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Canon 70-300 Lens - Quality Without The Hype

Updated on August 2, 2010

You can take photos like these with
       a Canon 70-300 Lens

Why Buy A 70-300 Canon Lens - Because It's Quietly Exceptional

I love surprises, especially if they are like finding a golden nugget where you thought there was junk.

Finding out about the 70-300mm Canon zoom lens was kind of like that. (This is not about the "DO" model.)

Why Has The Canon 70-300 Been In The Background?

Photographers come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities, but one thing they have in common is that the love to share their success stories about gear and cameras. But this lens has stayed under the radar, it has been one of the better kept secrets in the photography community.

To be sure, there are good reviews and comments about the greatness of this lens, but they are somewhat muted. Simply glancing at the lens, you get the feeling that there is nothing extraordinary about it. And yet, when you look deep, you find the subtle praises.

Maybe it's because the lens is not imposing to look at, and "real" photographers want an attention-getter on the front of their prized digital SLR.

Maybe it's because it isn't all that expensive, coming in at about $550.

No matter the reason, the 70-300mm Canon lens is well worth taking a look at.

Image quality is ranked by some well respected photographers right up there with the L lens, and that is impressive.

What you will generally see on blogs and forums is how unpretentious the lens actually is. You may observe comments similar to, "I thought it was a toy." These are more likely to show the first impressions of many new users.

You have heard that first impressions are lasting ones. But that is not necessarily true with this lens. They change their opinion after only a few trial shots. The reason for the change in attitude is not only the wonderful image quality, but the addition of IS (image stabilization) and USM (ultrasonic motor). These are impressive qualities shared by the most advanced Canon lenses.

If you are someone who likes to shoot mostly hand held shots, you will really like these features.

A Lens Real Story

I love this anecdote from a guy who found his 70-300 Canon lens at a garage sale.

The photographer visiting the garage sale was not familiar with the lens, but he decided to buy it for a friend who was just getting into photography. He figured because of the price and the feel of the lens that it was not a great lens but probably OK for a beginner. The seller knew nothing about the performance of the lens.

So, without any useful information at all, the photographer decides to buy the lens. Price was not mentioned, but under those circumstances, it was probably the deal of the century (except for those Ansel Adams photos in the news recently - someone paid $45 for them and they have been valued at $4 million).

At first opportunity, the guy attached it to his Canon 5D to take a few sample shots before passing it on to his unsuspecting friend. That "friend" never got the lens. The guy who actually purchased it figured the lens was way too good for his novice photographer friend and kept if for himself.

Surprises are great when they come like this. Garage sales, dumpster diving, estate sales.. these can all be surprise sources of treasure.

For more about the Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM, visit

Happy Shooting!


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    • thewayeyeseeit profile image

      thewayeyeseeit 7 years ago from Woodstock, GA

      Thanks, I love photography, and your comment means a lot to me.

    • equealla profile image

      equealla 7 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      I love the photos. Realy beautiful.