Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens

Product Summary


The EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II USM features 3 image stabilization (IS) modes. Apart from Mode 1 and 2 which deals with engaging the IS and detection of any panning movements respectively to disengage IS, the third mode engages the stabilization system only when the shutter button is fully pressed. This incredible 300mm tele lens benefits from the three IS modes to give sharp images in all lighting conditions.

Canon has provided fluorite elements in the lens which ensures that the lens has a much suppressed effect from chromatic aberrations. The presence of other multiple coating addresses the problems of lens flare and ghosting. There is also a fluorine coating that directly takes care of smearing and finger printing problems.

For a tele-lens the presence of image stabilization is an absolutely imperative requirement. Canon has ensured that the lens has up to four stops of stabilization which allows the lens to be used for hand-held shots up to four stops slower shutter speed.

The lens construction has a total of 16 elements arranged in 12 groups. The presence of inner focusing system means the lens does not extend when focusing. The diagonal angle of view of the lens is 8° 15′ and its closest focusing distance is 6.6’ or 2 meters giving a maximum magnification of 0.18x. The diaphragm of the lens is made up of 9 rounded blades.

The external dimensions of the lens are 5.0” x 9.8” while it weighs 2350 grams. The lens uses a drop in filter of 52mm. Also check Canon Ef 300 f/4L IS.

Sample Images on Flickr

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 L IS II USM Lens Specifications

CompatibilityFull Frame & APS-C
APS-C equivalent focal length480mm
Angle of viewH: 6°50′, V:4°35′, D: 8°15′
Construction (elements/groups)16/12
No. of diaphragm blades9
Min aperture32
Closest focusing distance (m)2.0
Max magnification (x)0.18
Distance informationProvided
Image stabilizer4-stops
AF MotorRing USM
Dust/moisture resistanceYes
Filter Size (mm)52 Drop in
Max. diameter x length (mm)128 x 248
Weight (g)2400
Magnification – Extension Tube EF12 II0.22-0.04
Magnification – Extension Tube EF25 II0.28-0.09
Lens hoodET-120(WII)
Hard caseLens Case 300B


Press Release

London, UK, 26 August 2010 – Canon today enhances its premium L-series with the launch of the new EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM and EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM – two high quality super-telephoto lenses designed to meet the demands of professional photographers. Offering optical excellence and consistently high performance, the new lenses combine super-telephoto focal lengths, fast aperture and outstanding image quality, providing photographers with reliability and exceptional results.

Succeeding the well-respected EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM and the EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM , both new models will appeal to nature, wildlife and sports photographers. Each features a completely redesigned optical system and the latest iteration of Canon’s original Image Stabilizer (IS) technology, while an all-new magnesium alloy construction and titanium components ensure the designs are both robust and lightweight. The EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM is the lightest lens in its class¹, offering unrivalled mobility due to an incredible 28% reduction in weight (1.5KG) compared to its predecessor, while the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM offers photographers an 8% weight reduction.

Ultra high performance optics 

Manufactured using the very best optical components, the new EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM and EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM mark a significant step forward for Canon’s L-series, which is already renowned for its outstanding quality. Both lenses feature 16 elements in 12 different groups, using high performance fluorite lens elements that correct chromatic aberration to deliver high resolution and high contrast shots of the best possible quality – allowing photographers to capture images rich with edge-to-edge detail.

The optical elements also feature Canon’s latest Super Spectra Coatings, optimised for both the position and type of each lens element. A SubWavelength Structure Coating (SWC), which uses microscopic cone-shaped structures smaller than a wavelength of visible light, reduces ghosting caused by light bouncing back from the imaging sensor. Fluorine coating is also used on the front and rear elements of the lenses, repelling dust and dirt for clearer shots. The coating is also water repellent, keeping the front element free of water marks and smearing by ensuring water runs off the lens quickly.

New, improved IS and rapid AF

Both models feature Canon’s new Image Stabilizer system, providing outstanding results when the photographer is moving around and when capturing moving subjects. A 4-stop advantage offers greater image quality during handheld shooting, allowing users to shoot at speeds up for four times slower than normally required with minimal additional blur. Operation of IS mode 2 has been improved when shooting panning motion and a new third IS mode has been added, assisting users when quickly switching between subjects by activating the IS unit only during exposure.

Both lenses offer a constant f/2.8 aperture, allowing photographers to shoot at faster shutter speeds and capture clear shots of fast-moving subjects. The wide aperture also allows users to creatively isolate their subjects from the background, with a nine-blade circular iris creating dramatic and striking background blur that instantly adds beauty to an image.

Fast, quiet Auto Focusing (AF) is provided by a ring-type USM, new dedicated AF algorithms and a new high-speed CPU, which offer quick and accurate focusing during shooting. Photographers can also utilise full-time manual focusing functionality, which enables the adjustment and fine-tuning of focus even when the AF system is activated, providing even greater control over image capture. A new Power Focus mode aids focusing during video shooting, allowing the photographer to smoothly adjust focus during filming by twisting the focus recall ring.

All-new premium L-series design 

Developed in line with Canon’s philosophy for the elite L-series, both the EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM and EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM boast a refined design that reflects their status as market-leading, benchmark lenses. Both feature a new design layout, with carefully-positioned controls that improve operation in everyday use. The AF stop buttons are now location-adjustable, improving ergonomics by allowing users to custom-select the position of the lens grip, where the AF stop buttons are located.

A choice of dedicated tripod mounts provides added flexibility, allowing photographers to use a long or short foot suitable for monopods or tripods. A new rotational mechanism for the tripod collar also provides a smoother movement when turning the lens from portrait to landscape orientation. In addition, both models feature a new high quality exterior texture, while a new shade of white casing indicates the new advanced design and higher precision that each lens offers. A new Kensington-type wire security lock has also been added, allowing photographers to keep their lenses secure during location-based shoots.

A robust weatherproof design makes both lenses suitable for use in extreme conditions when paired with a weatherproof EOS body.

Complementary, high quality lens extenders

Both new models are compatible with the new set of Canon lens extenders designed for L-series super-telephoto lenses – the Extender EF 1.4x III and Extender EF2x III . Manufactured to complement the new optical systems featured in both lenses, the Extender EF 1.4x III and Extender EF2x III will allow professionals to instantly extend the focal length of either lens by 1.4x or 2x respectively – enabling the capture of high quality, detailed images of subjects that may typically be beyond reach.

¹ As of August 2010.

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Canon EF 300mm f:2.8 L IS II USM Lens

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