primarily at one of the world's most photographer-friendly airports (MAN), where even 160mm is (very) rarely needed. Having said that though, I've never really struggled with range issues anywhere - with the exception of some spots at LHR.

Bring it down to this - if you want ultimate colour, definition, sharpness and contrast go for an L. That's what I wanted and the extra 100mm of other lenses was easily sacrificed. If you're happier with longer range and prepared to settle for slightly lesser quality images then the 70-300 is perfect.

Wahtever you do, never forget that the glass is way more important than the body and will last you far longer than the camera. Make sure you make the right choice 'cause with the cash involved it'd be a disaster if you didn't. One final tip I'm surprised you haven't heard here yet is this: if you are serious about your photography and want top-notch pic's, always splash out the maximum you can afford on your lenses - it saves a lot of hassle and money in the long run. Of course some simply prefer to photograph to keep a pictorial record of movements and aren't particularly fussy about getting everything 'spot-on'; in which case spending a fortune on gear is pointless.

Karl


User currently offlineGPHOTO From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 833 posts, RR: 24
Reply 14, posted (7 years 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 6264 times:
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Quoting JakTrax (Reply 13):
One final tip I'm surprised you haven't heard here yet is this: if you are serious about your photography and want top-notch pic's, always splash out the maximum you can afford on your lenses - it saves a lot of hassle and money in the long run. Of course some simply prefer to photograph to keep a pictorial record of movements and aren't particularly fussy about getting everything 'spot-on'; in which case spending a fortune on gear is pointless.

Agreed.

Which category do you fit in, Mehdi?  Smile

For airliners at UK airports, the 70-200 is almost always long enough and the quality is undoubtedly excellent. In this case, it is the winner, even without IS. I've looked at your photos which are mainly airliners, so..... how far away are you standing?

Another factor to consider is that the L lenses retain more of their value if you wish to sell them at a later date (or so I am told). Seems a reasonable assertion to me, holds true in other markets. Might make upgrading to the 100-400 L at a later date a little easier on the wallet.

Best regards,

Jim



Erm, is this thing on?
User currently offlinePsych From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 3064 posts, RR: 58
Reply 15, posted (7 years 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 6248 times:
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There is a lot of very sensible advice here, much of which I would fully endorse.

I use the 70-200mm f/4 'L' now, having previously had the 75-300mm IS (older version). I really liked that extra range in the 200-300mm area - even though my 'home' airport is MAN, and I agree with the comments about not needing such long range. What I can say - after testing for myself - was that the 70-200mm lens produced better results optically even if you crop a 200mm image closely to mimic the result that the 300mm focal length would produce - if you follow my argument (see also Reply 4). i.e. The 'L' lens was superior enough that cropping half the original out at 200mm still produced a better quality image than the older lens at 250-300mm. Thus range was irrelevant - the 'L' lens produced better quality images full stop.

The key for me with this new 70-300mm would be whether the 200-300mm range can hold its own quality-wise - it would have to be pretty well equivalent to the quality of the 'L' lens to make it a worth while buy in my opinion. The fact that now the 70-200mm 'L' now also comes with IS (which it did not when I made my purchase, and I don't believe is hugely more expensive) suggests to me this new non-'L' 70-300mm would have to be pretty spectacular to stand a chance in the 'competition', and unless you spend a significant proportion of your photography time in the 200-300mm region, I would go with the grey one  wink .

All the best.

Paul


User currently offlineDazed767 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5499 posts, RR: 51
Reply 16, posted (7 years 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 6229 times:

Go for the 70-300 IS.

I sold my old 75-300mm IS (it was crap past 200mm anyways), and bought a 70-200L f/4, I wish I had the extra 100mm. From what I've seen on dpreview and photozone.de you won't be dissapointed with the 70-300mmIS.


User currently offlineMnazarinia From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 122 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (7 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 6223 times:
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That's really fantastic. I even couldn't think, before creating this thread, that there are lots of kind people like you guys here to help. I had heard of that but hadn't experience it till now. I do appreciate all your helps guys from bottom of my heart.

So from what I can see most of you guys are suggesting 70-300mm IS lens. It was the first lens that I was thinking of before sending out this thread, but it was here that I was also suggested by 70-200 f4 L as well. I can understand that how different can be the quality of L series lens with respect to the non-L series one. Pricewise they are both roughly in the same order, at least here in Australia with just maybe A$200 difference.

Quoting GPHOTO (Reply 14):
Which category do you fit in, Mehdi? Smile

Jim, most of the times my distance to the runway is about 300 m. So it means that I definitely need 200mm and above for airplanes like B737 and smaller sizes. I actually had gone through my previous photos and have noticed that the ones that I could upload successfully in the database have been taken at 200mm or less and the one that I'd loved to but were all rejected were taken at or above 200mm which were obviously at further distance. With my present lens it is still really difficult for me to shoot acceptable close up photos of tails/noses. They are most of the time lacking quality. That's why I thought of lens with more than 200mm focal length and better quality.

Quoting Psych (Reply 15):
I use the 70-200mm f/4 'L' now, having previously had the 75-300mm IS (older version). I really liked that extra range in the 200-300mm area - even though my 'home' airport is MAN, and I agree with the comments about not needing such long range. What I can say - after testing for myself - was that the 70-200mm lens produced better results optically even if you crop a 200mm image closely to mimic the result that the 300mm focal length would produce - if you follow my argument (see also Reply 4). i.e. The 'L' lens was superior enough that cropping half the original out at 200mm still produced a better quality image than the older lens at 250-300mm. Thus range was irrelevant - the 'L' lens produced better quality images full stop.

