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Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens for Canon EOS SLR Cameras
List Price: $649.99

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Product Description

EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM telephoto zoom lens * Image Stabilization allows in-focus shots with longer exposure times (up to three stops slower shutter speed) * Micro Ultrasonic Motor for fast autofocus * compatible with all Canon EOS SLR cameras * minimum focus distance: 4.9 feet * lens is 5-13/16" long, 3" in diameter *

Features:
  • 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens with f/4-5.6 maximum aperture for Canon EOS SLR cameras
  • 3-stop Image Stabilizer for reducing camera shake; ring-type ultra-sonic monitor (USM)
  • Electro-magnetic diaphragm (EMD) helps create attractive background at large apertures
  • Super Spectra lens coating and lens element shaping suppresses flare and ghosting
  • Measures 3 inches in diameter and 5.6 inches long; weighs 22.2 ounces; 1-year warranty

Customer Reviews:

  • Lens
    Product is exactly what I wanted. It came on time and in good condition...more info
  • Great Lens
    This is the best lens you get for the money. I can't believe how great and easy it is to use. I used it to take pictures of my son playing soccer and I could zoom him right up and get close up's that I could not have gotten with a regular lens. Love this lens..................

    C. Kemp...more info
  • Good, not great lens..
    I bought this lens about 2 years ago and have taken some great, sharp shots with it. The IS is excellent in both modes. I'm glad it has the zoom lock because without it the lens will flop out. Since buying this lens I have added some L's to my lineup and have gotten a bit spoiled. If I could do it over again, I would buy the 70-200 f/4L IS instead of this lens even though it is white (I hate to stand out). I hate that the 70-300 does not have ring-type USM. It has the micro motor USM that you cannot manual focus unless you flip a switch. If you can swing the price difference and don't mind the shorter focal length, I would recommend getting the 70-200 instead.

    Update:
    I just noticed on the description of this lens on Amazon, they claim it has ring-type USM (the better, faster auto focus with full-time manual focus in one shot mode). This is FALSE, it has micro motor USM (slower to auto focus and NO full-time manual focus)....more info
  • This is the 1st lens you want to buy after you got your new Canon camera !
    I just received my Canon 70-300mm USM/IS a couple of weeks ago, and I finally got the chance this week end to go out and try it. I was kind of scared after reading the other reviews that I would have issues with the quality of the images at full zoom. Well, let me tell you something, WHAT A GREAT LENS !

    I was able to take EXCELLENT pictures of my fiancee at a full 300mm settings. After reviewing the pictures on my computer, I was amazed at the details. You can clearly see the smalled strands of hair in the wind. Absolutely amazing.

    I also took pictures of my dog running on the beach at full 300mm. Some people told me that the focus was kind of slow and I would have issue. It's a little bit slower I agree, but I took great shots of a moving subject. I do not know how good and fast would be the focus in another kind of day (not sunny, low light...) but my first experience with it was great.

    If you go and look at the customer images link, you will find the one I uploaded (under Simon Templar) and you'll see what I am talking about.

    The IS is also a great feature. No need to walk with a monopod anymore.

    Gotta love it !...more info
  • My new favorite
    I got the 28-300mm sigma lens a while ago and was unhappy with it. I decided to go the extra $250 and upgrade to this 70-300mm canon lens. I could not be happier. This is a GREAT lens for the money. It is my favorite to use while hiking to get great photos of the wildlife. The lens produces crystal clear images at 300mm. The sigma lens I had is not even comparable to it. Needless to say, I don't know what I would do without this lens now. I should have got it sooner....more info
  • Simply put.......awesome
    I have used this lens for 2 months now and I am constantly amazed with its results. Whether it is used for (reasonably) fast action at my daughter's soccer games, or for static shots, the lens is easy to use, fairly lightweight and produces excellent results.

    Of course, I wish it were less expensive (and it will be in time).

