Anyone here purchased or considering the Canon 70-300 L?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by VirtualRain, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #1
    Anyone? Any thoughts? Sample shots?

    I just ordered it today and hope to have it by the end of the week. It will be replacing my 70-300 f4-5.6 IS USM which has been good to me but has a few shortcomings (build, quality at the long end, and rotating front end).

    It should be the ultimate companion to my kit... EFS 10-22, 17-55, and 60mm Macro

    I'll try to post my thoughts and some shots here after it arrives.

    :)
     
  2. mtbdudex macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    #2
    I'd appreciate you posting some shots, I went back/forth between the 70-300L vs the 70-200 f2.8 L mkII for quite a while, ended up with the later.
     
  3. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #3
    I actually don't get the appeal of the 70-300 L: Canon's 70-200 f/4 is optically excellent and very cheap. You can get a f/2.8 version and a converter as well to cover the same focal length range. Why did you decide to get one? I'm curious :)
     
  4. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #4
  5. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    #5
    I personally prefer a constant aperture instead of the f/4 - f/5.6 of the 70-300 and 100-400. Hence my decision to get the 70-200 and 300 f/4 lenses instead.
     
  6. petjuli macrumors newbie

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    #6
    I've been following Canon Rumors Guy on facebook. His full site is (obviously) canonrumors.com He runs a lens rental shop in Canada and got a copy of the 70-300L before he went on safari to Africa for the past 3 or so weeks. He has been raving about that lens for the past few weeks and also posted a number of sample pics. I think he is on his way back and said his first order of business would be to do a full proper review of the lens. From what I saw the shots were amazing, and I would expect this lens is a really top notch performer, only issue is the variable aperture which isn't nearly as nice as fixed 4.0 or 2.8 in the 70-200 lineup. Really comes down to if the extra 100mm is really worth the loss in light from about 130-ish upwards.
     
  7. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

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    #7
    I did update my 9 year old 70-200 this past spring for the new 7-2/2.8 v2 and LOVE it....I'm equally excited with this new 70-300. I've used the older 70-300is version for years...and summertime photography, outside...it's been an excellent performer.

    From what I've read (and there's not a lot out there) it's been mainly, if not MOSTLY positive. I also dig it's relative focal length on my 7d for a smaller version of a lens...without a TC on my 7-2 for long shot wildlife and birding during my summer hunting and fishing trips. Times on wider rivers catching the bears on the banks...this will be perfect. We don't have to worry about lighting, the sun's out almost 18 hours a day for decent shooting, so the speed at 300mm doesn't bother me. And the relative softness I've always gotten from my older 7-3is (at the long end) seems to be cured on the newer L version. From what I've seen....throughout the range, the sharpness seems awesome. A newer IS system. I'm excited. I'll probably keep the 7-2 on my 5d and 7-3 on my 5d2 for air shows....should be a killer combo. Also be kinda nice if I could use the 1.4 TC with it as well....Anyone heard? At f8 on the long end, doesn't that eliminate the ability (at least for the 7d) to AF?

    I had thought I was in the minority (as far as actually appreciating the release of this lens...as I'll never be able to afford the new Canon 200-400 f/2.8(4) lens at $7.5k when they release it:)...and, as there are other options this is understandable....but if the optics are excellent, and the IS has advanced, ala (100l, 70-200v2, and the new line of long L zooms)....this could be a freaking KILLER back pack/outdoor/roadtrip lens:)

    J
     
  8. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #8
    At least one guy on POTN got this lens auto-focusing with a Kenko pro300 DGX 1.4TC on his 7D.

    However, 300mm is plenty of zoom for me.
     
  9. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #9
    If you are interested, someone on POTN took the time to compare this lens with the Tamron and 70-200 f4 IS...(Link)

    Here's the 100% crops for all lenses wide-open. Red "X" indicates an OOF shot (unfortunately the tester didn't have time to take several of each).

    The ability of this new 70-300 to compare so favorably with the 70-200 is exciting but perhaps not unexpected given it's price point.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #10
    Santa came early...

    I hope it shoots as good as it looks. Hopefully I can get out at lunch tomorrow to take some shots with it.
     

    Attached Files:

  11. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #11
    Here's a quick shot...

    [​IMG]
    Canon 7D 70-300 L at 100mm; 1/15 @ f5.6; ISO A (3200); Handheld from about 1.5m away
    RAW converted to JPEG and exported to Zenfolio without any adjustments

    Here's a 100% crop from a TIFF exported to Photoshop and saved as a JPEG
     

    Attached Files:

  12. harcosparky macrumors 68020

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    #12
    I do not have the 70-300L

    I do have the 70-200 2.8 Mk II and the 100-400 IS L zoom lenses.

    Having said that, I have hear much good about the 70-300L from those who have actually used it. I am not talking just about people who plunked down their money and bought one, but people who have taken the time to go to a dealer and try one out.

    I know another person who owns a 70-200 2.8 Mk II and he just bought the 70-300 L. If you are thinking " why the heck would he do that? " I strongly suggest you go to a dealer and try them both out.

    They both have a place, and even if they overlap in focal length, it's not the same place.

    The 70-300 is lighter by about 440 grams ( almost 1 pound ), and has a little more reach.
     
  13. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

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    #13
    I think you actually answered that question harco;)

    I'm with ya...I have the new 7-2v2 as well...and out backpacking, hiking, etc...it's just too heavy (because I also like to carry a 24-70 or 24-105), and too valuable for some of the terrain and weather. (Easy to break in a fall with it's size if not protected). I have used my non-L 70-300is for years just in these types of situations...and as mentioned, on my aps-c sized 7d, it's got really good reach for wildlife and birds. However, there is a softness I'm not fond of past 200mm.

