Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM Lens Review

Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM Handling and Features

Canon EF 200mm F2 L IS USM (9)

Design and build-wise, this lens bears all the hallmarks of Canon's high-end telephoto lenses, including the off-white paint finish designed to make the lens easier to handle in hot, direct sunlight. Tough, weather sealed construction is complemented by chunky switches that are easy to operate in a hurry, and possibly even when wearing gloves. As a result, this is a heavy lens, weighing over 2.5kg. Even so, it just about balances well with the Canon EOS 5D MkIII body used for testing, although a battery grip will be well advised for shooting hand held in portrait orientation, and some kind of support may be advised for shooting over long periods of time.

Auto focus is powered by a ring-type Ultrasonic motor, and focusing is extremely fast and is virtually silent. Manual adjustments can be made at any point by turning the focus ring and focus lock buttons are provided on the lens barrel for focusing and recomposing. The focusing ring is smooth, with just the right amount of resistance to make applying fine manual adjustments a pleasure. Minimum focus is 1.9m from the sensor plane, which is typical for a lens of this focal length and aperture.

Canon EF 200mm F2 L IS USM (12)

Focusing is performed internally and the lens accepts 52mm filters that drop into the rear section of the lens. The lens comes supplied with a gelatin filter holder and a holder that accepts Canon screw-fit filters can be purchased separately. A deep circular hood and hard lens case are also supplied as standard. Canon's 1.4x and 2x teleconverters can both be used with this lens to add more flexibility.

With care, it is possible to take sharp images hand held using the image stabiliser at shutter speeds as low as 1/13sec, around half the time. This is roughly four tops slower than the usual rule of thumb for shooting hand held will normally allow. The image stabiliser also holds the viewfinder image completely steady, which can help with focusing and composition.

Canon EF 200mm F2 L IS USM (8)

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