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CanonEF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens
 
4.7

(based on 230 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (179)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (44)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (170)
  • Strong construction (140)
  • Consistent output (130)
  • Durable (121)
  • Lightweight (95)

Cons

  • Heavy (32)
  • Poor in low light (18)
  • Slow focus (15)

Best Uses

  • Wildlife photos (137)
  • Sports/action (125)
  • Landscape/scenery (49)
  • Wildlife (40)
  • Macro photography (30)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (86), Semi-pro photographer (55), Enthusiast (24), Pro photographer (14), Semi-professional (13)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (124), Yes (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

A great lens at a great price!

The best way to judge this lens is to see
the photos it produces on photo sharing sites.

you can search under cannon 300mm f/4L is,
make sure their not...Read complete review

The best way to judge this lens is to see
the photos it produces on photo sharing sites.

you can search under cannon 300mm f/4L is,
make sure their not using teleconverters
as it will soften the image.

it's very sharp! A great all around lens and easy to hand hold.

Some have said it is noisy.It's only slightly,I tried it 12 feet away from some doves and cardinals they didn't hear it, so not to worry.

I also have the 70-200 f/4 is, so when I need more reach I now have the 300 F/4 is, the nice thing about the 300 f/4, is the settings i'm used to using on the 200 work just as well on the 300, so no need to learn all over again to get those great shots i'm used to getting!

To get some fantastic shots from this lens
try these settings, low light (is on) 100th of a second shutter speed,F4, iso 200. Great for birds in the shadow.

Good light, 4000th of a second shutter speed,F4
if it's a white bird iso 200, if a darker bird 400-800.
You may have to ajust to your personal lighting conditions and taste.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Quality lens

I read a lot about the loud noise of the IS however, to be honest with you, it doesn't bother it, it just reminds me that it's on and working. Other than not...Read complete review

I read a lot about the loud noise of the IS however, to be honest with you, it doesn't bother it, it just reminds me that it's on and working. Other than not being a true hand held lens to work with, even with the IS, I was a little disappointed with the image quality. Perhaps I expected it to be similar to that of the 70-200, but then I have to remember, it's not a 2.8 and it costs less than even the non-IS 70-200. So, with what the lens costs, it's a great value. Put if on a tripod and you'll be fine.

Reviewed by 230 customers

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5.0

review from just an average guy

By Kimberdan

from swfl

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Durable
  • Easily Interchangeable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Nice Bokeh
  • Rugged
  • Strong Construction

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Uses

  • Macro Photography
  • Wildlife Photos

Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

So, I have had 2 different 70/200f4 IS L Lens and felt like i was just not getting that L Lens clarity, So they where returned and i ordered this and was weary about weather i was going to be happy with a lens that i can not zoom in or out with.
Will i got it yesterday and went out last night and at first i was not happy with it, Pictures where not clear and seemed very soft... so i came home and looked at my settings and went back out today.
What a world of difference, the pictures are sharp and i could not be happier with this lens and the best part is that it is cheaper then the 70/200 f4.
Also i am shooting outside and today was cloudy and the lens was still producing pin sharp pictures.
As most people have stated is that it is very heavy, Might not be the heaviest but its not the lightest either...
Would i recommend this? Yes with out a doubt...

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent Lens

By UKCowboy

from La Veta CO

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Lightweight
  • Rugged
  • Strong Construction

Cons

  • Heavy

Best Uses

  • Wildlife Photos

Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

I bought this to supplement my 70-200mm f/2.8 L for a somewhat greater reach in appropriate situations. I have had excellent results so far with both still and moving subjects.
I tried moving subjects (Greater Sandhill Cranes) yesterday for the first time - handheld. The auto-focus tracked really well, and the panning mode stabilization worked great.
One thing I found was that when holding the lens close to the camera with a tripod collar mounted there was a good chance to inadvertently contact the focus ring and interfere with auto-focus. I found it convenient to support the lens at the lens hood to overcome this problem.
By the way I believe the "noisy autofocus" that many reviewers remark on is actually a noisy stabilizer.
I have attached two photos.
One is of a black rosy finch taken at relatively close range.
The other is of flying Greater Sandhill Cranes at a much greater distance.

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Outstanding images at 300mm

By Trevis R.

from Iowa

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Nice Bokeh

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Sports/Action
    • Weddings/Events
    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

    I needed a ~300mm telephoto lens for some well-lit indoor and outdoor events. The Canon 300/4 is just fast enough to be able to handle my indoor requirements, and of course works wonderfully outdoors. (Going to f5.6, like on some 70-300 zooms, would be insufficient for my indoor application.)

    Image stabilization works well; I can see a marked improvement with it turned on when hand-holding the lens.

    Have used it taking pictures of a border collie; should be great for larger wildlife and zoos.

    When the focal length is what you need, and when the f4 aperture is sufficient, the image quality is outstanding. Highly recommended.

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    5.0

    Great Len

    By John67

    from Monroe OH

    Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

    This lens one jem. I am glad I choices this one over the 400mm 5.6 because of the IS. It take wonderful photos.

