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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:36 am 
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Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Hi everyone,

Just browsing Canon's EF lens lineup, I came up with this question:
What is the difference between the EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM, the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM and the EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM?
From where I see it, all of them have USM and IS and they have the same aperture range. Where I see the difference is obviously the price, but that one of them is an L lens, and that another one has the DO thingy, which I don't know what it means.

Could someone explain the difference between these lenses? Thanks :)

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:58 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON
The big difference is size, and for that you get a tradeoff in terms of image quality due to the physics going on inside the lens. Normally, diffraction is bad (it's what makes images soft at small apertures) but through some math wizardry they've purposefully diffracted light inside the lens, and then un-diffracted it before it hits the sensor which allows the lens to be physically smaller and lighter, due to fewer corrective optics needed. It's not 100% perfect, but it could help... Canon also makes an EF 400mm f/4 DO which is a lot smaller and lighter than the 400/2.8 but gets you a stop more light than the 400/5.6.

See: http://the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ ... eview.aspx and http://the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ ... eview.aspx

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Canon EOS 5D MkII | Canon EOS 7D | Canon Digital Rebel XSi | EF 35mm f/1.4L | EF 50mm f/1.8 II | EF 85mm f/1.8 | EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM | EF 135mm f/2L | EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS | 580EX II | LumoPro LP-120

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:06 am 
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Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 10:34 pm
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Location: Mexico City, Mexico
Oh I see, thanks! :D
So then in the L version vs the DO version, which one would have better quality?

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 5:38 am 
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The regular 70-300mm has micro-motor USM and not ring-USM.
This means that it cannot have full time manual focus like the other two lenses.

While the DO version is smaller, most prefer the image quality of the L lens.
The L is a lot newer lens with superior optics.

The bokeh on the DO can give you some interesting effects, though it is considered to not be desirable.

For the cost of a new lens, I would pick the L.
I got the DO version on the used market for not much more than the regular version.

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Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II, 24-105mm f/4L, 50mm f/1.4, 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DO, 85mm f/1.8
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:23 am 
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Location: UK
I see the differences a little differently.

The regular 70-300 is by far the cheapest lens of the three, and would more likely be chosen by those on a tight budget. It is rather unremarkable in performance.

The 70-300 DO is quite an amazing exercise in miniaturisation. It is quite small, although the likes of the Tamron 18-270mm are close in physical size. The DO designation of the Canon does get it L like features though. Build quality is quite solid. Image quality I found not quite satisfying when used wide open, and it needs to be stopped down to perk it up. Also it is very sensitive to flare. The possible bokeh effects are way down the list compared to those two. I wouldn't buy a new one either, but they're quite affordable used if you look around.

The 70-300L is the latest one, made for best in class quality. It's just sharp at any setting and weather sealed too.

While the plain 70-300 does have micro-USM without FTM, it is possible to have micro-USM with FTM like on the EF 50mm f/1.4.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:41 pm 
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I understand now, thanks guys! :D

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