Some thoughts on the Canon 70-300 LIS after extended use
Its now 7 months + since I traded in my much loved pair of lenses for the "new kid on the block" and I thought it may be interesting to consider how the trade off has worked out.
First off, I am convinced that, for me, this was the right decision for me.
The reduction in weight carrying just the one lens was a prime objective and the fact that I can put the 7D + lens + 1.4 xTC into my Lowepro shoulder bag, rather than carting my back-pack about is a definite plus.
Also, the convenience of having the entire range from 70mm to 300mm in the one lens without having to stop to swap the TC on and off is a real benefit for shooting birds in flight etc
Hand-holding is definitely better than with the 300 F4LIS (it must be a balance thing as the weight is only marginally less)
Focus speed and accuracy is, for my examples, at least as good (I thnk better) than either the 70-200 F4 or 300 F4
Weather sealing on the 7D has proven excellent, as witnessed by being caught in a cloud-burst recently and finding myself having to tip water out of the flooded viewfinder eye cup! (the camera + lens carried on working throughout )
So, what do I miss, well the one area that I do feel the 300 F4 excelled is in the smooth and creamy bokeh at f4, particularly when shooting things like butterflies at minimum focus distance. The 70-300 LIS is capable of good out fo focus bokeh at longer range wide open but tends to be a bit disturbed at close range, particularly when there is a busy background (grass, foliage or shingle etc)
Overall, this is a remarkable lens and now that the price has come down in the UK to around £1100 it is excellent value