Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L Mark I v Mark II

kit-monster 16 3.7k 2 Singapore
3 Mar 2004 12:31PM
After months of dithering, I've finally decided to go down the prime with converters route to wildlife photography. I really like the idea of a 100-400 IS but don't really see the point of IS if you're trying to get fast crisp shots.
I had hoped to get a second hand 200 but only managed to find a Mark 1 for 350 (too much?) - I guess it's a testimony to the lens that they're very rare on the secondhand market.
Does anyone have experience of the Mark 1 or know of any comparisons? People occasionally comment here on other lenses by saying 'See if you can get hold of a Mark I - they're much better - blah, blah, blah'

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Burgy_Tog 16 634 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2004 12:41PM
"See if you can get hold of a Mark I - they're much better - blah, blah, blah'

The only lens that I know that applies to is the 50mmF1.8(possibly some of the real budget lenses) otherwise go for the later models , they are usually better performers, and lighter than the mkI.
User_Removed 18 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2004 1:09PM
You say you "don't see the point of IS if you are trying to get fast crisp shots"

I am not sure what you mean by trying to get a fast shot but the whole point of IS is to enable you to get crisp shots when in other circumstances you would not be able to.

I am not sure why you think that a prime lens with converter will be a better option for you than a zoom. Generally primes produce superior quality results but the quality of 'L' series glass is such that the difference you will find is negligible in practice and in fact could be a lot better particularly when you start putting supplementary glassware between the lens and the camera (i.e. the converter).

A prime is only going to potentially produce better results when it is used 'standalone' - if you are not going to do that, then you might as well get a quality zoom in my opinion.

cool cat 18 145
3 Mar 2004 1:46PM
I have to agree with Barry on this one. The IS gives the lens another 2 stops. The difference in prime and zoom for "real world" shooting is not a lot. Perhaps if you are using a 1ds in low light on a proffesional assignment......

kit-monster 16 3.7k 2 Singapore
3 Mar 2004 1:53PM

I knew I shouldn't have included the preamble and comment about IS!
As an avid reader of these forums, I am aware of your 100-400 and seen some of the fantastic shots you've taken, here and on Canon CPS.
I've always been a keen on bird watching and would like to combine my two passions. So far I've had mixed results. I have come to the conclusion that I will get the best results with a fast shutter speed, particularly for small birds who move very quickly. So how would IS help me if I'm shooting at 1/500 or faster?
As for my choice of prime plus converters, it's cheaper, lighter, uses less power and hopefully easier to buy secondhand.
cambirder 16 7.2k England
3 Mar 2004 7:19PM

As your requirement is for birds, you will need 400mm all the time so you will have your 2x converter attached all the time. My advice would be to look out for a 400mm f5.6, it will be sharper than a 200mm + 2x, and it is certainly sharper than the 100-400 set to 400mm. They are not that easy to find 2nd hand but I managed to find a one from Jonathan Harris, a london based dealer specialising in high quality secondhand cameras, lenses and associated accessories. Having given the guy a plug you might want to check out his web site. He only deals in mint or near mint kit, so it aint the cheapest but it does all come with a 12 months warrantee (not something you will find on ebay)
J. Harris Web Site Highly Recommended

kit-monster 16 3.7k 2 Singapore
3 Mar 2004 11:08PM
Thanks for the advice Paul. JH's website is on my list of 15 secondhand sites I trawl daily. It's good to know he's strongly recommended.

I'd spent 6 weeks reading through all the various threads on this site and came to my own conclusion about what set up I wanted to get. I hadn't even considered the 400 prime as I'd never seen one secondhand.

I'd finally made up my mind and having got my hands on a second hand Mark I 200mm was all set to hand over the money. I posted this in hope of finding some feed back on a lens I've heard good things about.

I didn't really want to get into a debate on whether I was making the right decision. I'm now having second thoughts and will see if I can try out the 400 and 100-400.

Thanks for your advise,

User_Removed 18 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
4 Mar 2004 8:35AM

Only just seen your reply to my comment about IS.

You are right, if you are shooting at the spoeeds you mention, you probably have no need for IS and certainly with big glass - that is going to make an enormous difference in price.

I never seem to be anywhere that has enough light to use a shutter speed of 1/500th!

kit-monster 16 3.7k 2 Singapore
18 Mar 2004 2:01PM
Eventually bowed to the greater wisdom of Barrie and all the other great wildlife photographers on this site and got the 100-400 L. I don't know what all the fuss is about with regard to the controls. Took me about half an hour to get used to and another hour before it became second nature. It's going to be a long time before I get used to it's range and possibilities and great fun learning!

EOSPETE 18 147
18 Mar 2004 5:40PM
I never seem to be anywhere that has enough light to use a shutter speed of 1/500th!"

So true!!!

Not all bird/animal photography will be done in great light. Not up here in Lancs anyway


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