Which 70 - 300mm ?


TPF Noob!
Nov 9, 2006
Reaction score
Turners Hill, West Sussex, UK.
I have been using a Canon EF f4-5.6 Mk III 70-300mm zoom. Not the best lens in the world, but for the price not to bad really. Obviously I am on the lookout for something better. And to that end I have been saving towards getting the EF 70 - 300 f4 - f5.6 IS USM. Now here is the question....

Is it worth hanging on to get the DO version ...?

It's a lot more money but if it's a lot more lens I would be willing to wait.
Is the IS USM model THAT much better than the Mk III ?
and is the DO IS USM that much better than the IS USM?

All comments greatfully recieved.
i have not used either lens, BUT ive read several reviews of both.
the non-DO version is sharper overall, but my understanding is that the difference is not huge. both lenses are very sharp but get softer towards the 300mm end. IMO the DO version is only worth it if you want true USM and a more compact lens
I don't know much about the DO lenses. I believe they are smaller in size (any maybe weight). I've heard that DO lenses are also considered part of the 'L' family...so the build quality should be top notch. That's probably a reason for the high price.

I have heard plenty of good things about the IS USM model. It does sound as if it's much, much better than the non IS version.

I do know that the non IS, USM III lens doesn't have 'Ring USM'...so while it's good...it's not the fantastic USM that you find on L lenses. I don't know what the IS version has, but if the DO version does have ring USM, that's another reason why it's more.

Personally, I'm leaning more toward the 70-200mm lenses and a tele-converter for more reach.
I know the Mk III is not a well regarded lens (although I have had some "Nice shots" from it). The USM and the IS USM are a totally unknown area to me.
I don't know if they share the glass from the Mk III or if one does etc..
I don't know if these are the same lens with a proper USM on one and an IS sytem as well on the other.

I read a review of the DO and to be honest the IS (it was compared against a 300 IS and a 200 f2.8L) came out really well...better in fact, AND nearly £300 cheaper....
If this was accurate WHY would any one buy a DO?

Image quality (Sharpness) is the main (if not only) criteria. (I would like the 400 L f 2.8 but lack the £1000).
So do I buy the IS now, or the IS USM in a week or two. Or do I wait a few months to afford the DO IS USM and find that I have spent £600 on what makes me look good in a fashion show.

MIKE SAID.... "Personally, I'm leaning more toward the 70-200mm lenses and a tele-converter for more reach."

The obvious thing here is the price of the 2.8 (Otherwise a good idea). And the fact that with a "Tele" on the f4 you loose the stop(s) so are really back at the beginning.... Unless the image quality is mind blowing....

Frankly I have read so much that I am totally flumuxed as to what might be best. I just hoped that someone with "Hands On "experience might be able to help with an opinion.

In the main it will be used with a 400D (Rebel XTi) for wildlife shots. So sharpeness will be important as cropping will have to be done (Not on My pictures you understand but I might lend it to someone who is not as perfect as I am ..... Yeah... Right!
i own the canon ef 70-300mm usm lens. it's not a bad lens at all if you're using it in the correct conditions. It's not great in low light but it's not terrible either. so far it's done great as long as it's on a tripod or i've got my shutter set above 400. The build quality isn't bad at all either. i could see this lens lasting for quite some time with normal every day use. If i had the money i'd go with the is usm lens. I've heard a lot of nice things about that lens plus i own the 28-135mm is usm and it's a really great lens for the price. If you have the money go for the is usm. if not i'm sure you could make the usm work. Go to your local camera shop and check out a few of the lenses you're looking at. i know my shop lets me bring my camera in to try out the lenses which helps a lot. i get tired of reading pages and pages of reviews. just go try them out and then make you're decision.
I'm not certain, as I haven't used all the lenses in question...but most everything I've heard...says that the 70-200 lenses will have outstanding image quality. I would take a 70-200mm F4 with a 1.4 TC over my 70-300mm any day.

It's a fair bit more expensive...but for wildlife, the 100-400 IS, is a great lens. I've borrowed this lens a bit, it's great.

Most reactions