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Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
50 282856 Aug 31, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $3,231.73
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.86
8.57
10.0
ef200mmf_18l_1_

Specifications:
The world’s fastest 200mm telephoto lens. Three UD-glass elements eliminate secondary spectrum for sharp images at all apertures. The optics have been designed to give excellent background blur. Try it with the maximum aperture’s shallow depth of field.

Lens Construction (group): 10
Lens Construction (element): 12
No. of Diaphragm Blades: 8
Minimum Aperture: 22
Closest Focusing Distance (m): 2.5
Maximum Magnifcation (x): 0.09
Filter Diameter (mm): 48
Maximum Diameter x Length (mm): 130 x 208
Weight (g): 3,000


 


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Ludo Monchat
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Registered: Jan 28, 2007
Location: France
Posts: 12
Review Date: Dec 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: So unbelivably good...
Cons:
Weight, price, no IS, overly conspicuous for a 200mm, the mkII is about to arrive.

Will I be the first here not to give 10 to this lens ?? I could. It's heavy; I'm a tough guy but without a monopod, no way to get something unblurred after a little time. It lacks IS and above all the new version of this lens is about to arrive so... No, 10 it's worth it. If bokeh, sharpness and contrast means something to you and your photographic style, just try it. You love the 85L and the 135L ?? You'll fall in love. You can use it also for portraits, the texture, the colors, everything benefits.
This very lens and all of the other fast ones are my reason to stay with Canon. Check on EBay for Chamcamera. This guy sells 200 f1,8 in mint condition quite each month.


Dec 24, 2007
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moduli
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Registered: Aug 27, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 8
Review Date: Nov 5, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros:
Cons:

this lens is like a double helping of 135/2 .. more reach more bokeh and more punch, and sharp as a razor

shoot it back to back with other lenses and it never ceases to amaze

i paid top dollar for a very nice copy and dont regret one cent of it


Nov 5, 2007
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corny
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Registered: Feb 16, 2006
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 15
Review Date: Mar 28, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Very Sharp, lovely colours and suprisingly fast focus for such an old model. Good with tele convertors too.
Cons:
Weight means monpod is essential for long sessions but you know that anyway and the price of this kind of quality

This lens really is exceptional. I'd read various reviews and took them a bit with a pinch of salt, but I take it back as this lens is outstanding in terms of colour, contrast, and sharpness. The drawback is that it may ruin you for other lenses!!
It is heavy, but then that's no surprise.
I'm in the UK and sourced this from Korea on Ebay. The duty and VAT made my eyes water a bit, so be warned!


Mar 28, 2007
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silosr
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Registered: Jan 26, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 33
Review Date: Jan 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharpest, fastest lensI have. For my son's hockey, I can't imagine using anything else. iso 800, ss 500, ai focus, and voila, shots never thought was possible.
Cons:
Discontinued. You will get attention. You will get recruited to be the team photographer. You will get asked by some parents to take pictures of thier kid. You will have to lie to your wife on how much you paid for this.

I just do not see a better option. Take this 200 1.8 and add a 1.4 converter, you get a 280 only losing 1 stop with no noticeable image quality loss. With today's huge megapixels, I do not miss the zoom at all. Frame your shots nicely and crop what you don't need. For indoor sports like hockey and gymnastics, I'm all smiles. Some of my sharpest portrait pictures come from this lens. The bokehs are out of this world. I do own an 85 1.2L and the 135 2.0L so my standards for judging good image is up there. If I could, I would take this lens everywhere, but the size of it with the hood limits your use of this to special events where you intend to do some serious photography. This lens = press pass. No one questions why I'm inside the tennis courts. They just assume I'm with the press. I got my first 200 1.8 from Ebay with the seller "chamcamera" of S. Korea. He has sold a ton of these and has a good reputation. I've recommended him for 2 of my friends who have also bought from him. I'm lucky enough to get a 2nd one at a good price from someone who decided to switch to Nikon. I say "yeah, Nikon is great, now gimme that canon lens you don't need!"


Jan 3, 2007
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graybeard
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Registered: Feb 9, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 73
Review Date: Dec 16, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: low light capability
Cons:
none

If you shoot in dungeons, and are in the business to sell photos, you can not afford to be without this lens. Wrestling, gymnastics, basketball, theater are the obvious shoots where this lens excels. Leave the strobes at home and shoot ambient light with this lens. It takes a 1.4x very well and still gives razor sharpe images.

