Canon tele zoom lens test/review database

Index

NEW AND BETTER ARTICLE INDEX AT CANON INDEX
(It is only the new index that will be updated. It doesn't have the ranking yet, but is better and more up-to-date)

Canon EF 70-200 2.8 L IS II

Image quality rating: 91,00%

Overall rating: 91,03%

Main points:
  • High optical performances
  • Fast AF


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
Camera Stuff Review
7.8/10
'The Canon 70-200 mm 2.8 L IS II is completely tailored to the image sensors with many pixels. This lens has everything to be Canon's flagship. The autofocus is fast and the image stabilization is very effective. The weight is substantial and the finishing is of a high level. Optically, there is little to be desired of the lens. The image transfer of the Canon 70-200 mm 2.8 L IS II is beautiful and the difference in resolution between center and corners is low.'5D Mark II
Camera Stuff Review
8.4/10
'The Canon 70-200 mm 2.8 II is big, heavy and expensive. But the lens has many advantages; low vignetting, low distortion and good image stabilization. In addition, this lens is remarkably sharp with the exception of the corners at a focal length of 200 mm. If you do not often work with full aperture, the Sigma 70-200 mm 2.8 OS with image stabilization is a good option and significantly cheaper than the Canon 70-200 mm 2.8 II.'7D, 650D
ePhotozine
4.5/5
4.5/5
'During testing this lens proved itself capable of producing sharp, contrasty images at all apertures and focal lengths. Besides that, it is built like a tank, focuses quickly and the four stop image stabiliser does a superb job of ironing out the effects of a few too many cups of coffee.'5D Mark II
SLRGear
10/10
9.86/10
'This one's fairly straightforward: if you were looking, you probably were already thinking about getting this lens, and there's nothing to fault it. If absolutely need image stabilization and the sharpest, best image quality in a 70-200mm zoom, it's money well-spent. However, if you are less picky, you probably won't be disappointed with the tried-and-true original version of the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS, either. Canon's made some impressive fine-tuning adjustments to the lens, but unlike other manufacturers, no one was really complaining about the original version of the lens so much that it needed a refresh.'20D, 5D
Lenstip
'It might be one of the shortest summaries I have written so far. Without any doubt we deal here with the best stabilized 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens on the market. If you can afford it and if you need to use such a type of instrument, you really shouldn’t think twice.'1Ds Mark III
Photozone
4.5/5
4/5
'It was about time. The old Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 USM L IS (mk I) was a good lens but hardly something to rave about especially when used at 200mm. Canon claims to have the leadership in the tele lens arena and they probably do but so far with the exception of this lens segment. Well, this was then and the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 USM L IS II is now and it corrects this last remaining flaw in the Canon tele lens segment. It surpasses its predecessor easily and it did even manage to top (very slightly so) the EF 70-200mm f/4 USM L IS which is almost a legendary performer. The mk II is very sharp across the range including the critical 200mm f/2.8 setting. Lateral CAs are basically negligible and bokeh fringing is relatively well controlled. The vignetting is visible at f/2.8 albeit far from extreme within the full format scope and it's not at issue anymore at smaller apertures. The bokeh has a good quality for a zoom lens. The 70-200mm mk II produces some slight barrel distortions at 70mm and slight to moderate pincushion distortions towards the long end. This is about the only aspect where prime lenses tend to be visibly better but it's certainly no show-stopper when considering the typical applications for such a lens.'5D Mark II
Photozone
5/5
4.5/5
'Some of you may have already followed our full format review of the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 USM L IS II. The lens performed highly impressive here already but it's even better on APS-C DSLRs due to the sweet spot effect ("center" crop) here. The resolution is nothing short of phenomenal for a zoom lens and that's throughout the focal length range as well as across the image field. Lateral CAs are not an issue to worry about either. There's a bit of vignetting at 200mm at f/2.8 but otherwise there's really nothing to complain about here. The level of distortions is also very slight. The quality of the bokeh (out-of-focus blur) is good but there's a bit of bokeh color fringing which may be visible in very critical scenes.'50D
Photoreview
9.5/10
9/10
'Imatest showed the review lens to be a stellar performer, with excellent flatness of field across the focal length range and at all aperture settings. In line with normal practice, our conclusions are based on JPEG test shots but sample results from CR2.RAW files are also provided at the end of this review to show how much detail can be extracted by experienced photographers. The graph below plots resolution performance based on JPEG test shots.'
Dxomark
Dan Carr Photography
'So would I recommend this lens despite the couple of flaws that are noted ? ABSOLUTELY YES.  Am I going to keep it for my work?  No, not for now.  What I found was that for the majority of my shooting and subject matter I still did not prefer the f2.8 over the f4 version simply because of the weight difference.  At the same apertures, the two lenses are almost identical in performance.  So the choice between the two just comes down to your need for the wider f2.8 aperture or the weight saving of f4.  Who needs f2.8 then ?  Lots of people!  For indoor sports the faster shutter speed at f2.8 will be well worth the extra money and bulk. '


Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM

Image quality rating: 89,75%

Overall rating: 97,60%

Main points:
  • great picture quality in the center and at the edges of the frame
  • very small vignetting
  • efficient stabilization


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
SLRGear
9.9/10
9.9/10
'It isn't easy to improve on an almost flawless lens like the Canon 70-200mm f/4L, unless you add 4-stop Image Stabilization without degrading any of the optical or build qualities. This lens tests and performs as well, or better than, any lens tested recently. It is quite sharp across its entire aperture-focal length spectrum; chromatic aberration, vignetting, and distortion are all quite reasonable; focusing is fast and accurate; the build is L-class; and the new 4-stop image stabilization is downright startling in its effectiveness. The only downside may be the price, which breaks the kilo-buck barrier and is almost double that of the non-IS version. Despite the hefty price though, we expect a lot of non-IS owners will be selling their lenses to upgrade to the Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS -- it's that good. (This might mean that we'll see some of the non-IS models appearing on the used market, which would make that model even more of a bargain.) Very few medicines cure "shaky hands" - this one does, and with fantastic optical quality as well!'20D, 5D
Lenstip
'It is very pleasant to test the lens and have nothing bad to say about it in the summary. In all honesty, the only major flaw we would point out would be the performance for the maximum aperture at the 70 mm focal length. In our overall judgment, the results are very good, but when seeing very high results at other diaphragms and focal lengths, we would want more!'20D
Photozone
4/5
5/5
'The Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 USM L IS is an amazing lens. It is truly outstanding when used on APS-C DSLRs and it suffers only from a minor quality deteriorations on full format DSLRs. The resolution figures are easily on prime levels throughout the whole range and even at max. aperture. Unlike most other full format lenses it manages to keep the vignetting on a moderate level. Lateral CAs and distortions are usually also nothing to worry about. The quality of the bokeh may not be as good as the very best fix-focal lenses but it's very good for a zoom lens. The build quality is excellent with the new sealing as a another highlight. On top of that the lens now features a image stabilizer with an efficiency equivalent to 4 f-stops (at cost of shutter speed if exploited to the max). The only drawback is the very high price tag although price/performance-wise this is still a very sound offer. Highly recommended!'5D Mark II
Photozone
5/5
5/5
'Every now and then EOS, the goddess of mercy, seems to speak to the Canon lens designers and this time they listened carefully. The Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 USM L IS may well be the very best tele zoom on the market today - it is certainly the best Canon zoom lens tested locally to date. The lens was capable to deliver a near-flawless performance is all categories. The resolution figures are stunning regardless of the setting. Distortions, vignetting and CAs are nothing to worry about. The build quality is excellent with the new sealing as a another highlight. On top of that the lens now features a image stabilizer with an efficiency equivalent to 4 f-stops (at cost of shutter speed). The only heartbreaking drawback for some is the price tag which increased significantly to a whopping grand - price/performance-wise this is still very sound though.'350D
Photozone
4/5
4.5/5
'The Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 USM L IS is capable to deliver a near-flawless performance is all categories. The resolution figures are very impressive even at max. aperture. Distortions, vignetting and CAs are usually nothing to worry about either. The build quality is excellent with the new sealing as a another highlight. On top of that the lens features a image stabilizer with an efficiency equivalent to 4 f-stops (at cost of shutter speed if you exploit the potential to the max). The only heartbreaking drawback for some is the price tag which increased significantly to a whopping grand - that's almost the double price of the EF 70-200mm f/4 USM L (non-IS). It should also be mentioned that the EF 70-200mm f/2.8 USM L (non-IS) is just as expensive so if you feel an itch for a faster lens with a better bokeh potential this one may also worth a serious thought.'50D
Dxomark
Dan Carr Photography
'The two things that people will likely fixate on first with this lens are the variable aperture and the price.  I heard people say this was going to be a lens for people to get as their first L zoom, or a lens designed for APS-C users.  Frankly I don’t agree though, the $1600 price is prohibitive and given that the new 60D is around $1000 I don’t see many of those users paying $1600 for a lens.  What I can say though is that Canon HAVE done enough to justify the price tag in my opinion.  I was very pleasantly surprised to see that it exceeded the image quality of my favorite 70-200 f4 L IS and it feels like a much more solid package.'
Dan Carr Photography
'So would I recommend this lens despite the couple of flaws that are noted ? ABSOLUTELY YES.  Am I going to keep it for my work?  No, not for now.  What I found was that for the majority of my shooting and subject matter I still did not prefer the f2.8 over the f4 version simply because of the weight difference.  At the same apertures, the two lenses are almost identical in performance.  So the choice between the two just comes down to your need for the wider f2.8 aperture or the weight saving of f4.  Who needs f2.8 then ?  Lots of people!  For indoor sports the faster shutter speed at f2.8 will be well worth the extra money and bulk. '


