Review Canon 200mm F2.8 L Lens

Les McLean

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#1
Maker/Provider: Canon

Product: 200mm F2.8L (Mk1)

Price: £650 new (Mk2), around £400-£450 s/h (Mk1/2)

Overall Rating: 9/10

Overall Summary: An excellent light, rugged, compact lens that is ideal as a walkabout lens. Produces incredibly sharp images even wide open, with a nice creamy bokeh.

Detailed Review

In Use :
Previously used a 70-200mm F2.8 lens as my general medium walkabout lens, and realised that 90% of the time I was shooting at the 200mm end, so I purchased this lens, it's the Mk1 version, with the only difference (I understand) to the MkII is the hood is built in , rather than the slip/screw on hood of the MkII. This has presented no problems, with no noticeable flare.



The first real benefit was in weight and size, it's less than half the weight of the canon 70-200 F2.8, and a lot more compact.

I use it often as a walkabout lens when walking the dogs, frequently for 'people' photography for example the 'Goth Weekend' at Whitby, it was ideal, not only the ability to kick the BG out of focus, but it's an unobtrusive lens, and is perhaps not so intimidating as the big white canon zooms. As one reviewer mentioned ' If you're one of those photogs that need a big, phallic lens to impress other photogs, then this isn't the lens for you. Even with the lens hood, you're gonna have to get used to the idea of looking like someone's dad on the sidelines with a photo hobby' which kind of suits me just fine.

It also works very well with the Canon 1.4TC, and I often use this combination at sports events like rugby, with a 1.3 crop body I have a 'virtual' 364mm F4 lens.

I can't say I've really missed the versatility of a zoom, although there have been times when I've frantically been trying to remove the 1.4TC, and missed a shot.

The image results are excellent, and the quality, bokeh and speed of focusing is very similar to the canon 135mm F2.

A sample taken with 200mm @ f5.6 with a 1.4TC



As one review stated 'If you simply want the best image quality you can get at 200mm, the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 L USM Lens is for you.' (The-Digital-Picture.com) , my experience suggests I'd find it difficult to argue with that.


Build Quality:
Excellent, it's an 'L' lens

Strengths:
Light, compact, build strength, price, image quality

Weaknesses:
No IS, not weather sealed.
 
Last edited:

smooth

Threebrows
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#2
Excellent spot on review Les. It is indeed a stonkingly good lens. I have the MkII and totally agree that is a whole lot more manageable (and admittedly not quite so flexible) alternative to the 70-200. The sharpness is astounding.

I have added this to the directory. How did you find the template Les? Spot on use of it!

Thanks for being the first! (y) :love:
 
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Les McLean

Les McLean

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#3
How did you find the template Les? Spot on use of it!

Thanks for being the first! (y) :love:
It was fine, no problems at all, gives a nice structure to the review (y)(y)
 
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Les McLean

Les McLean

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#5
do you really need IS for a lens that price with a max aperture of f/2.8?
Probably not, can't say I've missed it :)
 
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