Canon 200FD IF 2.8 question and comments
I have just picked up one of these Canon 200mm IF 2.8 lenses at a good price
after lusting after one for years. Anyone here use one that can share some
of its good points and weak ones?
How does it compare with the similar Nikkor 180 2.8 manual lens, considered one of the best made by Nikon?
Also, I have the Canon 2x-B converter that I hear works quite well with this
Canon lens, but might want to try the 1.4 converter and am uncertain which model is the correct one.
I hear, however, two different thoughts about which Canon converter works on this 200mm lens.
Some say the Canon 1.4x-A converter, designed for lenses 300mm or longer,
will work perfectly. And Canon's own literature doesn't reflect that,
because the lens was not manufactured until AFTER the literature for the
converter was published.
Is the Canon 1.4x-B (very rare) needed, or will the 1.4x-A work just fine?
Anybody really know?
I don't think there is a 1.4x-B. I had this lens for several years (I think I sold it to Eric Rose, so maybe he'll offer an opinion here) and it worked fine with the 1.4x-A. I have longer lenses, but if I wanted to travel compactly, it was handy to carry the 200 plus the 1.4x-A and 2x-B.
I never compared it to the Nikon 180, but the Nikon 180 is really supposed to be one of the best lenses in the Nikon line, so I'd suspect the Nikon to be a bit better, but no need to worry about it. The FD 200/2.8 IF is still a fine lens.
Several years ago I had a student in a year-long class shooting the Canon 200, 2.8 and comparing on a daily basis to others in the class shooting the 180, 2.8 Nikkor and the 200, 4 Nikkor. We - my students and myself - concluded after comparing several hundred 8x10 prints was that each lens had a unique look and we all thought we could tell from a print which lens was used. However, in a real double blind test it was probably all self deception and illusion. All three of the lenses are capable of super sharp images and produce those out-of-focus backgrounds that we all love so dearly.