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Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

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Reviews Views Date of last review
167 326136 Oct 28, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $610.86
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.77
9.70
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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Mike Pearson
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Registered: Jan 26, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 237
Review Date: Jan 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $660.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Light, Fast, Overall Image Quality
Cons:
Not a zoom

I have had this lens for a few years along with a 35mm f2 and a 85mm f1.8 as my basic beginner set. The 200mm f2.8 has always been my favorite. It has become the standard by which I measure everything else, and most everything else falls short (though I must admit I haven't tried the 135 mm f2.0 which I understand is outstanding).

The worst I can say about this lens is that it is not a zoom. But, the truth is I have become a better, smarter, photographer by having to think about and visualize my shots.


Jan 26, 2007
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Wirelezzz
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Registered: Feb 23, 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 18
Review Date: Jan 20, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp,amazing Color and Contrast, Light.Excellent Build
Cons:
non

One of the best lenses i have used, This lens is just amazing on my 30D , another must have lens.

Jan 20, 2007
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alfieri
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Registered: Feb 25, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 178
Review Date: Jan 15, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $625.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: all the greatness of the 135/2L except at 200/2.8; price; weight; focus speed and reliability; no longer need to use the 1.4x TC with the 135/2L (not that it's a very noticeable loss in IQ)
Cons:
lens hood hard to get on and off (could be my sample only); wish it had f/2 and IS for less than $1500

sample images and ramblings:

http://alfieri.smugmug.com/gallery/2333587

if you like the 135/2L on a 1.6x crop body, you'll like the 200/2.8L II on a full-frame body. 135/2L on FF is great, but less useful since i got the 85/1.2L for portraits, so i sold the 135/2L.

the 200/2.8L II does not get the attention that it deserves.


Jan 15, 2007
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Thomas Ware
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Registered: Nov 17, 2006
Location: Finland
Posts: 0
Review Date: Nov 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, colours, looks rather innocent without hood wherefore it is good for street photography family gatherings and other places where you do not want to get too much attention. Excellent price/quality ratio.
Cons:
None.

This is quite remarkable lens for the price. Although not as versatile as 70-200 series, it certainly gives sharp images with nice colours and good bokeh. Although I own 70-200/2.8 (non IS), I like to use this lens in family gatherings and in street photography, where it does not warrant unnecessary attention (if you do not use the lens hood).

Nov 17, 2006
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Aaron Dove
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Registered: Nov 5, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Nov 5, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: PRICE! fairly lightweight, outstanding image quality, smokin' fast autofocus
Cons:
nothing major.

at 650 crackers you can't beat this L lens. the image quality is incredible, and the bokeh is especially nice. i've found the fast autofocus makes this a killer airshow glass. highly recommended!

Nov 5, 2006
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Dave Indech
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Registered: Apr 13, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 53
Review Date: Nov 4, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $480.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Very consistent; f/2.8 to f/8 is about the same. No flare. Relatively small, black, light. Quick AF. Excellent build. Common L filter size; 72mm.
Cons:
No IS. No versatility.

The best reason to buy an L is because it can function wide open. If the lens says f/2, or f/2.8, output at that aperture will hold its own against the same picture stopped down.

And so it is here; the best part of this lens is that it doesn't matter what aperture you use. The only reason to use anything but f/2.8 is if you want more DOF. Sharpness is about the same from f/2.8 to around f/8.

Because it's a prime, it has all the usual prime advantages; it's 2 inches shorter than the 70-200/2.8 zooms, thinner, much lighter, black, and in general a lot less scary. It also flares less.

I didn't say anything there about optics.

This is a sharp lens, but I don't think it's quite what people make it out to be. I strongly suspect a 70-200/4 would give it a run at any aperture, and I doubt the 70-200/2.8 differs at all. If it has an edge on the 2.8 IS, it's not by much.

Moreover, I think my 50/1.4 would beat it at any aperture with the same framing.

Unlike the 50/1.4 and the 100/2 though, it's very strong at any distance. No caveats about shooting 100m or 5m away. Doesn't matter, this 200/2.8L is utterly consistent.

There's only one problem with this lens:

It doesn't zoom. Anytime you're constrained to a certain location, you're going to want something that'll let you change the framing. That means practically all sporting events. Unless you've got a second body with a 135/2, this is not the the strongest lens for varying distances.

