canon, 70-300, lens, L series, canon lens,

Big Mamma – EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L Review

My first post about photography was related to choosing the right gear for your travels. After countless hours of research I ended up with the Canon 7D and the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM UD Telephoto Zoom Lens. I still haven’t explored everything I can with the 7D but I have gotten very comfortable with the 70-300 and it’s truly a beautiful lens, aesthetically and in functionality.

Image Quality:

When I first put my hands on this lens I couldn’t help but smile from corner to corner of my face. It just feels and looks so nice, but what’s the image quality like? After all it is an L series lens. When zoomed in, a lower quality lens will actually lose image quality the more zoomed it is but with the 70-300L the quality is the same all the way through. I switched between the L and a standard lens and the difference is huge. The glass on the L series is just more refined. Below is a shot taken with the lens fully extended and without a tripod.

lizard, sunbathing, sun, sand, animal, scales,

scales, leg, lizard, green, macro,
Focus Speed:

It took me a while before I had a chance to snap some nice action pictures but when the opportunity came I jumped on it. I clicked on the AI SERVO to track the focus and shot away. It does a great job following the subject although I did find that it focused on the water instead of the rider sometimes. Shots of those below:

surfing, surf, ocean, water, waves, surfer,

kitesurf, kite, surf, kiting, water, ocean, nature,

This is the first lens that I’ve owned that has a stabilizer and you can see it in action simply by looking through the view finder. You can see the frame snap into place and hold for that split second so you can get your shot. This is especially noticeable when taking video. I got these parrots at 300mm without a tripod.


parrot, animal, bird, green, nature, nature photography,
Low Light:

This is one area of this lens that I wish was a bit better. Once you get to the low light areas the minimum f/4 stop creates the need for use of a tripod or a boost in ISO.

Travel Friendly?

The EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L is the lightest of L zooms and the smallest so that is a big plus. What’s great about this lens for traveling though is that it has a fluorene coating so cleaning it is as simple as wiping it down with a microfiber cloth. Not only that but just by holding it you can tell it’s built tough. The fact that’s it’s all white though brings extra attention to you and your gear so it’s not good for inconspicuous shooting.


It’s a steep price to pay at 1,600 USD retail but the focus speed , stabilizer and image quality account for it.


Fast auto focus, great stabilizer, smooth zoom, image quality, range


Bad in low light, flashy (this can be a pro as well but for traveling I personally feel it is a con).


If you found this review helpful and want to buy a EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM UD Telephoto Zoom Lens please consider purchasing it through one of our links as it helps maintain the site and support our travels. Thanks!!!


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