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Old Feb 10, 2005, 3:25 AM   #1
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Hi.

I was considering buying the 70-200 F4/L lens when i saw the Canon EF 70~300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS one. It's quite a bit more expensive, but it seems more flexible and portable due to it's design. I was just wondering if anyone have any thoughts around this lens.
I'm using a Canon 20D camera. (I have a Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5,6 USM and a EF 50mm F/1.8 lens as my other lenses, and I'm looking for good zoom lens to extend my range. I'll probably exchange the 18-55mm for a better one at a later stage, but my budget doesn't allow me to do all at once...)
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Old Feb 10, 2005, 5:02 AM   #2
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Hi there



[This is my opinion only, I haven't been in photography long at all]

I bought the 70-300 DO a few weeks ago, also for a 20D and these are my observations:

It is portable, the IS works VERY well,the AF works quite fast, it's handy to have a reasonable zoom at hand without carrying a "monster" around, and as some people have correctly said, it is better to have the camera on you and get some pics then to leave the camera at home because it is too bulky. I was a bit disturbed at the quality of the pics, [soft] and eventually discovered that with a fair bit of Photoshop work, they can be acceptable, even good. BUT... something still bothered me, and I eventually I deduced that the pictures were "lifeless", they just lacked the "something" that I had gone for in buying Canon. I discussed this with the Canon SA marketing manager, and decided to swap it in for EF 100 - 400 [a Great White Monster]
My conclusions : The 70-300 is a reasonable lens, and for everyday usage it gives is a relatively acceptable image, but since I have tasted the L series,[I'm sure that the L stands for LIFE] I would not go back, even though it means lugging the monster around.

Regards


Jake
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Old Feb 10, 2005, 8:23 AM   #3
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JakeTPegg wrote:
Quote:
Hi there



[This is my opinion only, I haven't been in photography long at all]

I bought the 70-300 DO a few weeks ago, also for a 20D and these are my observations:

It is portable, the IS works VERY well,the AF works quite fast, it's handy to have a reasonable zoom at hand without carrying a "monster" around, and as some people have correctly said, it is better to have the camera on you and get some pics then to leave the camera at home because it is too bulky. I was a bit disturbed at the quality of the pics, [soft] and eventually discovered that with a fair bit of Photoshop work, they can be acceptable, even good. BUT... something still bothered me, and I eventually I deduced that the pictures were "lifeless", they just lacked the "something" that I had gone for in buying Canon. I discussed this with the Canon SA marketing manager, and decided to swap it in for EF 100 - 400 [a Great White Monster]
My conclusions : The 70-300 is a reasonable lens, and for everyday usage it gives is a relatively acceptable image, but since I have tasted the L series,[I'm sure that the L stands for LIFE] I would not go back, even though it means lugging the monster around.

Regards


Jake
Jake, I've admired your photos on this forum very much, and I think you're rather too modest. I think your opinion is very much worth considering.

I have recently got the 70-300 DO and I have decided I like it a lot. I would concur on your observations about sharpness and agree that the DO definitely seems to have a "special feel" to the pictures. I'm not sure about "lifeless" but there does seem to be a definite qualitative difference. Unlike you, I actually really like this quality, but I can see it's definitely a subjective choice. I think it's probably not a great wildlife lens. I've noticed that a lot of your shots are of wildlife and suspect you'll be much happier with the punch and sharpness of L.

For those not on a budget (or me in a few years time) I may well get a 70-200L or even the 100-400L to complement the DO.

For anyone considering which of the two to get I suggest looking at www.luminous-landscape.com for reviews and quite a lot of recent samples of the DO, as well as some of the 100-400L.

Even better would be to try them both out if you could. Some shops will give you a loaner, otherwise perhaps you could rent them for a day or two and choose on that basis.
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Old Feb 10, 2005, 12:26 PM   #4
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Thanks for your vote of confidence peripatetic. To be honest, I really would like BOTH the DO and the "monster", but as you have peceived,I do like wildlife photography, and the 100-400 certainly gives theedge due to the extra focal length[my 1.4 converter should arrive tomorrow], it was also areasonably tough decision to exchange the DO [because of it's versatility], but in the end, the monster one the day [perhaps some day I will look atacquiring the Do again, or something similar]

I've attached a sample taken with the DO, the egret was probably about 30 meters away

BTW, I still haven't heard from Canon SA about the 17-85 white specks, I phoned yesterday, they said to give them another day or so ??





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Old Feb 11, 2005, 3:17 AM   #5
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Hi.

Thanks for sharing some views, it is really appreciated. I still havent quite decided yet, it's a tough decision. I'm currently leaning towards the DO lens, but it has both pros and cons. As far as I can tell these are the arguments for/and against the DO and the L lens.

