03-23-2013 08:43 PM
Does it have a "protective filter? If so try it without the filter. The 70-300 IS gets pretty good reviews
03-23-2013 09:26 PM
Another potential reason for soft images from many IS lenses iswhen forgetting to turn the IS off for panning shots. Unless the lens has a panning mode (usually mode 2) IS MUST be set to off.
03-23-2013 11:29 PM
03-23-2013 12:09 AM - edited 03-23-2013 12:17 AM
I have never shot that lens, but Cicopo is right, it gets very good reviews. Especially considering that a lot of reviewers out there sniff at anything without a red ring on it.
1.) Using the lens hood would help with color saturation and contrast, but you do have to buy that separately I believe.
2.) If you are shooting in bright daylight and can afford the 1/2 stop loss in light, a circular polarizing filter (not a UV filter) would help you (rather dramatically) avoid washed-out images too. Does wonders for skies, but also for subject colors.
There really are no better Canon alternatives at that length without stepping up several hundreds of dollars. There are 3rd party lenses that will give you the length at a lower price, but I have no experience at all with them.
03-24-2013 01:13 PM
With any telephoto lens, the first thing you should try is to shoot pictures using a tripod or handheld @ 1/1000 Tv or faster. The secret of a super sharp picture is the fast shutter speed. IS does help but not that much. If you still have soft images then maybe it's the lens.
Without seeing an image where you think it's soft and flat, it's hard to tell because these things are so relative... a super flat image to you maybe super sharp to me...etc. In general though, I think the 70-300 pictures are OK unless you are accustomed to images produced by the L-lenses then they do look a little soft. There are non-L lenses that rivals the L in performance. The 70-300 is not one of them.
If you are looking for better telephoto zoom performance, I'd suggest getting the non-IS 70-200mm f/4L. For a $600 lens, it's the best price/performance lens around.
03-25-2013 04:18 PM
There could be many factors, but base on what you mentioned,
is it the L lens or the cheaper Consumer lens?
I think it comes down to picture style, but not the lens. Do you shoot RAW? If you do then you must do post editing to make to image appeal, other wise the image will look very uncontrasted and like you say "Flat"...
03-26-2013 09:59 AM
Is this your issue? Below is a review of the 70-300 f4-5.6 IS by the Digital-Picture.
"The Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Lens has good center sharpness wide open at the wide end. Center sharpness decreases slightly as the focal length is increased to its weakest at 300mm. The lens becomes soft beyond 200mm. Stopping down improves sharpness somewhat but it is still weakest at 300mm.
Corners are soft at the ends of the focal length range and sharpen up noticeably as the aperture is stopped down. The long end of the focal length range continues to be the weakest performing over the range - especially in the vertical orientation. I don't make it a habit to formally test lenses in both vertical and horizontal orientations, but after hearing some reports of an anomaly I did some testing. Shots taken at the longer focal lengths are indeed sharper in horizontal orientation than in vertical orientation."
I don't have one so I can not comment further as to how sharp or soft they are but it seems by this reviewer that the lens does have some problems.