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Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
165 321680 May 22, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $608.24
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.79
9.72
9.8
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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sunpole
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Registered: Jan 3, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 320
Review Date: Jun 23, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $750.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super sharp, solid build L quality, very fast, Light weight and its black!
Cons:
None

This is the sharpest lens that I own, even sharper than 70-200/4L IS at 200mm. The background blur is very desirable @ 200mm 2.8. Solid build and lightweight, very reasonablly priced.

Super super sharp image even wide open.


Jun 23, 2009
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RobDose
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Registered: Jun 5, 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 0
Review Date: Jun 16, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Super sharp, Excellent colour. A wonderful focal length for portraiture. Build quality and lightness is amazing.
Cons:
Nothing.

If you are going to be shooting a lot at 200mm and dont have the money for an ef 200mm f/2.0L then stop worrying and go out and buy this lens. Forget the zoom lenses, they have nothing on this.

I took a lot of enjoyment in proving the superiority of this lens against all of my associates 70-200mm varieties.


Jun 16, 2009
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zolbs
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Registered: May 3, 2009
Location: China
Posts: 19
Review Date: Jun 14, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Lightweight, solid build, stellar images, and doesn't draw attention like the white zooms.
Cons:
No IS

I travel a lot and was looking for a longer lens that would enable me to shoot some really crisp candids of people - from across the street, down the block etc.

I was going back and forth between this and a 70-200L that would obviously give me more range. But I was worried about lugging around a 70-200 2.8 for hours on end ... And I really did want some the extra stop from the F4.

Anyway, I am thrilled with this lens. I definitely made the right choice. It's light. And given that it's black - I don't draw too much attention to myself.

Most importantly, the shots are mind-blowingly crisp. I'm relatively new to L series lenses, but I am floored by some of the shots. The IQ is unreal.

Some may be put off by the set focal length. But it doesn't bother me. I really enjoy being able to focus on shooting tight for a bit.. Then swap to a 17-40 for wider street scenes.

Anyway, this lens fits my aim.. Love it.


Jun 14, 2009
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fteter
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Registered: Jan 24, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 5
Review Date: May 30, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $620.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build - Image Quality - Fast AF - Great for hand-held shots
Cons:
Have yet to discover any

I bought this lens used because I wanted a moderately fast lens with some reach. Didn't really think I'd use it all that much, but I want wrong - I got more lens than I bargained for! I've found it to be my best lens for long-distance candid shots.

Three things about this lens have really knocked my socks off:

1) The sharpness and the colors of the images from this lens on my 5D are outstanding.

2) It's light enough for sharp hand-held shots at slower shutter speeds.

3) The AF is very, very fast.

I should point out that this lens also takes a 1.4 TC very well - no noticeable loss of image quality. Highly recommended.


May 30, 2009
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Grenache
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Registered: Dec 17, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 1855
Review Date: May 25, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: profound sharpness (even wide open), fast focusing, takes to extension tubes and 1.4x extender quite well; light weight
Cons:
hood threading is lousy...too much effort to screw on correctly; no longer comes with the tripod collar at same price

Overall, this is a fantastic lens suited for many purposes. If you have ample space, it makes for flattering head/torso shots, it is a good FL for flower portraits or - when coupled with a 1.4x extender or extension tubes - is a capable close-up lens choice.
Tight accent landscapes are similarly harvested well with this gem.

It is FAR lighter and sharper than the f/2.8L 70-200 flavors...so light that I routinely get sharp photos handheld at 1/60sec exposures.

Color rendering is well balanced, and the bokeh is gorgeous.

A couple years ago, this lens was packaged with its tripod collar. That made this excellent value even better.

Only gripe is that the hood is a relatively poor thread fit to the lens. This being the only thing that I can find to complain about tells something of the quality of the lens itself.


May 25, 2009
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rami.halim
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Registered: Dec 19, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 149
Review Date: Mar 22, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $680.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: great sharpness,contrast and color ... small,light,black, inexpensive relative to their zoom counterpart
Cons:
none

VERY sharp and contrasty wide open and insanely sharp stopped down .. accepts photoshop sharpning very well ..
its a great bargain .. if you buy it from amazon don't go for the canon 72mm haze filter.. its terrible .. go for the B&W
works nicely with the canon 1.4 extender ..

sample pictures here

http://www.flickr.com/photos/28943478@N08/sets/72157615760445704/




Mar 22, 2009
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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: 5389
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: 14825
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: 7358
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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Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
165 321680 May 22, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $608.24
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.79
9.72
9.8
1ef200mmf_28_1_1_


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