Nikon to announce a new AF-S 800mm f/5.6 VR lens

Nikon will announce a new AF-S 800mm f/5.6 VR lens. You can see the patent for this lens here. Expect the official announcement between now and Photokina (September 2012).

There were some rumors in the past about a new 800mm f/4 lens, but it seems that Nikon settled on a f/5.6 aperture similar to the old Nikkor 800mm f/5.6 IF-ED lens that was announced in September 1986 and discontinued in December 2005 (read more on the old version here):

The old Nikkor 800mm f/5.6 IF-ED lens

Both Sigma and Canon currently have a 800mm f/5.6 lens in their lineup. The longest telephoto lens from Nikon currently is the AF-S 600mm f/4G ED VR.

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  • Rob

    Hmmmm….this or a new car?

    Well, decent used car…

    • Chris

      No, a new car from a dealer would be cheaper. So this or a Ford Fiesta!

    • Oh please Nikon, make us some updated zooms in the enthusiast range. 80-400 and 300/4 are so old.

      Destroy the Bigma like you did the Tamron 18-270 PZD!

      • +++ 1, Yes more F4 glass would be great. Why not the 100-300 F4, based on the recent patent, instead of this 800mm beast.

        • Global

          Wow, those cars left in the elements must be in terrible shape. Definitely projects for wealthy hobbyists.

          An 800/5.6 is a difficult feat and brings Nikon into a class it didn’t have available before — combined with the low-light and pixels of the D800 + cropping, you might as well say that Nikon has crossed the usable 1,000+ mm barrier. On the other hand, I think a lot of people satisfied with the 600mm are getting a lot more out of it with the D800, so I’m not sure why the urgency (far more useful when Nikon was hovering over 12mp).

          Is this one of those Olympics releases?

          Also — please no more x~300mm!! Zooms to 300mm are so damn common, its one of the easiest ranges to cover. What we need primes and far teles in the consumer range:

          135/2 VR
          200mm/3.5 VR Macro
          300mm/2.8 VR
          135-500/variable VR
          400-600/4 VR

          • Ben Hipple

            “primes and far teles in the consumer range”

            These would all be more money then could be called consumer.

            135/2 VR will be 1500$

            200mm/3.5 VR Macro 1500$

            300mm/2.8 VR is already being made and it is 6000$

            135-500/variable VR would be 2200$

            400-600/4 VR would be over 11,000$

            • > 135-500/variable VR would be 2200$

              Good idea, thanks! That’s the one I want.

          • I do not feel a 100-300 VR F4 would be in the “consumer” range. If done as high quality, it could satisfy the many requests for an 80-400 and 300 F4 replacement. I would certainly jump for it!

            • mikils

              How could any something-300 zoom satisfy a request for a 400? wildlife shooters only care for lens as long as possible. Now that bodies are so much more advanced than the majoirity of their owners (including me), It would be high time to find a way to lower the price of long lens. I almost had to give a pound of my flesh to get the 300 2.8.C’mon Nikon, do it!

            • Enthusiast range, would be more correct.

          • @Global,
            Nikon has done 800mm and 1200mm before…

            I too would like to see a 400-600mm f/4, but as one other poster put it, that lens would be a $heit lode of money.

          • “An 800/5.6 is a difficult feat and brings Nikon into a class it didn’t have available before”

            Wrong in many ways. People like you give Nikon users a bad name.

    • Moooooooooooo

      Nikon should just include a cheap car with the purchase of the lens. lol!

      • BartyL

        Or at least a donkey to carry it around on. And a years supply of hay.

        • Gareth

          serious LOL with the hay.

        • Moooooooooo

          +1 lol!

      • Hermann Kloeti

        And a few visa – for infinity focussing in some of the smaller European countries.

        • yes

          +1 especially true for Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, …

  • j

    VR ? Would this lens be used without a tripod or support?

    • peterw

      VR in the 500 mm F4 on a tripod or on a bean bag even increased the amount of sharp pictures at short shutterspeeds like 1/200s by a factor 4 (not a scientific test). So I guess there is nothing wrong with VR in this one.

      What will be the weight of this beast? Not very much more than the 600 F4 I guess. The main difference being air and tube.

    • Moooooooooooooo

      Even with VR, it would be hard to hand hold for an extended period of time. At least for me it was. I rented a 500mm f/4 and it made me feel I should spend more time at the gym. You’ll need both VR and a monopod with an 800mm f5.6 lens.

      • peterw

        buy the lens, swing it around as long as you can, or better, make a training programme shooting wild-life three days a week for at least half an hour (you start with interval-training), and save your money for the gym… you’ll have more fun… and your hard disk will be full in no time.
        (for me this 500 is enough, since it takes a convertor 1,4x very well, and at longer subject distances air perturbances destroy the image any way)

        (I wish wild-life would be that easy)

        • Richard

          The D4 is supposed to auto-focus (on at least the central sensors) to F8. There have been a number of people using the 500 f4 with the 2x TC on it for an effective focal length of 1,000mm and, interestingly, also a number of people using the same combination with the D7k which would yield an effective focal length of 1,500mm! I guess Nikon need to keep up with Canon for prestige purposes even though the total sales of this lens are bound to be miniscule. I would expect most people to find the 500mm f4 + TC combination to be more flexible and certainly more cost effective.

