Canon 200mm f/2.8L

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by icassell, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Here is a reasonably priced "L" lens that not many discuss. On-line reviews seem to be universally positive. I'm just curious whether anyone here has direct experience with the lens. Has anyone doen a head-to-head with the 70-200mm f/2.8? Does anyone have any comparison images with this lens + 2X TC with the Canon 400mm f/5.6?

    I'd love to get hold of the 200mm f/2 or f/1.8L, but I don't see that one in my future and this one looks like it might be a good runner-up.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
  2. cfusionpm

    cfusionpm TPF Noob!

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    Here's a review of it: Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 L II USM Lens Review

    From the bottom tail of the review:

    If it were me, I would get the 70-200 2.8 IS in a heartbeat. The zoom versatility and Image Stablization is well worth the (bearly noticeable) difference in sharpness. But that's for me and my needs. Yours may be different.
     
  3. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I have seen that review, but the zoom with IS is twice the price and much heavier. Some argue that the reduction in weight makes the IS less necessary. I'm not buying for a while and certainly not until I try one, but it's an interesting consideration.
     
  4. cfusionpm

    cfusionpm TPF Noob!

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    well I borrowed a 70-200 2.8 NON-IS with a 2x teleconverter at an air show in october and while the images that came out were fine, it was damn near impossible to compose shots at that distance without a tripod. The shaky viewfinder was something I was not used to (the only non-IS lenses I have are my 50mm and 10-22mm). I recently rented a 70-200 2.8 IS for a nighttime high school football game and was nothing but pleased with it. I will be buying one of these as my next lens; it's just a matter of saving now.

    Though, if f/2.8 isnt completely necessary, the IS 70-200 f/4 is less than the price of the non-IS 2.8, and the non-IS f/4 is cheaper than this prime. The 70-200 f/4Ls are some of the best, and many people swear by them over the 2.8s.
     
  5. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    All good points. I have a 100-300mm f/4 which I can handhold if I'm shooting at fast shutter speeds, but certainly IS would be nice. I also have a 50-150mm f/2.8 which is lightweight and I routinely shoot handheld (no IS). I'm still thinking about this.
     
  6. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Last night I looked around the web to try and find a good, technical review of the 200mm f/2.8-L for you, a review that had some serious bench tests. Most of the reviews are older, one-man, kind of "fanboy" reviews where comments are like, "sharp as a tack", and the lens is called by its nickname, "the prime pipe". This concept of nicknaming every Canon lens a catchy name was started several years ago, by the people responsible for many of the dPreview online Canon forums and who used to do mostly fawning reviews with very little technical analysis.

    This review Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 L USM II - Test Report / Review

    shows a NOTABLE drop-off in lens performance with a 1.4x converter added. Most 2x converters cause a higher degree of color fringing than 1.4x converters, and a higher loss of optical quality than a 1.4x causes. I own a couple Nikon 1.4x TC14e converters; these are expensive, solidly-built, 7-element "pro" converters--they work well. I bought a TC-20e, a 2x converter and tried it, and uh....it didn't meet my standards. With today's higher-Megapixel bodies, I think that post-process cropping an image made with a lens + 1.4x converter is the better option--crop at the computer, not in the camera for that last little bit of magnification. No f/stop or shutter speed lost in the field that way!

    I can't comment directly on the 200/2.8-L, which is not weather-sealed BTW, but I do own the Nikon 180mm f/2.8 ED-AF-D lens, which is sort of a similar deal--a fast,sharp.lightish-weight prime lens, *much* smaller and lighter and less-conspicuous than a 70-200/2.8 zoom lens, no stabilization in it. It's sort of a size/weight thing with the 180 or 200mm f/2.8 lenses--many people end up using their 70-200 at the long end, almost all the time. For those people, the zoom attribute is useless,and they'd simply rather have a slightly better 200mm lens as a prime than as a heavier zoom. If you read between the lines, the 135/2-L is a much faster-aperture lens than the 200/2.8, and on 1.6x, might be a much better choice for indoor use than the 200/2.8,and the 135/2 is actually the better lens optically than the 200/2.8.

    If you read the "prime pipe" review P.S. did--keep in mind that it was done on a 6 megapixel EOS 10D. That sensor does not stress any modern prime lens made within the last 50 years.
     
  7. cfusionpm

    cfusionpm TPF Noob!

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    The 1.4x still loses 1 stop (2.8 -> 4), whereas the 2x loses 2 (2.8 -> 5.6)
     
  8. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Derrel, thanks for "piping" in to the discussion. That is the first review of the lens that is a bit more objective. As I said, no decisions in the near-term, but I'm collecting information. I had been leaning towards the 400 f/5.6 as my next buy, but I wish they would revise it with IS.
     
  9. wescobts

    wescobts TPF Noob!

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    Sounds like the right approach. I myself went into the 70-200mm VR like there was nothing else out there. Yes it is a great lens, at great expense, weight, and size. Had I done some more research I might have ended up up the 180mm 2.8, (wish I knew of TPF & Darrel back then)which I feel would have fit my telephoto needs and had money left over for some more glass. Take your time, exhaust all possibilities before you pull the trigger... unless you have a printing press in the basement :lol:
     
  10. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I'm operating in blissful ignorance, since I own no IS lenses at the present time. What you don't know, won't hurt you, as they say. I made the mistake of putting the 100-400 on my 7D at the local camera store and started coveting the longer reach.
     
  11. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Here some shots i have taken with the 200mmF2.8L

    On a 5Dmk1 iso3200 F5 1/640
    [​IMG]

    From a while back 10D iso400 f2.8 1/640
    [​IMG]
     
  12. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Nice Gary. So, I'm curious. What was your thought process when you got it? Why did you choose it over the 70-200 f/2.8? I see you have the 70-200 f/4 - did you consider trading that one up to the faster zoom instead? Did the 200 meet your expectations? Have you used it with a 2x tc?
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2009

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