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Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
171 351169 Aug 25, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $614.16
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.73
9.66
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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dnauer
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Registered: Oct 22, 2009
Location: United States
Posts: 12
Review Date: Feb 13, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Weight and build quality for a 200mm is great. Great sharpness, contrast, and the focus is lightening fast.
Cons:
I do have trouble getting the lens hood on this lens sometimes, but that is about all I can complain about -- it is the MkII version so has a removable lens hood.

My first "L", I had borrowed a 70-300 and used it a month and found almost all my shots were around 200mm, and I really didn't like the results with the 70-300 -- it just didn't "feel" right -- so took the leap and tried the "L" prime. I shoot with a 40d. Now I'm hooked. I'm an amateur that is regarded in my local circle of friends, and have had good equipment a long time (my first camera I bought in the mid-70s was an used Canon F-1 with FD 50mm f1.4 -- but I've never been much of a buyer of lenses). My first full day out with this lens resulted in several pictures that rank among my favorites ever -- I am amazed at the capabilities of this lens. I'm reluctant to post on a list like this with true professionals that really are expert, but I can't help it -- it is the best purchase I've made since that used F-1! I think having confidence in your equipment does help with the quality of the work, and I've been trying a lot of things with this lens since I'm motivated to learn how to use it's capabilities -- and I'm not disappointed so far!

Feb 13, 2010
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Jay Adeff
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Registered: Feb 27, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 359
Review Date: Feb 2, 2010 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Solid build quality. Very sharp at f/2.8. Fast AF. Small, light, and affordable.
Cons:
None

This is Canon's sleeper L lens. It is 99% as sharp as the 300 2.8L IS. I bought it to replace the 70-200 2.8L which was a huge dissapointment to me. The 200 prime is fantastically sharp at f/2.8. The AF is fast, silent, and accurate. One of my favorite lenses of all time.

Feb 2, 2010
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Phrantic
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Registered: Dec 1, 2009
Location: Netherlands
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 1, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $250.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light, fast, cheap, sharp.
Cons:
Lacks the flexibility of a zoom, but you know that when you buy it.

For me, this is the ultimate lens. I came from a Canon 70-200mm F2.8 which I found too heavy to carry around. This lens is much smaller, lighter, cheaper, and it's coloured black. Its performance is also slightly better, resulting in sharper images wide open. However, don't buy this lens over the 70-200 just for the image quality, because both are superb and there's not much to tell between them.

If you're looking to pick up this lens second-hand, see if you can find a good copy of the discontinued mk1 version. This one's optically similar to the mk2 but has a built-in lens hood. For me this is ideal, because the lens hood is stronger and smaller than the bulky hood that comes with the mk2. Also, you can't lose it. What surprised me is that I could attach 77mm filters to the hood (though rendering the hood useless) but also my 77mm lens caps - handy if you like. I have a tripod ring for the 70-200mm F4 which also fits this lens like a glove.

I have also used the 70-200mm F4 and the F4 IS as well as the Sigma 70-200mm F2.8 and ultimately found that I only use the long end of the zoom. So for me it only made sense that I'd go for a prime. And I got it CHEAP.


Dec 1, 2009
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eWILDz
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Registered: Jul 9, 2004
Location: India
Posts: 9
Review Date: Nov 10, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Price, IQ
Cons:
Non-IS ??

Probably the cheapest (and the best) L glass that will perform as 300/2.8 on any crop DSLR !

Nov 10, 2009
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ajt36
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Registered: Dec 15, 2008
Location: United States
Posts: 462
Review Date: Nov 1, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $709.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: IQ, build, weight, most inexpensive L glass
Cons:
Limited use focal length, no tripod collar included, cheaply constructed lens hood - all minor stuff

I've been using this lens for about a month and I think it must be a marketing ploy by Canon to get people sucked into "L" glass. It is the most inexpensive way into L glass, but not an often used focal length (for most people). Still, I'm sucked in! The image quality is first rate... quite unbelievable compared to my 28-135mm and my 50mm/1.8 II (and I like both of these lenses very much). I do very little color adjusting in post with this lens. It is super sharp... for me, even at f/2.8... and the bokeh... just other worldly!!! So, I'm hooked... next on the list is a 135mm/2, which is probably my favorite focal length, but for right now, just a bit much for me to swallow price-wise... so I'll just be taking several steps back with the 200mm/2.8 on my 30D! Smile

Nov 1, 2009
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rndman
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Registered: Apr 10, 2009
Location: N/A
Posts: 10
Review Date: Oct 4, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $695.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 1.Sharpest even wide open 2. Light weight 3. Black
Cons:
None

After looking at all the reviews, I could not resist myself to add this to my gear. I bought it new. This is one beautiful lens. Solidly built. Very sharp even wide open. Just did a test run for this. Very highly recommendedYou can see the images below.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rndman/sets/72157622385563687/


Oct 4, 2009
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recordproducti
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Registered: Jul 11, 2005
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 316
Review Date: Aug 8, 2009 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent lens with superb sharpness, lightness and almost unobtrusiveness.
Cons:
None for the money.

I bought a used mark one version with the built in hood. Brilliant! It's even more discrete than the mkII version with big hood.

After several weeks worth of intensive shooting with it I'm sold. Much lighter to lug around than the 70-200's and I much prefer the bokeh to the f/4 70-200's. It's kind of hard to think of any subjective downsides to this lens, as many other owners have said, it's one of the sleepers in the L range. It's also very affordable and almost addictive, it's on my 5DmkII much more than I expected.

I find this a perfect partner to my 85L (mkII). My 85L is sharper (it's sharper than any 135L's I've tried too so I must have a really good one) and the 85L is more 3D but in a different way. The 200 f/2.8 has a natural look, it's warm and a little less contrasty than the 85L but that's not to say it's not contrasty. I think that the mkII version may have more contrast due to the longer hood but in any case, I absolutely adore the quality of images I'm capturing and the ability to walk around all day and not feel exhausted carrying the zoom.

This is a sadly overlooked and brilliant value lens but I suspect it will be discovered by the masses soon and become one of the hot lenses to own, for good reason.


Aug 8, 2009
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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: 2174
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: 5746
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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Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
171 351169 Aug 25, 2016
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $614.16
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.73
9.66
9.7
1ef200mmf_28_1_1_


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