A worthy successor to the popular Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 IS, the all-new Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 IS II USM super telephoto lens is lightweight, weighing approximately 8% less than its predecessor, yet offers faster operation, improved image stabilization and superior optics.
Incorporating Fluorite elements for improved image quality and reduced chromatic aberration plus a number of advanced coatings to minimize ghosting, flaring, and with a newly developed Fluorine coating that keeps soiling, smears and fingerprints to a minimum, the EF 300mm f/2.8 IS II USM is ready to deliver spectacular images in an instant.
With a third Image Stabilization mode (Mode 3) that activates IS only when the shutter button is fully pressed, and giving the equivalent effect of a shutter speed four stops faster, the EF 300mm f/2.8 IS II USM allows for easy panning and is ideally positioned for professional action photography. The EF 300mm f/2.8 IS II USM also features a new security slot for wire-type security locks.
I primarily am using this lens with a 5D III and a 7D II for soccer games. The focus is fast and accurate and the build is superb. It's heavy but not too heavy to hand hold. The photos are tack sharp and the colors are gorgeous. The price is steep but the results are worth every penny.
The photographs this lens takes, at least coupled with my 6D are crazy good. Just amazing. And, it works extremely well with the 2X teleconvertor III. Really, really great. With the 2X TC I can literally see the screws in the roof security cameras of a 10 story building nearly a half mile away. Amazing. The only things I don't like much are the stupid lens cover and the luggage. You just have to get one of these... http://www.adorama.com/LNCDZ3.html if you want to protect the lens from dust or rain when the lens hood is on, because the cloth lens cover only fits on one end of the hood (the end that fits on the lens) so if you have the hood attached to the camera, there is no lens cap. Like, "Hello"? Do you really think I should have to unscrew the lens hood everytime I want to cover the lens? Whatever. But, the problem is, this plastic hood http://www.adorama.com/LNCDZ3.html doesn't fit well under the cloth one, especially in the luggage, so, it's kind of one of the other. As far as the luggage, I wish it had a little extra room, like, for the 1.4 and 2.0 extenders, the lens cap I am mentioning, and maybe a little area for a cleaning rag or something. The cloth strap in the luggage with the Velcro to keep the lens from falling out if the luggage is not latched seems pretty inadequate, also. But, I am giving the negatives, since the positives are all spelled out in the other posts. Personally, with the new EF 100-400mm Mk2 coming out next month, if that lens gets great reviews, I bet it will sap a lot of business from the 300mm 2.8, and you will: 1. Prefer that one plus $4000 in you pocket, 2. Be able to pick up a 300mm used as people bale out because the can't afford it or just want the zoom, or, 3. The price on this will drop as it is getting competition from its 100-400 f/4 sibling.
I am a Sports Photographer specializing in Horse Racing. I need a lens that delivers crisp, sharp images and this lens does the job! I use a 5D Mark iii with this lens. I am petite size female, and amazingly I can use this lens hand-held without a tripod. Its light enough that I can handle the weight. I am using this for probably 5-6 hours on the track without a problem. After 2 days of shooting, yes my shoulders and arms start to feel the weight of the lens, but I'm okay with this as I don't like using a tripod. I would highly recommend this if you are looking for a sharp lens to capture an action shot. I have also used the 70-200 f/2.8 IS ii and you can see the difference in quality of image. The 70-200 lens delivers great photos, but the 300 f/2.8L IS ii is just sharper. This is my dream lens for Horse Racing!! I highly recommend it.
Use this with 5D3 for raptors and about everything else too. Couldn't even dream the optics to be better and the new image stabilization. I use this all the time with a 2X TCIII for birds in flight etc, and shots are still incredibly sharp and the autofocus is fast. Don't let anyone tell you this isn't true. And, most of my flight shots are handheld using stabilization 3. Really quite amazing. I also use the lens for flowers and for people--the shallow DOF at 300 and 600 is gorgeous. Probably even better than the 70-200 2.8 iS II, which is pretty close to perfect. I walk with this lens combo quite a bit and although heavy, not really an issue. Expensive, yes, but if you want to shoot birds in flight and others things, it's kind of a miracle.
Super crisp images. Perfect for wildlife, but quite heavy for for long handheld shoots.
