Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Image Stabilizer AutoFocus Telephoto Lens - USA

Priced: $1,359.00 Rated:   - 5 stars out of 5 by 30 reviews.
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Average Price History: Price History
Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Angle of view:8° 15'
Closest Focusing Distance:1.5m / 4.9 ft.
Construction:11 groups /15 elements
Dimensions (Length x Diameter):8.7" x 3.5" / 221.0 x 90.0mm
F stop range:4-32
Filter Size:77mm
Maximum Magnification:1:4.2
Weight:2.6 lbs. / 1,190g

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Canon EF 300mm f/4L IS USM Image Stabilizer AutoFocus Telephoto Lens - USA Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

Great lens!!

This is a great lens. I just bought it several weeks back and the results have been great on my Canon 30D and my Canon EOS-3 35mm film body. So far I have run one roll of Provia 100 through the EOS-3 and shot over a hundred pictures with the 30D, and I am very satisfied.

I debated between this lens and the Canon 400 f/5.6 L, like many other people out there, for close to a year. I would have liked to have a 400, but I am happy to have bought this lens. ( I will just have to buy the 400 next year :-) The extra stop (f/4 as apposed to f/5.6) was a definite benefit to me as well as the Image Stabilization. If you need 400 you can pop on a 1.4x tele-converter and get out to 420 at f/5.6 and still have IS. The results with this lens and the Tamron 1.4x PRO Tele-converter are very good indeed.

Nice and sharp wide open and the IS is a wonderful feature. This is my first IS lens and even though I thought I would never need IS, I am now sold that the IS feature is a very nice option to have. My next "L" glass will definitely have IS.

Buy this lens, you won't be sorry!!
Dave at Adorama on 08/08/2008

Am I pleased? You betcha!

This is a most impressive lens. I was undecided between the Canon 400mm L or the 300mm L IS, and as I am an advocate of using quality tripods I felt that the IS would not be of great benefit to me, however, as I have recently purchased some other (shorter) L lenses with IS and have been quite impressed with them, I purchased the 300mm L IS foregoing the extra 100mm reach. This lens has not disappointed me!

I have been using it mostly for wildlife photography, and whilst it is a little short compared to the 400mm, I can hand hold it and chase the action without being encumbered by the tripod. I can also focus much closer than I would be able to with the 400. I use it with a 5D mk11 and I usually bump the ISO up to give me a minimum shutter speed of about 1/200th sec which still allows adequate DOF. When the shutter is half depressed, the image stabiliser kicks in and you can really notice the image lock in.

I have used it with a 1.4x multiplier for surfing shots, and whilst they are OK, they are a little soft to my liking. Auto focus is still rapid enough to follow the surfing action.
Anolphart at Adorama on 02/02/2011

Great Lens!

Used this lens with and without a 1.4 converter in Yellowstone and Grand teton national parks last week,it was used 98% for wildlife shooting and it never came off my camera.the images were sharp even with the 1.4 converter.the image stabilization on this lens made handholding this lens a piece of cake!kept it on all the time,it made taking a quick shot easy without worrying about shutter and quality of this lens is fantastic.the included tripod collar allows easy mounting to a tripod if needed.
Darrell Bumbala at Adorama on 06/06/2008


This lens first attracted my eye by all the great reviews i have been reading on the web. Im into wildlife/sports photography in my spare time and i thought this lens would be great. The focus searches a a lot in low light, i mean dont even try in low light conditions. I have had some problems outside where the lens is unable to focus.
When this lens does focus properly, the images are tac sharp! like a razor blade. It has nice bokeh!
Mikey at Adorama on 01/01/2011

Just the Best All Around!

Macro to the moon; The sharpest,sturdy,quick,This lens for the money is the best IMO!! some call it noisey what the hell im taking pictures not trying to sneak upon Bigfoot!! I have a 400 5.6 and its just as sharp and I have to put the 400 on a tripod and the 300 I dont! I never use the 400 anymore because i rather have the 300 on!! I am going to sell the 400! Its just the best all around lens in my book?
Tony A. at Adorama on 08/08/2010

Great lens for the money

Couldn't talk the wife into letting me get the 2.8 right now but I'm really happy with the results of this lens right out of box. Personally I'd like to see the lens hood built into all lenses like the 300f4 but that's another story. I've noticed on the Canon lens chart that they show this lens to be discontinued but I went ahead and pulled the trigger and in my humble opinion you get alot of bang of the buck with this lens
tinkerkid at Adorama on 07/07/2009

Great lens for the $.

