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Keywords: Canon EF Tele Prime 35mm L USM Tested


Registered: December 2014
Posts: 1
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM review by cutnorth
Review Date: 12/4/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $688.00| Rating: 8 

Pros: Very sharp, very quick autofocus, smallish, lightish, great out-of-focus blur
Cons: A little long for really good handholdability

I shoot with a 6D, own several L lenses, including the very sharp 24-70 f2.8 Mkii, 70-200 f4 IS and the 135 f2.

The 200mm is quite sharp at 2.8, I'd not hesitate to use it here, better at 3.5 and top notch through to f8. If you own the 24-105, you will really notice the step up in sharpness, but will miss the stabilisation.

A heads-up for prospective buyers: got to keep shutter speed up to maintain sharpness. I get some keepers at 1/250 but more at 1/500+. This means that hand-held, you'll be shooting at f2.8 and f3.5 quite often, perhaps at ISO 400 if you want smaller apertures, and probably during the day or in bright light. By the end of the day, you may find the ISO up around 800. When you get the shot, it's good! In a studio, on a tripod, this would be a brilliant portrait lens for shooting at, say, f4.5-5.6.

I bought this lens to travel with, and I think it'll be great for street scenes, but I'm wondering about dimly lit markets and temples in that I'll have to pump up the ISO and, of course, prefer not to. The 135mm f2 is terrific, hand-held, in dim temples but I wanted a little more reach.

Registered: January 2012
Posts: 2
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM review by NVO
Review Date: 1/21/2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $800.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: Uniform, creamy contrast across the frame, tack sharp, AF-friendly
Cons: Somewhat unbalanced on 5D2 body

Excellent image quality on full frame, across the frame - very uniform. Rich, creamy contrast in darker areas. And yet it's tack sharp - when properly focused. I expected precise focusing to be quite a problem at 200mm, but actually 5Dmk2 autofocuses it more reliably than 85/1.8. After some trial and error, it seems that there's no real benefit in using live view in daytime shots - only at night time.

Long-exposure night shots in the city at F/5.6 and F/8 are great - bright lights have neat 8-ray stars around them, but no disturbing blooming. Very clean transition from light to dark. Wide open bokeh is excellent, - no "onion rings" or colour shift. Cat's eye effect is moderate: peripheral out-of-focus lights are shaped like an American football, with well-rounded corners, otherwise they look the same as in the center of the frame.

Perhaps the only complaint is about physical balance of weights on 5Dmk2 body. The all-metal barrel is quite front-heavy, and yet it's too narrow - hard to support firmly by hand. The problems goes away with attached battery grip and an L-bracket.

Registered: August 2010
Posts: 4
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM review by redvsion
Review Date: 10/1/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $600.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ, weight, size, handling, price... everything.
Cons: Jack.

I don't think I've ever seen a bad review for this lens, and there's a good reason for that: it's damn near perfect.

Sure, I can nitpick. There's no IS, but that would add to the size/weight. It's not weather-sealed, but it's one of the cheapest L lenses you can buy. A 135mm f/2 with a 1.4x extender is more versatile, but that combo costs almost twice as much.

Otherwise, what you get is a relatively compact telephoto with superb image quality and if that's what you need, look no further. It's *very* tight on crop (320mm) which is great if you're stuck at a distance (or are just plain lazy), but can be fairly limiting. Personally I preferred the extra reach. Low-light work is exceptional - its size allows for hand-held shutter speeds well below 1/200 without too many misses.

This has been my first - and so far only - L lens. Coming from cheaper gear, I was concerned about the jump in price, and I'm still weary about spending over $1000 on glass. This thing, though? Underpriced. I use it nearly every time I shoot, and I'm impressed with almost every shot.

Registered: November 2008
Posts: 31
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM review by MartinM
Review Date: 7/29/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $750.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, Fast AF, Compact Size
Cons: No IS, no sealing

Very nice addition to my low light prime park. This prime is sharp and fast focussing. Addtionally I can add the Extender 2x II to enhance my daylight reach of my 70-300L to 400 F5.6 without loss of IQ or AF speed.
The only drawback is the lack of IS and weather sealing.
A Mark 3 with the IS and sealing of the 100L would be really cool.

Registered: May 2009
Posts: 2
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM review by dannyhorlok
Review Date: 9/21/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $745.00| Rating: 9 

Pros: relatively small size + weight, AF speed, build quality, it's black, super sharp, wonderful bokeh
Cons: no IS

i have fallen in love with this lens!!! it really shines in the daylight, and the AF performance is achingly good me super sharp images. and don't even get me started on the bokeh... creamy and dreamy - non of my other lenses are capable of producing anything like this kind of bokeh. and i soon got used to the fixed 200mm focal length - superb head/shoulder shots were made effortlessly.

indoors, i up the ISO to 1600 whilst shooting at f/2.8 on my 450D, and that seems to do the trick, in terms of stopping the action and eliminating camera shake. another cool thing i've noticed was that people don't notice that i am taking pictures of them, as the lens is relatively small, and also black. as i'm standing quite far away from them, capturing candid moments is easy!

the build quality is very high, and if this lens had IS (without compromising it's other qualities), it would have pretty much zero faults

Registered: April 2009
Posts: 11
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM review by climber
Review Date: 4/21/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $700.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Excellent image quality, construction, speed, accuracy, dreamy bokeh, BLACK
Cons: NONE

I was looking for something special, light and inconspicious. I was looking for a fast lens with the best image quality and bokeh.

Forget about the white L zooms, forget about the IS. Back to the roots.

Have you ever tried a portrait at 200mm at f2.8? The bokeh is sweet and dreamy, simply out of this world.

I use this lens a lot with a 1.4X TC and there is almost no loss of IQ. Canon 200mm f2.8 L is one of the best lenses out there.

