This lens is a fairly expensive purchase so if you are thinking about buying it you may be wondering if it is worth the money. I think it is. In fact I think it is relatively inexpensive considering what you get. I have used a great many lenses over the years and the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM gets the sharpest images I have captured from any of them.
The Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM is very consistent in the quality of images it captures regardless of the aperture setting, whereas most cameras need adjusting to coax the sharpest image, which can sacrifice other qualities of the image. Even when using the 1.4x extender there was no noticeable change in image quality. It still performed well. With the extender the lens becomes the equivalent of a 546mm lens and with a 1.6x camera(FOVCF) it is a 672mm. there is a lot of room to play here.
The image stabilization is great and very useful. I can hand hold shots at 1/60 and sometimes even as low as 1/30 but could never do that with my old 300mm lens. It is a bit louder than my 300 but that is not a major issue. The auto focus was surprisingly fast, as fast as shorter lenses when in the AI servo mode. The lens is also surprisingly light and small for a telephoto lens. It is fairly easy to handle and balance on the camera.
I would opt not to use a third part lens just because it is cheaper. This lens is more than worth the cost. You can truly see the difference in the images it captures. If you are a serious photographer then there is no reason to cut corners. You do get what you pay for here.
By comparison the Canon 300 f/4L IS is half the price but it is simply not in the same class and you lose a stop. The Canon 400 f/2.8L IS is much heavier and not good for any hand held photography. The 500 f/4L IS is comparable and has a great reach but costs much more. Other wide range zoom lenses may be cheaper and more flexible but you will not get the same quality of images. The only reason not to get the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM would be if you do not plan to use it very often. Then it may not be worth the cost for you. The only other compromise is depth of field. It is lacking in depth of field but this is to be expected with such a zoom lens.
Over all it captures great images and has a very wide range of use and even more so with the right camera and extenders in play. You should get a lot of use out of this if you shoot a lot of action like sports photos or wild animal shots. Try taking it to the zoo to try out. There will be a many animals at varying distances to use it on and see the results. Try renting it before you buy.
Fri, 06 Mar 2009 23:14:05 +0000
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