Nikon announced the 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens back in July of 2012. After the official release last week, I still could not find any sample images from the new lens on the Web except the three photos on Nikon's website and the few old images from the 2012 Olympics.
The Nikkor AF-S 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens has some unique technologies:
- Two fluorite lens elements that offer superior transmissivity from the infrared to ultra-violet range and demonstrate superior chromatic aberration compensation throughout the visible range. It seems that Nikon found a way to successfully implement fluorite lens elements. Here is a quote from Nikon Imaging website:
"In the past, correcting this problem for telephoto lenses required special optical elements that offer anomalous dispersion characteristics - specifically calcium fluoride crystals. However, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens' refractive index."
- Electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism for seamless mechanical control and enhanced stability in auto exposure control during continuous shooting (used also in Nikkor PC-E lenses).
- The included TC800-1.25E ED teleconverter has been designed exclusively for the 800mm lens and can deliver 1000 mm focal length with combined maximum aperture of f/7.1. This is the first teleconverter equipped with an ED element.
The lens hood for the 800mm f/5.6 lens (model: HK-38, product number: 4985) is listed for $1000!
The patent for the Nikkor AF-S 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens was filed in October, 2011 and is pretty close to the actual lens design:
The Nikkor AF-S 800mm f/5.6 lens seems to have one of the best MTF charts ever seen from a Nikkor (or any other?) lens. Please note that different manufacturers have different ways of measuring their MTF charts.
Nikkor AF-S 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens MTF chart ($17,896.95):
Nikkor 600mm f/4G ED VR lens MTF chart ($9,799):
Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM lens MTF chart ($13,249):
Sigma 800mm f/5.6 EX APO DG HSM lens MTF chart ($6599):
Next is a specifications comparison between the 800mm f/5.6 and 600mm f/4 Nikkor lenses - currently the top two big guns in Nikon's lineup