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

At £432 the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens should come with a lens hood, but it doesn’t. However, it does come with a soft case to protect against scuffs and scrapes and features an Ultra-low dispersion (UD) element and Super Spectra coatings to help reduce fringeing, ghosting and flare. It also comes fitted with Canon’s Image Stabilizer (IS) claiming sharp shots up to 3 stops slower.

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

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

Despite being relatively light in weight, it felt robust in the hand and well-balanced on our EOS 60D body. The zoom extended smoothy and during testing, the AF performed quickly thanks to the built-in Ultrasonic Motor (USM), locking onto targets with no signs of hunting. It must be said though, that the motor on our sample did sound rather gritty and far from the ‘near silent’ operation promised, which could be a potential turn-off for wildlifers as it risks disturbing your subjects. The Stabilizer Mode switch toggles between IS modes; Mode 1 compensating for movements in all directions, while Mode 2 reduces only vertical shake which is great if you’re taking panning shots.


  • Price: £356 (As of July 2016)
  • Maximum aperture: f/4-5.6
  • Image stabilisation: Yes
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his review was first published in the August 2011 issue of Digital Photo - download back issues here.