Registered: September 2008
Posts: 3
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM review by upnorthfar
Review Date: 9/24/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $600.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: sharp, lightweight, black
Cons: -

Excellent sharpness throughout the image. I bought this lens for a special low light wildlife shoot and was supposed to sell it afterwards. I just can't, it's such a sharp and nice lens.

Registered: August 2008
Posts: 15
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM review by Badmono
Review Date: 8/22/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Great IQ - Great Price - Great Lens
Cons: Absolutely None

A fabulous and underated lens well deserving of the 'L' tag the IQ and Bokeh are wonderful I always leave it fitted to one of my camera bodies
Not quite as sharp as the 135 F2 but it's longer focal length suits me more often than my 135, but not as often as my 400F2.8 IS which is the other lens always fitted to a body.
I bought this lens after selling my 70-200 IS 'Hell' seies zoom.
This IQ from this lens makes the 70-200 zooms IQ look distinctly secondrate.
Thouroughly recomended - if you need this focal length just buy one you won't regret it.

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 16
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM review by thomiz
Review Date: 1/8/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharp, fast, light, small
Cons: Could have IS

A wery fine lens indeed. My best in my current lineup of lenses. This is a "go everywhere" short telephoto, and on the 20D it turns into 320mm which is nice for telphoto shots of wildlife and some birds. The bokeh of this lens is exelent and it can be used for nearly anything from portrait to landscape. The lack of IS is sometimes missed as you need high speeds to handhold this lens.

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 10
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM review by Wolfini
Review Date: 1/5/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $520.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: IQ, AF, size, price
Cons: (focal length on crop, weight)

This is a really great lens. Actually I have the "old" version with the built in lenshood.

IQ is great in every way: sharpness, contrast, color, flare, CA, I really cannot imagine a better lens here.

Combined with a Kenko 1,5 TC it´s still very good, and even with a 2x TC (Kenko Pro300) it´s very usable as a 400mm, although there is some softening with a halo-like effect.

Construction is also very good, but the downside of this is, that the lens is quite heavy when you want to carry it eg on hiking trips.

Unfortunately I don´t use this very much, as it´s too long on crop for my everyday needs like portraits, and for outdoors it´s a bit too heavy. But it is a wonderful zoo-lens!

Still, as I payed only EUR 400 (used) I cannot imagine to ever part from this great lens.

Registered: July 2006
Posts: 9
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM review by photogjack
Review Date: 12/8/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $700.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: razor sharp, light weight, fast focusing
Cons: absolutely none

This is an amazing piece of glass. Stunningly sharp, very fast to focus, lightweight, discrete (especially if you are used to using one of the giant white zooms). I started using this instead of my 70-200 2.8 L (IS) and have never regretted it. 11 stars out of 10.

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 13
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM review by dccps
Review Date: 11/30/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $645.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: outstanding sharpness, fast lens, well constructed
Cons: none

One of the finest telephoto lenses I've ever used. Great on a reduced size sensor, equivalent to a 300mm (rounded off) optic with an f/2.8 aperture. If you want to capture action during an evening football or baseball game, then GET THIS LENS! Much lighter than 70-200 and covers the field of view most will default to anyway.

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 1
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM review by tpilot
Review Date: 11/28/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $550.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Great optics, fast and one of the best bargains out there
Cons: None to date

This is one of Canons sharpest lens, up there with the Canon 135 2.0 which is regarded as the sharpest of Canons lineup. I have the Mark 1 version which has the built in hoo
David Hay

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 8
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM review by David Hay
Review Date: 11/11/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $570.00| Rating: 10 

Pros: Short,fast, black.
Cons: None.

Mine is a Mark 1. I bought it second-hand from a professional, battle scars and all. It had a filter on the front from new so the front element was unmarked.

Very,very sharp images. Fast AF but the manual focus on mine is very slack feeling after a lot of professinal use. The built-in lens hood is not long enough to make much difference.

I used it recently at the Edinburgh Festival (while my 70-300 IS was getting fixed) and the results were excellent. You could cut out street performers from the crowd with the shallow depth of field. It was so sharp it was cruel. You could even see skin blemishes under all their make-up.

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 6
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM review by psulonen
Review Date: 10/20/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

Pros: Optically awesome, built like a brick outhouse
Cons: None that aren't inherent to what it is

OK, I actually had the Mark I rather than the Mark II, but since the only difference between the two is the design of the hood (the Mark I had an integrated slip-on-slip-off hood while the Mark II has the regular reversible twist-on-twist-off design), I figure I could post my comments.

First off, optically this is an awe-inspiring lens -- as good as equally sharp at all apertures, beautiful contrast and clarity, beautiful bokeh, literally no optical boogers worth mentioning. It'll even take a teleconverter without breaking a sweat. This, friends, is as good as it gets optically.

The same goes for build -- it's very confidence-inspiring in feel, and focuses lightning-fast and accurately.

Why did I sell mine, then? Because I didn't really have a use for this kind of beast. While much lighter than an f/2.8 telezoom, it's still a pretty big and bulky beast, and for telephoto were "zooming with your feet" is often not an option, it's a fairly limiting lens.

But if your main interest is, for example, wildlife, I can't think of a better Canon lens for the mission -- when you need both the bright aperture for those dawn or dusk moments, and every gram in the backpack counts, you can't really do any better at this focal length.

Another situation where I found the lens highly attractive was fashion-type shooting: you do need to back up a quite a bit, but the telephoto compression does good things to the features, the control over depth of field is great, and, of course, optically this one is the bee's knees.

In a nutshell, an awesomely good lens... with a fairly limited range of potential applications. If one of those applications is your thang, it's a bit of a no-brainer. If it isn't, it's a dust-collector.


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