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Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras

by Canon
33 customer reviews
| 7 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • EF mount; telephoto lens
  • Ultra-low Dispersion glass with Fluorite elements; inner focusing ring; full-time manual focus; image stabilizer
  • 300mm focal length
  • f/2.8 maximum aperture
  • Ring UltraSonic Motor (USM)
8 used from $3,399.00
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Technical Details

Product Description

Product Description

Canon EF Autofocus Lenses Canon s reputation for excellence in optics has been well established for years. And with the introduction of EF lenses for the EOS, it s only getting better. EF Lenses have the largest diameter mount of any 35mm camera, which not only strengthens the whole system, but permits optical innovations never before possible. L-Series lenses have better sharpness and contrast because Canon uses aspherical elements to eliminate spherical aberrations. In addition, the L-Series telephotos use UD (Ultra-low Dispersion) glass to reduce chromatic aberration resulting in more accurate colors. A built-in Ultrasonic focusing Motor (indicated by USM) provides pro-quality AF speed with split-second accuracy. The new EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM sets new standards in performance and versatility with its lighter weight, better balance, and particularly its new Image Stabilization. In addition, the tripod collar can be removed for even more weight reduction and hand-holding comfort. Item Specifications: Product Description: Canon EF telephoto lens - 300 mm Lens System: Telephoto lens Mounting Type: Canon EF Lens Aperture: F/2.8 Focal Length: 300 mm Min Focus Range: 8 ft Focus Adjustment: Automatic, manual Lens Construction: 13 group(s) / 17 element(s) Special Functions: Tele Filter Size: 52 mm Length: 10 in Weight: 5.7 lbs

From the Manufacturer

The high-performance L-series EF 300mm super-telephoto lens is a terrific choice for sports photographers and other long-distance users. Sports action requires a fast shutter speed and a long focal length. This lens easily complies thanks to its large maximum aperture--which supports a faster shutter speed--and its 300mm length. The lens also boasts a built-in, dual-mode Image Stabilizer (IS) function. This creates an equivalent shutter speed of up to four stops faster than the same size lens without an image stabilizer, letting you capture long distance hand-held shots far more assuredly. And thanks to the fluorite element and pair of UD-glass elements, the lens effectively corrects the chromatic aberrations that are prone to occur with telephoto lenses. Other features include the world's fastest autofocus (AF) speed with an improved Ring Ultrasonic Motor (USM) and new algorithms; a rugged, lightweight magnesium alloy lens barrel; and a detachable tripod collar that removes smoothly and locks securely. All Canon lenses carry a one-year warranty.


  • Focal length: 300mm
  • Maximum aperture: f/2.8
  • Lens construction: 17 elements in 13 groups
  • Diagonal angle of view: 8 degrees at 15 feet
  • Focus adjustment: Inner focusing system with USM
  • Closest focusing distance: 8.2 feet
  • Filter size: 52mm drop-in
  • Dimensions: 5 inches in diameter and 9.9 inches long
  • Weight: 90 ounces
  • Warranty: 1 year
Image Stabilization adds to whatís already a legendary professional lens. The 300mm f/2.8L IS lens focuses closer (down to 8.2 feet/2.5m), offers the worldís fastest autofocus when used with EOS bodies having 45-point AF, is gasketed and sealed against dust and moisture, and has a lightweight magnesium alloy barrel and tripod collar. Its image quality, aided by both Fluorite and UD-glass, is stellar, and its advanced IS even works on a rock steady tripod--as well as on a monopod or when hand-held.

Long and Fast
A telephoto lens is essential to any serious photographer. For sports action, you will need a fast shutter speed and a long focal length. A large maximum aperture allows a faster shutter speed. In this telephoto lens line-up, the focal lengths range from 135mm to 300mm. If you want compactness, choose a lens with a smaller maximum aperture.

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 14 x 12 inches ; 6 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 15.3 pounds
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B0000ALKBU
  • Item model number: 2531A002
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at October 2, 2001

Read about our customers' top-rated lenses and cameras on our review pages: Lenses, Digital SLR Cameras, Compact System Cameras

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

166 of 172 people found the following review helpful By G. Clark on January 29, 2006
If you're looking at this lens, you're ready to spend some serious dollars. Is it worth it? Short answer, yes, but I'll elaborate.

