70-300mm - differences

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by sue_deutscher, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens $519
    Canon EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM Lens $1229
    Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Lens $1599

    I know the L series has better optics. But what does the "DO" mean? And if they are all 70-300, why is only one designated as "Telephoto?" Aren't they all telephoto? And why is the "DO" one so much shorter?
    Thank you very much in advance,
    Sue Deutscher, Denver
  2. Diffractive Optics. It's got special lenses in it that allow the lens to be very short and compact for its focal length. Those who need such a lens really like it.
    The EF 70-300mm IS is the update of the original IS lens, the EF 75-300mm IS.
    There are, perhaps, still two others in this range - the USM and not USM, unstabilized EF 75-300mm lenses that sell for around $150.
  3. DO means "Diffractive Optics" which you can read a bit about here:
    DO elements allow the lens to be shorter. There are trade-offs, of course.
    You can read more about the 70-300 DO here:
    These are all telephoto zoom lenses.
  4. thank you so much!
  5. DO explanation link: http://www.canon.com/technology/canon_tech/explanation/do_lens.html
  6. DO is a waste of space (literally) as it is heavier than the non-L. The L is 3 times the cost of the non-L, it's better but is it 3x better?
  7. I was wondering that, too. I'm trying to decide whether to upgrade in the body or the lens. There is a lot to research. The only L lens I have right now is the 35 prime and I love it. I'm thinking I'll upgrade with a lens, and trying to decide which 70-300 to get.
  8. Just to muddy the waters more, I'd add the Tamron 70-300mm VC lens. Based on early reviews it appears to be a strong competitor vs. the least expensive Canon equivalent. It is priced slightly lower. Features a few perks, like a non-rotating front element, an included lens hood (the Canon hood is extra), and it supports full-time-manual focus.
  9. I love my 70-200 Tamron and was thinking of selling it if I get a 70-300. My 70-200 has taken some very sharp shots.
  10. Sue, can you confirm what camera you have? If it is an APS-C sensor size (aka crop factor) body then the choice widens with the Canon 55-250 IS. This is cheaper and pretty much the same level as the Canon 70-300 f4-5.6 IS USM but is designed to work with the smaller sensor size DSLR's in the Canon range.
    I have the Canon 70-300 f4-5.6 IS on the Canon 5D body. This is a full frame body so it would not wotk with the 55-250 mentioned above. So I think for my money the choices are :
    Canon 55-250 f4-5.6 IS (for APS-C sensor sized bodys eg 500D, 60D etc) - good sharpness at a bargain price. Good reviews.
    Canon 70-300 f4-5.6 IS USM - good sharpness but a bit more expensive. Works on any Canon DSLR. Also good reviews which I found with my example of this lens.
    Canon 70-300 f4-5.6 L IS USM - supposedly better sharpness and contrast then the others and better build quality - but then so it should be at that price. Works on any Canon DSLR. Even better reviews.
    You can find reviews at :
    and many other places
  11. thank you very much!
    Unfortunately, I do not have a full frame. I have a 450D, XSi. I am debating whether to upgrade to a 5D or 7D, or get a better lens. Opinions as to whether it is better for me to get a better body or better lens next purchase would be much appreciated.
    I am not a professional, but a very enthusiastic, passionate hobbyist. I do not do much printing but post on flickr and shoot a variety of subjects. I love taking photos of the grandkids, pets and scenery in Colorado. I like a little street photography and fooling with green screens. Like everyone, I want the best image I can get.
    flickr ID is hbwphbwp - zenfolio is http://suedeutscher.zenfolio.com/
    the lenses I have right now are:
    canon prime 35 mm 1.4 L
    tamron 10-24 3.5
    tamron 70-200 2.8
    canon 50 mm macro 2.5
    canon 50 mm
    Any suggestions on next body or lens is appreciated, Sue
  12. Colin, I'm thinking that instead of getting the Canon 55-250 IS, I would probably do better to go ahead and get the 5D. Even though it's just my hobby, I'm lusting after a full frame. I think I will have to make do with the lenses I have then for another year before I get the 70-300. But I sure want that full frame. I'm hoping I don't get crappy images with the lenses I have. what to do, what to do. But I think I'd rather get the full frame than get lenses that go with my XSi, and then find out they are not good enough for a full frame.
    thank you everyone!
  13. I got a 5D to reanimate an old Nikkor 35mm perspective-control lens that was too long to be of use on an APS-C body, and I very much like the camera.
    However, the 7D is a very fine camera, and if it had been out when I was buying, I might very well have gone with it instead of the older 5D. So think about it a long time. You'll lose your Tamron 10-24, for example, which won't fit on a 5D. If you get a 5D you need to get a so-called "full-frame" ultrawide like the Sigma 12-24 or 15-30 if you want to get back to ultrawide.
