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Photographer waiting for the new pope with a Nikkor 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8P IF-ED lens

Nikon-Nikkor-Zoom-1200-1700mm-f5.6-8P-IF-ED-zoom-lens Nikkor 1200-1700mm f5.6-8P IF-ED lens

Updated: here is one pictures of the new pope taken by Dylan Martinez with the Nikkor 1200-1700mm lens.

The Italian website La Stampa published two images of the photographer Dylan Martinez who is hoping to capture the new pope at Saint Peter's Square with the monster Nikkor 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8P IF-ED lens. The lens has 18 elements in 13 groups, 9 diaphragm blades, the angle of view is 2°-1°30', minimum focusing distance is 10m (32 ft), the lens weights 16 kg (over 35lbs) and is 888mm (35 in.) long. Additional info on the lens can be found here.

For comparison, here are three samples images published by Nikon that were taken at 50mm, 1200mm and 1700mm - subjects are 130 meters away (over 140 yards):

50mm

50mm

Nikkor 1200-1700mm f5.6-8P IF-ED lens at 1200mm

1200mm

Nikkor 1200-1700mm f5.6-8P IF-ED lens at 1700mm

1700mm

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  • Remedy

    You be trollin’ with dat lens :D

  • Fionn Große

    he should put a Nikon 1 at it!

    • Fry

      probably too long and too slow – with f8 at the long end, I doubt the N1 cameras would produce anything meaningful

      • El Aura

        Maybe a 600 mm f/4 on a Nikon 1 would be more practical. Much cheaper and much physically shorter. And it has AF which the 1200-1700 mm does not have.

        • sd

          Nikon 1 Yeah!

          2.7x crop + 2x teleconverter = 9180mm !!

          With that combo he should be able to see through the walls with the magical lens powers!

          • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com/ bob cooley

            Its doesn’t work like that – only the field of view (crop) is taken into account with the 2.7x factor, not the magnification or the compression. Your lens on a smaller chip doesn’t see any further than the original focal length of the lens (focal length is not modified, only field of view) Common misconception.

            • gerardeux

              i don’t think so. The smaller sensor of a V1 has a higher pixel density so out of that smaller field of view more information can be gained. (compared to a crop out of a FF sensor). The gain is not anyway near that 2,7x though as the pixel density has it’s obvious downsides too.

            • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com/ bob cooley

              No, its simply a crop factor. That’s it. There is no magnification change with a smaller sensor. Pixel density doesn’t change the magnification, either – it simply doesn’t work that way. As much as we all wish it would, Its not a matter of opinion, its simple physics.

            • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

              “Pixel density doesn’t change the magnification, either – it simply doesn’t work that way. As much as we all wish it would, Its not a matter of opinion, its simple physics.”

              You’re only talking about half of the physics involved here. The image is not captured by the lens alone. The “magnification” in this context is the one that of the entire system. So you need to factor in the sampling resolution (pixel density) as well.

            • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com/ bob cooley

              Hopefully this will explain better:

              The focal length of the lens stays the same, and projects the same coverage on the sensor area. But
              because the sensor is smaller, it only takes advantage of the the center of the lens’ projection on the film plane.

              The decreased Field of View (the 1.5x crop in DX) is due to the the sensor only being exposed to the middle of the lens’ projection (or in DX lenses, the lenses themselves have smaller areas of projection, but still the same focal length).

              For the actual magnification to change, you would
              need to increase the distance from the film/sensor plane to the rear lens element (which is why a 18mm lens built for DX is still called 18mm, though it has the coverage of a 27mm in FX – the rear element is still 18mm away from the sensor plane).

              Increasing the distance from the rear element to the sensor plane is the purpose of a teleconverter (with an additional element or elements to compensate for
              focus). That’s the only way to increase the magnification of a lens.

              Pixel Density doesn’t change optics.

              Hope that helps!

            • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

              Don’t you just love how people on the internet don’t use the question mark anymore and just claim things out of no where? :) Don’t waste your breath… just give them a link and leave it up to them if they want to learn or not.

            • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com/ bob cooley

              Sure, I could do that – but photography has given a lot to me in the almost 30 years I’ve made it my living – and I don’t mind giving back.

              I don’t think anyone in this thread is being mean-spirited or argumentative, and the confusion is real and an easy thing to misunderstand.

              If I can help to correct some of the misconceptions out there, I’m happy to do so.

              I’ve been shooting professionally for 27 years, and I have a physics background, so I’m in a good spot to help dispel some of the confusion around this topic.

              One of the positive things about Social Media is the ability to dispel the misconceptions, so I really don’t mind.

              I beats a lot of the trolling that you see on here too much as of late.

            • zoetmb

              Now you are a nice person!

            • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com/ bob cooley

              Thanks @c46315adb977fc756e42866e7e98c41f:disqus – I’ve learned a lot through about many things through photography, and I’m happy to give back when I can.

            • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

              Bob… I agree with what you say but learning can’t be forced upon if the student is not ready. If you’re in the business, you’d know this.

              The internet was much better before social media came along. At least people had the decency to ask when they weren’t sure… nowadays, all they do is throw their hands up in the air and claim and attack anyone who tries to correct them. No one cares if the place gets filled up with wrong information. This is an attitude change I’ve noticed on the net over the last 15 years.

              Now allow me to correct a misconception of yours:

              “Your lens on a smaller chip doesn’t see any further than the original focal length of the lens (focal length is not modified, only field of view) Common misconception.”

              An image can’t show detail that is finer if the sampling resolution is limited by the optical resolution. If the lens resolves enough, a sensor that has a higher sampling frequency (megapixels in our case) will resolve more detail than a sensor that has a lower one.

              Also, don’t forget… as long as the overall efficiency is maintained, a 20MP sensor will create a higher detailed 10MP image than a native 10MP sensor. So, there is that too.

              You’re interpreting the original claim using a very narrow field of view :)

            • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com/ bob cooley

              “…If you’re in the business, you’d know this.”

              Clearly I am in the business; have been shooting professionally for 27 years, have mentored both privately and taught in university. So thanks, but I’m comfortable with sharing information with both those who engage in the learning process and those who may be watching.

              You don’t know if the student is ready by flippantly telling them that you don’t have time to be tutoring everyone on the net, and to Google it.

              I don’t think you’ll see anyone in the thread I was involved with being purposefully obtuse or argumentative, and the questions they had were valid misunderstandings of the topic.

              Thanks for your attempt to correct my ‘misconception’, however, there is no misconception. The original claim was that “2.7x crop + 2x teleconverter = 9180mm” – and this is just untrue. That’s a statement specifically related to optical magnification, and isn’t a narrow point of view, its physics.

              Your points about sensor resolution (both in density and capture size in MP) I’ve already covered in a different thread in the commenting section of this article, and they still have nothing to do with optical magnification, which is what the original claim was about.

              Feel free to ignore the information I share if you dislike that I take the time to help others who are still learning.

            • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

              Well that’s good for you but when gerardeux said:

              ” The smaller sensor of a V1 has a higher pixel density so out of that smaller field of view more information can be gained. (compared to a crop out of a FF sensor).”

              You completely dismissed it and went on ranting about an abstract physics lesson that wasn’t even what anyone was asking about. Helping indeed.

            • A. Lurker

              I’ve found that Social Media is equally adept at spreading misconceptions, so it’s probably a wash. Unless you collect images of girls alone in the bathroom singing into a hairbrush.

            • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com/ bob cooley

              Yes, but if you consider the source of the information its easier to divine the good information from the flotsam. Hence why, as someone who’s shot professionally for 27+ years is happy to give back…

            • MyrddinWilt

              Optical magnification is completely irrelevant here. It is a measurement but the relative size of the subject and the sensor makes no difference at all unless you are looking at one sensor and considering which lens to use. Using magnification as a comparison between sensors/bodies is completely pointless.

              You can get the physics completely right but measure the wrong thing.