I've shot with a variety of Nikon and Canon lenses for about 25 years. The 300 f/2.8L IS is without a doubt the sharpest lens I've ever had, and it is unbelievably consistent across every aperture. With the 1.4X Canon extender - other its becoming an f/4 lens - I could not see any appreciable change in its performance. Unbelievable.

I got my introduction to image stabilization on the 70-200 f/2.8L IS, and it is even more useful on the 300. I handheld consistently crisp shots at 1/60 and sometimes at 1/30. With my old Nikon 300 mm, anything below 1/250 was out of the question and 1/500 was a good idea. The whirring of the IS is a bit louder on the 300 than the 70-200.

When shooting action in AI Servo mode, the autofocus was as fast as on my shorter prime lenses.

In some forums, people swear by third party long lenses that they say produce as good an image at less than half the cost. All I can say is that their experience probably reflects the limitations of their skills rather than the comparability of the lenses.

With the 1.4X extender and my 1D Mark IIN's 1.3X FOVCF, this becomes a 546 mm lens. On a 1.6X FOVCF camera it's a whopping 672 mm.

Here are some other Canon alternatives and why you might want to go with them instead of the 300 f/2.8L IS:

- Canon 300 f/4L IS - less than half the price; it is lighter and has a built-in lens hood that doesn't require assembly; you lose a stop, and while a very sharp lens, not in same class at the f/2.8. good choice if you don't have the money for the f/2.8 or want to spread it among other lenses.

- Canon 400 f/2.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Movie Fan on April 6, 2008
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If you're considering this lens then you must already have, or can get the means in which to pay for it. With that being said... GET IT!! I waited and am kicking myself for doing so. Sure the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L series I bought at the time is still a GREAT lens, I just wished I'd have had this for the last 3 months. Esp if you add a 2x canon tele-converter. or if you have one of the camera's with the cropped sensors. I can tell you that my 5D loves it. The pictures as stated before are tack sharp and when you crop for that KILLER shot whooo baby. If you have any doubt, I would suggest trying to rent one first, but I tell you..... if you do rent one, you will end up buying one. It is simply that good.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Abdulrahman on December 14, 2007
This lens is very fast, it can focus very rapidly and follow accurately flying birds, this is the main reason I bought this lens. It excels in every respect, it can be hand held, very sharp even when the aperture is wide open, image stabilization is excellent and it is very fast lens, fast focusing. It can be used to photograph butterflies, dragonflies as I tested it on my 1.6 crop factor camera and found that it can photograph a 15 by 10cm rectangle, thus I can say that it has a maximum magnification of 1:6.7.
This is an expensive lens, so if you think you will use it only occasionally, then I advice you not to buy it, otherwise it worth the price.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By C. Fahey on November 28, 2007
The biggest factor in making this purchase was the F/2.8. I had thought about the F/4 version but losing the AF with a 2x TC on my 20D was the deal breaker for the F/4. That and I knew I'd be always questioning myself later on down the road.

I just can't believe how sharp this lens is even wide open. The weight can take some getting used to and having a grip on your body helps out with the balance of it.

One word of warning though, if your a hobbyist and decide it's to expensive to buy, never rent one. If you do, chances are you may not be satisfied with any of the other offerings once you see the results from this lens.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By randym on November 22, 2008
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I bought this lens for sports photography. The Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM Super Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras is the classic sports photographer's lens, but it's almost twice the money and twice the weight. This was a compromise, and it's one I don't regret.

Even so, this is a pretty heavy lens. It may be hand-holdable for some, but not for me. I almost always use a tripod or monopod, or brace it against something. With a monopod, it's easy to handle; I routinely use it to photograph 3-hour baseball games, and don't get tired.

Because it's so heavy and bulky, it's not the kind of lens you bring with you casually. But I've found myself using it for a lot more than sports. Photographing flowers, say, to get that beautiful bokeh. I got some nice photos of the moon with it during the last eclipse.

The sheer size of this lens does attract attention. People are always coming up to me and asking if I'm a reporter. The results are worth it, though. You'll get shots that are simply impossible with a lesser lens.

(I have not had any problem taking this lens, with monopod, into spring training games and minor league baseball games. They will hassle you at some major league stadiums. If you want to photograph big league games, the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Telephoto Lens for Canon SLR Cameras might be a more practical choice. It's much smaller and lighter. No image stabilization, but is far easier to hand-hold.
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