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Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
174 354169 Nov 23, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $614.16
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.72
9.65
9.7
1ef200mmf_28_1_1_

Specifications:
Telephoto lens boasting high image quality and carrying ease. With two UD-glass elements and rear focusing to correct aberrations, image delineation is extremely sharp. Background blur is also natural-looking, as was simulated by Canon. The lens comes with a dedicated, detachable hood.


 


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Badmono
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Registered: Mar 9, 2009
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Mar 19, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp - lightweight for a 200 f2.8 - It's BLACK - Cheap for a lens of this quality Great with a 1.4x convertor - Real bargain - Just buy one you'll love it:-))
Cons:
Poor following from Canon users which is a shame - everyone uses a poxy 70-200 zoom instead:-((

A cracking buy - One of Canons best lenses, almost as sick as the 135 F2 'L' for image quality, images jump out the screen at you. For Birds and wildlife WOW the lens really does 'em justice, even with a convertor fitted the lens excells itself. Makes all the 70-200 zooms obsolete IMO. Just buy one with a 135 F2, and a 85 F1.8 and you have real flexibity. The 3 Black lenses cost about the same as the silly White Huge 70-200 IS but for IQ, Bokeh, and contrast make the zoom look distinctly 3rd rate. of course if you're a wedding photographer, you'll still want the zoom for it's standard soft focus. Though you could achieve the same effect with a filter smeared with vaseline fitted on the 200 F2.8:-))
Just buy one you won't regret it


Mar 19, 2009
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Hans im Glueck
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Registered: Dec 6, 2006
Location: Germany
Posts: 17
Review Date: Mar 11, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very sharp, nice colors, rich details
Cons:
A lot: no IS, not a Zoom,not 80mm, not 1:1.2, not small as my thumb. Come on: You knew that, when You bought it.

Its a very nice lens. A bargain for an Canon L. Pictures are sharp from wide open. Not agressive sharp but very rich of details even in the shadows. Colours are neutral with little tendency to warmth. bokeh is nice but not dreamy ( like 85L ).
The look of pictures is very balanced.
I can really recommend it.
Mark


Mar 11, 2009
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michael49
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Registered: Jun 9, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 5748
Review Date: Feb 6, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Silly sharp, incredible colors and contrast, its black.
Cons:
None.

I've got the version I with the built in hood, which I love. It was made in '95 and it looks like its brand new!!

This is the first lens I've used that really blew me away and I've used many Canon primes and L's. The bokeh, colors, contrast and sharpness are simply amazing, even wide open. This lens is simply incredible. I'm now dreaming of the 135L.


Feb 6, 2009
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bassie
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Registered: Jun 30, 2003
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 206
Review Date: Jan 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, light, not so "look at meeeeee white", great bokeh and did I mention sharp!?
Cons:
uhmmmm........

I bought this lens last december and used i on my last trip to Luxor, Egypt. This lens was 90% of the time on my 5d. Great for candids.

Jan 25, 2009
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Chococat
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Registered: Nov 26, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 171
Review Date: Jan 24, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything--meaning I have nothing bad to say about it, I guess.
Cons:
Nope.

I find this to be a functional, sharp lens, that always delivers fine results and handles very well. I am aware that there is a 200 1.8 that is supposed to be even sharper, and in fact is considered among the very sharpest 35mm lenses in existence, but honestly no normal mortal needs a lens that is any sharper than the 2.8. And considering what some of the other L series lenses cost, it's a bargain.

I don't do much telephoto work, so at first I was skeptical--a salesman was pushing it, he seemed convinced I would like it. But he is salesman I trust, so I bought it, and in fact now I keep trying to invent more and more reasons to use it, just because I like the results.

Also, I have gotten good results with the 1.4 extender. I have to be deliberate, but if I used the extender with care, mounted on a tripod, with a timer or remote, test it out the scene to determine the best possible aperture, etc., I can get pictures that show no noticable degradation. So if you get the extender as well, and are very careful in using it, it is like getting a first class 280mm prime in addition.


Jan 24, 2009
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Mike Liquorish
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Registered: Mar 8, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 9, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp,size and weight,great bokeh,price,build quality
Cons:
None that I can find

One of the sharpest lenses I have used , very sharp even wide open at f2.8, Lovely bokeh. I personally prefer this to the 70-200 IS I tend to shoot at the long end and did not need the weight and bulk, plus the size of the 200 I find I don`t need IS. Almost as sharp as the 135L f2 - which I am in the process of getting. By the way did I say this is sharp! Have had great results using for landscape work and as a walk around for candids- great when you want a bit of distance so you are not encroaching on your subject- also had great results using indoors. I use it with a 5D with a vertical/ battery grip and I find it to be nicely balanced.I could not recommend this lens more highly, if you do not need a zoom then I don`t think you could buy a better lens in this focal length plus it is also well priced for a L lens.