On the other hand as Paul said having better quality and then cropping the image can give the quality of the non-L lens @ 300mm zoom, as I said before the prices are relatively close to each other.

Also I am pretty sure that if I want to go with a 200mm lens I will buy an extender in near future! So maybe with my tight budget at the moment (as I am studying not working guys  Wink ) I may go with the 70-300 IS and in longer future I may go with 100-400 L ! But before my final decision what I would do is that I go and try to find a shop to let me test both of them at the same time and see how it looks like. To be honest I have once tried 70-200 f4 L at the same time with Sigma 70-200 f2.8 OS which the Sigma one seemed more clearer (just in the viewer) to me as I didn't save the images.

BTW thank you all guys for all your invaluable advices, suggestions and comments.

Cheers,
Mehdi.


User currently offlineTRVYYZ From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1375 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (7 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 6223 times:



Quoting JakTrax (Reply 9):
Although the 70-300 (or is it 75-300? I forget but I owned it) is a great lens for the price it can't seriously be compared to an L series lens.

Sure it can be. 70-300mm IS is NOT the same as 75-300mm, the optics are different, it has an UD element. It is easy to say "L" glass is better without knowing anything about the others. There are non "L" lenses that are better than the "L" from Canon. But it doesn't look as glamorous as a white lens.
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/lenses/canon_70300_456is/index.htm
The performance of the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS came as a total surprise. Unlike its predecessor the lens is capable to produce a very high performance throughout the zoom range without the significant drop in quality at 300mm typical for most consumer grade lenses in this range. It seems as if the new UD element helps to lift the optical quality significantly. Distortions, CAs as well as vignetting are also very respectable. So in terms of optical quality the EF 70-300mm IS can be almost described as a hidden Canon L lens.

Also the f2.8s and 1.8s are useful in many situations be it aviation or non-aviation.


User currently offlineMnazarinia From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 122 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (7 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 6220 times:
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One point that I forgot to ask is that the 70-300 lens will be extended as zooming, i.e. increasing the length and more prone to dust (that what I have been told by a camera shop) whereas the 70-200 has a fixed length and the lenses will move internally. Do you think firstly that's true and secondly if it is true is it really a pros?

Cheers,
Mehdi.


User currently offlineTRVYYZ From Canada, joined Oct 2004, 1375 posts, RR: 10
Reply 20, posted (7 years 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 6219 times:

Quoting Mnazarinia (Reply 19):

It could be an issue, but the 100-400mm L IS also has the same problem. But I don't know if it is really that big a problem as people say it to be. I've not noticed it so far.
The other problem with the 70-300mm IS is the front element rotates during focussing, so not good for polarisers.
Also no full time manual focus is possible.

[Edited 2007-12-24 21:11:02]

User currently offlineMnazarinia From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 122 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (7 years 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 6213 times:
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So if I don't want to use polarisers I should be al right with that you reckon?

User currently offlineMnazarinia From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 122 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (7 years 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 6209 times:
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I am just putting some low Res photos here just to have a feeling my distance from the RWY.

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User currently offlineGPHOTO From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 833 posts, RR: 24
Reply 23, posted (7 years 14 hours ago) and read 6152 times:
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Quoting Mnazarinia (Reply 22):
I am just putting some low Res photos here just to have a feeling my distance from the RWY.

You do not say what the focal length is on those shots, but by the look of it, the 70-200mm looks like it will be long enough, certainly for many of the shots of 737 or larger.

Still looks like a potentially tricky decision, quality vs length  Smile

Best regards,

Jim



Erm, is this thing on?
User currently offlineMnazarinia From Australia, joined Mar 2005, 122 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (7 years 13 hours ago) and read 6147 times:
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Hi All, and Jim,

I eventually yesterday purchased 70-200 f4 L non-IS!!! See how I will go with that. Thanks again for all your advices.

Cheers,
Mehdi.


25 JakTrax : The reviewer stopped at 'almost', which is different than being equal to. Seems he/she likes the 70-300 IS but took care to choose his/her words care
26 Post contains links Mnazarinia : Hi there, Just wanted to thank you all again for your great advices. This is my first photo accepted with my new lens! 70-200mm f/4L USM. http://www.a
27 Dvincent : Mehdi: Bravo! It looks fabulous.
28 JakTrax : Great stuff! Looks nice and sharp, with fantastic colour definition. When I upgraded to this lens I noticed straight away how much better it was than
29 Post contains images Mnazarinia : Hi Dan, Thanks for that. Karl, Thank you as well. Yeah all the photos I took look nicer and sharper, to be honest. I am not saying that my previous 7
30 Mnazarinia : Can I just ask a question? With my old 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III lens I used to over expose it by 1/3 or even 2/3 as most of you people said it tends to un
31 Psych : That sounds about right Mehdi. I recall that when I bought the 70-200mm I noticed that it gave at least 'half a stop's' faster shutter speed at the sa
32 JakTrax : Me too. 30D and the 70-200 F4 L I am usually -1/3 down in sunny conditions, with +1/3 in dull weather (that's with evaluative metering). I find for gr
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