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    5.0

    Beautiful glass

    By Phil

    from NC

    Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

    I am new to Canon (also shoot Leica M) and I am extremely impressed with the sharpness.

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    (7 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Great for close-ups

    By Quietsolopursuits

    from Grand Rapids, MI

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Durable
    • Lightweight
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Blurry Focus
    • Slow Focus

    Best Uses

    • Macro Photography
    • Sports/Action
    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

    This is my second L series lens, and I've had the same problem with both of them, neither auto-focuses accurately on one of the 60 D bodies that I own. The problem may be with the one body, but all my other lenses, Canon or other brands, work well with that body.

    This is a great lens to use for near macro photography,for somewhat larger subjects such as butterflies, dragonflies, and larger flowers. It is extremely sharp, the colors are dead on, and it is much better than any of my other lenses in low light conditions when I shoot at higher ISO settings. This lens makes my 60 D body look good.

    However, for photos shot between 20 and 50 feet, the sharpness falls off, I believe that to be due to the auto-focus not being accurate in part. By stopping the lens down, I can get usable photos in that distance range, but I have another brand of telephoto zoom lens that does better.

    Past 50 feet or so, the sharpness returns, I've shot some super sharp photos of raptors and other large birds in flight using this lens. The auto-focus is relatively fast and quiet.

    The auto-focus has no problem keeping up with larger birds in flight, but it isn't fast enough for smaller songbirds.

    The Image stabilization works very well, but it is loud, and seems to drain my camera's battery much faster than any of my other lenses.

    I would tell any one looking for a lens for taking close-ups of flowers and insects that this lens is great. However, I wouldn't recommend it to any one looking for a lens for birding, there are better choices available for birding. I knew that when I purchased it from the other reviews that I read before making the purchase.

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    • No

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    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Excellent lense - Light and handheld

    By HFB

    from santa rosa, ca

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Lightweight
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Rugged
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Poor in Low Light
    • Slow Focus

    Best Uses

      Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

      I bought the 1.4 extender to go with my 70-200 F2.8 . It bring the focal length to 280mm. But i wasn't happy with it because it wasn't too clear , not sharp. I lost alot of sharpeness.
      So i decided to get this one. I do wedding photography for a living and some places such as churchs are very strict and make you stay in a particular place and cannot move around much . So that why i needed a little reach more than my current 200 mm. This lense is sharp & lighter than my 70-200 . It's handable , and I'm able to shoot it at 1/160s. It's slow in focus but i guess it's because i'm at 300mm. The bokeh is really nice. Look different than the 70-200's bokeh. I love prime lense so i couldn't resist when Canon had $100 off as a rebate.

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      • No

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      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      SO FAR SO GOOD

      By BOOM BOOM

      from STOW, OHIO

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Heavy
      • Noisy auto focus

      Best Uses

      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

      I only have one prime lens and it is the Canon 100mm IS Macro lens. It is probably my favorite lens. I very seldom get a bad shot with it. That being said, I decided to buy another prime lens that would reach a little farther. I decided on this lens because I can also use the 1.4 Canon extender lens and still have auto focus. I have used it for a couple of days now and am very pleased with the results. I'm able to take birds and dragonfly pictures from a little further away. It seems to be clear and I am able to hand hold the lens. It is a heavy lens, but I would expect that. I was aware that the auto focus was a little noisy so I wasn't shocked when I heard some noises while auto focusing. I think this lens is going to be a valuable piece of equipment for my photo arsenal.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great lens

      By Birdwatcher

      from Maine

      About Me Casual Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Heavy

      Best Uses

      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

      Using this lens to take pictures of birds in the field. So far the photos have been great.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (3 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Quality lens

      By Albe9

      from Santa Clarita, CA

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Durable
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Rugged
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Slow Focus

      Best Uses

      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

      I read a lot about the loud noise of the IS however, to be honest with you, it doesn't bother it, it just reminds me that it's on and working. Other than not being a true hand held lens to work with, even with the IS, I was a little disappointed with the image quality. Perhaps I expected it to be similar to that of the 70-200, but then I have to remember, it's not a 2.8 and it costs less than even the non-IS 70-200. So, with what the lens costs, it's a great value. Put if on a tripod and you'll be fine.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      finally a prime lens

      By lulu48

      from Seattle WA

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Durable
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Lightweight

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

        Would be a five except that I know the 2.8 is even better but I most certainly cannot afford one. I've used this only briefly but so far the auto focus is great and the results are clear and crisp.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Great Lens!!

        By N/A

        from Florida

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

        IS works really well, it takes great shots hand held. Definitely worth the price paid. The lens is Sharper than my other L series telephoto zooms. About as sharp as my 100MM 2.8 L is Macro lens.
        Light weight, it is great for carrying in the half the day. The built in lens hood is brilliant!.
        Works well with 1.4x extender.
        Only negative is that autofocus can sometimes be little slow and no rubber weatherproof gasket.

