REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
CanonEF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
 
4.9

(based on 163 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (142)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (20)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (136)
  • Strong construction (99)
  • Consistent output (87)
  • Durable (80)
  • Lightweight (77)

Cons

  • Heavy (11)
  • No IS (4)

Best Uses

  • Sports/action (99)
  • Wildlife photos (65)
  • Low light (49)
  • Landscape/scenery (43)
  • Weddings (39)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (46), Semi-pro photographer (32), Pro photographer (24), Enthusiast (16), Casual photographer (9)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (92), Yes (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Amazing Lens

Let me first say I bought this lens for sports photography, primarily for poorly-lit high school football/soccer fields where the wide aperature is a must. That's where I shoot most of my...Read complete review

Let me first say I bought this lens for sports photography, primarily for poorly-lit high school football/soccer fields where the wide aperature is a must. That's where I shoot most of my events. I use this lens with a 50D and I can say without any question, that between this fast, sharp lens and that new Canon body with higher ISOs, I have blown away the results of gear three times more expensive.

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. The lens is a black body, not white, and it's just not a monster lens you see on the sidelines of the NFL or Olympics.

But if you can get over that ego thing and just want great images, particularly in low light on a limited budget, this lens, joined with the 50D, is amazing. I get a kick out of seeing what this lens and the 50D can produce compared to a 300 2.8 joined with an older, but more expensive Canon body like the 1D Mark III. There is a marked difference and believe it or not, the big advantage goes to the 200mm f/2.8 and the 50D.

Yes, we'd all like to be able to afford the $5,000 Canon 300mm f/2.8 but on those older, nosier Canon bodies, it often goes to waste in low light situations. But for under $1,000, you can buy this lens and attach it to a 50D and get impressive, sharp images. Even at ISO 12,000 on the 50D, with this lens, I have gotten great results at high school football and soccer under the lights.

The only draw-back is the reach of this lens. If the action is on the other sideline, you're probably not going to get much. But with the 50D's cropped sensor, you're still getting the equivalent of more than 300mm with this 200 and that covers a lot of ground. And to compensate, you can use the Canon 1.4x EF Extender II. The only issue I find there is that there are times in a football or soccer game you don't want the converter's extra reach (like when it's 1st-and-goal for a team inside the 10-yd. line or a penalty kick) and unless you have two bodies with the same 200, you'll find yourself scrambling to remove the converter to return to the straight 200.

Other than that slight issue, this lens is a gem -- so much so you wonder when Canon will up the price. But not likely, there's enough photogs out there willing to pay the mega bucks so they can stand in one place the entire game with their Hubble telescope on a monopod while they text their friends about how hard they're working.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

A Good Lens For Someone Else

I had high hopes for this lens, but the images I got (emphasis, I got) weren't as good as those my EF 70-300 IS USM capture. I thought it could be...Read complete review

I had high hopes for this lens, but the images I got (emphasis, I got) weren't as good as those my EF 70-300 IS USM capture. I thought it could be the lack of IS, but even when supported, and the shutter speed/ISO were changed the images weren't as sharp, and the color rendition was off. A vivid yellow was rendered the color of butter, and an ivory background appeared light green. Adjusting white balance didn't make any difference, and the same shots taken with the 70-300, a 35mm f2, and a 50mm f1.4 all rendered the correct colors, and sharper images. So, I'm selling it, and applying the proceeds to the
EF 135mm f2L I just bought. Now that is a great lens!

Reviewed by 163 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

Back to top

Previous | Next »

(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

A Good Lens For Someone Else

By Islandhopper3

from Key Largo, FL

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

I had high hopes for this lens, but the images I got (emphasis, I got) weren't as good as those my EF 70-300 IS USM capture. I thought it could be the lack of IS, but even when supported, and the shutter speed/ISO were changed the images weren't as sharp, and the color rendition was off. A vivid yellow was rendered the color of butter, and an ivory background appeared light green. Adjusting white balance didn't make any difference, and the same shots taken with the 70-300, a 35mm f2, and a 50mm f1.4 all rendered the correct colors, and sharper images. So, I'm selling it, and applying the proceeds to the
EF 135mm f2L I just bought. Now that is a great lens!