I bought this lens to get a little more "reach" than my 24x105 was able to give .
The lens takes good bird pics and also does well taking butterfly /flower pictures.
Cropping pictures out of a 5D mk2 is not a problem to get a 1 to 1 image.
A lens cradle is a must when treking through the woods as it is a bit heavy,
But it does a great job
MR45MAN at Adorama on 10/10/2010

Awsome lens for the price !!!

The 300mm lens is crisp and fast, I am a sports photographer and recomend you check out this lens. It has 100mm more reach than my 70-200 and when on my Canon 50D bodies it,s reach is 480mm. The only disadvantage to this lens is you cant shoot in low light, but at f4.0 the lens is awsome and great deal for the price when you are on a budget.
JJR Photography at Adorama on 10/10/2010

A super compromise

There has been much debate of the pros and cons of this lens vs the non-IS version. I have had both and I can tell you that there is no appreciable difference until you get into the lower shutter speeds and then this lens pulls away quickly. Hand holdable down to 1/125 sec, sharp pictures 1/4 the weight of the 300 F2.8 and 1/4 the price... 'nuff said
1961sg at Adorama on 02/02/2007

Best Buy in Prime Lens you will find

Tack sharp, lightweight and well designed, Canon's 300 4 IS will not disapoint. On a digital crop body the 1.6 conversion will give you 480mm that can be handheld due to the IS when conditions are extreme and you can't use a tripod. It can be matched with Canon's 1.4x converter to give you 670mm and still retain its Auto Focus and IS. Overall a great lens
Rick at Adorama on 02/02/2007

Negative Reviews:

Optically Substandard

I either bought a very poor example of this lens or was expecting much higher optical quality than this lens can deliver. I had heard this lens was improved over the last several years. Unfortunately, this one performed about as poorly as the last one I tested several years ago.The lens I bought (and returned) could not match the performance of either my Tamron LD SD 300mm f2.8 manually focused lens, nor my Sigma 170-500mm. In the case of my 170-500 Sigma, I could stand back much further from the test subject and crop the image from the Sigma to half the image area, AND STILL get sharper and higher resolution images from the Sigma than this Canon 300mm.Needless to say, since it could not touch my Sigma 170-500mm, it couldn't even get close to the performance of my Canon 135mm f2.I was also very disappointed in the image stabilization. According to the Canon manual, it was only useful between 1/30-1/250 second. That is not very useful on small birds (or even big birds) in flight. I have been very skeptical of moving elements around in a lens for image stabilization, and I have more reason to not like it now. I tested the lens at slow shutter speeds with the IS on and off. the only time it gave a better sharper image was when I got down to 1/40 second on a stationary object. Then again, that was only against itself. Shooting the same subject at 1/40 second with my Sigma set at 300mm yielded as good or better images. It is possible I am enlarging more than many people because I was looking at sections of 30x45 inch prints for critical appraisal. This is because I regularly print very sharp, high resolution images at 12 x 36 and 24 x 36 from the Sigma 170-500 and the Canon 135mm f2.I expected a quality range somewhere in between the two, not half, or barely the 30-35 lines per mm that the Canon 300mm seems to have exhibited.This would be acceptable for newspaper sports, but I suspect you could spend far less to get a better performing lens.I wish it had performed well. I need a suitable close focusing 300mm for shooting small birds in flight close up. I also was interested in the IS for panning on race cars. I ended up buying into Pentax's system for the panned shots. Pentax's IS works very well, and has an effect at all speeds.
Field Photographer at Adorama on 03/03/2007

Neutral Reviews:

Just an Average Lens

This lens gets sharper past f5.6. Its not great for low light sports. Its focus is a bit slow compared to other L glass and hunts in low light.
Ahvaio at Adorama on 05/05/2012