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Canon EF 300mm f/4L Lens

        By BB

        from SF Bay Area

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Lightweight
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Wildlife Photos

          Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

          Pluses: 1) relatively light for telephoto lens
          2) easy to handle - works well on monopod
          3) telescoping lens hood is very handy
          4) so far, image quality is very good --
          IS works as advertised

          Minuses: 1) auto focus is a bit noisy

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (1 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          Mixed bag

          By staler

          from Denver, CO

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

          • Heavy

          Best Uses

          • Sports/Action
          • Wildlife Photos

          Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

          Before I get into the details, I want to note that other reviewers (such as photozone.de) have reported on significant differences between samples and likely this is what I saw.

          I own the 200mm F/2.8 L and 400mm F/5.6 L and wanted something in between and with IS. First field tests indicated a sharp image, even wide open, very comparable to my other tele primes. But immediately, I was not impressed by the IS. While very noisy, it did not really improve my keeper rate for handhelds at 1/400 sec or 1/250 sec based on multiple sets of 10 shots each. I even suspected IS was broken, but you could see some stabilization through the view finder. Just not at the same level that my only other IS lens (24-105mm L) does it. Given that the IS made the lens quite heavy (compared to my non IS lenses), I expected more.
          The final blow came when shooting star images at night. Such images are quite demanding on a lens and so far I only have had the best experience with Canon lenses (great lenses for astrophotos: 50mm F/1.8, 100mm F/2.8 Macro (non IS), 135mm F/2.0 L, 200mm F/2.8 L, and 400mm F/5.6 L). This lens, however, showed siginificant coma and a severe centering issue (you'd expect stars in the middle of the frame to be round and getting 'distorted' towards the corners, but here stars on the left edge were round...). It was actually suprising that daylight field tests turned out well, given this dismal performance. IS lenses are more prone to centering issues (hey, IS requires some elements to move), but you'd expect that alignment is fairly centered with IS off. On the plus side were the short focusing distance for 300mm focal length and a very pleasant bokeh.

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          • No

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          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great lens, Very Sharp!!

          By Hooffoto

          from Bradenton FL

          Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

          Got this as an inexpensive back up to my 300 f2.8. Lens is very sharp and performs well overall. This may become my travel 300 as it is light weight and compact (about the size of a 70-200 f2.8).

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          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great fun

          By Creative Grampa

          from Montrose Co

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Durable

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

            Gives me more reach than my awesome 70-200f4 and work really good with 1.4 extender

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            My first ever prime- wonderfully sharp

            By Janthina

            from Ft Lauderdale, FL

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Durable
            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • Heavy

            Best Uses

            • Macro Photography
            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

            I have used my new lens just twice and can already see the difference between the sharpness at 300mm on my 70-300mm zoom and this 300mm prime.I purchased the lens because I wanted to improve my performance at 300mm and had stellar comments on it from friends who use this lens and whose images I admire.

            I wanted it primarily for bird photography. My first time out I made it hard on myself by chooing F4 quite late day with very active subjects. I had to learn that the DOF is shorter than I am used to at the same F stop as my other lenses. Second time out, armed with more info, more forgiving settings, and brief experience with it, I got results I was thrilled with that only make me want to go capture more images.

            The only caviat for me is hand holding the lens steady enough. It is not really heavy but enough combined with the 7D I am using it with, to have to concentrate on it and exercise discipline when shooting.

            I can hear the workings when it focuses more than I am used to sometimes, but that is not a down side as it does focus fast.

            I love it so far and can only see the great potential it offers me for both wildlife photography and experimenting with still and macros.

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            • No

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            (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Fantastic Telephoto Prime

            By Goose

            from Tucson, AZ

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Pros

            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Rugged

            Cons

            • Poor in Low Light

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Portrait photography
            • Sports/Action
            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

            I bought this lens and owned it only for a short time because it actually didn't suit my shooting style like I thought it would. It is a stellar piece of glass though. Great at separating the subject from the background, even only at a max of f/4. As you can imagine, low light performance is sub-par but that's to be expected. All-in-all a sharp lens that I may pick up again in the future.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            CANON IS QUALITY

            By Bobcat

            from Wichita, KS

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Durable
            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Lightweight
            • Nice Bokeh
            • Photo Sharpness
            • Rugged
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • NONE

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Macro Photography
            • Sports/Action
            • Video
            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

            The 300mm f/4 is visibly sharper even with the 1.4 extender on the 7D than the 100-400mm it is now supplanting. The 4.9 foot close focus is perfect for butterfly photos. The 300mm with extender is several inches shorter than an extended 100-400mm. The 300mm even has a sliding lens shade which is so handy. The overall balance of lens and camera feels better as well.

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            • No

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            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            300 Horses

            By Pomona Pilgram

            from Southern California

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Nice Bokeh

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Sports/Action
              • Wildlife Photos

              Comments about Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Lens:

              Love this lens. I had borrowed this lens from a friend and after viewing final images, I knew it would be my next purchase. Where the 70-200 lens is always short (more glass adding the 1.4 tele) and my 400 5.6 is too slow, this lens proves to be the right choice. Hand held shots with I.S. are clear and printable at 16x24 inches. The right lens for shooting wild horses. Love this lens.

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              • No

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