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

Share this reviewHelp Icon

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Gold Standard Lens for Wide Field Astrophotography

By Nico

from Newark, DE

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Consistent Output
  • Great For Astrophotograph
  • Lightweight
  • Little Distortion
  • Rugged
  • Sharp

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Astrophotography
    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

    I bought this lens for astrophotography with my Canon 5D mk iii and an Astrotrac mount. I was not disappointed. For astro, this is a huge improvement over the 70-300mm f4-5.6 USM that I was using before. Better star shape, very little coma or chromatic abberations, just beautiful almost all the way to the corners of the full frame. And being able to go down to f2.8 is amazing, although I see slightly better performance at f3.2 or f4.0. Still a huge improvement over my zoom, which had to be stopped down to f8.0 to get sharp images at 200mm. I am attaching a shot of the Witch Head Nebula I capture within a couple days of owning the lens. If you are thinking about this lens for Astrophotography, there is nothing to think about, just do it.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this reviewHelp Icon

     
    5.0

    Works great for me

    By thedean

    from Minneapolis, Minnesota

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Lightweight
    • Nice Bokeh

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Sports/Action
      • Video
      • Wildlife Photos

      Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

      This lens is sharp and makes great images for me. I tested the lens for sharpness at different f/stops. F/4 to f/8 seem to be the sweet zone for sharpness with this lens. It's lighter and smaller than the 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom. I found I was using the 70-200mm zoom at the far end (200mm) most of the time so, it was the 200mm f/2.8 "prime lens" for me... I bought the Canon tripod mount ring A ll (B) for this lens. It's just how I like to use the lens on a tripod...

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this reviewHelp Icon

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      EF 200MM

      By LD

      from Minnesota

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Sports/Action

        Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

        Great lens, I use it along with my 100-400mm zoom. mostly at my sons football and Baseball games.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this reviewHelp Icon

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Excellent lens for a hobbyist

        By TheDoodle

        from California

        About Me Casual Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Clarity
        • Consistent Output
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Heavy

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Sports/Action
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

        This review only applies to hobbyist use, as I am not a professional photographer. I paired this lens with a Canon 6D.
        The lens produces excellent clarity at all distances: near (2m), mid (6m), and long (10m+). Images contain a high degree of detail without noticeable aberration.
        It lacks image stabilization. Yet the f2.8 allows for reasonably fast shutter speeds in a large range of light conditions.
        Build quality is good. The hand feel is solid and a tad on the heavy side because the length of the lens shifts the weight away from the camera body.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this reviewHelp Icon

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Performs beautifully

        By Tach

        from Rhode Island

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Lightweight
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Rugged
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Sports/Action
          • Video
          • Weddings/Events
          • Wildlife Photos

          Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

          This is one sharp lens. The size and weight works for me. One caveat: use a recommended UV filter. I initially put on a 72mm UV filter I had used on an HDV camera; a perfectly good filter but the focus was noticeably soft. So I purchased a B+W UV--problem solved!

          Great build quality, smooth operation, razor sharp

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this reviewHelp Icon

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Fantastic Glass

          By Scott S

          from Wisconsin

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Lightweight
          • Nice Bokeh
          • Rugged
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Night Photography
            • Video
            • Weddings/Events
            • Wildlife Photos

            Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

            This is my first "L" lens and I am now a believer that the additional cost is worth it. Don't buy into the sales pitches or reviews telling you that other glass "for half the price" is "L" quality - it's not. I bought them and have never been truly impressed. These less costly alternatives may be good for the casual photographer, and some are great. But, this is pure excellence. And, you ARE paying for better optics, not just the build quality. If you are on the edge of "L" vs "non-L," look at it this way - buy it right the first time instead of buying the others first and then upgrading later. That's much more expensive! And good luck selling your other glass on @, competing with others who have similar regrets.For me, even on a limited budget, I'd rather have one or two "L" lenses which produce amazing results than four, five, or even six lenses that produce great results. I didn't get the 70-200mm f/2.8L because it is a monster, and this is much smaller. Plus, I always shoot at the full zoom, anyway. I produce great shots in Tv mode if I shoot at a minimum shutter speed of 1/350, at least most of the time. 500 even better, and goes up from there.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this reviewHelp Icon

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            The most understimated Canon lens

            By Roberto

            from Genoa, Italy

            About Me Casual Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Durable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Lightweight
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Sports/Action
              • Wildlife Photos

              Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

              I was planning to buy a 70-200 2.8, and by chance I also tried this one. After two seconds I was completely in love with it. It's one of the best Canon lenses and it's also very cheap compared to the 70-200 2.8. However it has nothing to envy to her more famous sister. If you need a fantastic telephoto lens with an amazing quality/price ratio go and buy this one. You will be happy for the rest of your life.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this reviewHelp Icon

               
              5.0

              Works Great!

