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Old 23-06-2006, 07:23 PM
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Canon 200mm f/2.8 EF L USM test

I recently purchased the Canon 200mm EF 2.8 L series lens based on some very positive reviews. Not only is an excellent telephoto for daylight photography being sharp and possessing fast silent autofocus, it also makes an excellent astrograph. Because of rain and cloud I haven't been able to use it much, but here are my first tests:

http://www.pbase.com/terrylovejoy/gallery/200mm

From my observations of the Eta Carina image the lens displays excellent resolution across the field wide open, with some minor distortion of stars at the edges (from what I have seen even the best lenses show this to some extent). There is also some slight decentering from left to right (although this could be my 300D).

I currently use the 300D + 200mm lens and the 350D + 100mm lens to search for comets (and soon nova). With the 100mm lens I can reach stars around mag 15 or even fainter when conditions are good, with the the 200mm lens mag 17 might be possible so perhaps supernova hunting is feasible.

Terry
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Old 23-06-2006, 07:44 PM
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iceman (Mike)
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It looks great Terry.

A friend on a US forum who does terrestrial photography just bought the same lens. Can I ask how much it cost? I imagine it's not cheap.

Looks very sharp.

I love forward to seeing more of your work with it.
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Old 23-06-2006, 09:42 PM
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Mike,

I purchased from BH Photo in the US. I think all up it came to $960 AUS including shipping/handling/credit card charges (it took 3 days to arrive from placing order) and was exempt from sales tax + duty. This was the US version so (according to BH website) the warantee can be honoured locally.

As a comparision, local camera stores are selling it for $1200-1450 AUS. On ebay second hand ones seemed to go for $750-1000 (overpriced if you ask me!).

When you think of it as a 70mm f2.8 refractor astrograph it seems not a bad bargain

Terry
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Old 24-06-2006, 05:43 AM
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iceman (Mike)
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Thanks Terry. I think my next lens purchase will be the 17-40L, but they sell for about AU$1100-$1200 in australia and about US$800 2nd hand on ebay US.

Not cheap.

So it's going to have to wait a long time :/
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Old 24-06-2006, 08:18 AM
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Mike,

B & H sell the 17-40 for $679 US (+ $43 US shipping by UPS delivery a few days).

http://www.bhphotovideo.com

A work mate purchased this lens from them last year and is very happy with it. The USM lenses are very nice.

Terry
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Old 24-06-2006, 09:16 AM
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Terry, I agree, the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8 L series is a superb lens, my favourite for terrestrial and most certainly astro work.
I've used it for astro imaging and have been very impressed with its performance.
Looking at it's MTF characteristics one can see why it performs so well, it's approaching (but not quite) the performances achieved by the awesome super telephotos like the EF 300mm IS f/2.8 L, and EF 400mm IS f/2.8 L (if you can afford them !).
Another surprisingly good lens is the EF 180mm f/3.5 L Macro. Superb for Macro and also a fantastic telephoto lens too.
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