Excerpt: In September of 1995, Canon introduced a revolutionary new lens, the EF 75-300/4-5.6 IS USM. The revolutionary aspect of this lens was the incorporation of an optical image stabilizer system which allowed the lens to be hand held at shutter speeds two stops slower than could be done with a conventional lens. Optically the EF 75-300/4-5.6 was very good at the wide end, but became a little soft at 300mm, especially when used wide open.
Excerpt: This long, Tele stabilized zoom replaces Canon's popular 75-300mm f/4-5.6 full-frame IS lens, the industry's first IS/VR lens, introduced in 1995. The new model delivers better image stabilization (to three stops instead of two) and a wider zoom range. It also features a zoom lock (at 70mm), special lens coatings to suppress ghosting and flare off digital sensors, and a panning mode for the IS system.
Summary: For a consumer type zoom, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM is a surprisingly solid lens. Image quality is quite good and in the shorter zoom range even rivaling that of the more expensive L grade lenses. Combine that with low level of artifacts such as CA, distortion, vignetting, as well as decent IS system and finally affordable price, and you got a winner on your hands. Or at least one of the best overall deals available on the market.
Excerpt: With the introduction of the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens, Canon has replaced one of its most popular lenses and its first image stabilized lens - the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS . The 75-300mm IS lens was popular because of its useful focal length range, small size, light weight, midrange price and Image Stabilization . The 70-300 IS improves this overall package (sacrificing only price somewhat).
Summary: Canon produces a bewildering array of lenses in this zoom range. By our count there are four 70–200mm lenses and three 70–300. The best lenses are those that have a constant maximum aperture across the zoom range and in which the barrel length does not change when zooming. These are the “white” professional lenses. The lens under review here is best described as a superior amateur enthusiast optic.
Pros: This is a sweet and smooth lens in use. Auto focus is fast enough and the feel of zoom and focus controls is good. It is light enough to carry around without getting a pain in the neck, yet not so light that there are worries about durability.
Cons: There is slight barrel distortion at the wide end – nothing to worry about in field use – and slightly more pincushion at the 300mm end. It is easy enough to correct in Photoshop.
Excerpt: Despite being relatively light in weight, it felt robust in the hand and well-balanced on our EOS 60D body. The zoom extended smoothy and during testing, the AF performed quickly thanks to the built-in Ultrasonic Motor (USM), locking onto targets with no signs of hunting. It must be said though, that the motor on our sample did sound rather gritty and far from the ‘˜near silent' operation promised, which could be a potential turn-off for wildlifers as it risks disturbing...