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Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM

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49 121502 Aug 13, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $5,180.92
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.96
8.75
9.9
ef200_f2lisu_586x225_1_

Specifications:
This ultra-fast telephoto, a new member of Canon legendary L-series lenses, has totally new optics to provide better image quality. It uses fluorite and UD lens elements for excellent chromatic aberration correction and consists of 17 elements in 12 groups. The built-in Optical Image Stabilizer gives it up to 4 stops of stabilization correction. The inner USM and optimized AF algorithms result in fast and quiet autofocusing, and the circular aperture can even produce beautiful out-of-focus images. This ultra-high-performance lens also improves its durability - better dust- and water-proofing. The EF 200mm f/2L IS USM is outstanding for many available-light applications, including indoor sports, theater work, fashion, and candids at events.


Focal Length & Maximum Aperture: 200mm f/2

Lens Construction: 17 elements in 12 groups

Diagonal Angle of View: 12 (on full-frame sensor camera)

Focus Adjustment: Inner focusing system with USM, AF with manual focus option

Closest Focusing Distance: 6.2 ft. / 1.9m

Filter Size: 52mm (Drop-in Gelatin Filter Holder)

Max. Diameter x Length, Weight: 5.0 in. x 8.2 in./ 128mm x 208mm (maximum lens length); 5.6 lbs./2,520g


 


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gcruz
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Registered: Apr 3, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 40
Review Date: May 20, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super Sharp Bokeh
Cons:
Expensive (buy when there is a $500 rebate) - check canonpricewatch.com

Warning, do not view these two threads if you are on the fence about buying this lens.

Senior portraits
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/791634/0

Post your Canon 200mm f/2 (200/2) shots!
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/765147/0


May 20, 2010
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Psychic1
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Registered: Jul 25, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 4190
Review Date: Apr 8, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,286.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: The is a devine quality to the images produced.
Cons:
Apr 8, 2010
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mumbles76
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Registered: Mar 1, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 206
Review Date: Mar 31, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Absolute stunner. Insanely sharp and color characteristics are fantastic as well.
Cons:
Price. But worth it.

Probably the best lens i'll own for some time.

I'll let the images speak for themselves. See pics here:

http://www.symbolphoto.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/SandyHenryEngagement001smLogo.jpg

http://www.symbolphoto.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/SandyHenryEngagement002smLogo.jpg

http://www.symbolphoto.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/SandyHenryEngagement009smLogo.jpg


Mar 31, 2010
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minatophase3
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Registered: May 7, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1365
Review Date: Mar 29, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpest lens I have ever used, easy to hand hold (for a big lens), build quality, AF speed & accuracy.
Cons:
Price

I have been wanting this lens ever since it came out. I shoot mostly portrait and this looked to be a winner. I rented it and was impressed but had a hard time justifying the cost. A few weeks after that I found a good deal on a hardly used lens and went for it. I sold my wonderful 300 2.8 IS to help fund this lens.

When I first got it I was a little disappointed in the sharpness of my images. But after some testing I dialed in MA +4 on my 1Ds III and now this lens just blows me away! I have never seen anything so sharp and the ability to blur the background is just amazing. The IS is so much better than what is on the 300 2.8 IS and my 70-200 2.8 IS I.

This lens will be used extensively for Senior Portraits and individual portraits. It has exceeded my expectations in all areas. I also find this pretty easy to hand hold, but I am a big guy. My used copy came with a RRS foot and I find that the extra length of that helps me to hold the lens better.

My summay is that this lens is like my 135L on steroids. My 135 was my absolute favorite...until now. I would highly recommend this lens!

Tim


Mar 29, 2010
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airfrogusmc
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Registered: Jan 12, 2010
Location: United States
Posts: 2644
Review Date: Feb 1, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,300.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: The sharpest Canon lens I 've shot with and I've shot with a bunch of the best. I can hand hold this lens pretty consistently at 1/40th and use it a lot in low light, available light candid situations.
Cons:
The biggest down side is the price and size but its worth the price and you get use to the size.

One of the best lenses you can by period.

Feb 1, 2010
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mediluz
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Registered: Jan 13, 2006
Location: Italy
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 21, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Likely the best image quality I've ever experienced
Cons:
Weight, price, unpratcical hood and cover handling

Besides weight , price and some difficulties in handling hood and lens cover, the major drawback of this lens is that pictures produced by most of others will appear .. junk. I had more than one reason of complaining about Canon, but this lens is a true optical masterpiece, by far the best I ever handled

Jan 21, 2010
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briweed22
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Registered: Nov 23, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 44
Review Date: Dec 26, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,700.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Stunningly sharp at f/2.0. This lens is better than the 300 f/2.8. Just as sharp, even down at f/2.0.
Cons:

I own the 300mm f/2.8 IS lens and thought that this would be just about the same. Boy was I wrong.... this lens is super sharp and is the best portrait lens I have ever used (own 135 f/2, 85 f/1.2). Highly recommend, especially with Canon's $500.00 rebate. Once you buy it, you won't regret it.