              The higher pixel density of the Nikon1 would allow for a more detailed image than cropping the center 14MP out of a D800. It is not a huge difference but it is a difference. The Nikon V2 would allow you to get double the center resolution just like using a D4x would.

              Auto-focus speed is irrelevant as this is a manual focus lens. What might be more relevant is the difficulty of manual focusing on the V2. I suspect that the lack of a phase detect autofocus and the need to rely on the lower resolution viewfinder would mean that the Nikon V2 system would not actually deliver a better image. I have not tried manual focusing on a lens anywhere near that long but I bet it would suck.

            • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com/ bob cooley

              My comment was a direct response to the posting “2.7x crop + 2x teleconverter = 9180mm” so, in terms of my answer to the supposition posed – it is entirely about optical magnification.

              I know I have the physics correct, and I’m answering the question posed, which is about optics, not any other variables.

              I’m not sure where autofocus comes into play here, I made no mention of it in any any of my posts or responses…

      • neonspark

        too awesome too.

      • CartierBesson

        yeah probably because you don’t know what you are doing. people with the best camera doesn’t mean he’s the best photographer… just sayin

    • Jay

      I’m sure the photographer can afford a better camera than the crappy nikon 1. even the d7100 would be much better

  • http://profiles.google.com/sebastian.rasch Sebastian Rasch

    5.6 at 1200mm is mad!! Incredible!

  • http://www.facebook.com/bjoern76 Björn Schulz

    It’s not a Nikkor it’s a Cannon…

  • Eric Calabos

    Just a millimeter move to left or right, and pope is lost in the crowd :-)

    • Stefan

      That’s why he uses a fluid-damped cinema head on the sticks that allows smooth minute movements.

  • http://www.amonle.com amonle

    You call ‘at a lens … now that’s a lens

  • 5DollarFootlong

    I could be a sports photographer and not even be in the stadium. SICK!

    • WhamBamPhotoMa_am

      It also make’s all women in the near vicinity’s clothes fall off. Little known fact.

      • 103David

        Actually, that is technically incorrect. In its waning days, Polaroid (AKA the pornographers “Strong Right Hand”) had instantly developed the NC filter for their cameras and the NC technology was (also) instantly developed to allow use on massively constructed Nikon/Canon/Pentax/Miranda/Exacta/Chinon/Alpa/Rectaflex/etc lenses and bodies.
        For those not old enough to remember, the legendary NC filter was also known as the “No Clothes” filter.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.chellini.3 Daniel Chellini

    Most useless lens i ever seen lol :)

    • f/2.8

      Well, that’s one use for it right there.

    • Dr SCSI

      The best damned birding lens ever, at least it would seem. I would still prefer to see the images it creates before passing final judgement. Using it to photograph people at those 100+ meters, surely suffers from atmospheric haze. But using it to photograph little birds at 15 meters is probably very useable.

  • lograffi

    is this lens for street photography? O_O_O_O_O_O

    • Xavier

      Yes, it is perfect for shy street photographers!

      • Calibrator

        Yeah – from orbit!

  • Brian

    I see your newly released 800mm lens and raise you 1200-1700mm. Talk about a beast.

  • Hen Cockwell

    Who need a Ferrari when I have this? Just haul it around town and be admired.

  • AlphaTed

    The D4 looks tiny. :)
    If you have that, checks from tabloid pubs will keep coming.

  • Alain2x

    Hope he’s got a good pair of bodyguards, or we’ll soon find it on ebay…

    • Jon

      Nothing like starting off a new Pope with a heavy dose of “materialism” and exhibitionism… : )

    • Aldo

      well… those thieves best be body builders if they play to steal this.

  • n11

    You mean this lens ain’t for shooting stars?