    Awesome....more info
  • Canon 70-300mm Telephoto IS USM Lens
    I purchased this lens to go with my Canon XSI camera. So far the lens is all what I expected. It's movements are very quick and smooth. The AF is really fast especially on moving targets. I would buy this lens again....more info
  • Best Lens for the Money
    This is a great lens. Nothing more really needs to be said. If you want to spend money on a "L" Series lens, go ahead, but it won't make you a better photographer and it won't really take pictures better than this lens....more info
  • Good
    Auto focus would at times act bad. But takes good photos once you get used to it....more info
  • Best lens amoung few choices for my Canon 30D.
    I am a quazi professional photographer; meaning I have a small business in which I do commercial photography for several clients, which I started after I retired from my main profession (which was not in photography).
    My first digital SLR was a Canon 30D and have the wide angle zoom, mid focal zoom and then purchased this zoom.
    I had been very impressed with the quality of the other two Canon zooms (I had about 30 years experience with Honeywell-Pentex, then Minolta).
    When I got this zoom it felt "cheaply made" by comparision. I took some test photos and decided to return it.
    I then bought the Tamron 70-300 zoom which has AF but not IS, but cost only $125. That lens seemed better built, but when retaking my previous test shots, I found it had some flare at the edges and was not as crisp and clear when enlarged greatly. Those two items would not be a big issue unless you work with large photos or enlarge small sections.
    The biggest problem was no IS. When shooting anywhere near 300mm, you ended up without a clear photo, unless using a tripod.
    Soooooo, back went the Tamron and I bought this Canon lens....yes, again.
    I couldn't see any other choices that include IS AND were much less money, so this seemed my only choice.
    Bottom line: lens performs well, IS motor is a bit slow and noisey, and it is pricey, but there really isn't any other alternatives.
    ...more info
  • This Lens is MOSTLY Awesome
    Having used both the Canon 70-300 without IS, and the Canon 70-300 WITH IS (this lens), it is ABSOLUTELY worth the extra $400-$450 for this lens. The image stabilization is truly amazing. It allows you get the shot you want from across the room without having to worry about shakiness.

    Having said that, there are a couple of small negatives to this lens.
    One, it's a little bit heavy. Not nearly as heavy as the 70-200 f/2.8L IS, but certainly heavier than the 70-300 non IS.
    Two, there is no manual focus override in auto-focus mode. i.e., you need to flip a switch in order to manual focus. This is probably the most annoying complaint I have. You simply cannot turn the focus ring by hand with auto-focus on.
    Three, the auto-focus can be pretty slow sometimes. For example, if you are focused on something 5 feet away, and then try to focus on something 60 feet away, it can take as long as 1-2 seconds.
    Four, this is NOT a macro lens. It says on the lens "macro," but that's phooey. It's a blatant misuse of the word. Granted, you can get some pretty nice close-ups, but you're not going to be getting useable pictures of insects.

    I know I focused more on the negatives than the positives, but that's what you want to hear isn't it? The issues I have with the lens? Overall, it's an absolutely phenomenal lens. It's tremendously fun, and the quality of pictures you can take with it FAR outweighs its inconveniences....more info
  • Great lens
    This is a great lens and the IS feature makes a HUGE difference in the quality of pictures without the use of a tripod.
    I take many pictures of sporting events for my four kids and my neices and nephews. I am very happy not to have to drag my tripod along. I do use the battery extention on my camera so I get a little longer battery life while using this lens. With the IS feature on it tends to drain your battery life quickly....more info
  • AWESOME LENS!
    THis is an awesome lens that enables me to get shots that would be impossible to get (hand held) w/out the IS feature. I am VERY picky about sharpness and in the same lighting/conditions, this lens produces images as sharp as my L lens!! I LOVE how light it is and it is quick to focus! Of course to some people the "lightness" makes it feel cheap, and I'm sure it may not be as durable as a heavier L lens but I like the ease of carrying it around. I can hand hold at 1/10 a sec (I do have steady hands though) and get a decent shot...of course THOSE aren't tack sharp shots but w/out IS I wouldn't get the shot at all and they are still pretty good. If you are debating between this lens and the L zoom (70-200mm) I can tell you I use this lens A LOT and I LOVE it, it's light, it focuses quickly (I mostly use manual though), it is capable of VERY sharp images and gives so much low light capability due to the IS...the L 70-200 zoom in this price range doesn't have IS so you won't get as many low light shots and the extra 100mm is great also. People will tell you that the "L" zoom crop at 200mm is sharper than a 300mm shot from this lens but i have not seen that to be the case yet. I am 99.9 % sure that if you buy this lens you will be VERY pleased with it!!!!...more info
  • I prefer these EF lenses to EF-S.
    I got to use this lens on my Canon XSi for a couple weeks and was very impressed. The picture quality is very good, but I am a little disappointed that this lens is not compatible with the lens abberation correction features of Canon's Digital Photo Pro (DPP) software. The software corrects barrel and pincussion distortion and light falloff in photos taken with many other Canon lenses, but not this lens. The DPP software comes with Canon's dSLR cameras. However, lens abberations are lessened on my XSi by the fact this is a EF mount lens, not EF-S, so the light cone is significantly larger than my sensor, so any abberations at the edge of the light cone are not included in my photos. And, if I upgrade to a full sized sensor Canon camera in the future I can use any EF mount lens, but not an EF-S lens. Also, this lens has a metal mount and a better build overall, whereas the EF-S lenses I have seen have a plastic mount and poorer build. One thing in the technical details on Amazon could be misleading to those who are not in the know: The mention of a USM ring type motor (the typo says 'monitor') focusing system could lead some to think this lens has full time manual focusing, when in fact the switch must be set to MF to have manual focusing. Based on the short time I have used this lens, the good user reviews at Amazon, and the very favorable reviews I have read on several technical photo sites, I can recommend it to others, and I will be purchasing it soon myself. ADDED: To the commenter, I stated the typo was "monitor" (instead of "motor"). The statement is still missleading in that "ring-type USM" inheritantly allows manual focusing even with the lens set to the auto-focus mode. This lens does NOT have ring type focusing, so it does not have full-time manual focusing. (I have just ordered this lens, along with Canon's excellent 40d DSLR camera.) NEWEST ADDED: I just updated the DPP software at the Canon USA website and lens abberation corrections are now included for this lens. The instructions still show this lens as incompatible, but just click on "tune" under lens abberations in DPP, and the program will easily make corrections at the push of a computer key....more info
  • Disappointed
    I'm not particularly thrilled with my 70-300 lens. It is impossible to get a sharp image with anything less than F8 when shooting at over 100mm. At F8, I can get reasonably sharp shots and still have a very nice DOF effect. But still, I can't say that anything I've been shooting has knocked my socks off. Everything still seems to have a bit of a halo around it.

