For a long time, the 70-300 DO lens was the only high quality Canon zoom in this range. It still has several advantages since it is much more compact (although a bit heavier and more expensive) than the standard 70-300 IS and 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS L zoom lenses that we also carry. It also has a nonrotating front element- an advantage when a polarizer is needed. There are pages of arguments on the internet over which is best. It’s one of those discussions that no one has the answer to, including us.
I personally prefer the longer but lighter 70-300 IS to the shorter but heavier 70-300 DO IS. If you shoot RAW and don’t mind a little postprocessing to up the contrast, you’ll be very happy with DO pictures. If you want to shoot jpgs and don’t want to sweat the images in Photoshop, you’ll probably prefer the standard 70-300 IS.
The 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS L lens, however, puts the other two to shame, not only optically, but in feel and overall performance as well. The image stabilizer is improved, the lens is weather sealed to help keep out unwanted dust and moisture (though a front filter is required to make the lens truly weather resistant), and given the “L” branding means it has the best optics and build quality you will find in a Canon telephoto zoom. The only downside (other than cost) is that the 70-300 L is almost a pound heavier than the other two lenses, so keep that in mind.
- Filter Size
- 58mm (nonrotating front element)
- 1.6 lb
- Minimum Focusing Distance
- 4.6 feet
- Maximum Magnification
- Angle of view: (full frame)
- 8 to 34 degrees
- Zoom method
- Barrel extending (no rotation)
- Image Stabilization
- 2.5 stop, 1.5th Generation, Panning
- Focusing System
- Rear group, AF-MF switch, USM motor
- Aperture Blades
- 8, curved, octagonal shape
- Max Aperture@focal length
- f/4.5<90mm; f/5@90-170mm; f/5.6 > 170mm
- Low Dispersion Elements
- Diffraction Elements
- Aspherical Elements
- Weather Resistant
- Flare resistance
- Marked ghosting, moderate contrast loss
- Canon EF
- Crop, Full frame
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