Canon EF 70-200 f/4L USM

Image quality rating: 88,20%

Overall rating: 93,00%

Main points:
  • very high picture quality in the center of the frame and good at the edges of the frame
  • small vignetting
  • one of the few affordable L-grade lens on a market


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
ePhotozine
'At almost a third of the price of the big brother lens, comparisons are a little unfair. This smaller, lighter, slower version is a very nice lens for the money and produces excellent results. Being that much smaller and lighter, it makes a good companion for some of the smaller cameras in Canon’s line up such as the 20D and the 350D without the price and weight penalty of the top end lens. And you still get L glass into the bargain! As with many of Canon’s older designs though, the control of chromatic aberrations is looking a little long in the tooth.'
SLRGear
9.64/10
9.45/10
'Being an internal-zoom design (the lens barrel doesn't increase in length as you adjust the focal length), the Canon 70-200mm f/4 L shows no "zoom creep;" that is, it holds its zoom setting whether it's pointing up, down, or level. A ring-style USM focus motor makes for very fast (and almost totally silent) AF operation. Build quality is every bit of what you'd expect from Canon's "L" lenses, or in a word, superb.'20D, 5D
Lenstip
'Just the number of counted pros and cons (or con) is probably the best recommendation for the tested lens. If someone can afford to spend less than 600$ and wants to have a somewhat handy and indestructible 200 mm lens, it is hard to find a better alternative than the 70-200 f/4L.'20D
Photozone
4/5
4.5/5
'The Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 USM L is a very harmonic package combining exceptional build quality with an excellent and very even optical performance throughout the range. Adding an EF 1.4x II only results is a slight loss of quality which is remarkable for such a slow speed zoom. And even better the price tag of this lens is amazingly low for what it offers ... or to be precise: what it can offer. Unfortunately the quality of the two tested samples varied quite a bit which is a little disappointing especially regarding the L designation. So if you can get a good one the EF 70-200mm f/4 USM L can be highly recommended!'350D


Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM 

Image quality rating: 88,14%

Overall rating: 79,91%

Main points:
  • Very high image quality
  • High price


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
ePhotozine
5/5
4.5/5
'Although it may seem expensive for a slow 70-300mm zoom lens, this optic offers optical and build quality not currently matched by the competition covering this focal range. The slow maximum aperture also helps to keep the weight of the lens down, so this lens may be especially well suited to those looking for a high quality tele-zoom, without weighing themselves down too much.'5D Mark III
Camera Stuff Review
8.7/10
'The Canon EF 70-300mm IS USM f/4-5.6L keeps the good name of the L-series in honor and is very good. The Canon 70-300 mm L lens is ideal for professionals and wealthy, advanced amateur photographers. The Canon 70-300 is very well built and protected against dust and splash water. The autofocus is fast and the image stabilization showed an excellent performance in our review. All optical properties vary from good to excellent. If you do not need the fast f/2.8 aperture, this Canon 70-300 L lens is a cheaper alternative to the Canon 70-200 f/2.8.'650D
SLRGear
9/10
9.17/10
'The Canon 70-300mm ƒ/4-5.6L IS USM didn't produce tack-sharp results, but it produced a consistently good images at each focal length, with good control of chromatic aberration. While you can certainly spend less money to get the same range of focal lengths, the build quality and technological supremacy of the Canon reflects the price point - it's a lens you won't be afraid to take anywhere.'7D, 1Ds Mark III
Lenstip
'The Canon EF 70-300 mm f/4.0-5.6L IS USM is doubtlessly the best 70-300 mm class instrument we have had the pleasure to test so far and we think here about both mechanical and optical side. Although we must pay quite a lot for it, we know the money are well- invested as the lens will offer us a great image quality for long years to come.'1Ds Mark III
Photozone
3.5/5
2.5/5
'The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM L IS delivers high quality results throughout the zoom range but especially at 70mm. At 300mm it is clearly better than its in-house cousins (EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS & EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM DO IS) reaching very good to excellent center results combined very good(-) borders/corners. The light falloff at max. aperture is comparatively well controlled. The amount of distortions is about average for a lens in this class. Lateral CAs are very low. The quality of the bokeh is good for such a slow speed lens.'5D Mark II
Photozone
4/5
3/5
'The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM L IS shines when used on an APS-C DSLR. It is capable of delivering very high quality results throughout the entire zoom range and across the whole image field here. Distortions, lateral CAs and vignetting are negligible. The bokeh is generally smooth and out-of-focus highlights are rendered perfectly on the cropped format.'50D
Photoreview
9/10
8.8/10
'Although fast autofocusing and competent image stabilisation were strong features of the review lens, our Imatest tests also showed it to be a strong optical performer across the range of lens apertures and focal lengths we were able to assess (our test set-up can't accommodate lenses longer than about 200mm). Best performance was between one and two f-stops down from maximum aperture and up to about f/16, when diffraction began to affect image quality.'
Dxomark
Dan Carr Photography
'The two things that people will likely fixate on first with this lens are the variable aperture and the price.  I heard people say this was going to be a lens for people to get as their first L zoom, or a lens designed for APS-C users.  Frankly I don’t agree though, the $1600 price is prohibitive and given that the new 60D is around $1000 I don’t see many of those users paying $1600 for a lens.  What I can say though is that Canon HAVE done enough to justify the price tag in my opinion.  I was very pleasantly surprised to see that it exceeded the image quality of my favorite 70-200 f4 L IS and it feels like a much more solid package.'
Amateur Photographers
100/100
'Canon's EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM lens doesn't have the impressive numbers you would expect from a professional optic, especially in the aperture range, and its compact size has meant some of the sleek features such as internal zoom haven't been possible.'


Canon EF 70-200 2.8 L IS

Image quality rating: 82,10%

Overall rating: 85,93%

Main points:
  • Optical quality
  • Value for money


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
ePhotozine
'It's easy to see why this lens is so popular or so high on people’s wish list. The build quality alone should ensure that whatever treatment is dished out to it, it will last a lifetime. With its wide open f/2.8 light gathering abilities, fast autofocus and the image stabilisation helping too, there will be no excuse that the lens wasn’t up to the job. Very little to pick holes in, save for the tripod mount ring, mentioned above. If you need a lens that works well in low light conditions, the consistency of this one wide open and towards the edges is admirable.'
SLRGear
9.42/10
9.39/10
'By any measure, the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM is an excellent lens. It shares its focal length range with three other Canon lenses, covering all combinations of f/2.8 - f/4 and IS vs non-IS. All lenses of the family that we've tested (at this point, all but the non-IS version of the f/2.8) have shown excellent performance. The 70-200mm f/2.8L IS is a large, heavy beast, but it's the only way to go if you need a combination of 70-200mm zoom, IS, and a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture. If your budget can't quite afford the f/2.8L, either f/4L version is an excellent value. Highly recommended, all around.'20D, 5D
Photozone
3.5/5
3.5/5
'The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 USM IS is a very good lens but not a stellar one. The resolution characteristic is excellent at 70mm and 135mm but at 200mm it disappoints - more so regarding its price tag. The results are still very good here (just at f/2.8) but when putting things into perspective (e.g. vs the superb EF 70-200mm f/4 USM L IS) the delivered quality is not overly impressive. Based on the performance at 200mm the potential with tele converters seems "limited". Lateral chromatic aberrations (CAs) are relatively well controlled but, again, inferior to the in-house competition (inc. its predecessor). Distortions are nothing to worry about as is vignetting. The build quality of the lens is superb and the IS as well as the very fast AF makes it a joy to use. If only it was better at 200mm ...'350D
Dxomark


Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

Image quality rating: 81,63%

Overall rating: 90,20%

Main points:
  • Good value
  • Loss of sharpness towards the edges of the frame


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
ePhotozine
3.5/5
4/5
'Although technically not the best lens optically, the high levels of centre sharpness will please those whose shooting style often results in their subject being isolated near to the centre of the frame. The reasonable price and excellent build quality should also ensure this lens is a good investment, being more than capable of taking the rigours of daily professional use in its stride.'5D Mark II
SLRGear
9.65/10
9.55/10
'The Canon 70-200mm ƒ/2.8L USM performed very well in our tests, perhaps not as sharp as we'd like at 200mm and ƒ/2.8, but quite impressive at 70mm. CA tolerance is very good, distortion is low, and corner shading is very low. Build quality is very high, and autofocus performance is excellent. For the money, you can't go wrong with this lens.'20D, 5D
Lenstip
'One of the most interesting questions this test was supposed to answer was whether or not the model without stabilization is somehow optically different from its stabilized twin. Our measurements indicate that there are some differences but they are slight and very difficult to spot in real life pictures. Undoubtedly both lenses present a very high level of optics and mechanics as well. Is it really worth paying 500 $ more for the stabilization then? I think every Reader will have to answer this question individually.'20D
Photozone
4/5
4.5/5
'The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 USM L may be one of the oldest lenses in the Canon lineup by now but it is still an impressive one. The produced images are very sharp at all focal length across the relevant aperture range. The high resolution is also supported by low lateral CAs. You will notice some vignetting at max. aperture but this is about in line to what we've seen from other lenses in this class here. The Canon lens produces some slight barrel to moderate pincushion distortions which is probably no big deal for the typical applications of such a lens. Unfortunately the bokeh (quality of the out-of-focus blur) is not without flaws - the non-circular aperture blade design gets obvious in out-of-focus highlights when stopping down and the background blur can be nervous at times. There's also a bit of bokeh fringing but really nothing out-of-the-ordinary.'5D Mark II
Photozone
4/5
4.5/5
'Very similar to its IS enabled cousin the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 USM L is an impressive piece of lens with superb build quality combined with an excellentoptical performance which is, in fact, slightly better than in the rest of the family and comparable to the best fix-focals in its range. So if you can live without IS (which is, however, darn attractive in its 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS incarnation) there're still good reasons to go for this superb lens!'350D
Dxomark


Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Image quality rating: 76,67%

Overall rating: 89,04%

Main points:
  • the image resolution for 300 mm could be better
  • autofocus, which could be described with one word - disaster
  • efficient stabilization