  14. Sue, I went from the Canon 300D (Ye Olde Rebel) to the full frame 5D and did not regret it. The full frame 5D is larger and heavier than the 7D etc. I then bought a 450D for astro-photography but found that even though it was smaller and lighter I almost always took the 5D out with me.
    So I quite understand if you discard the 55-250 and just consider the ful frame lenses. I have been very pleased with te non-L version and have been surprised how good it is. It is also relatively small and light - and black too. No standing out in the crowd. The main problem I find with the non-L 70-300 is that the 200-300 range tends to have quite a noticeable drop in contrast making the longer part of the range a little murky. In good light it doesn't notice too much but if the light is low or it is misty then the murky look appears.
    You understand that is the worst I can throw at it nad otherwise I think it is a very good lens. I am now trying to decide whether (money aside) whether going to the white L version would be worth it given that the L is heavier and whiter.
    Here is a shot of some puffins which show how sharp the (non-L) Canon 70-300 f4-5.6 IS USM lens is. The lower bit is the full frame as I took it and the top bit shows how well it can stand cropping.
  15. Here is an example of the murkiness I am talking about. It only appears in less than perfect light at 300 mm or so. The background should be misty but looks murky. If I were to go for the L version it would be to get rid of the 300mm in poor light murk and to gain a marginal improvemnt in sharpness. Against that I would have to set the increased weight, whiteness (why can't canon make L lenses with a BLACK option?) and of course the slighly eye-watering price. I haven't decided yet so can't help you that last step - just set out my own thoughts.
  16. This has all been extremely helpful! Though I started this thread about lenses, I have gone back and forth for weeks whether to upgrade lens-wise or body-wise. Thanks to the many helpful people here, I have officially decided on the body, the 5D. I can always upgrade lenses as time goes by.
    Colin, the puffin example nailed it. Also, I have been studying for hours the photos on this site and flickr, and those with the full frame have that zing I am looking for.
    Just one more question (I think) to JDM von Weinberg, please. You say "the Tamron 10-24, for example, which won't fit on a 5D." Yikes! Do you mean it physically won't fit, or it won't work for some reason on a full frame? If the "connectors" are still all the same and the other lenses still fit, why wouldn't that one? Any help is very much appreciated, thank you.
    And I found the camera store here has the 5D for the same price as online, so either Thursday or Friday, I'm jumping in! Now I just need a way to calm down so I'll be able to sleep.
  17. Sue, good choice IMO. You will enjoy using a dual-format setup (APS-C + full-frame).
  18. Thank you! It was tough choosing between a better body or better lens. I think in the long run I'll be happier with a full frame. And I have a lot to learn. I have no idea what a dual-format is, but it sounds like I can choose between the two. Don't know why I'd go back but I think I'll be reading here a lot.
  19. Oh heck, here's a plug for a post by someone I know on eBay guides for the older and cheaper 70-300mm class of lenses for Canon : http://reviews.ebay.com/Canon-EF-70-300mm-Range-Zooms_W0QQugidZ10000000001516026
    This is only useful if you do not fall into the trap of buying a Nikon (Friends don't let friends buy Nikon)
    I think "dual format" is a 'bad' Nikon idea to jab Canon int he eye for having an EF-S class of lenses.
  20. As for
    You say "the Tamron 10-24, for example, which won't fit on a 5D." Yikes! Do you mean it physically won't fit, or it won't work for some reason on a full frame? If the "connectors" are still all the same and the other lenses still fit, why wouldn't that one? Any help is very much appreciated, thank you.​
    The Tamron, if it's the one I know about, is what Tamron calls a Di-II lens - meaning "digital only" which in turn means only what Nikon calls DX or Canon and others call APS-C sensors. I think that the Tamron may actually mount on a so-called "full-frame" (=35mm sensor) but its field of view will not cover the entire sensor area (called vignetting).
    I personally have the Sigma 10-20mm lens which will mount on my 5D, but here is the best you can hope for at the longest 20mm focal length:
  21. In regards to the Tamron 10-24, it will start to cover full frame by about 14mm and up. Since the lens produces images with soft corners on a crop frame camera (decent when stopped down), I can only imagine that the corners are most likely worse on full frame - though I don't know from direct experience. Hope this helps.
  22. Thank you. I also read that an EF-S will hit the mirror in a full frame.
  23. Perhaps, but the Tamron 10-24 that you have, as well as the example someone posted from the sigma 10-20, are not ef-s mount lenses. They use an ef mount (full frame) but are designed for crop frame cameras; that is why they will mount on a full frame body, while canon ef-s mount lenses will not.
    Unfortunately I do not know if your lens would hit the mirror of a 5d or similar camera - but I am sure it is easy to find with a little research on google. Good luck.

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