Dec 16, 2006
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PierreB
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Registered: Feb 23, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 4483
Review Date: Nov 14, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:

I was on the verge of buying one of these but then saw a thread on FM saying that Canon had run out focus motors for this lens. I'm now going for a 300 2.8 instead. It's not my first choice but I don't want to be left with manual focus only.

Nov 14, 2006
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AHAB
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Registered: Jun 30, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 361
Review Date: Nov 11, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros:
Cons:

Yes you can get it fixed.

Nov 11, 2006
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jianghai_ho
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Registered: Dec 28, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 339
Review Date: Nov 10, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: No holds barred great quality. Simply magic.
Cons:
Too expensive. Can no longer be fixed.

This is just one of the lenses that you *must* have if you try one. Only bad part is that you cannot get it fixed any more. Thankfully mine is working perfectly. Lack of IS/VR is lamentable but at 1.8, and with that type of IQ... not a big deal.

Nov 10, 2006
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john Paul
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Registered: Jul 22, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 150
Review Date: Nov 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: FAST! Yep! Sharp! Quick AF speed! Obviously outstanding in low light.. Great for the ambient light shooter..
Cons:
Hmm....I can't think of any other than Canon stopped production of this awesome (need to have) lens!



Price ratring.....I just hate that question,... who cares how much it costs... that has nothing to do with its performance!

This is my second copy of this lens.. I love it!

People know you aren't some hack with a camera when they see you walk in the door with this lens on your camera body!

I shoot in available light much of the time when I am covering events..and this lens enables me to capture the things I want, without having to blast the subject with flash!..(from further away than any other lens I have faster than f2.8)..

In addition, I enjoy using this exotic while shooting editorial, and commercial work.. I love the look of this lens at f2.0,..(I rarely use it at f1.8)..on a full frame body, in order to isolate the subject from the background...often, I am isolating their eyes from their ears..and the rest behind them is nicely melted away! Also,...this lens is awesome for head shots!...I mean awesome!!

Mine is NOT for sale! :-)

JP





Nov 4, 2006
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bobbybrown
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Registered: Dec 12, 2004
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 7
Review Date: Sep 25, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: As used in the SuperWasp astronomical telescopes to look for the faintest dip in brightness level of 1.1 million stars. Think of your equivalent of the Hubble on Earth!
Cons:
Expensive but oh so worth it.



Sep 25, 2006
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Aberdeen Photo
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Registered: Mar 9, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 3812
Review Date: Aug 2, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Amazing sharpness and back and foreground blur. True color and wonderful indoors or in poorly lit venues. Still able to hand hold for short period of time.
Cons:
Awkward on mono wo Wimberley or RSS. Nearly impossible to go unrecognized.

What a great lens. I have been using 70-200IS and 135 for night and indoor sports. They were doing a very good job with image quality, esp if the venue was pretty well lit. This lens takes image quality, sharpness, color and blur to a new level. It is also very quick to focus. The image quality difference is amazing @ wider apertures and still there @ f4 and f5.6.

Tightly cropped portrait head shots that I used to shoot with the 70-200 are much improved with this lens. For portraits, I have even done H&S and 3/4 (PWs come in handy) Great image quality and clients enjoy the perspective slimming them down.


I have heard and read about this lens for a long time and now that I have had the opportunity to use it, it is truly a most amazing lens. I am truly spoiled by the frames shot with this lens. If I had to choose between the 70-200IS and this lens, it would be no contest, despite the excellent image quality of the 70-200IS and the convenience of the zoom and wonderful abilities of the IS, this lens is so fantastic that I would put up with the added aggrivation of constantly moving my feet to capture the awe-inspiring images this lens will create.


Aug 2, 2006
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jcmedeiros
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Registered: Jun 30, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 760
Review Date: Jun 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,300.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fast, sharp, out of this world brokeh,
Cons:
Expensive but it's a sellers market on these babies.

This lens is everything I've heard and more. It's a world of difference at 1.8 vs 2.8. High shutter speeds in poor lighting conditions are now attainable. One word of cautions: if you try one and you'll want one.

I replaced the factory lens foot with the RRS item and it's a great addition. The lens hood fits over it when storing.