    I will buy the new 70-300 as funds permit. This time of the year, I've got waaayyy too many nieces and nephews running around...as well as a bride and a 5 year old son (Christmas is MAGIC at this age) to take care of during the holidays. However....tax time, with an anticipated refund (Thanks Obama:)), I'm hoping to grab the lens...as well as the new Sigma 85mm! Just borrowed a friend's for two weeks (the Sigma)...and it is absolutely unreal next to my Canon 85LII! In fact, if I pick up the Sig, sell the Canon....I'm half way to the 70-300L!!! LOL...I digress.

    From what I've seen...and I agree again with harcosparky...from those that have put the lens through it's paces (POTN and Fred Miranda), this is a real winner and a perfect outdoor....backpacking, hunting, fishing, hiking, all around lens!

    J
     
  14. VirtualRain, Dec 16, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010

    VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #14
    Here are some comparison shots with the new 70-300L compared to my old 70-300 IS USM. The differences at 300mm are evident even in web sized images. At 135mm I can also see noticeable differences in sharpness in the web sized images. At 200mm it's less obvious.

    See for yourself...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    In case you're wondering how these comparisons were done... I chose the best of 3 shots from each lens (although there was little difference) and the RAW's were imported into Aperture and exported as TIFF's without any adjustments. Photoshop was used to build the crop sheet that includes a 100% crop from each image and a downsized image of the original. They were then saved as PNG-24.
     
  15. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #15
    I also compared the two telephotos with my EFS 60mm Macro and my EFS 17-55mm f2.8. While they don't all share a common focal length, you can get a feel for sharpness at f4 across these lenses at focal lengths in the 55-70mm range.

    By my eyes, all of these lenses are sharp at this focal length in the center. The only notable exception is the 70-300 IS which is less sharp in the corner of the frame than the others.

    [​IMG]


    These shots were done using manual focus, no IS, on a tripod under artificial light with a remote shutter release. The camera was 7.5 feet (2.25m) from the subject material. Unfortunately, the 17-55 image is 1EV lower than the rest, but I didn't realize this until after I had got back inside (and to be honest, didn't feel like redoing it)
     
  16. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

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  17. davegoody macrumors 6502

    davegoody

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    #17
    Maybe try the 28-300 IS L ?

    I use the 28-300L as my main lens (it is f3.5-5.6) with excellent IQ and really good (though not class leading) IS. It is a stunning lens. I am predominantly a Wedding Photographer so having so much on one lens is a great combination...... really depends on needs. The lens used to be a touch slow (due to small aperture) on my older bodies, but since using a 5D MkII and 7D, that is no longer a major issue. I LOVE this lens ! Not cheap but IMHO worth considering !
     
  18. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #18
    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing. I'm trying to figure out how best to extend my focal length range and had dismissed this new 70-300 because of its variable aperture. If reviews continue to conclude that it is sharper than the 70-200 f/4L IS, then I may have a change of heart. However, the 200mm f/2.8L is also a serious contender (I don't want anything as large as the 70-200 f/2.8L IS--that's just too big and heavy for all of the traveling I do).
     
  19. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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  20. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #20
    That's probably the biggest `problem; of the 70-300 L: the 70-200 f/4 is just a damn good lens that is very hard to best. Although for Canon shooters, that's bitching on a very high level :D
     
  21. mtbdudex macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

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    #21
    The two posted reviews, reason for diff:
    Sample variation?
    Test variation?

    In the end, the bar keeps getting raised higher and higher, more razor sharp MP sensors demand more exact lens, which push more MP sensors....till....well avg joe like me can't really appreciate such things at a certain point, there has to be a pleatue of little gain for lotta $$$, the exponential curve.


    VirtualRain - you are a GEEK!! Better yet, a MacGeek!
    Great job at the comparision, thx for doing this.
     
  22. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #22
    I think any average Joe can see the difference between these two examples:

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    That's the new lens (70-300L) on the left versus the 70-200 f/4L IS on the right.

    And yes, because of the possibility of sample variation, I'd like to see more of these reputable lens reviewers run this new lens through the mill.
     
  23. VirtualRain, Dec 17, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010

    VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #23
    Guilty as charged! :)

    It really depends what you mean by "average Joe" :)

    Talking to my friends, who are not as geeky about photography as me (but they are still photo enthusiasts - one owns a 7D and the other a T1i) both admit that in my test, the differences are evident when you look at 100% crops, but they don't see enough of a difference in the web sized images to matter to them. In fact, they think I'm nuts for spending an extra $1000 on the image quality improvement demonstrated in this test.

    As far as comparisons to the 70-200 f4 IS go, the fact that this new 70-300 is even getting compared to that lens and some reviews are reporting results that are extremely close, is very encouraging. However, it's unlikely, and probably unreasonable to expect, that this lens is going to unseat the 70-200 as the sharpest telephoto tool in the shed.
     
  24. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #24
    If all you need are "web-size images", then you ARE nuts to spend an extra $1000 on a lens. In that case, your friends are completely right.
     
  25. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #25
    Well, unlike them, I can see a difference in the web images, particularly at 300mm, but even at 135. So it's worth it to me just for that. But if sharing my pics on the web was all I ever aspired to I agree it would be difficult to justify. Fortunately, that's not the case. That doesn't mean I'm not nuts though! :p
     

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