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  Reviews by: Mike Pearson  

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Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

1ef200mmf_28_1_1_
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.


 
Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

ef70-200_28lisu_1_
Review Date: Jan 26, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,550.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, Build Quality, IS
Cons:
None but the weight - and that is to be expected

I agonized over this purchase. Previously I have only used primes and I was concerned about how sharp this lens would be. I considered the 70-200 f4 IS because from what I could find it seems to be rated as sharper. The problem was I do a lot of low light photography. This much money for versatility but lower IQ would have hurt!

Well, I pulled the trigger on the 70-200 f2.8 IS, and put it to a simple test as soon as it arrived. I compared it, at 200mm f2.8, with my prime Canon 200mm f2.8. I took identical photos of the label on a dishwashing soap bottle by my sink. At 100%, side-by-side in Photoshop, the two lenses are equal in my judgment. I would not say identical - there seems to be some kind of minor trade-off between factors, with one stronger where the other is weaker and vice versa. (Though I don't have a clue what those factors are.) But, to my eye they appear identically sharp even though I know there is something subtle that is different between them. If anything, I actually like the 70-200 image a tiny bit more!

I'm happy to pay the high price for this lens to get its versatility without giving up quality.

BTW - search on "psjan" at B&H to save a hundred