              By c

              from ca

              Verified Buyer

              Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

              Works great for what we need. We are shooting fabrics close up and we can get really good detail.

              Share this reviewHelp Icon

              (16 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Great but keep the shutter speed up

              By Michael

              from Sydney, Australia

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Pros

              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Lightweight
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Sharp

              Cons

              • None really

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Sports/Action
              • Street
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

              I shoot with a Canon 6D and own several "L" lenses, so I can say that this is a sharp lens, particularly so at f4+, but I don't hesitate to use it at f2.8; not at all. I use it for informal weddings, street, granddaughter, anything.I read reviews on this site saying that the lens is often soft, and I didn't really understand the glowing reviews that preceded my purchase UNTIL I increased the shutter speed to 1/640. Then it was a completely different story. I can get sharp shots at 1/250, but inconsistently, so I keep the speed at least 1/500sec. A monopod did not help. This might mean shooting at a higher ISO, say, 400, or keeping the aperture at 2.8 or 3.5. By the way, the lens is a little sharper at 3.5 with little sacrifice of out of focus background.So the answer to those people who find it soft or inconsistent is probably shutter speed. Certainly an image stabilised 70-200 will allow you to shoot slower or keep the ISO down, but I bought the lens because it's smaller and less conspicuous than my 70-200 f4 IS, and at least as sharp at 200mm, if not sharper. I rarely used my 70-200 as it was a bit big and a bit white, but I will certainly be using the 200mm prime more often.So why did I "only" give it 4 stars? If it was as sharp at f2.8 as my 24-70 f2.8 mkii or my 135mm f2, I'd give it 5, but as I said, it is very good at 2.8. I don't use my 24-105 f4 at f4 as it's too soft, nor my 50mm f1.8 at 1.8, but I do use the 200mm at its max aperture. Don't let this negative comment put you off; it's a corker of a lens.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this reviewHelp Icon

              (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Nice

              By Dig6

              from WBNC

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Fast / accurate auto-focus
              • Nice Bokeh
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Indoors/Low Light
                • Weddings/Events

                Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

                I like this lens. A little top heavy when not using a vertical grip. The images are crisp. The build is strong.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this reviewHelp Icon

                (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Fast, high quality lens

                By Sprtgrl

                from Sacramento, California

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                • Lightweight
                • Nice Bokeh

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Sports/Action

                  Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

                  I purchased this to have a telephoto lens with a tack sharp quality and fast enough for multiple uses including sports, portraits, and landscape. The bokeh is soft and buttery - a phrase you may read often for this lens. Besides the unbelievable components in this lens, the price makes it a "priceless" buy.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • Yes

                  Share this reviewHelp Icon

                  (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Excellent Lens

                  By Pro Race Photo

                  from Binghamton NY

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Durable
                  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Sports/Action

                    Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

                    I purchased this lens to use for my extreme drag racing photography business. As the cars are running the 1/8 mile at close to 200 miles per hour. My position on the track is critical to capture the money shot images.
                    This lens gives me dead on accurate focus and without having to zoom the lens.
                    The F2.8 is fantastic in low light and dusk situations as well as capturing tack sharp image.
                    Though i wish it came with a tripod ring instead of having to purchase it separately.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this reviewHelp Icon

                    (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Great lens

                    By Dave

                    from Riverside, CA

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Lightweight
                    • Nice Bokeh

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Wildlife Photos

                      Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

                      I wanted a lens that I could carry in place of my 70-200L 2.8 IS for travel. The 200 2.8 is about half the weight and complement my 24-105l f4 lens. Being a 2.8, I can use my 1.4 and 2x extenders.

                      Miss the IS, but the cost and weight are reasonable.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this reviewHelp Icon

                      (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      WOW!!!!!!!

