Every Canon EF Lens: Read the Reviews, See the Specification & Check the Price
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A relatively old long 'L' lens with first generation image sabilisation, this lens is renowned for its crisp sharp images, with good performance even when wide open at f/4. It takes a 1.4x converter with only moderate image quality loss (particularly with a crop sensor body).

Available from: Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | B&H | Adorama

Lens specifications

Focal Length & Maximum Aperture 300mm 1:4.0
Lens Construction 15 elements in 11 groups
Diagonal Angle of View 8° 15'
Focus Adjustment Rear focusing system with USM
Closest Focusing Distance 1.5m / 4.9 ft.
Filter Size 77mm
Max. Diameter x Length, Weight 3.5" x 8.7", 2.6 lbs. / 90.0 x 221.0mm, 1190g

EF 300mm f/4L IS USM telephoto lens mtf chart

A quick guide to MTF charts (which only measure contrast and resolution. Canon's guide to their MTF charts)

Black lines reflect lens performance at widest aperture.
Blue lines show the performance at f/8

Thick lines indicate lens contrast
Thin lines indicate lens resolution

Dashed lines: Lens performance with meridional lines.
Solid lines: Lens performance with sagittal lines

Closer sagittal and meridional chart lines indicate more 'natural' out of focus areas.

Remember that MTF charts are good for comparing similar lenses, so comparing ones from the 14mm f2.8L and 300mm 2.8L won't tell you much at all, whilst comparing the EF14 2.8L with the EF14 2.8L II will show meaningful differences. Note that other manufacturers may have different ways of displaying such information that may or may not match up with the Canon figures.

EF 300mm f/4L IS USM telephoto lens block diagram

300mm versions

Version f/2.8L USM f/2.8L IS USM f/2.8L IS II USM f/4L USM f/4L IS USM
Image stabilizer  No  Yes Yes  No  Yes
Ring USM  Yes
L-series  Yes
Diffractive Optics  No
Ultra-low dispersion glass element  Yes
Macro  No
Maximum aperture f/2.8 f/4
Minimum aperture f/32
Weight 2.855 kg 2.550 kg 2.400 kg 1.165 kg 1.190 kg
Max. Diameter x Length 12.8 cm x 25.2 cm 12.8 cm x 24.8 cm 9.0 cm x 22.1 cm
Filter diameter 48 mm drop-in 52 mm drop-in 77 mm
Horizontal viewing angle 6° 50'
Vertical viewing angle 4° 35'
Diagonal viewing angle; 8° 15'
Groups/elements 8/10 13/17 12/16 7/8 11/15
Diaphragm blades 8 9 8
Closest focusing distance 3 m 2.5 m 2 m 2.5 m 1.5 m
Release date November 1987 July 1999 September 2010 December 1991 March 1997

Note that there is a Canon 300/1.8 lens used for horse racing photofinishes - there is however very little info about this rare lens and it is not listed on any Canon sites.

EF 300mm f/4L IS USM reviews and articles

Written a review? Contact us and we'll add it to the list.

Sample images

None available at present.

Product launch

No information available on the 1997 launch of this lens.

Used Canon Lenses
• UK: MPB | Park
• USA: B&H | Adorama
Every Canon EF Lens: Read the Reviews, See the Specification & Check the Price
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