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CanonEF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Lens
 
4.9

(based on 156 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (136)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (19)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (132)
  • Strong construction (96)
  • Consistent output (82)
  • Durable (77)
  • Lightweight (72)

Cons

  • Heavy (11)
  • No IS (4)
  • Blurry focus (3)

Best Uses

  • Sports/action (94)
  • Wildlife photos (59)
  • Low light (45)
  • Landscape/scenery (42)
  • Weddings (37)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (44), Semi-pro photographer (30), Pro photographer (23), Enthusiast (16), Semi-professional (8)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (85), 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

 

Amateur/Hobbyists - Beware

Unfortunately, I did not have as good an experience with this lens as I had hoped. It's not that the lens is bad; by all accounts, it is a magnificently built, high-quality...Read complete review

Unfortunately, I did not have as good an experience with this lens as I had hoped. It's not that the lens is bad; by all accounts, it is a magnificently built, high-quality component to a photographer's arsenal - just not mine. My amateur hobbyist status probably had a lot to do with my experience, but I just couldn't love this lens with total commitment. I would say the lens is better suited to photographers who shoot with a tripod or those who have a rock steady hand.
My style of shooting is wildlife and spur-of-the-moment natural photography which requires a little more versatility than that offered by the fixed focal length. In the 9 days that I ran it through its paces, I was happy with only about 40% of the shots I was taking while attached to my D60. many times the subjects were 'soft' and the lack of IS had a much more dramatic impact to my style than I had originally thought. it truly was hit or miss - some shots were tack sharp, but I found more of the opposite to be true than I would have liked. The bokeh this lens produces is impressive when I was able to get the subject zeroed-in. The lessons I learned were these:
1. IS is a MUST HAVE for amateur/hobbyists like me who shoot at a moments notice
2. the fixed focal length limits versatility and is probably best suited for still or near motionless subjects or shooting with a tripod
3. although very fast in AF, it 'searches' more than I wanted. This focus searching occurred when the subject was relatively small in the field of view, and there's an average-to-large depth of field in the shot. (Yes, I shifted my AF point to center only and selected AI mode for these types of subjects)
A professional photographer would probably like this lens, but it just wasn't a fun toy for a hobbyist like me.
Thanks to B&H for the quick and painless return policy. I've returned it and went with the 70-200mm 2.8L IS USM zoom lens - I'll review it too, but a sneak-peek: IT IS MAGNIFICENT!

Reviewed by 156 customers

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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.

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(1 of 1 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

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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

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    (1 of 1 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

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      (1 of 1 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

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        (2 of 2 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

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          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

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            (1 of 2 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

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              (7 of 7 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

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              (10 of 10 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

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                (4 of 6 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

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                  (2 of 2 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!

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                  (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Hard to beat the value and usability ...

                  By Cory

                  from Austin, Texas

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

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

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Night Photography
                    • Weddings/Events
                    • Wildlife Photos

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

                    This lens has very good image quality, it's light weight, and for a 200 mm autofocus it's very compact. For the price, it's an absolute no brainer. It's wonderful to have in a travel kit (since you never know when you might need a telephoto on short notice). What's more, the autofocus on this lens is pretty fast most of the time. I give all Canon lenses a max of 4 stars because I have a gripe with their build quality (they're just not quite as durable as I believe they should be).

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Amazing prime

                    By BondiPhotographer

                    from Sydney Australia

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Indoors/Low Light

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

                      Bought this lens to take to the Ice Hockey where there is a 6" lens length limit. Fits just under 6" so expect a couple of arguments from the security people, but once they measure it great lens for action shots. Nice and quick

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Still great!

                      By drPhilGandini

                      from New Mexico

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • 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:

                        Although nearly 15 years old now, this lens is still a great option for those not needing, or unable to afford, a big white. One stop slower than the big white 200s, it light, (reasonably) fast and very affordable. Offering great image quality (a 9 or 9.5 compared to the 11 of the bigger 200s) it fits in any bag, and is more likely to be there when you need it. And let's be honest, 99% of photographers with DSLRs aren't getting their work published in National Geographic, or the NYT... Do you really need a $ + lens that is heavy, obvious, and more likely to be at home rather than on your camera body?

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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                        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Beautiful Lens

                        By Don

                        from SF, CA

                        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

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

                        Cons

                        • NONE

                        Best Uses

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

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

                        This is one of Canon's hidden gem. Produces a beautiful, creamy bokeh, sharp image, fast focusing, fairly lightweight and relatively, inexpensive for the above benefits. Highly recommend!

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                        5.0

                        200 mm 2.8 is a good lens for outdoors

                        By steve

                        from kent, wa

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

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

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Sports/Action
                          • Weddings/Events
                          • Wildlife Photos

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

                          this lens works with the Canon teleconverter 2.0, a good addition to my camera versatility.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          5.0

                          Perfect fit for my photo toolbox

                          By Brian B

                          from Wilkes barre, PA

                          About Me Pro Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

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

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

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

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

                            I love prime glass and this is probably on of my favorites. I used this glass a lot. Used on a 5Dmark II and III and 1DX. Great look for video!

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            5.0

                            Great lens

                            By Stanley A.

                            from Easthampton, MA

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

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

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Landscape/Scenery
                              • Sports/Action
                              • Wildlife Photos

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

                              I bought this lens primarily to photograph wildlife and aircraft at closer range and could not be happier with my purchase. This lens is relatively light, especially compared to the 70-200 zoom lens, easy to handle, even when handheld. Focus is fast and accurate. The bokeh is great with this lens.

                              Build quality for this lens is awesome; it has a solid feel and is comfortable to hand hold. With the added accessory, tripod mount ring A II, the lens can be easily mounted to a tripod or monopod. The tripod mount ring can be removed when not being used but it can moved out of the way and does not interfere with handheld use.

                              In short, this is a compact, lightweight, well built lens, that produces great results. I would recommend this lens to anyone.

                              • Was this a gift?:
                              • No

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                              5.0

                              Sharp and Fast

                              By Z1hou.

                              from Katy, Tx

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

                              This one is incredibly sharp and fast to focus for wildlife shots. It understandably also maintains that sharpness under less than ideal light conditions. If you are in the right position to shoot flying birds, the shots are simply superb. I use it with a Canon 40D. It is relatively light and therefore easy to carry around. It is a great addition to my 24-105L.

                              Overall, I am very happy with this lens.

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