    One other oddity is that I cannot seem to use my polarizing filter at all on this. The results with a filter are always *incredibly* blurry shots - even with manual focus. Even thru the viewfinder I simply cannot get this lens to focus worth a darn. I thought it might be the filter, so I tried another one, and same thing: incredibly blurry shots - completely unusable. Without the filter things are much better, but still disappointing.

    The Image Stabilization does work like a charm tho!

    I had read in another review that the 200mm lens was better and just cropping a high-megapixel image worked better than using this 300mm lens, and I have to agree. I cannot recommend this lens....more info
  • The reason to get this lens is for the IS
    I recently used this lens on an impromptu nature walk and was pleasantly surprised at how much the IS helped, especially at the 200-300mm range. I was able to get some really good long shots--all hand-held--on a relatively low contrast overcast day. Perhaps it was what I was shooting (relatively still nature, like birds) but I didn't experience any problems that others may have noticed with focus speed or visual quality issues. I will say this is probably not the lens to use for fast moving sports or even everyday walk-around photos. For me, telephotos (200mm+) are fairly specialized (I prefer street photography). In most cases I would use my 28-135mm and crop. I usually use this lens for very specific purposes....more info
  • The price is right
    Updated 4-20-09
    Having used it for a few months and comparing it to a 400mm f/5.6L, I still think you get a lot of bang for your bucks for this lens. Sure it is a little soft and does hunt a bit on AF sometimes, but you are looking at a 500.00 dollars tele zoom, in my opinion, you get more than what you pay for. Though nowhere sharp near a L lens, it is still quite sharp, pretty good low light performance and very light and compact. I probably would not used it much for small birds but I will still use this on people and landscape. Unless you plan to get a L lens in the near future or are birding, you will be very happy with this.

    Updated 2-18-09
    After using this for about 2 months, I would still say for the price you pay it is a very good lens. I have some good pictures from it on birds and birds in flight. Having said that, it is still kind of on the soft side, but look at the money you are paying for it, you really cannot complain. I am going to keep this for close range birds in the backyard and indoor/auditorium shoot, but looking to get the 100-400mm 4.5L or 400mm 5.6L for better birds shoot.

    Updated 1-2-09
    Do perform the AF Microadjustment, it does make a difference even if you cannot get it spot on.