Jan 9, 2009
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tanglefoot47
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Registered: Oct 12, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 14879
Review Date: Nov 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light weight, fast, sharp
Cons:
None I knew the lesn didn't have IS when I bought it so how can one say this is a con? If it did have IS triple the cost

Excellent lens and for the money you can't beat it period. Some of the best bokeh, love it for shooting sports or hummers

Nov 29, 2008
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zeytee
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Registered: Oct 24, 2006
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 116
Review Date: Nov 22, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $830.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Affordable, lightweight, small in size, sharp image
Cons:
No IS, no weather seal

I've just downgraded from EF70-200mm F/2.8L IS USM to EF70-200mm F/4L IS USM due to the size and weight of the former lens. But this move means I have to sacrifice a stop of speed and bokeh. Since I also own EF135mm F/2L USM and like the image quality so much so I gave EF200mm F/2.8L II USM a try. Though it might not be as sharp as its sibling, but the image quality is rated considerably very high, and definitely won EF70-200mm F/2.8L IS USM.

I like the lens because it's black in colour, less attractive to the surrounding people. When lens hood is not in used, it looks just like another fast standard zoom lens. If you often shoot at 200mm on a 70-200mm, this could be your alternative. Priced slightly more expensive than the EF70-200mm F/4L USM, and almost half of the EF70-200mm F/2.8L USM, I think it's a great value lens.

More write-ups about this lens at my site:

http://zeytee.blogspot.com/2008/11/ef200mm-f28l-ii-usm.html


Nov 22, 2008
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philber
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Registered: May 20, 2008
Location: France
Posts: 9313
Review Date: Nov 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fantastic value for money, good build, light weight relative to build quality and focal length.
Cons:
No IS, f2:8 max aperture

I already owned a 135L f:2.0 and a 1.4TC, giving me a FL of almost 200mm with a max F:2.8. So when my dealer suggested I try a 200mm f:2.8, I thought this was a strange idea. Actually, the 2 lenses have a very different character. The 135L acts almost like a magnifying glass, emphasizing each and every minute detail amost painfully, whether used alone or with the 1.4x converter.
By comparison, the 200mm is less "agressive". It is not less sharp, does not offer less detail, but it blends them smoothly into the overall photo.
Another way to put it is that the 200 gives me more keepers, as it is so easy and smooth, nothing looks "bad " with it.
The 135L give me less keepers, but those shots that are good are spectacular.
So if you are looking for a not-terribly-expensive, not-terribly-heavy telephoto, the 200mm f:2.8 is a terrific choice. It is an all-purpose lens with L quality IQ. Just, you have to remember, it does not have IS, so it is not like James Bond's Vodka Martini. Don't shake it...


Nov 12, 2008
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BiPolarBear
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Registered: May 20, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 47
Review Date: Jul 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $580.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, solid build, fast AF, not white, price.
Cons:
Would like to see this also offered as an IS version (i'd pay the extra).

I think this little gem probably gets overlooked by many. What a shame.
Having had it for a little over a year now, it's wide open IQ still makes me wonder how Canon put this lens together for the price it did. If i do my part right, it is brilliant.
Build is very nice, solid without being heavy. It's relatively compact, light enough to use all day without effort, and being black it makes a great lens for candids at events or on the street. AF is quick, silent and sure. It's a fun lens to use!

I will no doubt eventually get one of the 70-200's some day for the added flexibility, but with all the right things going on with this lens, and the way i shoot, i am in absolutely no hurry to go to the zoom.
I'd really like to see it offered in an IS version as well at about $1K... i'd buy it in a heartbeat (it would still be about $5K less than the f/2 version!).


Jul 6, 2008
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polizonte
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Registered: Jan 25, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 20
Review Date: Jun 20, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: excellent color and resolution, fast auto focus
Cons:
lens hood feels too tight

I love this lens for outdoor natural lighting photos with my 40D - very sharp, beautiful colors, and precise fast focus.

Jun 20, 2008
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Nordlys
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Registered: Jun 16, 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 221
Review Date: Jun 16, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, quick AF, black & relatively lightweight.
Cons:
Hood size

I love this lens! I've used it mostly for street photography candids on my 5D so far, and figure it'll provide some great reach for sunsets & landscapes should the weather ever clear up.
This lens is absolutely spot on with it's sharpness - I've been delighted with the results. Contrast, colour & bokeh have been very much to my liking as well. For me, the focal length is brilliant on full frame to walk about the city with ...provides some very nice subject seperation from the background.
My only slight cry with it, and not even the lens itself, is the hood. It fits well, but the thing is huge & adds some length to the lens when attached but so be it...
Highly recommended. Love my primes.


Jun 16, 2008
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cor55
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Registered: Apr 15, 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 21, 2008 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Sharpness, Bokeh
Cons:

A quick update to my reveiw below. After some test shots of my wife I have found this lens to exceed my expectations. It is so sharp my wife is scared of it. The backgrounds blur out to perfection, and colour contrast is very lifelike. Very light-weight and easy to compose hand held portraits. A high end lens. Recommended for portraits, landscapes, products (with extension tubes) A very, very sharp lens.

