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Keywords: Canon EF Tele Prime 35mm L IS II Stabilized USM tested


Registered: September 2007
Posts: 4
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM review by frances
Review Date: 3/4/2014 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: fast, sharp
Cons: heavy, expensive, fixed tripod mount

I rented this lens for a week and tried it out at every opportunity. The iq is simply awesome. I found the lens to be uncomfortable to handhold. I would have removed the tripod mount were it possible to do so, but I could not find a way. The focus ring is so large that I always had my hand on it, which is good for MF but not so for AF. I am so used to the flexibilty of my 100~400 that I much prefer it to the 300. I compared IQ of both lenses and find that, for my purposes, the 100~400 is my best option. I used the 300 with a 1.4 extender and was not happy with the results, but without the extender it was slightly sharper and clearer than my 100~400. I will continue to wait for Canon to update the 100~400 and hope that the new one will be as sharp as my old one.

Registered: February 2014
Posts: 1
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM review by Invertalon
Review Date: 2/26/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $6,400.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Image Quality, Mode 3 IS, Build Quality, Sharpness With Extenders, Colors/Contrast, AF Performance, Weight Balance
Cons: Cost

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 5.6L…. 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 III…

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 IS… 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. My lens did require microadjustment on my body, around +9 for the lens alone and +12 with the 1.4x III. As a reference, every single lens I own requires positive MA values… My 16-35 II is at +6/+7, 24-70 II at -1/+4, 35L at +6, etc… So it is not that abnormal compared.

The weight is surprising with this lens… 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 weight… 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 price… 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.

Registered: March 2009
Posts: 1
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM review by jo-1
Review Date: 11/2/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $9,000.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: • excellent sharpness; • comparably lightweight; • more shallow DOF compare to the 70-200 f/2.8; • more concentration on the subject; • built like a tank; • fits in my photo (air cabin) bag opposite to the 600 and 600 ds
Cons: • none (the lens is perfectly matching my expectations in every respect)

What can be written about the latest incarnation of the 300 f/22.8 that haven't been done elsewhere?

I bought one of the 1st lenses in Germany (reason for the high price tag) and use it ever since almost purely was a walk around lens. Either in Venice or for wildlife on my FF camera.

The image quality easily outperforms all Canon zooms and that tells a lot. Additionally it is the most affordable and lightest of the new type II teles and with the 1.4 and 2.0 type III extenders it just shines.

Focussing is no problem on my 5D II (opposite to many whiners about the AF system). Micro contrast and color reproduction are simply the best I've seen so far from any lens I've owned.

Canon does incredible lenses - the sole reason currently (end of 2012) to stay with Canon.

I conducted a test of the Nikon D800E with the 70-200 f/2.8 VR plus 2x converter vs my 5D II with the 300 f/2.8 II plus the 2x extender in a stage performance.

The printed results (24x36 inches) of the 5D II easily outperformed the results of the Nikon gear.

I was about to purchase the Nikon tool chain but the 300 II is so good that every further thought was unnecessary.

I hope that Canon brings out a 7D II with > 20 MPixel and > 10 fps - the 300 II will be the wildlife and action king. On FF it offers a very unique bokeh quality and last but not least it simply delivers - all the time if you know how to handle it properly.

The lens to buy if you are intending to travel a lot.

I own the fantastic 70-200 f/4.0 L IS USM but in direct comparison the zoom feels like a toy and the quality of the bokeh is a completely different story.

Very good lens - maybe the best on this planet (beside the gorgeous TS-E 17)

Registered: December 2011
Posts: 5
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM review by cpe1991
Review Date: 9/1/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $8,500.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb IQ, exceptionally good with 1.4 and 2x extenders, hand holdable
Cons: Price - but the best is worth it.

I take bird photos with a Canon 7D and either a 100-400mm or a 400mm L f/5.6 lens, hand held, with nice results. But, I wanted something hand holdable that would enable me to keep up with the pros and their longer lenses and tripods. I decided on the 300mm II because it is only 2350 g (less than a lb more than the 400mm f/4 DO) and was reputed to give excellent results with the 2X TC. The results have turned out to be spectacular: the sharpness, contrast and colour are simply unbelievably good, and are hardly lowered by the 2x TC III. Most importantly, the reproducibility of focus is outstanding, which is necessary when you crop 2% of the image and want to see the feathers. Once you have used this lens, it is difficult to go back to the others. And, it is not too heavy for an old guy to carry around all day.

Registered: May 2012
Posts: 3
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM review by gary1952
Review Date: 5/15/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $7,500.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Absoulty IQ at it's best
Cons: NONE

I have the original IS version of this lens as well as another current version from another manufacturer.
If you are serious about the best just buy it. Words cannot describe this lens.
It is simply indescribable. You have no idea until you use this lens.
Actually the review here is much to modest in my opinion.

Udate: I have had this lens for over two years now. I use it now more than ever. It has it's place in birding for sure. I use it as a walk around lens and low light lens. I am more in love with it today than the day i bought it. Use it mostly with extenders. And it performs beautifully.

Registered: April 2012
Posts: 1
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM review by baybud
Review Date: 4/27/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: Identical sharpness wide open as stopped down, Colours, AF Speed, Build
Cons: Possibly price

This lens to me represents the current paragon for optics from any company, i'm also willing to say perhaps of all time!

In my years of photography ive had the pleasure to use some of the industry;s most widely regarded lenses, a list includes:

L Primes
35mm f/1.4L
24mm f/1.4 L
24mm f/1.4L II
24mm f/3.5 L TS-e II
85mm f/1.2 L
85mm f/1.2 L II
180mm f/3.5 L Macro
200mm f/2.0 L IS
300mm f/4.0 L IS
300mm f/2.8 L IS MKI
400mm f/5.6 L

L Zooms
70-200mm f/2.8 L IS (MKI)
70-300mm L

Contax 21mm Distagon (Contax version)

I mention these not for any other reason than to hopefully give weight to my review; so that when i say this lens surpasses (by a considerable margin) any of these lenses you may be more inclined to believe me.

What is so remarkable about this lens, at least to me, is the wide open performance.

This is the only time ive ever said this about an optic, but there is ZERO difference in sharpness compared to 2.8 vs 5.6!

I have simply never seen such parity.

Thats looking unsharpened raw in DPP @ 200%!!!
a truly incredible feat.

Paired with a 2x TC III the results wide open are still in the fu** me catergory!!!!!

Truly amazing.

To be honest words are mostly pointless for this review, if you want what i truly believe to possibly be the finest optic on the planet then you will not be upset with this incredible offering.

The price is outrageous, but to be brutally blunt so is the lens quality.
I loved my MK1 but this beast is just on another level, TBH its on another level with absolutely every other lens (best canon L at least) out there.

Im gonna go now because i actually can't praise it highly enough.

Registered: February 2012
Posts: 3
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM review by Pino
Review Date: 2/29/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $8,580.00| Rating: 10 


First i had a Sigma 50-500 using with Sony a mounth. now i use canon D7 with this fantastic verry fast lens together with the X 2 extender .The difference is large.
it is worth the money!

Registered: November 2009
Posts: 2
Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM review by olaf
Review Date: 1/28/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $7,299.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ, sharp, fast, bokeh

This is my best Canon lens.


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