    A very good lens for those on a tight budget. For this price you cannot go wrong. Do not take the free Tiffen filter, use the credit for a Hoya coated filter. ...more info
  • the best
    This is the best lens i own. Its sharp, zoom in close, and and work great in low light....more info
  • Canon EF 70-300mm 4-5.6 IS USM.
    The EF 70-300mm 4-5.6 IS USM lens (not DO) is the best midrange lens for price and image quality. It is a good choice for the advanced amateur, and the only comparable quality lenses available would be in the expensive L series.



    ...more info
  • Still learning - but all signs are good
    I picked this up on recommendation of a friend for my New Rebel XSi. I've still only used it minimally, but the shots I have taken have been wonderful. I still need to take it out and shoot the kids playing soccer, baseball or basketball to see how the action is both in doors and outside, but for relatively slow moving or still shots, it's been great.

    The only reason I did not give it 5 stars is because I have not had enough time with it yet.

    ...more info
  • Great Lens
    I was very impressed with this lens. I originally tried out 70-200mm L glass series lens and sold it to buy this one. Much better reach and the image stabilization made up for it being a slower lens. Pictures are sharp and clear, great for kid's sporting events and wildlife shots. I also own the 28-135 mm lens, which is a great all purpose lens.
    ...more info
  • Great lens for the money
    I use this lens on my 350D (AKA Digital Rebel XT). I bought it for 2 reasons:

    1)My 70-300 Quantaray that works well enough for on my Rebel film camera gives me the infamous "Error 99" on my digital.

    2)My daughter's high school graduation was coming up. The ceremony was to be on the outdoor football field
    I shot nearly 300 frames with this lens at the graduation in very tough lighting. The distance from the bleachers to the ceremony required every bit of the 300mm focal length much of the time (even with the 1.6X crop factor of the digital rebel). With the IS I was able to get quite passable images with shutter speeds down to 1/80, although I stayed at 1/125 as much as possible by using higher ISO settings and the largest aperature. There is no way I would have been able to get decent images handheld at these focal lengths and shutter speeds without an IS lense (especially on a shaky high school bleacher!).

    Considering the importance of the event, if I'd never found another use for the lens it would have been worth the cost for me. I have subsequently used it at an air show and a few other events. I've successfully used the "Mode 2" on the IS to get some cool motion blue on moving airplanes and cars as well.

    If I have one complaint about the lens it's the speed (or lack thereof) of the autofocus. It's a bit sluggish but this isn't a shocker given that this is a consumer product and not professional gear.

    Anyone purchasing this lens just needs to know what they are buying. Essentially, you are buying a 200 dollar lens with 400 dollars worth of IS added to it. One previous poster recommended getting the 70-200 F4L IS instead. That would be a great purchase aside from the fact that you'd be giving up 100mm of focal length and paying 400-500 more dollars. I considered that lens (and may get it down the road when I'm "rich") but this one will meet my (decidedly amateur) needs for quite some time! ...more info
  • Awesome Lens Great Price!!
    I had the 70-200 L F/4 usm without the IS, I returned that lens. Without IS it was not worth keeping for me, to many blurry pictures(must be on a tripod) So I exchanged it for this 70-300 IS USM about the same price too. Love it!! Made it all worth while. It's pretty good at up close, not a macro lens. Great with 300mm, Clear and sharp at all ranges. nice walk around lens for me. Very Happy with this purchase....more info
  • LOVE this lens!
    I just got this lens a week ago and I love it! One of the things the included booklet says about this lens is that it has a "truly round aperture hole resulting in a nicer background blur." That is a very true statement! The IS feature is definetly worth the extra money. I have taken a couple hundred shots so far, all handheld, and nothing has come out blurry yet. Awsome lens!...more info
  • One of the best lenses out there & a great price.
    I owned this lens for quite a while, sold it, and am going to re-purchase it at this great price. It takes fantastic, sharp pictures in very low light situations (such as at the zoo, in one of the "houses"), great sports pictures and much more. I have shot super clear, beautiful animal pictures at 1/25th of a second, due to image stabilization. I think at about $460, this lens is a steal. Rather than writing a long, boring review, click here to see just one of the animal pictures that I shot with this lens: http://eyefetch.com/image.aspx?ID=575247...more info
  • Excellent
    Very happy with this purchase. I gave the lens as a gift, and the receiver was VERY happy with the lens. The pictures are coming out fantastic with no issue with focusing or anything else. ...more info
  • Not L-quality, but really good at f/8
    Don't expect L quality from this lens. The build is not amazingly solid, it extends when zooming or being carried, and the focus is not silent.