320mm on a crop body does not lend itself to versatility.

As a walkaround lens, or if the action is set at a certain constant distance, it's fine, but I'm thinking of trading mine for a zoom.

So, I strongly recommend this lens for what it is; a long, fast, consistent, discrete telephoto that mates well with a 1.4X teleconverter. I'd recommend the 28-70/2.8L as well, but like that lens, if you have a crop body, think long and hard if the working range is one you want.


Nov 4, 2006
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photorebel
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Registered: Apr 29, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 642
Review Date: Oct 30, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Light, sharp, fast...easily hand holdable...faster focusing than 70-200 2.8L
Cons:
Sometimes you just need the convenience of a zoom. Shooting football, I missed a few shots because I was too close.

I tried it out one night at highschool football game. Horrible lighting. I missed a few shots, because I was too close. Thought about returning it, and sticking with the 70-200 f/2.8.
That was before I saw the photos on my desktop.
Sharp, well focused, good color. A higher percentage of keepers than I ever got with the 70-200 f/2.8.
Bottom line, I'm selling the 70-200 f/2.8..and keeping the 200 f/2.8


Oct 30, 2006
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jdryan3
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Registered: Aug 3, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 328
Review Date: Oct 18, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $660.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp even at f/2.8, price, weight, length (not including hood)
Cons:
non-IS = faster speed required, but not great for low light no-tripod situations,

Excellent lens. Build is great and very sharp. I wanted something in the 200 range, so I read this forum and others at length and decided to get this over the 70-200 f/2.8L IS. It was $1K less and didn't need anything in the 85 or 100 range (I have primes). First experience outdoors was great: great bokah, DOF was nice, color very rich.

So why did I return it? I took it to an indoor event with mixed low light and was disappointed with about 1/2 my images, for 2 reasons. While I try to position myself, turns out I do need a zoom if only because I need to backoff just a bit sometimes (if only to 150 or 175). Also couldn't get decent images at 1/125 or slower, but light required that or 1/60 (all handheld).

Great lens & higly recommended- just make sure it fits your shooting style. BTW, while it is black, you are anything but unnoticed once you put that hood on ;-)


Oct 18, 2006
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Jake Holt
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Registered: Oct 7, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Oct 15, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $600.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Image quality, size, build quality, price, AF speed
Cons:
none

This lens is a raging bargain - one of the best price/performance ratios of Canon's entire lens lineup. It's light yet built well, and it's razor sharp. As my non-photographically inclined girlfriend said after viewing some photos taken with this lens, "it's sharper than real life!" I.S. would be nice, but then it would be heavy and much more expensive, so as it is, it's pretty much perfect. Now my non-L primes seem oh so pedestrian by comparison.

Oct 15, 2006
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Baytoven
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Registered: May 27, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 25
Review Date: Oct 8, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Size, Sharpness and Contrast, Fast AF, Picture Quality, Price
Cons:
None

Excellent prime especially if one shoots on the long end. Picture quality is outstanding. You won't regret owning this gem.

Oct 8, 2006
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penghai
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Registered: May 21, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 840
Review Date: Aug 29, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: $600.00

 
Pros: Very fast AF, great color anbd contrast, great build, reliable, and work well with 1.4TC and extension tubes. And it's black.
Cons:
None.

Just add to my previous comments.

With a tripod colloar and extension tubes, this lens combo is excellent for close up of flowers and butterflies. I found I prefer this combo over my Canon 100mm macro and Canon 135mm. And it's less than half the weight of a 70-200 f2.8 IS!

This is a real performer!


Aug 29, 2006
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dwill23
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Registered: May 8, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 0
Review Date: Aug 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $619.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Size, weight, price, f2.8, sharp at f2.8!! fast auto focus!!! wow!
Cons:
tripod collar isn't included.

Don't have $1700 to drop on the 70-200 f2.8 IS? That's a good thing!! Your wallet is going to save you from making a big mistake by not letting you buy the 70-200.

This lens has 9 peices of glass.
The 70-200 has 32 peices of glass. GEE i wonder which is sharper?? You don't have to be a wizz kid to know this lens with only 39.1% as much glass as the 70-200 IS is a WORLD sharper, and focuses WAAAY faster!!

I sold my 70-200 IS because it wasn't sharp at F2.8 at all. I owned the NON-IS and IS version, and hated both!

