out and about with canon ef 70-300mm f/4-5.6 is usm

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Which lens do I buy first? Second? Last? 

I originally started with a ‘nifty fifty’ and slowly progressed up Canon’s fixed focal length inventory, but last year I found myself looking for something fun, something I could play without any expectations, something no respected photographer would add to their kit. With reviews like ‘flimsy’, ‘light’, and ‘flopsy’, and a price tag of only two hundred bucks on a new unit, I was convinced that this was the toy for me – Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. 

It has now been a year, and I love my little cheap, flimsy lens. It’s fast and accurate, and the images are sharp where I want them to be. The lens has reeducated me on how to shoot better portraits, and I now always turn to my 70-300mm, not to my 85mm, to photograph the puppy. It has been a fun experience and I certainly do not regret the initial investment.

The model I have came out in 2005, and I am getting anxious about replacing the lens before they are all phased out.  The optical performance of this cheap and flimsy 70-300mm lens is comparable to Canon’s professional (and much more expensive) L-series zoom lenses. That’s because it features an ultra-low dispersion glass element, which is not common on a base consumer grade lens.

— N. Faulkner