Saturday, October 5, 2013

Using the Canon 70-300mm 4-5.6 IS USM for wildlife photography

The Canon 70-300mm 4-5.6 IS USM is a great lens for anyone getting into wildlife photography but isnt ready to spend over 1000$ on a pro L series lens. I got mine used for 350$ and have had it for two years now. I have learned that with the right settings and some patience you can still get great sharp images.

The most important thing to remember is that if you are shooting off the tripod keep the IS (image stabilization) on at all times. This lens is not very sharp wide open (which is f4 at 70mm and f5.6 at 200mm) I find stopping down to f8 greatly increases sharpness. If you find it hard to get enough light and a fast shutter speed at f8 just turn up the ISO a bit. Noise reduction is getting better all the time, on my camera I can go to 1600 without it being noticeable in the final image. I still try not to increase ISO above 800 if I can avoid it. Also I find I almost always have to use faster shutter speeds than my light meter tells me to. Image quality goes way down after 200mm and I rarely use the 200-300 range on this lens because it just isn't sharp enough for me. Once in a while you can get a sharp photo at 300mm but I find its only 1 in 10.

Here are some photos with the specs taken with this lens on a Canon 60d.


1/125         f 8.0          200mm        ISO 200

Untitled Barred Owl Here is a post comparing the 70-300mm with the 70-200mm L

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