I shoot sports, so i can't set up my shot, and they are running around as fast as they can, so i need my gear to focus very very fast, and work well at F2.8 for night NCAA football games.

This lens does just that. Do no be fooled into think the 70-200 is better, because by all means it is not!!

There is a famous saying "if your photos aren't turning out well, get closer". meaning don't zoom out, zoom in! In this case you can't zoom out, and for me that's rarely a problem!

I shoot with a 300mm + 1.4x teleconverter = 420mm, and now this lens, and it works out perfect for me!

I could not be happier with this lens over the 70-200. This is what i really wanted in the 1st place, only half the price!! Sharp, and useable at F2.8! yay!!

And it weights less than half as much as the 70-200!

Dig deep and you'll see that the 70-200 blows, and the fixed 200mm ROCKS!

Buy this lens, save money, get better photos, be happy!




Aug 17, 2006
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bogatyr
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Registered: Aug 10, 2003
Location: Norway
Posts: 638
Review Date: Aug 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $700.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Ultra high sharpness and contrast, a very good color rendition.
Cons:
No water sealing. Apart from that, none.

In my opinion, the Canon EF 200mm 2.8 L II is an underestimated lens.

In spite of its lower price, it is more capable than either of the 70-200 zooms. Not by much, but there is a subtle difference at 2.8. The versatility of zooms is much touted, but a photographer who knows how to position him- or herself in relation to his or her subjects is most often well served by a high-grade prime lens. I do a lot of sports photography for my running club, and only in the relatively few situations when I cannot move to position myself towards my subjects do I miss a zoom.

I have found that this lens is uniformly sharp from 2.8, and that there is very little improvement if you stop down. This means that the lens is eminently hand holdable - no need for IS, which is in my view overestimated. Lens speed is far more important than IS, and this lens has what it takes to perform in available light situations.

My results indicate that the 200/2.8 L II to be a bit sharper than the 135/2.0 L at similar apertures, while the 135 has a tad better contrast. On balance I would say they are equal, and I am happy to own both of them. The 200 truly shines when used for sports and other action photography as well as for long-range portraits outdoors, whereas the 135 is brilliant indoors. It also takes a teleconverter well, when combined with a 1.4x Extender it loses little quality - which is also the case with the 135 2.0 and the 300 2.8.

Alone, this lens is ultra high grade, and the 200/2.8 L II deserves to be appreciated by photographers who seek the best. A last argument in favor of this lens is of course that a high-grade prime is less expensive than a high-grade zoom. High quality tools are an investment worth making, but it is always pleasant when one can get the best for a good price.


Aug 7, 2006
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my58vw
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Registered: Jun 3, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 174
Review Date: Jul 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $699.99 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Lightweight 200mm f/2.8L lens, Very sharp, quite sharp wide open, Good bokeh, As sharp (if not more) than the 70-200 f/2.8L IS at comparable focal lengths, Discrete compared to while L glass... gets you in where white does not.
Cons:
No IS, meaning shutter speeds need to be a bit higher, more noise. L lens should come with Ring mount, extra 90 dollars.

I bought this lens as a replacement (with a 135 f/2.0L, the 200 f/2.8L sister lens) for my 70-200 f/2.8L IS I was using on my 20D, and not my 1Ds. The 70-200 f/2.8L IS was the sharpest lens I have ever owned, but I can say at comparable focal lengths both the 135 f/2.0L and 200 f/2.0L are actually as sharp, and maybe sharper without the weight associated with the 70-200. This is quite an acomplishment, as the 70-200 is probably the sharpest canon zoom lens ever made.

The 200 f/2.8L, like the 70-200 f/2.8L non IS is great over about 1/200, but 1/125 or so is obtainable with good long lens technique. On a full frame body (1Ds mark 1) this lens is a totally different animal. It is long but in actuality in many cases not long enough. It was not enough for example to reach from the middle deck for reasonale frame fill at most stadiums. With the 200 f/2.8L canon's good teleconverters can make this a 280 f/4.0L or a 400 f/5.6L with small IQ drops. In my opinion the lack of IS is not such an issue then with a 1.3 or 1.6x crop camera, the later being 320mm vs 200mm, in that case a near 1/300 shutter speed is needed for sharp shots.

