Seen on B&H Photo:
A $120,000 lens!!! It’s a Canon lens that costs more than I think most people would spend on equipment in their lifetime. While it may be fun to shoot with once; just once. I have no need at all for this. Amazingly it is a fixed f5.6 and understandable the price for a lens at that length with that aperture.
The lens itself weighs in at 36lbs, with a close focusing distance of 49 feet. And more than 2 feet long (33 inches). This 1200mm lens is a beast but it was autofocus (circa 1993). I think though at that range, I would more than likely manual focus as it seems getting accurate focus would be difficult. The largest zoom lens made by Canon that I could find was an 85-300mm lens.
Nikon also made a lens with an extended range of 1200-1700mm special order lens (circa 1990), with an aperture of f5.6-8, it weighed @ 35lbs and 35 inches long; a manual lens and the largest Nikon has ever produced in a zoom. Nikon also produced a 1200mm lens with an f8 capability, similar to that of the Canon but their first version of this lens was produced in 1964 and continued to advance with the growing lens technology until 1985.
Use of this equipment would only seem to be for the high end government agencies (ultimate spy lens) that require a distance to shoot, view, observe a subject that otherwise is almost unattainable. I don’t see many sports shooters needing this range, even if they are at the Superbowl and can only stand in one spot. Most events allow photojournalists to move around so needing a super-telephoto or super-zoom lens is unnecessary.
The heaviest lens I have ever shot with was the Nikkor 400mm f2.8 AIS lens, it was too much, I had used it for a couple of games but decided to stick with the 300mm f2.8, which was much easier to carry around.
But if you had $120,000 to spend on this lens…Would you? That is the question. I think I would rather buy a couple of D3X’s, new computer system, maybe a house (or at least a down payment on a house here in LA)!