Dec 26, 2009
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Canon Rumors
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Registered: Dec 14, 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 284
Review Date: Dec 4, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpness, Colour, Contrast, Bokeh are all epic. Autofocus is super fast and the IS is great. Lens is built like a tank. Very well balanced and useable.
Cons:
None

I have been blown away by this lens. I replaced my 70-200 f/2.8L IS with this.... I thought I'd miss the zoom. I haven't.

This is a great lens for indoor sports (ice hockey) and shooting my kid. I've used it some for landscape as well.

Here's a shot with it.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2557/4113087550_ca2afd588f_o.jpg


Dec 4, 2009
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Victor Go
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Registered: Apr 13, 2007
Location: Singapore
Posts: 47
Review Date: Aug 21, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast AF, Solid IS, very hand holdable, Sharp, Solid build
Cons:
Expensive, hard to find bag to fit it in, Lens Cover hard to keep

Just had this lens for about 2 weeks, taken mostly indoor low light shots at 1/40sec to 1/125 sec hand held with 1DM3. Result is spectacular. The IS really lives up to expectation and the AF is really fast even at low light.

Some samples can be found at : http://victor.shutterbug.sg


Aug 21, 2009
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DamienG
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Registered: Aug 14, 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Very fast to focus and Extremely sharp stopped down to f2.8
Cons:
Can be difficult to focus wide open on moving subjects

The 200 f2L IS is my second favourite lens behind my 85 1.2L
I use it mostly for indoor sport, and bought it primarily because I wanted something faster than my 70-200 f2.8L IS.
I find the 200 to be a fairly difficult lens to accurately focus wide open on moving subjects due to the thin DOF that results from f2 at 200mm, but stopped down to f2.8 it delivers sensational images that makes my 70-200 2.8L IS look pretty ordinary, So much so that the 70-200 rarely gets used anymore.
Despite the difficultly in achieving accurate focus wide open on moving subjects, properly focused shots are impressively sharp. On the focus front, shooting stationary subjects wide open brings much better results, with a near perfect strike rate.
I use this lens on my 1dmk3 and 1dsmk3, neither of which have the best reputations for focusing abilities, so it is possible that this lens is even better than I realise.



Aug 14, 2009
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nazdravanul
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Registered: Jul 1, 2008
Location: Romania
Posts: 170
Review Date: Jul 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Superb IQ, 4 stop IS, f2 with amazing resolution .
Cons:
It made me sell my 300 2.8 IS (I wish I could have afforded to keep both :) ).

Everything said and written about this lens is true, and then some Smile . It makes all my other L primes (past or present ) (except the 300 2.8 is, of course Smile ) look mediocre (and I own/have owned all L primes/zooms from 14 2.8 mk2 to 300 2.8 IS Smile.
Comparing it to the 300 in terms of IQ, makes it impossible to draw a winner, even though I might have had a slight personal preference for the 300 reach/perspective/colors. But in terms of sheer practicality (f2, 4 stop IS, more compact, better layout) the 200 is a clear winner.
Maybe the 300 is a little bit better with the 2x extender, but only by a very small margin - I will use my 200 with the 2x, if necessary, without hesitation. With the 1.4x the 200 may have a little edge over the 300 with 1.4x, but the differences at this level are incredibly subtle.


Jul 14, 2009
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dolina
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Registered: Nov 4, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 3506
Review Date: Jun 27, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Lead-free glass. Better MTF chart than 200/1.8L's. No antiquated focus-by-wire focusing. AI Servo works as great as the 800/5.6L IS. As hand-holdable as the 300/2.8L IS. Preferred tripod ring location. Shorter CFD by 600 cm than 200/1.8L. Has IS @ 4 full stops. Half a kilogram lighter than 200/1.8L. Cheaper than the two 200/1.8L copies my friend and I found on two local forums. Will be serviced by Canon for decades to come.
Cons:
I consider these pseudo-Cons: 1/3--stop smaller/slower aperture than the 200/1.8L but the 4-stop IS more than makes up for that. Not as well known as the "legendary" 200/1.8L.

I will benchmark the 200/2L IS to two other white primes namely the 800/5.6L IS and the 300/2.8L IS.

First off lead-free glass is a load worth of less worry.

The 200L IS delivers superb IQ like the 800L IS and 300/2.8L IS.

Modern focusing mechanism performs as well as the 800/5.6L IS.

My focus lock rate on AI Servo is as good as the 800/5.6L IS and 300/2.8L IS. This basically means fantastic!

Tripod ring is located in the logical place but I wish the feet had two mounting screws like the 800/5.6L IS.

A 1.9m vs 200/1.8L's 2.5m closest focusing distance is very helpful.

4 full stops IS more than makes up for the 1/3rd smaller/slower stop from the lens it replaces.

While waiting for the 200/2L IS to arrive I read up and was tempted by the allure of the "legendary" 200/1.8L. So my friend and I looked and found two local owners who asked a sum equivalent to the purchasing price of two brand new fast L primes namely the 200/2L IS + 135/2L. Looking at the two pseudo-"Cons" on my FM review it isn't that hard to laugh the asking price off and give the 200/2L IS a perfect "10" in price.