This lens is simply phenomenal. This is my first step into the "big whites" and I am sure will be in my collection for many years to come. Optically, it is practically flawless. The sharpness is out of this world and unlike any other lens I have had the pleasure to use and own (such lenses as the 24-70 II, 70-200 II, 35L, 85L, 135L, 300 f/4L, 400 5.6Lâ€¦. And many more). The 300mm f/2.8L II is in a league all its own. Some of those lenses come close, but are not quite to the same level. The IQ with the 1.4x III is just as good with no loss in quality that I can see. I still need to buy and try it with the 2x IIIâ€¦ The attention to detail in the build quality is stunning. First, the lens just feels great in the hand. Focus ring moves smoothly with no play. Switches have a nice snap to them and positioned well enough that you won't be bumping them into the wrong position (something I do often with my 70-200 II and have to use gaffers tape to cover them!). The tripod ring with the 90-degree indents are a really nice touch. The buttons have a high quality feel to them. The lens was also well lubricated (as you can hear the lubricant when you move the focus ring and the power-focus ring slightly). This lens is for sure a step above the high end L's in the sub-$3,000 range in terms of build quality. The colors and contrast are fantastic straight out of camera. The isolation given from the 300mm and f/2.8 is really quite awesome, even at great distances. The 3-D "pop" is also present with this lens, thanks to the isolation ability and extremely high resolution and contrast. The minimum focus distance is really nice, I am glad Canon was able to improve it over the Mark I. I did not run into many instances where I had to backup to get the lens to focus. I am simply fascinated by the mode-3 ISâ€¦ I was confused on how this worked, as I never really read a clear description of it. To clarify for others, when you start to meter (say half-pressing the shutter or back button focusing) you hear the IS kick on as you would expect. However, the viewfinder does not stabilize. It appears like the IS is completely off. But when you go to take the image it instantaneously kicks on and stabilizes the image perfectly with no visual delay. I could not get over this! A really cool feature. Overall, the IS works extremely well and is actually really quiet (even more so than the 70-200 II). You hear a confident "chirp" when it turns on/off, but nothing during operation (unless you lay your ear on the lens). Big improvement over the Mark I when I rented it. The IS also behaves extremely well on a tripod to help combat faint vibrations when using telephotos on a tripod. No reason to turn off IS on this lens, as it actually benefits with tripod use! I think unless you are doing exposures over 1-second, the manual recommends to leave it on. The AF performance of this lens appears to be extremely good. Shot-to-shot sharpness is very consistent and I have yet to get an image that was randomly out-of-focus for reasons other than my own. The weight is surprising with this lensâ€¦ I rented the original IS and it was a hefty lens (as is this one), however the Mark II appears to be better balanced and not as front-heavy making it feel lighter than it is. I have no problem what-so-ever handholding this lens for long periods of time. For reference, this lens along with my 5D3+Grip comes in at 8lbs and 15oz. I don't plan to use the tripod much at all with this lens, there really is no reason to if you are able to support the weightâ€¦ A good camera strap (I recommend Op/Tech) are extremely comfortable for supporting heavy loads. The case included with the lens (along with keys) are nice additions. I will use mine often when transporting and storing the lens. The new lens cap is a HUGE improvement over the old version, far less clumsy and easy as can be to use. Canon did great updating this. The only downfall of this lens would be the priceâ€¦ While it is the cheapest of the Mark II super-telephotos, it is still a very expensive lens. However, as expensive as it is (even as a hobbyist only) I don't feel cheated. The performance and build quality of the lens help curb the sting a bit. I highly recommend this lens to those who can afford to splurge on it. You won't be disappointed.
You can count on this pro grade canon glass to get your money shots 99.9% of the time. I have 300mm is/vr lenses from both camps, and I would say that this canon IS II version takes the cake, as it is both lighter and IS mode 3 is an evolution of the IS system. The new front cap is great, as I no longer feel the need to buy a don zeck cap.
So I took a big step in getting this lens as I've been shooting a lot of sports lately.... I am impressed by everything about this lens. It's strong and feels like it, it has good features and isn't as heavy as I thought it would be. My biggest surprise was the weight, I fully expected to by mounting this to a monopod all the time, I'm a medium build guy and I have no problems hand holding this lens and shooting with it. 4 stop IS and the new addition to the IS mode is nice, as is some of the other features like focus preset, power focus and some others I won't talk about. The AF is fast, esp for how much glass is involved.... and the Image Quality is spot on as well. This lens cost a lot, but it pays to have good glass and this one is a great balance in features and quality.
I bought this as an upgrade for my current f4.5 EF 300. I wanted betterr magnification than the old 300 (or my 200-400 zoom). Ideally I would like a 600mm f2.8 that was as light as this lens. I'm a bird photographer and am always reaching for more distance without having to lug huge lenses around. This lens with a 2x extender is the perfect compromise for me. The only downside is that now my lens is better than my camera body and I want to upgrade that too.
Since this is my fourth Canon 300mm f/2.8 lens, I'm very aware of its evolution over the last 30 years. Each model has come with improvements both optically, and mechanically, but secrectly I've always longed for the size/weight of my original, the new FD 300mm f/2.8L. The first two EF's manufactured were both great lenses, but their weight/size were just a tad bulky for consistant hand holding, even having added IS on the second version. Hand holdability is a big reason why I like using a 300mm so much! However, this latest version is lighter while still keeping its durability! It weighs about the same as my original, and coupled with the latest IS system, and the low light performance of the 5D3, it performs like nothing else has before! Also, I didn't like the sloppy collar design on the original IS, but loved it on the first two versions, now that has been corrected too! Finally, I've often wondered since 1985 why Canon didn't use this double flourite design before?? Cost, production issues?? It's surely working here - clearly the best optics ever in a tele lens! Read the many technical reviews out there... or better yet, attach one to a 5D3 and just look at the files! I know this lens is rather expensive, but it just doesn't matter if photography is your business! I've sold so many shoots just by how this lens represents me. It's the best! Well done, Canon!