    • Calibrator

      I think they call it the “Pocket-Hubble”!
      ;-)

  • desmo

    Yup,
    switch to FX and now you need to go out and buy a new Lens,
    the old one just isn’t long enough

  • Paparazzo

    I can use a Nikon V1 + FT-1 adapter + TC 2.0x + Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 nano lens. The focal length calculation should be: 400 x 2 x 2.7 = 2160mm: at f/5.6 and get a nice head shot that will look better than that old lens will put out at 1700mm f/8

    • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

      Your ~2182mm equivalent lens will have a full-frame equivalent aperture of ~f/15.

      A bare 1700mm f/8 on full frame is better. Even with a 1.4X TC, it’ll only be f/11 but longer too… Still better than a 2X TC and a small sensor with limited resolution.

      • padoods

        I dont quite understand what the issue is if the aperture ff equivalent is f/15? This will only affect DOF. Amount of light is still at f/8

        • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

          The f-number is like the rate at which light goes in but the total amount of light depends on the area of the sensor as well as the rate.

          • gerardeux

            Indeed not, the same amount of light falls on a smaller surface giving a higher intensity so the longer focal distance has no downside in this respect and keeps at f/8 but it will have less bokeh which is a positive side effect too at these focal lenghts.

            • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

              No it’s not higher intensity if the f number (or more accurately, the T-stop) is the same.

          • Nikon Shooter

            Wow geno. That’s like saying that the amount of light the sun puts out is directly proportional to the size of the Earth. Do you see anything wrong with that statement?

            • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

              *sigh* I can’t be sitting around tutoring everyone on the net. When I say something, please google it yourself.

        • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

          The total amount depends on the “rate” which is the f-number (or more correctly the T-stop) and the light gathering area.

          Bigger area for same f-number = more total light gathered = more information = higher SNR

  • AM

    That’s a holy piece of glass!

  • Smudger

    Want it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rob.ueberfeldt Rob Ueberfeldt

    You need a wide angle lens to photograph that zoom.

  • Phil

    So what’s the purpose of this lens when there’s no new pope about to be presented? Veeeeeery shy… eh, let’s say “things one wants to take pictures of”

  • BrainBeat

    He should look into getting the D7100 and use the crop mode 2340-3315 which is said work at f8. I just would have to wonder how you could even hope to hold it still even using a tripod.

    • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com/ bob cooley

      Again, that only CROPS the image, it doesn’t increase the actual focal length. The focal length is still only 1200-1700mm, you just see the center area of that in the viewfinder (for 1.5x Field of view) – it does NOT add any magnification.

      • http://www.purseblog.com/ Vlad Dusil

        I am puzzled. Assuming equal resolution of the sensor, a crop sensor will surely provide magnification over a FF sensor, no?

        The actual focal length stays the same, but the smaller sensor yields a equivalent focal length of 1.5x while the angle remains the same…

        • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com/ bob cooley

          Unfortunately not. I wish it were so. The focal length of the lens stays the same, and projects the same coverage on the sensor area. But because the sensor is smaller, it only takes advantage of the the center of the lenses projection on the film plane.

          The decreased Field of View (the 1.5x crop in DX) is due to the the sensor only being exposed to the middle of the lens’ projection (or in DX lenses, the lenses themselves have smaller areas of projection, but still the same focal length).

          For the actual magnification to change, you would need to increase the distance from the film/sensor plane to the rear lens element (which is why a 18mm lens built for DX is still called 18mm, though it has the coverage of a 27mm in FX – the rear element is still 18mm away from the sensor plane).

          Increasing the distance from the rear element to the sensor plane is the purpose of a teleconverter (with an additional element or elements to compensate for focus). That’s the only way to increase the magnification of a lens.

          Hope that helps!

          • Gavin Chapman

            So you’re telling me that if I took a photo with a 300mm lens on a tripod, on a Nikon D3, and swapped the body to a D90 and took a picture they would look exactly the same?

            They wouldn’t, the one from the D90 would look “magnified” in relation to the D3. They are both 12(ish) megapixel cameras.

            • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com/ bob cooley

              Gavin, thanks – that’s a perfect example.

              They wouldn’t, because the image from the D90 would be cropped, but not magnified.

