Modern Classic SLR Series :
Additional Information on Canon EF lenses
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8
L USM Telephoto lens - Part III

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Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L Telephoto lense by Canon Marketing Malaysia
Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Telephoto Lens

Marketed: 1996 ~

Just when you thought the EF 200mm f/2.8L featured earlier was good enough; Canon did a revision to the original version with another update in 1996.

The MK II EF medium telephoto was among the five
L-series lenses being introduced at the same time by Canon. The remaining ones were Canon super-tele EF 400mm f/2.8L USM II, a new ultrawide zoom EF 17-35mm f/2.8L USM, EF 135mm f/2.0L USM and the EF 180mm f/3.5L MACRO USM

What has been improved upon ? A ring type USM. Fine-tuned physical balance with a layer of coating to the lens barrel for a more , errr.. professional look and feel; It is compatible with an optional detachable tripod collar for stable support at slower shutter speed and permits vertical to horizontal position or vice-versa. The built-in lens hood feature has, strangely been omitted in this upgrade - and replaced with an option to purchase a separate large lens hood with a long extension if mounted onto the lense. Canon claimed the decision was based on users request for an improved, more efficient lens hood where the built-in hood has very short extension for effective shield from stray lights, especially during backlit situation.

Detacheable Tripod Collar for new version of 200mm f/2.8L telephotos
Optically, based on the illustration of the optical construction shown - virtually no change in the formula It boosts a high image quality and portability ease. The use of the two UD-glass elements and rear focusing help to counter or correct aberrations, making the image delineation extremely sharp. The 8 diaphragm blades also contributes to natural-looking out of focus background blur as well as backlit spots, as Canon said, it has been simulated. Probably it can help a great deal especially for portraiture, nature or night photography. Its non rotational front also facilitates the use of Polarizer/ND filter(s) for other possible effect. Although most people would favor the EF 135mm f/2.0L USM for portraiture - personally, I would think the 180 f/2.8L is even a better buy as longer the focal length, you not only confined application to head and shoulder or facial portrait but the blur of the 180mm at its widest aperture is much better for even full length shot. Further, its extended focal length provides a longer reach from distance for wider kind of photographic applications which includes nature, fair bit of wildlife, travel and even close-up with its 1:5 RR capability. Well, at suggestive retail price@ approx. USD 670-00 - this lens will survive among the many Canon fast speed L-series Tele- zoom such as the popular 16 elements (13 groups) Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L USM which replaced the early obsolete Canon EF 80-200mm f/2.8L years ago.

Vincent Bourrut Winter sports.. 90K Loading ... LINK
Credit: Image courtesy of Vincent Bourrut from switzerland, whose PORTFOLIO can be accessed at hos own website. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

Part II:- Guest write-up by my friend, Philip Chong who "test driven" the lens for Canon Marketing when it was launched. Philip is also the Editor for Digital Camera Magazine publication in Singapore and Malaysia.

" ..... High performance Canon L-series EF zoom lenses with large maximum apertures are convenient and very versatile to use nowadays as compared with single focal length versions. But there is always a market for single focal length lenses despite the convenience of such zoom lenses. That is why one can still find such a generous range of high performance L-series single focal length lenses in the Canon EOS/EF lineup like the EF 24mm f/1.4L USM, EF 35mm f/1.4L USM, EF 50mm f/1.0L, EF 85mm f/1.2L USM, EF 135mm f/2.0L USM, EF 200mm f/2.8L Mk II USM, EF 300mm f/4L IS USM and EF 400mm f/5.6L USM etc. The many versions of the Canon IS USM super telephotos (as well as the Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM) and ultra-super-telephoto EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM are probably classified in a different league than these as each of them may cost more than a few times than a Canon flagship digital SLR or many multiples of a Canon film based EOS-1V HS SLR.