Jun 17, 2006
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mdelevie
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Registered: Aug 31, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 97
Review Date: Feb 19, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fantastically sharp, shallow DOF, cleanly reproduces colors
Cons:
heavy, very conspicuous

This is my lens of choice for night football and for indoor sports. It really does make a difference -- I'm shooting long after the f/2.8 teles are already put away, and making shots in the poorly-lit areas of the field that others can't capture.

This lens is extraordinarily sharp. Stopping it down doesn't improve the sharpness at all, as far as I can tell... maybe a pixel peeper can find a difference, but I can't. I only stop down to control depth of field; what other reason is there with this lens?

Similarly, I can't see the loss of sharpness with the addition of a Canon 1.4x teleconverter. Possibly a 1DsII would be able to measure find it, but I'm not quite there yet, so for me, the lens can be a 280/2.5 with no loss sharpness. Contrast drops a bit through the TC. Perhaps it's also slightly slower focusing with the TC, but I've not noticed that.

I shoot with a cropping sensor, so I can't say whether there's noticeable light falloff in the corners of the frame. Canon's MTF chart (see the 1992 version of Lens Work) does show a slight drop in sharpness and contrast, so perhaps I'm working in the sweet spot.

In fairness, it's a bit too big & heavy to handhold for very long. I tried to handhold for an entire football game, and it wasn't any fun. (by the 4th qtr, I was missing shots from resting my arms too much) Figure on using at least a monopod.

Also, if you desire a telephoto to take candids unnoticed, at the beach for instance, then forget this lens, go with f/2.8 and deal with the loss of 1+1/3 stops. This lens ALWAYS gets noticed, I call it 'the Eye of Sauron.' People a long way off can tell that you're pointing it at them.

In summary, it's a great lens for sports, very useful for portraits if you can't get close (parades?), with a fantastic ability to throw the background out of focus. f/2.8 with a stabilizer will sometimes get you in the same ballpark, but it'll never get you the shallow DOF... and for sports in low light, a stabilizer won't help you much, it's the subject blur that kills the 2.8s.

(Paid $3,600 from ChamCamera in the fall of 2005)


Feb 19, 2006
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AGeoJO
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Registered: Jul 8, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 12098
Review Date: Feb 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Superb optics; this lens could easily be the sharpest that Canon produced, plus the AF is fast and spot on.
Cons:
The hood cannot be stored in reverse position with a QR lens plate. I ended up purchasing a replacement foot from RRS that allows the hood to be stored in that position. No big deal really.

The WOW factor of the images that this lens generates using wide open aperture is extremely high. Simply superb. The most used aperture range is f/1.8 to f/2.8; actually I have not used the lens at aperture of smaller than f/2.8.

As a "Johny-come-lately", I ended up buying this at a higher price than when it was still in production and readily available. Hence the price rating :D. It is still worth it though.


Feb 7, 2006
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mateo_
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Registered: Jan 27, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 688
Review Date: Dec 1, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Aperture, sharpness, focus speed, color/contrast/bokeh, build quality, everything
Cons:
Mount isn't weather-sealed, tripod mount is unbalanced without a replacement foot, discontinued by Canon

This lens singlehandedly transformed my photography. As the ultimate indoor sports lens, it makes my equipment transparent- all that limits me now is myself, nothing else, even in the worst of conditions. Aside from the brute force light and AF capabilities of the lens, it turns out unmatched quality in terms of sharpness, color, bokeh, etc. It also works superbly with the 1.4 TC, I haven't noticed any degradation with the combo both indoors and outdoors.

If you're a sports photographer and don't need IS, I would highly recommend this lens over a 300. Pair it with a 400 and you'll be in heaven. This lens is invaluable when it comes to my indoor coverage, and easily accounts for 90% of my shots.


Dec 1, 2005
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hoovie918
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Registered: Jan 24, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: Jun 28, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,950.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: The sharpest images from any lens I have ever owned, If you are thinking about it... BUY IT NOW!! Rent it to try it if you are hasty about shelling out the cash, a must have for any Canon gear addict.
Cons:
None if you don't mind the weight on hand holding the baby.

I aquired this lens by accident but only after years of wanting it. None the less I have to give the rating a 10+ in all respects. Every review and comment section of postings through out the WWW. world bosted preformance of this lens second to no other in it's class, they are right.

Jun 28, 2005
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Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
50 282856 Aug 31, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $3,231.73
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.86
8.57
10.0
ef200mmf_18l_1_


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