DO:
+Light and small for its wide range(This means that it probably will stay on the cam most of the time, and actually be used a lot instead of being left at home)
+Very nice range (70-300)
+IS (A big + in my book)
+It's black and more "stealthy" then an L lense
-a bit soft and maybe a bit neutral (which means that some USM and saturation tweaking needs to be done in PS. Probably not much of a problem I think)
-Double the price of the L lens (which lacks range and IS)
-Not a fixed length lens and not weatherproof, which means that dust might become an issue. On the other hand, my 20D is not weather sealed either, so no biggie I think)
-It's a f/4.5-5.6 lens, and cannot use 1.4x TC
-Very pricy for a non-L lens

L-lens (70-200 f/4L):
+Light
+Very sharp (well it is an L lens after all)
+Cheap
+It's an f/4 lens the entire range, and can be used with a 1.4x TC
+Weather sealed
-Less range then the DO lens (even with an 1.4x TC)
-Longer then the DO
-White and less stealthy then the DO
-No IS

All in all, I think the DO comes out on top here (better range, IS and more "stealthy" the main points). The only thing that worries me is the reports that it's not sharp enough and the lack of weathersealing. I have read a gazillion reviews of it, and the only conclusion is that the reviews are inconclusive. Some say it's the best thing since sliced bread, and other says it's useless and have returned it. That makes it kind of hard to decide. I'll need to do some serious thinking here...I can't afford both on my budget, or else I'd buy both :-P
My shop of choice is said to get the DO lens in on saturday, so I think I'll go and compare them both then. I will let you know how it goes

EDIT:
I found a nice article here:
(Read the lenses part)
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/es...a-worked.shtml

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Old Feb 11, 2005, 4:02 PM   #6
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When it came to the price of the two lenses I factored in that to give a valid comparison you had to include the 1.4xTC, which made it closer. Also - you will probably want a tripod mount for the 70-200, but with the 70-300 you'll be fine just mounting the camera.

So the price gap isn't as big as it first seems - in the UK it was £750 for 70-200 + TC + Collar and £850 for the DO. Not a big deal if you think that you'll probably keep the lens for 5-10 years.

Though of course you can split up the purchase of the 70-200 "kit" and you can't with the DO.
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Old Feb 12, 2005, 12:37 AM   #7
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I'm an amature photographer that wants to carry as few lenses as possible when I'm traveling.

I'm trying to decide on whether to purchase the 70-300 DO or the 75-300 IS USM. I want a compact zoom to complement the 17-125 Sigma lens I have but am troubled by the DO's reviews. I don't mind spending the money if it is a good travel lens.

I'm tempted to consider an L series lense instead, but want to travel light.

One thing I should mention is that I've upgraded from a Sony 828 prosumer to a 20D. Will the 70-300 D give a superior image relative to what I've seen with the Sony?

Any real-world suggestions/recommendations?

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Old Feb 12, 2005, 3:46 AM   #8
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dkimak wrote:
Quote:
I'm an amature photographer that wants to carry as few lenses as possible when I'm traveling.

I'm trying to decide on whether to purchase the 70-300 DO or the 75-300 IS USM. I want a compact zoom to complement the 17-125 Sigma lens I have but am troubled by the DO's reviews. I don't mind spending the money if it is a good travel lens.
I think the DO is a great travel lens. But the 75-300 is pretty decent too.

Quote:
I'm tempted to consider an L series lense instead, but want to travel light.
Well you're only choice there is the 70-200f4 L, for a size comparison check out this link:

http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ns-Review.aspx

Quote:
One thing I should mention is that I've upgraded from a Sony 828 prosumer to a 20D. Will the 70-300 D give a superior image relative to what I've seen with the Sony?
You don't say what camera you are using, but I presume either a 300D or 20D or predecessor; so honestly maybe not! Certainly not without a bit of work in Photoshop. What the DSLR will give you is the flexibility to get shots you could simply not have got with the Sony.

Bear in mind that on any sensible cost/benefit analysis the 75-300 will blow away the DO. It's less than half the price and the image quality (certainly on an APS size sensor) is reasonable.

Look at the MTF charts here for some objective evaluation of the performance of the lenses.

http://www.canon.com.hk/En/Product/S...category_id=25

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Old Feb 12, 2005, 11:31 AM   #9
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Finally a few minutes of sunshine today!

20D, EF 70-300 DO IS USM, @300MM, 1/800s, f10, ISO400.
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Old Feb 12, 2005, 11:46 AM   #10
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And an action shot!

20D, EF 70-300 DO IS USM, @300mm, 1/800s, f9, ISO400.
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