This Canon EF 200mm f/2.8
L II USM, as its designation suggests, is the second version in the EF line-up. The first one came with a built-in hood and no option for a removable tripod collar. The current version did away with the built-in hood and can be fitted with a tripod collar, which is optional. It is the same collar that was used in the discontinued EF 80-200mm f/2.8L AFD zoom lens. Lens hood is also optional. It has a filter thread of 72mm and a dry weight of only 765 grams, which is lighter than the EF 28-70mm f/2.8L USM by 115 grams; EF 70-200mm f/2.8L/4L USM by 545 grams and marginally lighter than its predecessor It also shares the same closest focusing distance performance as the previous model, which is at 1.5m/5 ft. and similar in their overall length (but slightly longer than the EF 28-70mm f/2.8L USM but shorter than either EF 70-200L lenses).

Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L by Timorthy Bateman
The 200mm f/2.8 designation from Canon has been around since the manual focus original version in the early '70s to the New FD 200mm f/2.8 type w/Rear-group focusing offered during the mid-80s. Unlike the EF lens, both FD versions incorporated only elements having low-refractive characteristics to correct chromatic aberrations. The EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM uses two UD elements in its 9-element/7-group construction to earn its L-series designation. It has been a long time since I last used a single focal length 200mm telephoto with an f/2.8 maximum aperture - the lens in question happened to be my very own New FD 200mm f/2.8 version that was sold off together with most of my other FD lenses and the Canon T90, save for the Canon New F-1 to invest in the EOS System starting with the original EOS-1 and two L-series EF zooms.

I remember that I did a field test on a demo unit arranged by Canon Marketing, probably due to frequent use of zoom lenses nowadays, I found that I need to do more walking than usual in order to find the best camera angle for the subject matters that can be shot with the restricted 12-degree diagonal angle-of-view of the 200mm focal length as compared to my EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM zoom, where I can alter the settings without moving out of my shooting position. Nevertheless, once you get used to the 200mm focal length, finding the subject matter is easy. Personally, I felt the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM suffers from slight pincushion distortion (hardly noticeable unless you look for it) but the EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM has none that is evident through the viewfinder or in the many final images processed for my works. For an instance, The few images that I took which contains rolls of grilles are not exactly parallel to the film plane when the image is recorded on film, - anyway, as this is not relative to the zoom but rather the telephoto lense we are discussing. Optical quality for the EF 200mm f/2.8L USM II is simply superb. During early days when Canon passed me a demo lense, I took a series of portraits, all shot at the lens' maximum aperture of f/2.8 via vertical bounced E-TTL flash, and I am deeply impressed with it has to offer to photographers who may be fond of these applications.

A day's end  by Mark_Schretlen (113k Jpeg) Loading ...
A day's end ...

The distinctive compression of perspective, typical of a telephoto lens.

: Image courtesy of Mark Schretlen from Canada whose PORTFOLIO can be accessed at PBase. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

The EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM (and its predecessor) is able to utilize the Extenders EF 1.4x and EF 2x as well as the newer EF 1.4x II and EF 2x II. With both the older and newer EF 1.4x Extenders, the focal length will be "increased" to 280mm and a loss of one stop in the maximum aperture to f/4. With the older and newer EF 2x Extenders, the focal length will be "increased" to 400mm and the loss of two stops in the maximum aperture to f/5.6. Similarly, the use of either Extender will also increase the subject's magnification in close-up shooting with the EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM as the closest focusing distance of 1.5m/5 ft remains unchanged. Whatever it is, overall - zoom lenses are far more versatile than using any single focal length lens nowadays. But for those who still prefer using single focal length lenses over zooms, the EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM is an excellent performer and well worth the asking price. And if you think the price for a brand new version is too high, you can always shop around for a used unit, either the first type or the current one, from dealers who specialize in secondhand photographic equipment....."

06.03.2006 -
Philip Chong -

Technical Specification for Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM Telephoto: -

Type: - Autofocus lens type with manual focusing mechanism
Focal Length: Fixed focal length 200mm
Focus Adjustment:- Autofocus; ring type micro USM; Inner and rear focus design, Dual range focusing range limiter
Manual Focusing:- possible via AF/M switch and electronic full-time manual focusing possible via focusing ring
Zoom Adjustment:- Nil. Fixed Focal Length Lens
Closest Focusing Distance:- 1.5m (4.9ft)
Maximum Magnification:- 0.16X
Drive System:- Ring-type USM equipped with full-time manual focusing
Distance Scales: Provided via window on metres/feet.
Angle of View:- 10°
7° 12° (horizontal, vertical and diagonal)
Aperture range:- f/2.8 - f/32
Number of Diaphragm Blades: - 8 blades
Minimum Aperture: - f/32
Filter rotation: No
Filter Attachment Size:- 72mm front mounting
Lens construction:- 9 Elements in 7 Groups with Two UD glass elements (at 2nd and 4th)

Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L USM II optical constuction MTF for original EF 200mm f/2.8L Mk II
Extenders: Usable. Extender EF 1.4X:- focal length multiplication: 280mm f/4 ~f/45, AF retained, Magnification ratio: max. 0.22X; Extender EF 2.0X: focal length multiplication: 400mm f/5.6~f/64, AF retained; Magnification ratio: max. 0.32X;
Others: - Extension Tube Extension Tube EF12 II: 0.23-0.06X; Extension Tube EF25 (II) 0.32X-0.14X
Diameter:- 136.2mm x 83.2mm (5.4" x 3.3");
:- 765g (1.7 Ibs.)

Accessories:- lens hood:- ET- 83B; Lens Cap/pouch E-72U (supplied ); lens hard case: LH-D18 or LP-1222; Gelatin Filter Holder III/V:- 5; Optional, Detachable Tripod Collar. 72mm close-ups Lens 500D; 72mm Circular Polarizer PL-C; Lens Dust Cap E Rear Cap, Gelatin Filter Holder Adapter III 72; Gelatin Filter Holder Adapter IV 72; Tripod Mount Ring A (B); Macrolite Adapter 72C; 72mm UV Haze (L-39 Sharp Cut)

Meeting an old friend inside the pedestrian  tunnel by Mark_Schretlen (68k Jpeg) Loading ...
+ 15 meeting an old friend..

: Image courtesy of Mark Schretlen from Canada whose PORTFOLIO can be accessed at PBase. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

* Note:- With the exception of Contax, Leica, Olympus and Nikon which opted for their fast speed f/2.8 at an odd 180mm focal length; virtually the remaining established camera/lens manufacturers select 200mm as the primary focal length for this lens speed. I provide some lenses of other makes for cross references. ** Some of them may have a faster lens speed at f/2.0, please refer to earlier page for more info. Shorter 180mm focal length from 200mm mainly for containing dimension of the lense of f/2.8 within a more compact, portable package - all from an individual perception whether it works for the better than comparing 200mm focal length.

Leica APO ELMARIT-R 180mm f/2.8 LINK

Minolta AF APO 200mm f/2.8G  Link

Carl Zeiss Olympia Sonnar 180mm f/2.8 LINK

LEICA APO-ELMARIT-R f/2.8/180 mm (PDF)

Minolta APO AF 200mm f/2.8G by Marcus Karlsen
Minolta MF 200mm f/2.8 MD Tele-Rokkor by Anthony

CONTAX Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 180mm F/2 8 This is the famed Olympia Sonnar, could have first spearheaded popularity of 180mm focal length

Olympus Zuiko 180mm f/2.8 LINK

NIkkor 180mm f/2.8ED LINK

Pentax SMC-P A 180mm f/2.8 ED no info

OLYMPUS Zuiko 180mm f/2.8

Nikon MF-Nikkor 180mm f/2.8s ED

Pentax SMC-P A 200mm f/2.8 ED

Other Canon Telephoto lens alternatives: The high speed Canon EF135mm f/2.0L USM; Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L | 300mm | 400mm | 500mm | 600mm | 1200mm |
Relative: - Canon EF Tele-Zoom 70-200mm f/4
L USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM; EF 80-200mm f/2.8L or other Tele-Zoom alternatives
Canon FD Telephoto Lenses
FDn 200mm f/2.8 200mm S.S.C + Main Index Page on Canon FD lens Resources

Suggestive External Link:- Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L USM MK II USM (linked to's Review with evaluative MTF analysis)

| previous | 3/3 The Original Version of the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L Telephoto

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Mystic water ..

: Image courtesy of Jeff Lim from Singapore. whose PORTFOLIO can be accessed at PBase. Image copyright © 2006. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.

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