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Canon EF 200m f/2L IS

I’m working on a review of the Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS for DAP, with the 200/2L IS on loan courtesy of our trusted vendor B&H Photo in New York. Give B&H a try, they carry just about everything for photo, video, computers and more.

Initial results look very impressive in terms of sharpness, flare control, bokeh, etc. The original 200mm f/1.8L had a great reputation, but this new 200/2L looks to be outstanding as well, and perhaps even better. Although Canon offers an aging 200mm f/2.8L II design, the 200/2L IS is easily superior.

At 6.1 pounds = 2773g with hood and rear lens cap, it’s no lightweight, but that’s actually relatively light for a 200mm f/2. Add 269g for the E-145B lens cap. Those are “as weighed” weights on a gram-accurate balance. The main downside other than weight and bulk is that it’s impossible to shoot without attracting attention. Men and women seem equally attracted, possibly for different reasons, as I observed this evening while shooting it.

As usual, never allow such a lens to hang off your camera’s lens mount unsupported— support the lens at all times or risk a warped lens mount. The lens is a large lever arm, and no lens mount can support that kind of weight unscathed for long. Always tripod mount it using the lens foot, for which you’ll need a lens plate for your tripod head. Handholding just means supporting the lens with one hand, no problem.

Tonight I shot a series comparing it using the EF 1.4X Extender II to the 300m f/2.8L IS, so I’ll be looking to answer the question of weather the 200/2L IS + 1.4X teleconverter is a versatile substitute for the 300/2.8L IS. I personally find a 200/2 more useful than a 300/2.8, so it’s a question I want answered for my own purposes, but I suspect that anyone considering such lenses will also find that quite interesting.

Get the Canon 200mm f/2L IS at our trusted vendor B&H Photo, about $5300 . The EF 1.4X extender II at about $309 is a no-brainer if you’re getting the 200/2L, since it’s less than 6% of the cost of the lens itself. Adding it to the 200/2L IS yields a 280mm f/2.8 (nominal).

Magnolia
Canon 5D Mark II + Canon 200m f/2L IS @ f/2
Dusk
Canon 5D Mark II + Canon 200m f/2L IS @ f/8

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