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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 13 Jan 2014 (Monday) 11:20
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My first Red Ring!

66 posts
Joined Jan 2013
Location: Vancouver
Jan 13, 2014 11:20 |  #1

I finally got one. A good deal on a used EF 200mm f/2.8 II came up, so I jumped it. The only telephotos I've used before this have been the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 USM III and the Sigma equivalent. It's a pretty stark difference in quality.

My initial impressions from playing around with it on the 60D - she's a beautiful but demanding mistress. The viewfinder is much brighter now. AF is incredibly quick and and solid - no hunting at all. It's as sharp as one would expect for an L series telephoto.

But with great power comes great responsibility. I can already tell to get the performance out of this lens will demand perfection from my technique. Drop the shutter speed too low, to much shake in the hands and bam - the magic is gone. Focus is critical - even at f/32, the DOF scale is tiny! But at least I know when I perform, the lens will too.

I picked this up lens as it was high time to upgrade my telephoto. I'd been humming and hawing between a used 70-200 f/2.8, 70-200 f/4 IS when this one came up. I went with this over the other two because:

1. I'm an over-smug hipster who loves primes and sneering down on those lowly zooms. Okay, I'm definitely not a hipster but I do love primes.
2. Most of my use of the 75-300 was at one end or the other. Getting this I can still pick up an 85 f/1.8 for the other end.
3. Every review I could find of this lens sang its praises. The only real knocks I heard against it were it doesn't have IS and it's not a zoom.
4. I couldn't get everything I wanted from either zoom: I wanted this lens for both hiking and sports, so I wanted the 2.8 aperture but also a light weight lens. I'd like IS too, but that's more like icing on the cake for me.
5. It's black.
6. Reliability. The 70-200 2.8's are (according to lensrentals) more likely to require repairs over their life. It's the nature of the beast - they're moving a lot of heavy glass around. I wanted to minimize the chance of the lens needing a visit to the shop, especially since I was buying used. My 50 f/1.4, currently on its second trip to Mississauga, has only reinforced this

Those were the main things that guided my decision, naturally the thinking will be different for everyone. I'm excited to get out with it!

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fondling the 5D4
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Jan 13, 2014 11:24 |  #2

4100xpb wrote in post #16601936 (external link)
...even at f/32, the DOF scale is tiny!


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Senior Member
791 posts
Joined Dec 2013
Jan 13, 2014 11:33 |  #3
bannedPermanent ban

Great lens. I sold mine for a 70-200 2.8, but that's me. Enjoy!

Bodies: 60D, 6D.
EFs: 15-85, 10-22
EF: 28-75, 35 f/2 IS, Σ70-200 OS, 100-400L
Flash: 580EX II, 430 EX II

Senior Member
526 posts
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Joined Dec 2011
Location: Bluegrass State
Jan 13, 2014 11:36 |  #4

Owned a copy one time myself. I was very pleased with it - may be the best value for a Canon L offered.

Gear: 5D MKIII * 6D * 35L (1.4) * 135L (2.0) * 24 - 70L (2.8II) * 70 - 200L (2.8ISII) * 200L (2.0IS) * 580 EX * Induro CT213 * PCB AB B800 (X3) * Pocketwizard Plus

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Jan 13, 2014 11:58 as a reply to  @ ctwatkins's post |  #5

I'm still laughing at the title!

Canon 1Ds3 | 16-35/4 | 50/1.8 | 135/2​/photos/ukmitch86/ (external link)

1,568 posts
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Joined Dec 2010
Location: Trespassing in South Florida
Jan 13, 2014 12:03 |  #6

I thought this would be a thread about a rash

Everything is relative.
Gear: 6D, Unholy Trinity:twisted: (24Lii, sigma 50A, 135L), and for the other ends of the spectrum, sigmaEX 14mm2.8 and sigmaEX 100-300F4.
Fuji X-e2, Rokinon 8 2.8 Fisheye II, Fuji 14 2.8, Fuji 18-55, Fuji 23 1.4
FlikR (external link)

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Location: Arcadia, Indiana
Jan 13, 2014 12:09 |  #7

[QUOTE=4100xpb;1660193​6] Focus is critical - even at f/32, the DOF scale is tiny! QUOTE]

Kinda puzzled over this - maybe you mean at the other end?

Canon 5DS-R
Canon 24-70MM II
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Canon 100-400MM IS II
Canon 500MM f/4 IS II

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Location: San Jose, CA
Jan 13, 2014 12:26 as a reply to  @ UKmitch86's post |  #8

the only concern i would add is that you said you always used the 70-300 at either end. and 300mm is quite a bit longer than 200mm.

i just came back from the zoo. i actually packed both a 70-200 2.8 ii and a 70-300L. i started using the 70-200 and found that it's not nearly long enough for most animals. then i switched to the 70-300 and got better shots. actually went back to the car and dropped off all the other gear i had in my backpack including a general zoom, macro, monopod, etc., and just walked around with the 70-300L all day.

you might find yourself wishing you had a longer lens, especially for sports.

maybe pick up a teleconverter?

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Location: Milwaukee, WI
Jan 13, 2014 12:27 as a reply to  @ Scud49's post |  #9

Did you look at the 135L? I know you said that you were at one end or the other of your 75-300, so I understand why you would go with the 200L over the 135L. I am interested in both, but buying both would put you at the price of the 70-200, so I struggle to justify buying both.

But I do love primes too. Is this your first telephoto prime? I have used many shorter primes, but I worry that with a long lens it will be more difficult to frame and will require more moving around. But I have never used a telephoto prime so I cant say for sure.

Andrew | Flickr (external link) | Instagram (external link)

66 posts
Joined Jan 2013
Location: Vancouver
Jan 13, 2014 13:03 |  #10

Hehe, glad I got some giggles.

I've still got the 75-300, I'll keep it for a bit to see how much I miss the extra reach on it. If I'm still grabbing for it regularly, I'll probably pick up a TC - from what I can tell this lens play very nicely with a 1.4.

For the DOF scale, I meant what I said. Obviously at f/2.8 the DOF is even thinner, but even at f/32 it's still not what I would call deep - at least by my standards.

The 135L crossed my mind, but only briefly. At first I was looking for the 70-200s, but when this came up I figured I could do an 85 f/1.8 and 200 f/2.8 combo at about the same price as the zooms I was thinking of. The 135L is a bit more than the 200 around here, though I could probably save a few more pennies and pick up an 85 with it too, but in the context of my other lenses I figured the 200L would be better. I''ve got a 28 and 50 already - I figured the 85 and 200 would fit better on top of those than the 85 and 135. Especially since I didn't find myself using that length with the zoom very much. But horses for courses and all that.

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My first Red Ring!
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