    However, when stopped down to f/8 this lens is great. The IS is amazing. The focus is fast and accurate, and the build quality is good to very good. So for the price it's an excellent buy. Just don't expect miracles, and be willing to tolerate some softness wide-open at 300mm, and having it extend when carried pointing downwards.

    Update: I recently replaced this with a 70-200 f4 IS L, and the difference is amazing. The L lens is a lot heaver, but enormously smoother, faster, sharper, and better quality. It costs twice as much, but it's significantly better. ...more info
  • Plain review in plain terms with sample shots
    The short version:

    Pros:
    The optical quality is great, the speed is terrific, and it compares well to the 70-200mm lens that people like to say blows this out of the water (I believe they are wrong - but we will get into that later) and finally, the price cannot be beaten. Buy it.

    Cons:
    No hood, extends as it zooms, and the quality of the picture in low light situation lessens a little.

    The long version:

    I am writing this in simple terms. I found several, several reviews on this lens but they were all in technical terms and leaves you scratching your head a little. So, if you are like me maybe this review will help you.

    I bought this lens a couple months ago from US1Photo.com (check these guys out. They regularly have significant sales and terrific customer service). I use this lens with a Canon 40D.

    I take several types and styles of pictures so I needed a lens that would do the best job at several things and have a very affordable price (right at or less than $1,000). I looked through new, used, third party (Tamron, Sigma, etc) lenses, and read too many reviews and looked at too many images to count, and spent four hours in a photography store playing with lenses before I decided to spend money and take advantage of this lens. All in all I spent about a week's worth of time in research and testing before I bought this lens.

    ---
    Edit:
    Okay, so amazon won't let me put a link here. This is how you find me.
    ~Go to Flickr
    ~Then type in a "/" then "photos" then "/" and last type in "gman_five0"
    And that should take you there.
    ---

    Test of comment #1:
    ~The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM does not track moving objects very well and the farther to the end of the zoom the slower the tracking.

    (Flickr Gallery page 2)

    This, I have found, to be completely wrong. I have used the lens at several sporting events and found that it tracks rather nicely. I was able to track every step of a base-runner from first base to second, slide, and recovery after the play without losing ONE shot.

    To see what I am talking about check out my gallery on Flickr. The older ones are NOT done with this lens or camera and taken, actually, several years ago. I will reference the pictures in question.

    Safe, Got There By a Mile, Breaking Up That Double Play (please note that as time goes on from the date that this was posted the pictures may have been re-moved). Also, "Safe" was used instead of another shot taken at the same time and angle with a 70-200mm IS lens.

    To take these shots I used "AI focus" and the "H" settings on my camera for quicker tracking and the H settings for about 6 frames per second.

    Test of Comment #2:
    ~The 200-300mm range is nice in theory, but a tack-sharp photo from the 70-200mm f/4L at 200mm is going to look better cropped than a 300mm full-frame photo from this lens.

    Again, I found this to be wrong. Though I have no actual "full sized" picture for this if you comment back with an email address then we can arrange a viewing of one. Otherwise, take my word for it, I own several lenses and this one stacks up well.

    (Ref Flickr Gallery)

    The pictures from the Dance Theater and Tashina were all taken at the 200-300mm focus lengths. Again, they are not full sized because of photo pirates, but if you email me we can see about full sized shots.

    Test of Comment #3:
    ~The IS motor is loud

    I do not know what these people are talking about, but if you call that loud...
    On the other hand, I have heard (once), the sound of the IS motor, but if you are not listening for it you will not even notice it.

    Things I have found about the lens:

    If you spend some time with the lens will be one of your best friends. It is a great lens especially for people on a budget (like me). To take the best pictures you cannot just twist it on and go to shooting. Take the time to LEARN about the lens (change shutter speeds, ISO settings, aperture, white balances, etc) and it will show you where it shines - just like the L series lenses and the 70-200mm IS.

    This lens has a solid make and feels like it will last forever. Then again, as you zoom the lens does extend and is plastic. So, watch out if you are doing sports. You may get it knocked off. It did well for me, though. Extending while zooming makes putting a hood on the lens a bit (very little; so little that you cannot tell) awkward and it looks kinda goofy.