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
SLRGear
8.5/10
8.26/10
'There really aren't any weak points to this lens optically, unless you count its rather slow maximum aperture range of f/4-f/5.6 against it. It does suffer in the build quality department though, with a rather plasticky feel and very lightweight construction. When you zoom out to 300mm, its front element projects a longways out from the body, which could present a hazard from knocking it against things. Our sample also did show some zoom creep, so when carrying it around your neck, you'd be well advised to use its zoom lock to keep it from sliding out. The only other limitation we noticed was that its front element rotates when focusing, which would make it awkward to use with polarizers or graduated neutral density filters.'20D, 5D
Lenstip
'In our summery it would be worth answering two questions. How does the Canon look in comparison with a very popular Sigma 70-300 APO because of the good relation between the quality and the price? Is it worth paying extra for the Canona 70-200 f/4L?'20D
Photozone
2.75/3
4/5
'The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS is a decent performer and a great value offer. It is capable of delivering superb results at 70mm (for a slow speed lens) and it's still pretty good at 200mm and even 300mm. The vignetting is comparatively moderate even at max aperture. Lateral CAs are quite well controlled. The amount of distortion is about average between 70mm and 200mm but at 300mm the rather heavy amount of pincushion distortion can be disturbing in some situations (e.g. architecture photography). The build quality is about typical for a consumer lens but the rotating front element seems a little dated by now. You won't classify the 70-300mm IS as an AF speed demon but it's reasonably fast compared to similar tele zoom lenses with a conventional AF motor. However, it's one of the slower AF lenses in the native Canon lineup.'5D Mark II
Photozone
3.5/5
5/5
'The performance of the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS came as a total surprise. Unlike its predecessor the lens is capable to produce a very high performance throughout the zoom range without the significant drop in quality at 300mm typical for most consumer grade lenses in this range. It seems as if the new UD element helps to lift the optical quality significantly. Distortions, CAs as well as vignetting are also very respectable. So in terms of optical quality the EF 70-300mm IS can be almost described as a hidden Canon L lens. As much as it may promise here its build quality remains in line to what you can expect from a consumer grade lens and the small max. aperture is limiting its scope specifically regarding portraits where you seek for a pronounced fore-/background blurr only possible via large apertures (f/2.8 and larger). However, if you're looking for a very good, light-weight tele zoom e.g. for travel photography this lens should be high on your shopping list.'350D
Photozone
3/5
5/5
'The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS is a very decent performer when used on an APS-C DSLR. It is capable of delivering very good results throughout the range. The peak performance is, of course, in the lower range but the results are still pretty impressive at 300mm. The amount of vignetting is minimal and distortions are nothing to worry about either. Lateral CAs are very low till 200mm but beyond they get a little more obvious (albeit still moderate in absolute terms).'50D
Dxomark


Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM

Image quality rating: 75,20%

Overall rating: 82,95%

Main points:
  • splendid or very good image quality in the frame center at all focal lengths and apertures
  • silent, quick and accurate autofocus
  • image stabilization not efficient by today’s standards


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
ePhotozine
'A popular lens that that is superficially well built but has a few quirks and an Achilles heel in the bearing problem. It is probably worth buying any extended warranty that is offered with it. If you get a good one it is well worth hanging on to but be aware of the known problems when buying second-hand where there is a healthy market.'
SLR Gear
8.56/10
8.59/10
'It's not surprising to hear people swear by this lens: in 1998, there wouldn't have been much else in the price range that would have been as sharp. The push-pull design doesn't appeal to everyone for a variety of reasons, but it's hard to deny the lens' obvious versatility. The only deciding factor in a purchase of this lens would be the quality of the sample you're considering, as we mentioned previously, this is a lens that seems to have a fairly high sample inconsistency, so you should try and make sure you can return the lens if you're not happy with the results you're getting. That said, if you can find a good copy, you shouldn't be disappointed.'20D, 5D
Lenstip
'If the Canon 100-400 mm USM IS was equipped with the second generation stabilization system, allowing to work with 4 EV efficiency, and a bit better coatings we would pronounce it to be an ideal lens – for many applications even unique. I think the rumours about its withdrawal from the market and launching its successor are very real. We would have a move similar to the case of an L 70-200 f/4.0 lens, where Canon added IS to the old model and very good optical properties transformed into outstanding optical properties. Here the changes can be even smaller – a slight optics and stabilization improvement will give you a market hit for sure. Of course as long as Canon don’t go over the top with the price…'20D
Photozone
3.5/5
4/5
'The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 USM L IS is almost a boring lens but in a positive sense. It shows no extreme weaknesses nor strengths. You will find sharper lenses - primes that is - but it is very sharp for a zoom lens, especially considering its 400mm, and that's throughout the range at all relevant aperture settings. As such it is e.g. far better than the corresponding Nikkor AF 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 ED or the recently tested Sigma AF 120-400mm f/4.5-5.6 HSM just to give you two other popular examples here. The very low amount of lateral CAs contributes to the high sharpness perception - the fluorite and SUD elements are obvious very effective here. The amount of light falloff is comparatively moderate within the full format scope but you will be able to spot it at max. aperture in critical scenes. Distortions are very slight and as such not really relevant. The quality of the bokeh is decent but not on prime lens level.'5D Mark II
Photozone
3.5/5
4/5
'The Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 USM L IS is a very good performer with few weaknesses ... that's assuming you get a good sample - the first tested sample was mediocre whereas the second one performed very fine. The resolution of the lens is on a very high level throughout the zoom range with only a marginal performance penalty at 400mm. Vignetting, distortions and CAs aren't really field relevant on an APS-C DSLR. Typical for Canon L grade lenses the build quality is great. However, you may need to get used to the push-pull zoom mechanism which is a bit unusual these days. Regarding the sum of its characteristics the EF 100-400L is THE still portable super-tele zoom for Canon users.'350D
Dxomark


Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM

Image quality rating: 69,48%

Overall rating: 60,00%

Main points:
  • Good resolution
  • High price
  • Zoom creep


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
ePhotozine
4/5
3.5/5
'If money were no object and you wanted a compact telephoto zoom lens with an image stabiliser that produces sharp images at all focal lengths, then this would be the lens for you.'500D
SLRGear
7.79/10
8/10
'The IQ of this lens is really good on my 5D Mark II. I see some softness wide open at 300mm. But this can be avoided by raising a bit the ISO, which on a 5D2 is zero problem.'
Photozone
2.5/5
1.5/5
'The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM DO IS is a promising new approach ... on paper at least. The DO elements allows a much more compact design compared to conventional lenses and our camera bags are certainly bulky enough already so that's something to be appreciated for sure. However, optically the lens stays somewhat short of expectations. The 70-300mm DO IS is certainly sharp at 70mm but at 200mm and 300mm it's a bit softer than it should be. The contrast level could also be higher here at large apertures. The amount of lateral CAs is quite low though, so the DO element fulfills its promises here. Both vignetting as well as distortions are well controlled. The quality of the bokeh is a bit of a mixed back. The foreground blur as well as highlights are on the rough side whereas the background blur is pretty smooth.'5D Mark II
Photozone
3.5/5
2/5
'In principal the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM DO IS is a very interesting lens ... in principal. From a performance point of view it delivers all that a consumer has hoped for - high resolution figures in conjunction with low distortions, low vignetting and low chromatic aberrations and all packaged in a quite sturdy, small package with high speed AF. So what is the problem ? Well, it's the price tag. The optical performance of the new EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS (non-DO) is simply about as good. Mechanically it isn't quite in the same league as the DO lens but ... hey - it comes at a 50% lower price tag! If we throw in the added values plus a little coolness factor the DO lens may be worth a 200-250 EUR/$ premium over the conventional lens but at 1100 EUR/US$ it is simply way over-priced (also true for the EF 400mm f/4 USM DO IS). So unless Canon reduces the price to something more in line with the (in-house) competition there're some question marks whether the lens is really worth the extra financial sacrifice.'350D
Dxomark


Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III

Image quality rating: 66,40%

Overall rating: 69,10%

Main points:
  • Newer options are better


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
SLRGear
6.64/10
6.91/10
'I purchased this lens a number of years ago to use on a film SLR camera and also used it for a short time on my 450D DSLR. If sufficient light is available and your subject is staying relative still you can get some sharp shots through using manual focus and f11. If it is dark and you dont have time to manually focus this lens is rubbish. I have since upgraded to a Canon 70-300mm f4-5.6 IS USM and this lens is far better.'


Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

Image quality rating: 65,00%

Overall rating: 68,30%

Main points:
  • Newer options are better


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
SLRGear
6.5/10
6.83/10
'This lens doesn't have anywhere near as bad of image qualty as others might lead you to believe. That said, the new 70-300IS is better in every way.'
Dxomark


Canon EF 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6 II USM

Image quality rating: 59,40%

Overall rating: 56,67%

Main points:
  • small vignetting throughout the focal length range
  • visible chromatic aberration at 55 and 200 mm focal length


