The 200mm focal length is widely used and is one of the most popular shooting distances. As a result, there is a great selection of 200mm lenses available. This is not one of the most popular prime lenses available as photographers tend to choose 100mm or 300mm, however, the lenses we feature are fantastic quality.
Using a 200mm prime lens, you can capture amazing detail for wildlife photography. Also, when combined with a large maximum aperture, these lenses are brilliant for sports photography too.
In this guide, we look at five of the best 200mm lenses. We have included several Canon, Nikon, and Sony models, as well as lenses for both full-frame, and crop-sensor DSLR cameras – enjoy!
1. Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM (Overall Winner)
Canon has a fantastic range of prime lenses that are reasonably priced. The Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM is a superb quality lens and part of the legendary Canon L-series lenses. This means that it has enhanced quality compared to more basic Canon lenses.
It is suitable for any Canon DSLR camera that has the EF lens mount. For a 200mm prime lens, it is relatively small and lightweight, measuring 3.3 x 5.4 inches and weighing 1.7 pounds.
The lens construction is made from nine elements in seven groups and offers superior image quality. The various coatings reduce lens distortions and provide clear images.
Also, the Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L II USM has built-in image stabilization which helps when focusing. It also has the Canon USM motor technology which makes autofocusing silent and fast. This is our top choice in 200mm lenses and its quality for its value is hard to beat.
2. Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200mm f/2G ED VR II
Next to the Canon EF 200mm, we have the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200mm f/2G ED VR II. This is another excellent quality lens and one of the best 200mm lenses available for Nikon DSLR cameras.
It has several features that improve its usability. Firstly, it has Nikon’s Vibration Reduction technology. This is a form of image stabilization (IS) and helps to minimize camera shake. The IS works up to four stops of camera shake.
This lens also has a special automatic tripod detection mode. This allows the lens to detect when it is connected to a tripod in order to provide additional stability.
The lens elements are made from special glass and have low-dispersion technology. This means that secondary lighting and chromatic aberration are eliminated. The exterior of the lens also features a durable design that is moisture-resistant.
3. Pentax DA* 200mm f/2.8 ED IF SDM
The Pentax DA* 200mm f/2.8G ED VR II is an amazing 200mm prime lens compatible with Pentax KAF-mount DSLR cameras. The maximum aperture of f/2.8 allows you to create fantastic bokeh effects and create a clear focal depth.
Also, the lens is high-performance and has an excellent autofocus system and motor. The SDM motor technology provides silent operation and allows you to quickly focus on moving objects.
In addition to this, the exterior has a textured grip which makes holding the lens easy. It has an overall weight of 1.82lbs, therefore, you should consider using it with a tripod for maximum stability.
4. Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM
If you want an ultra-quality 200mm prime lens, the Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM is the best choice. It is a Canon L-series lens and thus has superior build quality.
The lens features a myriad of extra features such as a durable exterior coating that minimizes dust and weathering. Moreover, the lens element features a fluorite coating to reduce ghosting, lens flares, and chromatic aberration.
The maximum aperture of f/2 is unrivaled and allows for maximum creativity. The lens also benefits from Canon’s image stabilization technology for smooth autofocusing and clear photos.
This is the ultimate 200mm telephoto lens. The main downside is that it comes with an extreme cost. This is a lens for professionals who want to specialize in either wildlife or sports photography.
5. Panasonic LUMIX G Leica DG Elmarit 200mm f/2.8 ASPH (Budget Winner)
The Panasonic Lumix G Leica 200mm lens has a range of fantastic features to improve its utility. It has several manual and autofocus control buttons that make focusing a simple process. In addition, the lens also comes with a 1.4x teleconverter which can boost its focal distance to 280mm.
The lens element is created from Leica DG Elmarit optics which provide superior image quality and minimal distortion. Also, the maximum aperture of f/2.8 provides excellent variance and control over your photo compositions.
For stability, the lens has an optical image stabilizer to reduce camera shake. The autofocus system is also advanced and has a 240fps sensor drive which means that autofocusing is extremely fast.
Why 200mm Lenses Are Essential
If you want to purchase a high-quality kit lens for everyday usage, one of these 200mm lenses is a top choice. The main downside is that you will not have wide-angle capabilities. This is the one area that a 200mm lens cannot cover. For this, you would need a specialized wide-angle lens.
Otherwise, the best 200mm lenses really are fantastic options. Although they are relatively expensive, you will find that you use them constantly. In the long-term, this type of lens will certainly pay for itself and you will find the quality hard to beat.
When choosing such a lens, always ensure that it fits your camera model. You should be able to find this information in the lens specifications. Also, consider the maximum aperture, and features like image stabilization and silent autofocus.