Canon EF 200mm f2.8 L USM Mk II Lens
28/02/09I've been using this lens for about three years now on a 1.6x crop camera. I needed a good quality telephoto and this was just such good value. Build quality is rock solid, it's lightweight and the design is simple. The lens is supplied with a lens hood and soft case but disappointingly Canon don't supply a tripod ring with the lens One is available and I splashed out and bought it - it does make the whole outfit balance better when using a tripod but is certainly not essential.
The lens is incredibly sharp and focusing is extremely quick. For candid shots it is relatively dicreet - much more so than the 'white' 70-200. As with all long non-image stabilised lenses you just need to be realistic about what shutter speeds you can use when hand holding this lens. It can also cope well with a teleconverter. I've used both a 1.4x and a 2x extender on it with good results. On a crop camera you are getting the equivalent of a 320mm f2.8 or a 640mm f5.6 with a 2x extender and that is very useful for wildlife photography.
Understandably, people get indecisive between buying this lens and one of the 70-200mm L lenses. It can be a tough choice and at the end of the day it's a very personal one. The 200mm prime lens has the advantage over the zooms of marginally higher quality and a less obvious colour scheme (black versus white). It is also the cheapest option if you need an aperture of f2.8. On the other hand it doesn't have image stabilisation or the flexibility of a zoom. The Canon 70-200mm f4 zoom is cheaper than this lens but is only f4. All the other Canon 70-200mm zooms are more expensive than the 200mm prime lens.
This lens seems to often be overlooked but if you want top quality at a reasonable price then look no further.
Overall Rating: 5/5
Ease of use: 5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Build quality: 55