Apr 21, 2008
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cor55
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Registered: Apr 15, 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Apr 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Size and weight, discreetness
Cons:
none

I wanted a fast lens with high image quality, and a long(ish) focal length for my 5D. I considered the 70-200 2.8 (IS or non IS), but reviews, and Canon's MTF charts, say that these lenses are not equal in IQ to the 200mm 2.8 prime. The primes are always going to be better because of the way the lens is constructed (less glass, no moving lens groups) I also knew that if I brought a tele-zoom, it would be on the tele end most of the time. So I started looking at this little guy.

Yes, its a prime. How can that be a con? You know its a prime, that's why you buy it. I think that the versitility of a zoom only makes up for the lack of versatility of a photographer. My 24-105f4L is extremely versatile for vacations, but on vacation I dont want to be stuffing around with equipment. A 24mmf2.8, a 50mm1.2, and an 85mmf1.2 would give better quality images over a similar range, I have no doubt, but more planning would be required, and they are three lenses, while the zoom is just one. Versatility won the wide-angle argument for artistic snaps, but for serious portraits, I knew what focal length I needed.

So, back to the 200mmf2.8. Dont think about it, just buy it. Wedding photographers should appreciate how light-weight and compact this lens is, which makes composing faster, and the superior quality it has over their zooms will give a superior enlargement. Just position yourself in the right spot and dont f@#k around wasting time with the zoom. And being black, it doesn't impose on the wedding ceremony or a candid shot(he's pointing it a me, I better smile, or hide) Too many ceremonies are ruined these days by the presence of an inexperienced photographer trying to work out an angle and zoom in or out with his ridiculous white telescope. Not all of course, but most people are 'professional' wedding photographer these days, aren't they . . .

When you see the clarity of the image, and in particular what this lens does to the backgrounds, you'll remember once again why you are doing photography. Heavenly. I brought this lens for portraits, both street and staged, and although I havent gotten to know this lens fully yet, what I have seen so far makes me know I made the right choice. Yes there is a 200mm prime which is faster, but the 2.8 bokeh is amazing, while the lens is lighter and inconspicous (not huge and white - my wife thinks it is no good because it is not white, and I'm sure this attitude is not limited to her alone). Yes zooms are versatile, and some are truly great, but it all comes down to what you need a lens for - if you want the highest quality, and know how to work a prime, you have already made your decision.


Apr 15, 2008
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AWBridges
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Registered: Mar 4, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 9
Review Date: Apr 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $525.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Outstanding IQ, light weight, fast AF, inconspicuous
Cons:
... not a f/1.8?

I've owned this lens for roughly 2 months and I thoroughly enjoy it. I bought it here for $525 and don't regret a cent. I put my 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS up for sale several heartbeats after first holding this beautiful lens.

The lens is light and short enough that shooting without a tripod is perfectly easy, and it doesn't feel ungainly on a crop body (like my XTi). The hood adds significant length and draws more stares, but nothing like the 70-200mm zooms.

Autofocus is fast and image quality is outstanding. The lens is surprisingly sharp corner to corner and I experience no CA with my copy. Sharpening is unnecessary most of the time, and thoroughly useless if you mount the lens on a tripod. No tripod ring is included, but I find that a Manfrotto 488RC2 head can easily handle the load when gripping the camera body.

$525 goes down very easily for quality like this. Highly recommended.


Apr 15, 2008
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khalil
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Registered: Feb 25, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 160
Review Date: Feb 25, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $520.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fast, sharp, contrasty, pleasing bokeh, quick focusing, relatively short and light, great price for a f/2.8 telephoto.
Cons:
not weather-sealed? (not really a concern for me)- and doesn't share filter size with any of my other lenses (not really a fault of the lens)

bought this lens used from B&H almost a year ago and have been repeatedly tried to rationalize getting rid of it in favor of my 70-300mm. It's a little long for portraits and a little short for wildlife (and I don't shoot any sports), but every time I use it I'm just so pleased with the results that I end up keeping it. I've found it's a great hiking//backpacking lens for shooting compressed landscapes. I don't really mind the lack of zoom since I shoot most telephotos on their long end. Might work as a wildlife lens for more environmental-type shots- makes an excellent zoo lens. If you're not expecting to print large, the lens is sharp enough to take heavy cropping (for small print sizes or web-viewing, you can even get good results from 100% crops in good light).
Aesthetically, the lens is sturdy but light, the focus ring is well-damped, and it's shorter than any other lens at it's focal length so it can fit into a holster-type camera bag. Highly recommend for anyone who uses their zooms almost exclusively at the long end and feels weight/size is a consideration for them. Possible alternative to the 7-200mm f/4 zoom if you can find one used.


Feb 25, 2008
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Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
174 354169 Nov 23, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $614.16
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.72
9.65
9.7
1ef200mmf_28_1_1_


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