              If you did that camera swap, the image from the D90 would be cropped, so the edges would appear to be ‘zoomed’ and may seem closer (because of the crop – crop any physical photo and it seems “zoomed”), but you would not be optically closer to a person or object standing in the far distance.

              Another proof on this is by looking at the compression between objects in the fore, middle and background. If you were truly changing the focal properties from 300mm to 450mm, you would see considerably more optical compression from the objects front to back, but you don’t – there is no focal change, only a crop.

              A perfect way to test this is to use that same D3 and 300mm on a tripod, then switch the D3 to DX mode.

              One thing that you WILL see change with smaller sensors is the depth of field. The smaller the sensor, the greater inherent DOF you will experience, but this has nothing to do with magnification.

              Hope that helps!

            • http://www.facebook.com/geoffrey.kroll Geoffrey Kroll

              one thing is … all 12MP of the D90 show only object X … from the FF camera you have to crop to get the same object size on your print as it is using pixles on areas the other camera cropped. In this instance would it not be a “longer”
              lens since you would have to use a longer lens on the FF to use all your MP on the object ?

            • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com/ bob cooley

              I understand the confusion, but we are talking about optical magnification. The properties of the lens don’t change based on the physical size of the sensor (or the density of pixels or increased MP size) – you don’t get 1.5x closer to your subject via magnification, you just have an image that is cropped from the potential field of view of the lens.

            • http://www.purseblog.com/ Vlad Dusil

              Wait a minute, the DOF changes on crop because you need to step further away from your subject for the same field of view compared to a FF camera.

              I still feel like we’re talking about the same thing here.

              I agree with you that the ACTUAL focal length of the lens doesn’t change, but the PERCEIVED / MAGNIFIED focal length equivalent changes with a crop sensor compared to a FF sensor with the same resolution.

              Think birding. 400mm on a 12MP FF sensor is 400mm. 400mm on a 1.5x crop is like having a FF sensor (with a 600mm lens) whose center of the sensor has 12MP and you cropped down the image, giving you “more reach” for print. Of course you’re only capturing a smaller area of the field of view, but because you had more pixels crammed into the smaller area, you perceive it as if it was a 600mm lens.

              I think we are just stumbling over semantics here, altho we mean to say the same thing.

            • http://www.bobcooleyphoto.com/ bob cooley

              Vlad Dusil You can alter DOF by changing your distance to subject, and by changing between different focal length lenses (wider having more DOF than a longer lens) – but DOF is still affected by the size of the sensor.

              I’d encourage you to Google the string “DOF is inversely proportional to format size” – Its a pretty lengthy topic, and a lot has been written about it already. The math on this is solid but pretty deep if you aren’t into physics.

              I get where you are going with the idea of the sensor depth allowing the capture of more usable information, but it doesn’t correlate to the crop factor, or the optical

              By that logic, my D800 (at 36MP) would have a 2.25x zoom over my D3 (16mp) based on the sensor. But that has nothing to do with the optical magnification, and doesn’t directly correlate mathematically to the pixel compression.

              In other words, the crop factor of 1.5x (or 2.7x for the 1 series) doesn’t correlate mathematically to the pixel density or MP size (the pixel density isn’t 1.5x more and certainly not 2.7x more than a FX sensor).

              Further, you would then have to rate different cameras with DX class sensors with different specs. The Nikon D3200, D5000, D7000, and D300 would all have different effective “zoom” due to different pixel densities and MP sizes.

              None of this changes the physical, optical magnification of the lens. Again, if you want to dig into the physics of it, there is plenty of much more scientific information out there. Hope that helps!

            • zoetmb

              It’s not magnified, as Mr. Cooley has tried to explain. It’s cropped. There’s a difference. Take the “print” from the D3 and keep only the 43.2% center portion. That’s what the D90 is doing. But having said that, the D90 might actually look better because that’s using 100% of the 12MP while if you crop the D3, you’re using only 43% of the 12MP.

  • nokin

    Boy those corners are soft.

  • upuaut

    I’d like to backpack with this lens through America’s national parks.

