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Canon Lens Reviews 
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM

By Scott Umstattd


Canon Lens Reviews: The Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 II USM lens is not for everyone and certainly not the right lens for every occasion. But when it is the right lens to use, it brings back incredible results.

Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 II IS USM lens

I work mostly in the field and, as a personal preference, prefer to travel with as little gear as possible. This lens, though not tiny, gives me the quality telephoto reach I need while not demanding an entire bag all to itself.

Any Canon L series lens is going to be a great lens. It’s Canon’s best effort and when they put their best effort front and center, Canon makes some incredible photography equipment. The Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens is no exception. It takes stunning photographs no matter what camera you put it on.

Those buying this lens, I think, will use it for the same reasons I use it. It gives a great telephoto reach at f/2.8. That’s enough to use it right there. In lesser lenses, zooming in at 200mm means image loss. The only zooming competition (in the Canon lens lineup) is the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM.

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM zoom lens is amazing. It takes incredible pictures and it can zoom! But it is a monster of a lens. It is white and it stands out. And, it makes the photographer stand out. It is not easy to carry around. It weighs over three pounds. It demands its own bag (or a large portion of one bag used for multiple items). And it costs $2,500.

I wanted the picture quality that the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L II IS USM has at a fraction of the cost and a fraction of its size. And I did not want to stand out in villages and remote areas or work sites with a big white lens. The Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens gave me all of that.

Of course, not being able to zoom has its drawbacks in the field. Often, I am not afforded the chance to move in closer or farther from a scene. But after having a very nice used Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8 lens (that broke after it met some rocks from about four feet high), I realized that more times than not, I was zooming all the way into 200mm (and still wanting more!).

So, rather than buy another third party lens (although Sigma lenses have been great for me), I wanted the quality of a Canon L lens. At about $800 and weighing in at only 1.7 pounds, the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 II USM lens gave me everything I was looking for.

It is not my everyday work-horse lens. My Canon 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens stays on my Canon 60D 80% of the time. But when I need extra reach or if I want a tight head-shot or if I just need to shoot in low light or if there is something cool far away that’s just begging to be photographed, the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens is a great option for me to have at my disposal.

I highly recommend the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 USM lens.


Show Me the Pictures!

Canon Lens Reviews - Here are some pictures taken with my Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

Canon Ef 200mm f/2.8L USM Lens Review

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi and a Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

 ISO - 400. F/stop - f/5.6. Shutter Speed - 1/160.


Canon Ef 200mm f/2.8L USM Lens Review

Canon D30 camera and a Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

ISO - 100. F/Stop - f/7.1. Shutter Speed - 1/500.


Canon Ef 200mm f/2.8L USM Lens Review

Canon D30 camera and a Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

ISO - 200. F/Stop - f/3.5. Shutter Speed - 1/5000.


Canon Ef 200mm f/2.8L USM Lens Review

Canon D30 camera and a Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

ISO - 100. F/Stop - f/3.5. Shutter Speed - 1/500.


Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L USM Lens Review

Canon 30D camera and a Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

ISO - 200. F/Stop - f/3.2. Shutter Speed - 1/250.


Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L USM Lens Review

Canon 60D camera and a Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

ISO - 2000. F/Stop - f/3.5. Shutter Speed - 1/250.


Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L USM Lens Review

Canon 30D camera and a Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

ISO - 200. F/Stop - f/3.2. Shutter Speed - 1/250.


Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L USM Lens Review

Canon 30D camera and a Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

ISO - 100. F/Stop - f/3.5. Shutter Speed - 1/250.


Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L USM Lens Review

Canon D30 camera and a Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM lens.

ISO - 100. F/Stop - f/3.5. Shutter Speed - 1/500.


Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 L USM Lens Review
Conclusion

The Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L USM lens produces some of the best pictures of any Canon lens. It's a prime lens and it may not attract many people. But, if you add a Canon 1.4x extender or a Canon 2x extender this lens quickly turns into a long range zoom lens packaged in a much smaller, black body when compared to the other Canon lenses that reach the same focal length.

I primarily use this lens to capture portraits without getting in someone's face and for sports photography. It also makes for a great landscape lens as well.


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