Warranty and support by Canon for the 200/2L IS is on going and expected to last at least a couple of decades. For those who do not know Canon USA & Canada has refused to service the 200/1.8L because Japan stopped making spare parts.

So if it breaks you either (a) need to look for a donor lens to cannibalize parts from, (b) manufacture the part yourself or (c) at worse have yourself a very expensive & very heavy manual focus lens.


Jun 27, 2009
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thedigitalbean
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Registered: Jun 24, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 6216
Review Date: Jun 21, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp right into the corners, wonderful bokeh, lightning fast AF, punchy colors and great contrast, total lack of CA
Cons:

This is probably Canon's finest piece of glass to date. Extremely sharp, I've found it to be very sharp even at the corners by f/2.8 on the 1Ds3, making it an excellent landscape lens. The lens also has almost no CA even wide open and even in the corners, truly impressive.

The bokeh has a wonderful quality to it and is as nice as the 85L (though has a different feel that the 85L bokeh). The AF is lightning fast and the IS is extremely effective.

Of course there's the price and the weight, but I guess you can't have it all.


Jun 21, 2009
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djenuwine
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Registered: May 26, 2009
Location: France
Posts: 0
Review Date: May 26, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Built quality, very sharp at F2 , great contrast and colors, 4-stop IS
Cons:
Price, weight

It's probably the better Canon lens!
Very sharp, you can have a beautiful bokeh and great colors, it's amazing.
You win 4-stop when you activate the IS!

But : 135 L F2 can give you similar image quality for a moderate weight and a less expensive price

So, if you don't need a 200mm lens, the 135 L will be a better choice.

Why did i buy this lens?
Because i need F2 aperture and 200mm => the 200mm L II 2.8 is a great lens, but not as sharp at F/2.8 than the 200 F2 IS at F/2


May 26, 2009
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factoryphoto
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Registered: Jul 5, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 303
Review Date: May 24, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,800.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super fast AF with this lens..Colors,contrast and IQ are second to none just simply amazing.
Cons:
Id say the price but u get what you pay for this lens is priceless

I shoot Motocross and family stuff but 99.9% motocross..I had a 300mm 2.8 and that was a great lens but had it stolen..I was in the market again for another prime but I felt for some tracks I shoot the 300mm on a non FF camera was a bit limited with lots of media around blocking the line of sight.I looked at this lens and thought 200mm (260mm on Mark III) would be perfect. People ask why would I need a F2.0 lens for outdoors?Well with my 300 2.8 I didnt shoot wide open I shot between 4.0 and 5.6 most of the time and occasionally wide open. Its the speed of focus and the colors you get from these hign end primes is what makes me want to shoot with them.
My first day I was not impressed with it but it was all me..I tried some different metering modes and setting and all I can say is wow.I just shot the AMA motocross national opening round and used my new Mark III and this 200mm 2.0 most of the weekend. I can tell you how great the photos came out but you can see for yourself here.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/775947
I will shoot some indoor motocross this week and this lens will shine there indoors but dont hesitate even if your shooting outdoors with this lens. Yes its a "specialty" lens but that does not mean that it will not work outdoors..This lens is as good if not better than the 300 F2.8 lens and thats saying alot. Put a 1.4 extender on it you got your self a whole nother lens at 2.8. This is my favorite lens to date that ive owned with my 70-200 2.8 close but just not in the same league as this gem. This is just simply an outstanding all around do it all lens and with a 1.4 EX you have the choice of lens for whatever you do without losing IQ or F stop.
Great great great!


May 24, 2009
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dmbphotography
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Registered: Jun 8, 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 414
Review Date: Mar 15, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Low light shooting fantastic.Best IS I've ever used.Picture sharpness best i've seen.
Cons:
Just the price as everyone else has said.

Like everyone else I've been wanting to get this lens for a long time and when I finally got it I was blown away. I have previously owned the 400 f/2.8 IS and was used to high end teles, but this is in a different league.

The sharpness of images is unparralelled across the Canon line-up (IMHO). I havent used the 300 f/2.8 IS, which i'm told is super sharp, so my assessment may not be 100% accurate....but.. My copy is noticeably sharper than my 135L and my 400 f/2.8 IS.

I showed my fiancee ( not a 'photo person') who was shocked by the sharpness and clarity of the images, so I consider that an independent point of view....and she has been subjected to my photos for years! Smile

The IS is amazing in it's own right. I am getting sharp clear images at 1/10th. HANDHELD! Is that amazing or what? It is a small lens and is best described as a nugetty 70-200.

Here is one at 1/20th...pretty much straight from camera with some minor WB adjustment.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/schoolbookdepository/3350480541/

My recommendation:If you can't aford this lens.Sell something so you can.ITS THAT GOOD!



Mar 15, 2009
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Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
49 121502 Aug 13, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
96% of reviewers $5,180.92
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.96
8.75
9.9
ef200_f2lisu_586x225_1_


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