Nikon Plans to Announce 800mm f/5.6 Super Telephoto Lens

Today, Nikon announced a new 800mm super telephoto lens designed for professional photographers is in development. The 800mm reach will appeal to wildlife and sports photographers alike and while there is no release date or pricing as of yet, you can assume that the cost of this lens will exceed the Nikkor 600mm f/4 whose price tag is $9799.00. There is no mention of specific features in the official press release of this lens, but the photos do depict Nikon’s VR technology and show a switch for “Off”, “Normal” or “Active” VR modes. So if you are looking for that special something for that special someone in your life, you may want to start saving now. You may also wish to start working out because you may need a little extra muscle just to heft this new baby.

Nikon 800mm f/5.6 Lens

Here is the press release from Nikon USA:

TOKYO, JAPAN – Nikon Corporation announced the development of a super-telephoto 800mm lens as a future addition to its lineup of world renowned NIKKOR lenses. This FX-format lens will offer a fixed focal length of 800mm with a maximum aperture of f/5.6, and will provide professional photographers with the ability to capture stunning images at great distances.

This lens has been developed in order to strengthen the NIKKOR lineup of super-telephoto lenses. It will boast the longest focal length of any NIKKOR autofocus (AF) lens, and will be best suited to capture of a wide variety of decisive outdoor scenes, from sporting events to elusive wildlife. In addition to its superior optical performance for images that exhibit amazing sharpness and color, the lens will provide outstanding dust and water resistance to brave nearly any assignment.

In 2012, Nikon released three new FX-format digital-SLR cameras—the D4, the new flagship digital SLR, and the D800 and D800E, which offer incredible resolution and image quality. In addition to reinforcing its lineup of FX-format digital-SLR cameras, Nikon has also been working to expand the lineup of NIKKOR lenses to provide photographers with the best optics suitable for the highest quality images and HD video.

Nikon has been providing service and support to professional photographers for approximately fifty years through the activities of its Nikon Professional Services (NPS). In addition to providing maintenance and repairs for the equipment professional photographers use every day, NPS service depots are set up at a variety of international sporting and cultural events. At these service depots, photographers can have their equipment inspected and repaired, and are also able to loan equipment for professional use. NPS can be found supporting photographers at major events, such as The Open Championship professional golf tournament as well as the Olympic Games in London this summer.

This amazing optic is also scheduled to be on display at Photokina 2012, one of the world’s largest photo and imaging exhibitions, to be held in Cologne, Germany from September 18–23, 2012.

Release date and suggested retail price for this product have not yet been determined.

Nikon 800mm f/5.6


  1. July 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Starting my Letter to Santa Clause Right Now!

  2. 2) David Le
    July 12, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Does wildlife photography pay well enough to justify such an expensive lens that cost as much as a family car or is this only for rich hobbyists?

  3. July 12, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    I want this then i want the 1200mm as well…..then 10 D4’s….keep dreaming

  4. 4) David B
    July 12, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    It was about time, Canon had 800mm F/5.6L IS for a while now, Nikon is slowly catching up

  5. 5) Sam
    July 12, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    well, some paparazzi get this lens and whole bag of such lenses for one picture of VIP´s bottom …

    dont shoot a bird, shoot jennifer lopez :D (shoot foto not with gun :D)

  6. 6) Dean
    July 12, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    One word; You’ve got to be kidding.
    Oh, thats’ five

  7. 7) James
    July 12, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    I plan to buy his lens to take photos of Hawaiian volcanoes…from California.

  8. July 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Someone needs to describe the situation that would require this monster. Under what circumstances can the cost be justified?

    • 8.1) Ben C.K.
      July 13, 2012 at 1:00 am

      Shooting baseball from the outfield or the upper deck. Same with football. Wildlife photographers would use it as well for keeping good distance from their subject. Basically what a lens like this allows you to do is gain a different/unique perspective on a subject. It allows you to shoot from unique positions while still filling the frame.

      Someone mentioned you could use a 400 f/2.8 with a teleconverter to achieve the same focal length and brightness. While that’s true, teleconverters don’t quite give you the same sharpness or subject separation. The new 2.0 teleconverter is very good, but it still doesn’t quite compare to using a lens that has that focal length natively.

      • 8.1.1) Francesco
        July 13, 2012 at 3:49 pm

        Who is able to use this super lens already has a 400/2.8 or a 600/4, or both. Why rent (or buy it) for some special task when you have valid alternatives? It depends on what engineers at Nikon will be able to achieve.
        These requirements are sufficient?

        – Stunning f5.6 I.Q.;
        – AF and VR perfectly calibrated;
        – A mass contained between 4.5 and 5 kg (10 – 11 lbs) with extreme structural rigidity.

        The mass is an important parameter because the sports photographer uses it for hours on crowded places following highly dynamic actions and wildlife photographer must reach remote places and chasing elusive birds and small mammals.

        • Ben C.K.
          July 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm

          This lens obviously isn’t meant for everyone. I know shooters for Sports Illustrated will be able to put it to use because Sports Illustrated is all about getting shots that other people don’t get. This lens will allow that to happen better than a shorter lens with a teleconverter.

    • 8.2) Francesco
      July 14, 2012 at 6:56 pm

      Thanks to Ben C.K., I hope you have now an idea of who can use an 800 and under what circumstances. I hope you’re well reasoned about stringent mechanical and optical requirements, even though I have not spoken of thermal expansion that becomes important to maintain proper alignment of the lenses in extreme climatic conditions (half meter long structure).

      One last note. A 800/4 would have a cost and a mass slightly less than the famous Canon 1200/5.6 which was produced in less than 100 copies according to the Wikipedia page ( In fact, the front element of a 800/4 is at least 200 mm., while that of a 1200/5.6 is 214.286 mm. (+ 7.15%). See also

  9. July 12, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I don’t get it. A 400mm f/2.8 and TC-20E III 2x teleconverter would cost less, weigh less, and be far more versatile with the same brightness, unless this had remarkably better image quality. It would have to be dramatically better though.

    • 9.1) Mike
      July 16, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      You can’t say it is more versatile, the 400 is a nice lens which I have used myself. When shooting bald eagles I found it didn’t have enough reach. I had the 2x TC which was good but the image quality of the native 800 will certainly be better. Also, using a 1.4 TC with the 800 gives you an 1100mm lens which may be what wildlife shooters are after. To me, the 800 is more versatile in some situations than the 400, it really depends on what you are shooting and where.

  10. 10) anton lim
    July 12, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Wow! Look at the moire on that lens… product shot must have been with a d800e :)

  11. 11) Abu Hayat Khan
    July 12, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Thanks to God that, we don’t need super Telephoto lens for landscape and casual photography :-)

  12. 12) Jamal
    July 13, 2012 at 4:49 am

    Could you use it with a 2.0 teleconverter for a 1600mm , maybe on a dx body for an effective 2400mm !! That would be crazy !!

    • 12.1) Ben C.K.
      July 14, 2012 at 2:01 pm

      You couldn’t use anything more than 1.4 teleconverter because the maximum aperture would exceed f/8 with anything higher. The camera wouldn’t be able to autofocus properly beyond f/8. I supposed you try manually focusing, but who knows how good the results would be.

  13. 13) Loiteke
    July 13, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    This is far away from my hands, but I can dream

  14. 14) Jorge Balarin
    July 17, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    ……”In 2012, Nikon released three new FX-format digital-SLR cameras—the D4, the new flagship digital SLR, and the D800 and D800E, which offer incredible resolution and image quality”…..and the autofocus problems ?

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