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
SLRGear
5.88/10
5.5/10
'The bottom line here is that this isn't a lens that stacks up to the standards of Canon's expensive higher-end models, but it's a very workmanlike option for photographers on a budget, particularly if there's enough light to shoot stopped down to f/8 or so. The one caveat we'd add is that if you need to shoot wide open at 200mm -- for sports shots, say -- this really isn't the lens for you, as it's really quite soft at that specific combination of aperture and focal length.'20D
Lenstip
'For every photo amateur, who already owns the 18-55 mm kit lens, the Canon 55-200 will be a very good and not very expensive addition. It is a pity that Canon did not take care of the lens’s aperture.'
Photozone
3/5
3/5
'The Canon EF 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6 USM II is a lens with "potential". Unfortunately it is wasted due to a very poor mechanical quality based on very cheap plastics. The lens has been simplified to a degree where even the focus ring has been abandoned. Thanks to the unambiguous aperture and focal length range the optical quality of the lens is very good or at least it could be. The formal results are fine if not impressive for such a lens but they vary extremely across the frame - probably also a side effect of the low build quality standards. If Canon had put the optics into a decent lens body it would have been an interesting budget lens but in its current incarnation the Canon EF 55-200mm f/4.5-5.6 USM II cannot be recommended.'
Dxomark
ePhotozine
'Overall, for the price of the lens, it is an adequate performer although the over reliance on autofocus and the all-plastic construction do raise a few concerns. At the short end, and focussed on infinity, there is virtually nowhere to grip the extending part of the barrel for manual focussing. For a lens designed to be the first extra lens that new dSLR users will buy, it seems to indicate that manual focus techniques are not worth learning, something that is far from the truth.'


Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM

Image quality rating: 47,50%

Overall rating: 60,00%

Main points:
  • the picture resolution at the edges of the frame for 200-300 mm focal lengths should be better
  • very small vignetting


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
SLR Gear
5.5/10
6/10
'While this lens may have been very capable in its day, it's fairly easy to argue that technology has marched on and left this lens in its wake; as a 100-135mm lens it works very well, but it shows soft results with noticeable chromatic aberration at anything more telephoto than that. A good lens to have in a collection if you find a good deal, but there are other, better options to actively seek out.'20D, 5D
Lenstip
'The Canon 100-300 mm could be a good alternative for the very popular Sigma 70-300 mm APO DG Macro because of its good quality and price. Both lenses are similar as far as resolution, chromatic aberration, distortion, coma and working in bright light are concerned. The Sigma wins by having a better focal length range, better aperture and lower price. The Canon, on the other hand, has better astigmatism correction, smaller vignetting and which is probably the most important – good autofocus work, which is not very good in the Sigma.'300D, 20D
Photozone
2/5
3/5
'In terms of optical performance the Canon EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM is about in line with other consumer grade tele zoom lenses. The resolution figures are excellent and 100mm but unsurprisingly there's a penalty at longer focal length specifically at 300mm @ f/5.6. At 200mm and more so at 300mm you should stop down a little to lift the resolution and contrast level. Distortions and vignetting are usually nothing to worry about whereas CAs are a significant although largely correctable weakness at 200mm and 300mm. On the positive side the tested sample showed a very good center (lens alignment) which is quite rare for a lens in this class. The mechanical quality is a step up from the typical kit zoom - this is most obvious in the IF (internal focusing) design and the very fast ring-type USM drive. Unless you can afford the (substantially better) EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 USM IS the EF 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM is a remains good choice in the sub-300€/US$ tele zoom lens league. Just don't expect any wonders at longer focal lengths.'350D


Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 USM III

Image quality rating: 45,70%

Overall rating: 47,90%

Main points:
  • Sharpness falls off towards the long end 
  • Light weight and easy handling


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
ePhotozine
'Despite its drawbacks, this is still quite a usable budget telephoto lens. It does not carry much of a weight penalty, and therefore has more chance of being in the bag when you want the extra reach that it offers. In its class, its biggest drawbacks are the close focus ability being poor and softness at the longer end.'
SLRGear
4.57/10
4.79/10
'I simply can't get sharp pictures with this lens. Even shooting at brigth daylight, my pictures are not sharp, especially at 300mm'
Dxomark


Canon EF 90-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM

Image quality rating: 0,00%

Overall rating: 0,00%

Main points:
  • very good picture quality in the center of the frame and at the edges of the frame at 90-200 mm focal length
  • weak picture resolution at 300 mm focal length
  • mediocre autofocus accuracy


Test/reviewerOpticsOverallQuoteCamera
SLRGear
Lenstip
'The Canon EF 90-300 mm USM was a nice surprise for us. For the price, the lens offers a lot. It won’t disappoint us in the most important category – the picture resolution at 90-200 mm focal length – although at 300 mm its results are weak, as is the case with other lenses with the same parameters.'300D


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