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Inspiration

The 200mm F/2.0 Lens | 15 Photos That Will Make You Need One

By Christopher Lin on January 18th 2019

The 200mm f/2.0 lens is a dream lens for almost every portrait photographer. When captured at f/2.0, the images take full advantage of both compression and extreme shallow depth-of-field to yield a beautiful, dreamy aesthetic.

So why do so few photographers own this lens? The near $6K price tag is likely the primary reason. The inconveniently large size and heavy weight is the other. Just check out the prices and specs of these lenses for Canon, Nikon and Fuji below:

But for those brave souls who are able to lug around the massive, expensive lens and skilled enough to use it with the right compositions (while posing subjects who are dozens of feet away), their results speak for themselves.

We found four incredible photographers who were kind enough to share their favorite 200mm f/2.0 photos with us:

Image Above by Danielle Hagens (Instagram | Website)

Image Above by Danielle Hagens (Instagram | Website)

Image Above by Danielle Hagens (Instagram | Website)

Image Above by Danielle Hagens (Instagram | Website)

Image Above by Danielle Hagens (Instagram | Website)

Image Above by Danielle Hagens (Instagram | Website)

Image Above by Eli Infante (Instagram | Website | Youtube)

Image Above by Eli Infante (Instagram | Website | Youtube)

Image Above by Eli Infante (Instagram | Website | Youtube)

Image Above by Eli Infante (Instagram | Website | Youtube)

Image Above by Shana Carter (Instagram | Website)

Image Above by Shana Carter (Instagram | Website)

Image Above by Shana Carter (Instagram | Website)

Image Above by Roland Sanchez (Instagram | Website)

Image Above by Roland Sanchez (Instagram | Website)

All of the images in this article were used with direct permission from the artists.  Do NOT use or distribute the images without direct consent from the photographers.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Co-Founder of SLR Lounge and Photographer with Lin and Jirsa Photography, I’m based in Southern California but you can find me traveling the world. Click here to connect on Google +

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Motti Bembaron

    I spent $300 on a second hand Nikon 180mm f/2.8. It might not have the same aperture or focal length but it’s VERY close. It’s a small and light lens (half the weight of the 70-200) and produce amazing photos.

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  2. Max Surikov

    200 f/2 is my favorite lens. There is a reason why it costs so much. The bokeh is unreal.

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  3. Tyler Brown

    These photos are beautiful, but at the price and weight of a 200mm f/2, most people would be better served investing in a more flexible 70-200mm f/2.8.

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    • Matthew Saville

      I would wager that most of the folks who can afford a 200 f/2, have already bought a 70-200 2.8, and they simply have /that/ much money to invest in gear.

      Sometimes, even though you could make an image that is /almost/ identical with a 70-200, or a 135, or even an 85 1.2, …it’s still awesome to have exotic gear to play with.

      People talk about the $5-10K price tags on some of these more “gigantic” lenses, but really, a Harley costs $10+, a sports car costs $100K+, and yet those are socially acceptable (yet less useful) things for adults with money to have, haha.

      ;-)

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  4. Roland Sanchez

    Thanks for the feature Christopher Lin.  Love, love my 200mmf2.  Doesn’t matter to me how much it was and how much it weighs.  I just love the type of photo it produces and so do my clients.

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  5. Eli Infante

    Thanks for the feature! I LOVE Danielle’s images :)

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  6. Black Z Eddie

    Seems similar to what you can get from a 85 f1.4.

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    • Hagos Rush

      Agreed. They look good but any 1.8 / 1.4 lens can achieve similar / better / same results. I don’t want a 200mm (shrug).

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    • Tyler Brown

      I think an 85mm f/1.4 would be more flexible in many situations over a 200mm. I personally shoot with a 70-200mm f/2.8 myself, but still see the value in a fast 85mm.

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    • Matthew Saville

      An 85 is a great portrait prime to have, indeed. The difference in focal length is so great, that even though you could get /almost/ the same level of bokeh with an 85 1.4 or a 105 1.4, the shooting distance and background framing is significantly different, such that any portrait photographer who is “high-end” enough to own a 200mm f/2, …likely also owns an 85 or 105 as well, for when they can’t back up far enough to make 200mm work, or in other conditions where closeness is preferred.

      In short, these are definintely all just tools, and knowing how to use any tool is certainly more important than the tool itself. Plus, of course, choosing the right tool for the types of situations you normally find yourself shooting in.

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