    • http://www.naskaras.com/ Thanassi Karageorgiou

      LMAO

  • Funduro

    OK you win, your’s is bigger then mine

  • Arkasai

    Isn’t there some crazy story behind the development of this lens? I seem to remember it being designed specifically to shoot a high school baseball championship where the photographer’s pit was far from home plate.

  • jerre

    And the people who posted on Amazon regarding the Sigma 200-500 f/2.8 says that was enough to view the Higgs Boson… This can probably go through space-time easily :)

    http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-200-500mm-Ultra-Telephoto-Canon-Cameras/dp/B0013D8VDQ

  • lorenzo

    Once I tried to put a 3x teleconverter on my Nikon 1,000 mm reflex (= 3,000 mm f/33) to shoot the moon… Kinda soft but well recovered in post-processing :-)

    • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

      What did you recover in post? Ego? :)

      • lorenzo

        Actually I forgot to multiply for the cropping factor on DX, so the equivalent focal length was 4,500 mm :-)

        BTW, have you heard about sarcasm?
        Can’t recover anything from shots so blurred. LOL

  • Art

    Screw the lens, I wanna know about that tripod!

  • Martijn

    i think its pretty awful that nikon can’t even get the picture right at 1200mm. the girl in front is definitely out of focus. why is she standing so far in front of the other girl? at 1700mm it seems the photographer found out and did put them together.

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      Maybe they wanted to show the depth of field?

      • Dr SCSI

        Or the ammount of compression that is feasible.

    • http://www.facebook.com/chris.lewis.16144606 Chris Lewis

      As admin says, this is clearly deliberate.

  • Zoltan

    pope’s wrinkels will be shown to the world soon…

  • http://www.facebook.com/richard.crompton2 Richard Crompton

    That is one serious chunk of antique glass. The V1 plus 400 2.8 sounds like a much more ‘back & shoulder’ friendly option though. Unless the tog is into body building.

  • Jenny

    Does the new Pope come with VRII?

  • Wooah

    Would the guy have taken insurance out? Or is he paying for protection?

  • Hans

    that lens is some holy shit!

  • alvin

    absolutely out of context but ..seems that first samples are out… http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/51030751

  • outcome

    With that lens he will be able to take the first picture of the new pope, even befor the white smoke gets out…

  • leres

    here the photos of Francesco I the new pope from REUTERS/Dylan Martinez : http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?articleId=USRTR3EXVC#a=1

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=572614912 Jay Donahue

    well, did he get the shot?

  • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

    Here is a picture of the new pope taken with the lens: http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?articleId=USRTR3EXVC#a=1

  • Terry Clark

    Did any one else wonder why there are out of focus donuts in the 1700mm shot? That should indicate a mirror lens, maybe the 2000mm?

  • Roger

    And it fires an anti-tank missile.

  • Olli

    All this hassle and the photo is shit. He could have done better with a smaller sensor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/frank.schiffel Frank Schiffel

    And we can buy one for……

  • 103David

    You guys are like watching a couple of punch-drunk boxers going at it. Sometimes you’re both right, sometimes you’re not. When are we going to get back to the discussion on what makes this lens (and life itself) worthwhile? And I’m not talking about whether the Pope has wrinkles, okay?

  • Jimmy

    Don’t you hate it when you click on an image, it pops up as the exact same size as the thumbnail?

  • Jimmy

    Don’t you hate it when you click on an image, it pops up as the exact same size as the thumbnail?

  • neonspark

    he should have used a D800. his low resolution canon can’t take advantage of the lens.

  • wayne shinbara

    Bjorn…it IS a nikon lens….first, its all BLACK…2nd, you got that “gold” lettering around the zoom/tripod mount area! you canon guys only WISH!

  • http://twitter.com/antodechav Anto de Chav

    Can i shoot this handheld?? I need a new lens to shoot a chess match in low light….

  • Name

    To Bjorn Shultz: you don’t know about lenses it’s not spelled Cannon it’s spelled CANON

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