The main thing I love about this lens is the weight and discreatness. I can take it to a baseball game and no one questions the lens... I call it the white syndrome, I was turned down more times with the 70-200 2.8L IS.

Overall this is a great lens for a FF or crop camera, each its own purposes anyway... if primes are for you, then go for it... the 200 f/2.8 and 135 f/2.0 are together about the price of the 70-200 2.8L IS, although missing the IS the low light performance is better.


Jul 17, 2006
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my58vw
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Registered: Jun 3, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 174
Review Date: Jul 17, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $699.99 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Lightweight 200mm f/2.8L lens, Very sharp, quite sharp wide open, Good bokeh, As sharp (if not more) than the 70-200 f/2.8L IS at comparable focal lengths, Discrete compared to while L glass... gets you in where white does not.
Cons:
No IS, meaning shutter speeds need to be a bit higher, more noise. L lens should come with Ring mount, extra 90 dollars.

I bought this lens as a replacement (with a 135 f/2.0L, the 200 f/2.8L sister lens) for my 70-200 f/2.8L IS I was using on my 20D, and not my 1Ds. The 70-200 f/2.8L IS was the sharpest lens I have ever owned, but I can say at comparable focal lengths both the 135 f/2.0L and 200 f/2.0L are actually as sharp, and maybe sharper without the weight associated with the 70-200. This is quite an acomplishment, as the 70-200 is probably the sharpest canon zoom lens ever made.

The 200 f/2.8L, like the 70-200 f/2.8L non IS is great over about 1/200, but 1/125 or so is obtainable with good long lens technique. On a full frame body (1Ds mark 1) this lens is a totally different animal. It is long but in actuality in many cases not long enough. It was not enough for example to reach from the middle deck for reasonale frame fill at most stadiums. With the 200 f/2.8L canon's good teleconverters can make this a 280 f/4.0L or a 400 f/5.6L with small IQ drops. In my opinion the lack of IS is not such an issue then with a 1.3 or 1.6x crop camera, the later being 320mm vs 200mm, in that case a near 1/300 shutter speed is needed for sharp shots.

The main thing I love about this lens is the weight and discreatness. I can take it to a baseball game and no one questions the lens... I call it the white syndrome, I was turned down more times with the 70-200 2.8L IS.

Overall this is a great lens for a FF or crop camera, each its own purposes anyway... if primes are for you, then go for it... the 200 f/2.8 and 135 f/2.0 are together about the price of the 70-200 2.8L IS, although missing the IS the low light performance is better.


Jul 17, 2006
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mirages
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Registered: Apr 3, 2006
Location: N/A
Posts: 299
Review Date: Jun 29, 2006 Recommend? | Price paid: Not Indicated

 
Pros: Lightning fast focus; very accurate.
Cons:
None discerned.

Well, this is my second post concerning this lens - not sure where the first disappeared to, but at least my rating stuck!

This lens has met or exceeded all my expectations thus far.
Not nearly as bulky as the 70-200 IS I have yet to write a review about, and lightning quick and accurate.

I can well imagine that on many day hikes this 200mm prime lens, a 24L (or 35L) wide angle, and a 24-105L zoom may well do the all job with the 1.4 Canon extender. I have a belt pack with two cases large enough for the 300L IS and 400L prime (also yet to be reviewed), and another case set that will fit the 200mm and 24-105 zoom perfectly. To round this out I have the 100mm macro ordered now before the rebate deadline, so I am just about set (and have a ton of uphill gradient on the learning curve to do) and totally equipped for hiking and photography with one lens attached to the camera, and two in cases.

Thus far this is my fastest focusing Canon L; and is just a joy to work with. Given the fact that many times, especially in the nature photography, the long end is mainly used; this lens just makes good common sense. And the price - well, it's not cheap, but its a real gem for what it does and compared to many other Canon L primes and comparatively is a bargain.

If you have been contemplating this lens, and already have this range somewhat covered, you might still want to consider it. I know I thought a while before ordering it, but now am so happy that I did due to the flexiblility, color, and deadly accuracy this lens offers. If you are short on ready cash, this lens might come later. But, if you experience anything like what I have with this lens, once bought, it will remain.


Jun 29, 2006
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Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
167 326136 Oct 28, 2014
Recommended By Average Price
95% of reviewers $610.86
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.77
9.70
9.8
1ef200mmf_28_1_1_


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