Canon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM DO IS EF Review Round-Up


If you own or have used this lens, let us know what you think! Leave your comments and thoughts below.

Get information and user reviews for this lens from Amazon: Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM Lens for Canon EOS Cameras

Photo Zone:

In principal the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM DO IS is a very interesting lens … in principal. From a performance point of view it delivers all that a consumer has hoped for – high resolution figures in conjunction with low distortions, low vignetting and low chromatic aberrations and all packaged in a quite sturdy, small package with high speed AF. So what is the problem ? Well, it’s the price tag. The optical performance of the new EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS (non-DO) is simply about as good. Mechanically it isn’t quite in the same league as the DO lens but … hey – it comes at a 50% lower price tag! If we throw in the added values plus a little coolness factor the DO lens may be worth a 200-250 EUR/$ premium over the conventional lens but at 1100 EUR/US$ it is simply way over-priced (also true for the EF 400mm f/4 USM DO IS). So unless Canon reduces the price to something more in line with the (in-house) competition there’re some question marks whether the lens is really worth the extra financial sacrifice. READ FULL REVIEW

Other Canon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM DO IS EF Reviews

Digital Picture:

The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM Lens is an ultra-compact and very well built telephoto zoom lens with excellent image stabilization. I was immediately impressed by the solid build quality of the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM Lens. It is not a light lens (1.6 lb / 720g) for its size (3.2″ x 3.9″ / 82.4mm x 99.9mm – DxL), but the 70-300 DO is very solidly built. Canon has achieved their goal of compactness. The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM Lens is an excellent travel lens – having a lens that is easily carryable will get MUCH nicer shots than a lens left at home because of its size/weight. If this lens’ features are what you need, then give it a try. READ FULL REVIEW

It is probably not for most people, especially at the price. The main benefit of the DO optics in the 70-300 is the reduction in length (but not weight). A short lens has obvious attractions for candid photography. After my experiences with flare I started using the lens hood all the time, but guess what, the 70-300 with lens hood attached is the same length as the 75-300 without one! No gain there then. L-series photographers will probably not be satisfied with the quality of this lens but creative photographers may have fun exploring the unique visual effects that this lens can produce. READ FULL REVIEW


For an extremely compact zoom lens, the EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM is certainly a fine performer, but is it competitive with the L-series lenses? Frankly, that determination could only be made with a fully-equipped optical lab after extensive scientific comparison testing. Nonetheless, I can offer the following evaluation based on extensive previous experience with the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 and EF 300mm f/4 L IS USM lenses. Those lenses produced greater contrast and higher sharpness around subject edges, most apparent in digital images. The difference is merely academic because it’s easily resolved in post-processing. In the 70-200mm range, at the widest apertures, the DO zoom definitely meets professional standards. It’s less impressive at 300mm until f/11; at wider apertures, the prime telephoto lens maintains a strong advantage. READ FULL REVIEW

Luminous Landscape:

This lens was added my to arsenal in the Fall of 2004, following an opportunity to test one of the first lenses to become available. I immediately went out and bought one, and haven’t regretted it for a moment, even though I already have the 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. This lens’ big advantage is its remarkably small size, due to the use of Canon’s exclusive Diffractive Optics technology. For urban shooting, and hiking, this lens is one that I now find to be a must. READ FULL REVIEW

Ken Rockwell:

I’d pass on this lens. The Canon 70-300mm DO IS is interesting to collectors as being the world’s first Fresnel (DO) consumer zoom, but I prefer other lenses that cost less. You’re paying a premium for gee-whiz technology and superior focus flexibility over the non-DO Canon 70-300mm IS, as well as losing 1.7″ (43mm) in length, but otherwise I prefer the non-DO version at half the price. The non-DO Canon 70-300mm IS has superior image stabilization and therefore overall image quality. The only thing you lose for half the price is dorky manual focus, and a focus ring which moves during autofocus. The IS works much better on the less expensive lens at 300mm where it’s needed most, and the less expensive lens is 3 ounces lighter. I see no point in paying twice as much for the DO which is more difficult to zoom just to lose 1.7″ (43mm) in length. They are the same maximum diameter. For the same price as this DO lens, the Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS is superior if you don’t mind missing the 300mm range, which doesn’t work that well on the DO lens anyway hand-held. Everything else about the 70-200mm f/4L IS is superior. READ FULL REVIEW

This Post Has One Comment

  1. This has been one of my best lenses over the years. I purchased it a year after it was on the market. I photographed football games, including night games, lots of action in bright and low lighting of animals, whales, dolphins, did some portrait shooting, and some landscape with it. I have never been disappointed with this lens and I do not think I will ever part with it. I am a professional photographer and quality is VERY important to me. I don’t accept anything less than tack sharp photos!

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