Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 L USM II - Full Format Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - Canon EOS (Full Format)

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published February 2011


The Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 L USM II is a fairly old lens introduced back in march 1996. The design differences compared to the initial version are really marginal - Canon decided to replace the build-in hood of the mk I for a snap-on variant. Other than that both lenses are basically identical down to the optics. Compared to the rather overwhelmingly number of 70-200mm L zoom lenses it is probably more a niche product today. That said there're a couple of fairly obvious advantages such as comparatively short size, low weight and reasonable pricing.

The build quality of the Canon lens is excellent thanks to a tightly assembled combination of high quality plastics and (mostly) metal parts. There's no weather sealing though.Manual focusing is very smooth and the broad, rubberized focus control rings adds to the positive impression here. It is a true IF design so the physical size of the lens remains constant during focusing and the the front element does not rotate. All-in-all a typical Canon L-class lens.

The EF 200mm f/2.8 USM L II features a ring-type USM AF drive allowing very fast and silent AF operations. The AF accuracy of the tested sample was very high. Contrast/Live-View AF is reasonably fast but naturally not comparable to the conventional phase-detection AF. Full-time manual focusing (FTM) remains possible in one-shot AF mode.

Optical construction9 elements in 2 groups inc. 2x UD elements
Number of aperture blades8
min. focus distance1.5 m (max. magnification ratio 1:5)
Dimensions83 x 136 mm
Weight765 g
Filter size72 mm
Hoodbarrel shaped, supplied
Other featuresCompatible to EF 1.4x and EF 2x converters. Optional tripod mount available.

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