    I like the lens because it is not as bulky as the 70-200mm lens and it is extremely mobile. It is as quick as some other lenses, not as quick as some, and quicker than others. It will give you great quality pictures. It does have its limits, however: in low light situations not being able to take it back a couple stops and get a wider aperture will not give you the same shot as a 70-200mm. Then again, like I said, it doesn't drop to that f/2.8 and does not cost all that money. This has been the single drawback for me about the lens.

    I use this lens for portraits (Tashina, Samantha), for sports (see gallery), and music (Shawn Pander - See Gallery). So, it's pretty versatile. I have yet to use with it flash, but that is because I simply do not like to use flash. I have yet to use it in a studio setting, but when I do I will amend this review and add a couple of those pictures as well.

    This lens comes highly recommended from me. I am not a big time, highly paid, or well known photographer. I just like to shoot and like what I shoot to be of the best quality that I can have AND afford at the time. So, if you are like me and cannot spend the needed $1,500 - $1,700 on a 70-200mm IS lens then spend your money on this lens. You will not be sorry for it.
    ---

    On another note, comments are welcome. This is my first ever review on here so let me know if there anything else that you would like to know about and I will do my best to answer the question in the most plain terms as possible.
    ...more info
  • Incredible Lens
    It is difficult to write a review for an item when there are so many other good reviews already present. It is even more difficult to give new feedback on an item that has a lot already said about it.

    I will start by stating that I am not a professional photographer, nor am I a professional product reviewer.
    With that said let me state that I am a person that does art, and has done it for a number of years. Photography was a means for me to try and capture my own subjects and scenes. I have a limited budget on photography equipment and cannot always afford the best, or elite items.
    When I purchased this lens I knew that it was not going to be the fastest lens available, or the one with the highest zoom. I intended to get this for my nature photography to be able to zoom in on objects I see all around me. Instead I found this lens to be an incredible lens for capturing faces, and portraits. I can be in a crowded place, or at a party and this is always my lens of choice. I can capture someone from across the room, and they are unaware of me taking their picture. As a result my photographs are more natural and life like.
    I have also used this lens for nature shots, and architectural shots. In all the lens is a really nice addition to my equipment.
    As for a hood, I was able to purchase a cannon hood for the lens, separately. I have used the hood on numerous occasions. The size of the lens is not too bad, and storage is not a problem.
    In all I would recommend this lens to anyone that needed an affordable zoom. ...more info
  • Great one!!!
    This lens is very good and works perfectly for my need.

    Cons: Heavy...more info
  • I Love It
    As a novice photographer, I highly recommend this lens. With the image stabilizer, it makes using the lens a lot better. Just be sure to adjust your ISO up to at least 800, otherwise the shutter is way to slow and everything is blurred. It makes the camera a little heavy if you have to carry it around your neck for very long, but other than that, I absolutely love it. It was well worth the money....more info
  • Excellent Lens
    I have owned this lens for 11 months now and I highly recommend it. Its my most used lens and I have taken some really nice photos with it. Here is my take....

    It handles well on my rebel xti. There is ample space on the barrel to rest it on my left hand and get a nice weight balance, and still turn the big grippy zoom ring. The zoom ring is easy to turn but not loose. Although the focus ring turns during auto-focus its out of reach from my hand. You can reach the IS switches easily by feel without looking. You have to press them a bit to get them to move, but it is impossible to accidently switch them. The AF/MF switch is hard to get to, but I don't MF that much anyway. The build quality is solid and typical of a canon mid-range/non-L lens.

    AF is fast and accurate. It does have a habit of hunting at 300mm if focus is way off to start with. All other focal lengths are fine. AF noise is very quiet but not silent like my EF 17-40L.

    The Image stabilization (IS) is excellent!!! If you have good handholding technique you can get blur free (or close enough) still photos to 1/30th second at any focal length. If your hand holding technique is sloppy IS won't help as much. IS really adds to the versatility of this lens.

    The image quality is great. The images are sharp at any focal length. (I mostly shoot around F4-5.6). The bokeh (quality of the blur) is very smooth, and better than my 50mm 1.8 which can be a bit "nervous" at times. Colors and contrast are good.

    I am glad I bought this lens instead of the EF 70-200 F4 L non-IS. The L has better build, and (the consensus is) better image quality. But I have never thought, "Dang, I wish this lens was sharper or was built better". But I have thought "Boy, I'm so glad I have image stabilization right now" and "I'm glad my lense is less conspicous than the larger white L lense". I really think that the image quality differences will not be noticed by most people, and can easily be swamped by technique....more info