                      By Advisor

                      from Grinnell, IA

                      About Me Casual Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Easily Interchangeable
                      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                      • Lightweight

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Sports/Action

                        Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

                        It was so easy to use and my classes are able to start taking better images!!!! Great for Yearbook staff.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this reviewHelp Icon

                        (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        An oldy but a goodie

                        By lefty23

                        from Thunder Bay, ON Canada

                        About Me Pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Very Sharp Affordable

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Sports/Action
                          • Video
                          • Weddings/Events

                          Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

                          Amazingly sharp lens. Not as ominous as the big white brother. Great lens for the price.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this reviewHelp Icon

                          (11 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Old design but a gret lens

                          By Whitesmoke

                          from Kearney Missouri

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Pros

                          • Consistent Output
                          • Easily Interchangeable
                          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                          • Rugged
                          • Strong Construction

                          Cons

                          • Heavy

                          Best Uses

                          • Flowers
                          • Sports/Action
                          • Wildlife Photos

                          Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

                          I have been shooting birds and other wildlife in my yard, cant get out much due to health so this is what the doctor ordered.
                          This is my first but not last "L" lens

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this reviewHelp Icon

                          (19 of 19 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          WOW!!

                          By Let Your Dim Light Shine

                          from Burbank, California

                          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                          Verified Reviewer

                          Pros

                          • Consistent Output
                          • Durable
                          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                          • Lightweight
                          • Nice Bokeh

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Portraits

                            Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

                            After being into photography and slowly but surely upgrading my gear, I was surprised I had not seen or heard much about this lens. The price is what I think makes people pass it up. Its an L series lens with a modest price tag. I am more than excited about purchasing this amazing secret find. It is BETTER than the 70-200 in my opinion because I already have the 24-105mm L Lens. It seemed reduntant, so I went with the 200mm prime. It is sharp, it is much lighter than the white one and that is another reason I love it...it's black with the red ring. I felt so strange with that big white lens on my camera (I have a 6D). I felt I was either going to get mugged, or I was looked at like a papparazzi..haha! But speaking of just this lens, you wont be disappointed in the quality and images. Also awesome for portraits. It is a true gem and must have! I can't wait to get out there and put it to work :) The sample image is handheld, f4.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this reviewHelp Icon

                            (7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Excellent, Functional & Sharp

                            By Perfectionist on a Budget

                            from Oakland, CA

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Pros

                            • Consistent Output
                            • Durable
                            • Easily Interchangeable
                            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                            • Nice Bokeh
                            • Strong Construction

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Weddings/Events
                              • Wildlife Photos

                              Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

                              I desired a nice quality 200mm-ish telephoto for for my Canon 5d Mk II, but have some weight carrying/holding limitations, don't like the large size and obtrusiveness of the "big whites" such as the 70-200mm zooms, didn't have a large budget, and needed the lens to be small enough and stealthy enough to use without drawing too much attention in small intimate or crowded urban shooting environments. The solution: The Canon 200mm f/2.8L II. I agree with many other reviewers that this is one of the best values, and best lenses in the L-series lineup. I don't miss having IS on this lens, as I use it mostly mounted to monopod or tripod with the Canon Mount Ring AII (Black), and a Really Right Stuff B82 plate. Perfectly balanced in this configuration. Attached two photos were actually shot handheld, no monopod or tripod. Gorgeous bokeh, amazing color. A very functional and proportionally sized (i.e. not too large) prime telephoto lens. I'm able to comfortably transport and use it way more than I would one of the larger "big whites". My primary walking around lens is the 24-105mm f/4L IS that came "kitted" with my 5DMkII body, and this 200mm is a perfect complement for situations demanding a bit further reach. I love this lens, and after nine months of use, still delighted, am astounded at the quality of the images I'm getting, and feel it is worth every penny.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

                              Share this reviewHelp Icon

                              (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              A must have prime lens!

                              By sayheyphotography

                              from Northern California

                              Comments about Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens:

                              I lost this lens to a robbery 6 months ago. After replacing my DSLR, 7d, and my walk around 24-105L. This fast prime glass was always a favorite, the 2 version is just as good or better.The price is very reasonable for 200mm reach and a f 2.8 aperture. I'm stoked to be filling my bag with gear again, thank you B&H. My gear connection!

                              Share this reviewHelp Icon

                              Displaying reviews 1-20

                              Back to top

                              Previous | Next »