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Canon EF 200 mm f/ 1.8 L USM Lens

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Canon EF 200 mm f/ 1.8 L USM lens

Canon EF 200 mm f/ 1.8 L USM lens

Canon EF 200 mm f/ 1.8 L USM lens

Canon EF 200 mm f/ 1.8 L USM lens

Canon EF 200 mm f/ 1.8 L USM lens


Canon EF 200 mm f/ 1.8 L USM MTF Chart

Canon EF 200 mm f/ 1.8 L USM MTF Chart

Optical design

Canon EF 200 mm f/ 1.8 L USM optical design

Canon EF 200 mm f/ 1.8 L USM optical design

Format: 35mm SLR

Type: Prime lens

Focusing: Auto Focus (AF)

Lens mounts: Canon EF, EF-S

First year of production: 1998

Last year of production: 2004

Optical design: 12 elements in 10 groups

Features: Ultra-Sonic Motor
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Average price: $7167


Focal lengthMax. apertureMin. apertureBladesMin. Focus (m.)Filter Ø (mm.)Weight (gr/oz)Length (mm/in)

Additional information:

The Canon EF 200 mm f/ 1.8 L USM

  • diameter 130 mm
  • max. magnification 0.09

The Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM   is a professional L-series ultra- fast telephoto prime lens for Canon EOS digital and film cameras.  It is considered to be one the best EF lenses ever. Equivalent focal length for APS-C cameras:   320 mm.

This is a veteran lens in the EF lineup. It was designed in1988 with the goal to demonstrate all the advantages of new autofocus EF cameras. And it has accomplished its mission. Despite the fact that the lens was discontinued in 2004 ( due to high costs of production), it has been in greatest demand up to now because of its optical characteristics given below.

Later on the variant for Canon FDn cameras was released under the pressure of  indignant professional photojournalists who had a considerable amount of devices with the old bayonet and who did not want to substitute it for anything. The Canon FDn 200mm f/1.8L was released in so small lot that it is extremely rare now, even among collectors.

 The Canon EF 200 mm f/ 1.8 L USM lens is rather large (max. diameter - 130 mm) and heavy (3 kg).

The 1.8 max. aperture ratio, unique for such a focal length, enables shooting with a very shallow depth of field, as well as in low-light-level conditions.

It features an 8-blade aperture. Front element diameter - 130 mm The lens produces very beautiful out-of-focus blurring (Bokeh). Circles of confusion are virtually ideally round.

The Canon EF 200  mm f/ 1.8 L USM is already sharp at f/1.8. It may be the best aperture setting for portraiture - the image is rather sharp and at the same time very flexible. It is very sharp from f/ 2.8 onward. There is an insignificant fall of resolution at the frame borders on 35 mm digital cameras.

Vignetting is visible only when shooting wide open.  Vignetting is usually an advantage for a portrait photography, as it provides a picture with additional volume.  If necessary, it is easily edited in RAW-converters.   From f/2.8 vignetting is almost invisible.

The optical scheme of the lens includes three UD fluorite glass elements with large diameter, which minimizes aberrations and has a positive effect upon color and contrast rendering. These lenses are ground out of individually-grown soft crystals of optical fluorite.

The  Canon EF 200mm f/1L USM is well resistant to  back and side light.  In order to ensure a better image quality, it is recommended to use a hood.  In travel position the hood well covers all basic rings and control elements.

Focusing is internal. The front lens does not rotate. Manual adjustment of sharpness is possible at any time by turning the focus ring.

Color  rendering is natural, colors are saturated. Image contrast ranges from medium at f/1.8 to high at the rest aperture settings.

Special 48 mm filters are used on this lens. They are installed into a  special container (filter holder) in the rear part of the lens.

The built-in ring-type ultra-sonic motor makes focusing fast and silent.   The lens provides steady focusing in poor lighting conditions.  Its focusing speed is still the fastest in the world for 200 mm cameras.

The Canon EF 200mm f/1.8L USM is perfectly fit for portraiture, quite fit for sportive events and photojournalism, as well as for those type of photography where a shallow depth of field is important.

Compatible hood: ET-123

The lens comes completed with a lens hood, a soft case and a rigid metal case.

The lens is compatible with  Canon

  • Extender EF 1.4X: focal length - 280 mm, lens speed - f/2.5 with autofocus
  • Extender EF 2.0X: focal length - 400 mm, lens speed - f/3.5 with autofocus

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Posted by: Sergei Borodin   Date of publication: 23.09.2010

Mechanical quality5.002
Optical quality5.002
Pricing / Value3.003
Overall lens rating

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