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At first glance, the Canon EF 70-300mm Telephoto Zoom Lens looks the part in a standard svelte black coating with ritzy gold ring and logo. At 480 grams it is also one lightweight model. It looks even more ridiculous when donning its ET-65B lens hood which manages to sell for an equally ridiculous £40. It features 4 switches: the default automatic focus/manual focus situated closest to the base of the lens and 3 others higher up - Stabilizer on/off, Stabilizer mode 1-2 and the locking mechanism that hold the lens at a specific focal depth. It's appearance is mired slightly when fully extended as the zoom barrel feels extremely delicate and has a cheap plastic shine to it.
Seeing as the closest focusing distance is just under 1.5 metres, it isn't the worst lens on hand when needing to take a shot of something fairly close, however when trying to get sneakier shots of others unsuspecting aka natural shots or real life, this lens makes for an ideal second choice lens. It's 7cm in standard, 12cm fully extended. Shooting fine or small objects from a distance can prove troublesome however, as the lens can take its time focusing on a tiny subject - often scrolling through the entire scope of focus again. It also struggles to focus in darker surroundings - so it's at it's worst in dark environments, shooting distant tiny, moving points - something aided by one of the following stabilizers.
The stabilizers make producing sharp images from afar, much easier thanks to the 2 differing options. Stabilizer 1, corrects vibrations in all directions and is best for shooting still objects - the bonus being better in slightly darkened areas - which is very hand if flash photography isn't allowed or if you don't want to use a faster shutter speed, you aren't ready/steady etc. No.2 is a bit more impressive - increasing the capability to take photographs of distant objects, often moving at speed. This means you can reel off several shots attempting to get some ever elusive wildlife or passing high speed cars - all in crisp detail. Without these, the lens' 300mm capability would be no better than the lens' from days of old where autofocus mechanisms were only in prototype stages.
Regardless of its pitfalls, the 70-300 Canon is still a worthy addition to a camera bag, though not a walking around, default lens. For what it is capable of distance-wise - it's impressive in such a relatively small package for carrying around and for generic photography, it's near perfect for the high end side of shooting especially at the £250-£500 mark. A few things to note though, you wouldn't necessarily want this when shooting super jumpy wildlife that are easily spooked as the lens can kick out some cog grinding noise when quickly adjusting focus, depending on usage. So to sum up, a great budget, camera for sports and nature enthusiasts. Word Cap...