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Canon 200mm f/2.8 USM II prime vs. Canon 70-200mm f2/.8 USM (non IS)

edited October 2013 Posted in » Canon 60D Forum
Bought my first DSLR, a Canon 60D with an 85mm f/1.8 prime to shoot my granddaughters gymnastics. I now know I need a telephoto or zoom lens and from what I have read on this site, the 200mm should get the job done. The price on the 200mm f/2.8 USM II prime is about half that of the 70-200mm f/2.8 USM (non IS) zoom. Will I regret getting the 200mm f/2.8 USM prime now, as opposed to the 70-200mm f/2.8 USM (non IS) zoom later? Most (90%) of my shots are from the bleachers and I have plenty of time to change lenses should I need my 85mm. From the bleachers the longest shot would be about 100 feet and the closest 30 feet. Is the zoom really worth the extra money?


  • edited October 2013
    Well, I didn't generate any comments and not being one to sit still very long here's what I did. I chose the 200mm f/2.8 II USM telephoto instead of the 70-200mm f/2.8 USM (non IS). I think I made the right choice, and here's why. After shaking out my change jar I didn't have enough to buy the zoom but I did have enough to buy the 200mm telephoto and a 28mm f/1.8. With the 85mm f/1.8 that I bought with the camera maybe my focal length is covered and I have another bright lens in the bag. Also, the 200mm is less weight and according to the many reviews I've read it has a sharper and quicker focus (can't personally vouch for that part since I've never used one). Lens change in under a minute bag to bag and I think my overall learning curve is about to get steeper with a third lens to play with. Time will tell.
  • edited October 2013
    Hi Oldman,
    I was about to reply when I saw your latest post. I was going to advise against the 70-200mm zoom simply because it lacks IS. Your prime 200mm will indeed give sharper shots and because it is lighter and a fixed length, controlling handshake will be easier. The 28mm is ideal for sweeping landscapes and interiors in low light. Considering the kind of photography you are going to do, I think you have made some sound choices.
    You may want to consider in the future a general purpose zoom lens for holidays etc. For this I would mention the Tamron 18-270mm pzd.
    Good luck with your photography and have fun with your new kit.
  • edited October 2013
    Hi PBked,
    Thanks for the reply and confirmation. I went ahead and bought a monopod to steady the hand shakes (old age is such fun). I've had the 200mm lens for several days now and I'm having a blast with it. With the two selectable focus ranges it focuses just as fast as the 85mm and the range is perfect for my needs. I'm really having fun with this camera; I should have done this long ago.
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