          I know that the Canon wildlife shooters were upset with Canon’s decision to abandon the APS-H sensor format. Their 500mm f4 + 1.4x TC and 1.3 crop factor was very useful to them and the Canon bodies would not auto-focus at f8. Some of them were taking a hard look at Nikon because of this.

          This is just a patent, so it is unlikely that production will occur any time too soon. I certainly hope that Nikon will focus their efforts on bringing lens which are relevant to more of their customers…such as some affordable (to more people) high quality f4 lenses.

    • LarryG

      Watch the owner’s manual read “Turn the VR off when using a tripod” using the logic that VR anticipates movement to correct and ‘over-corrects…i.e. introduces movement’ when using a tripod.

      Time to go to the gym to be in shape for when this lens is released.

      • peterw

        in 99% of cases VR works fine on tripod or beaanbag
        only when shutterspeeeds are very long it should be turned off, like 1/10s of a second.

  • Jørgen

    Thats’s not a lene. It is a bazooka.

    • Not Surprised

      Sadly, thats an extremely poignant comparison — many photographers are killed, because they are mistaken for holding weapons in third world countries and areas of escalated violence.

  • Lexfu

    This focal length would be great for sports and nature, thought it would be released before the Olympics.

    • Mickster

      Yes, especially if your shooting from one country into another. 🙂

      • Wildcat


      • jorg

        you could see russia from alaska. should come with a foxtail

        • Not Surprised

          I am sure that Sarah Palin has ordered hers already.

    • peterw

      No use to bring this with you to the olympics in London.

      • Global

        I’m guessing you wouldn’t want to, since you’d have to buy another seat just to set it down. Those anti aircraft missiles are rather over the top.

        The most bizarre part is where they show them moving around & they are pointed at the ground and nearby population. Not to mention they are bouncing around on the unit. You would think that there would be a policy for them to never point them at the general population, especially when distracted by cameras and interviews.

        Anyway, this could be a kind of a “point of pride” for Nikon marketing, if used in the Olympics by professionals on the sidelines.

  • Davd H.

    Amazing Optic!

    Imagine this combined with D800/E

    • plug

      Or a V1 and 2x converter….4320mm!

      • Arthur

        Exactly my thoughts!

  • S
  • Smudger

    At last!!!!!!!!

    Now dor the 300-600/4 and 1200mm

  • Richard

    WOW…another exotic telephoto…….nice it will be a flagship lens.
    I think the VR is going to help with vibrations from the tripod for such a heavy lens, rather than hand holding. Anything above 300mm 2.8 VR is not very hand-holdable for me for more than 5 minutes

  • NikoFanboy


    thank you so much. You really made my day……

    this is great news…Finally nikon made up their mind to announce this beauty…

    Thanks admin…

  • karl

    ..will look great on my J1 😛

    • Sceptic

      No… your J1 will look great on it! 😉

  • ano102

    the priority of NIKON lens release is totaly crazy …
    how many 800 f5.6 can hope nikon to sell during a year ?
    is a 800 f5.6 really THE priority for NIKON ???

    how many pro ou expert users are waiting for 300 F4 VR, 400 F4 VR, 70-200 F4 and even 80-400 ?

    • nikkorlens

      None !!!!!

      Pro’s buy real lenses.

      • Bleh

        or old ones.

      • I shoot at least 150,000 shots a year with a D3X and 80-400 lens, and am a pro. A newer version of that lens would be good. I really wish Nikon would do a 50-500 lens, as the quality of the Sigma lens is not good enough for me.

        • Nikkorlens

          For your type of photos did you never heard of better ones????

          • I shoot horse polo. A polo field is NINE times the size of an American football field. I need the reach of 400 (at least), and then closeness of 50 would be a lot better than 80. I shoot from the midfield line and capture the entire match with one camera and one lens (all shots handheld). Try shooting this sport with a fixed 200, 300 or 400, and then talk. You will miss a lot of action. If you try shooting with multiple cameras, you again miss a lot of action (I already tried that method).

            If you can suggest a better zoom lens, then list it.

            • C_V

              you shoot with nikon 80-400 but say the sigma is not good enough?
              Explain please?

            • Nikkorlens

              Did you heard about nikkor 200-400mm f4 VR?
              Of course not…

            • Rob

              He said he wanted something wider than 80mm on the wide end, and you’re suggesting the 200-400?

        • Why do you shoot a D3x and not a D3s? Simply out of curiosity.


          • Max

            yeah… D3s is cheaper and has 9fps…

            • Shooting from midfield, the end zone is 150 yards away (in a straight line). Since the field is also 160 yards wide, the next effect is that the far corner is almost 220 yards away. On a D3S this give me a 12MP picture, which after cropping, is quite small. On a D3X, starting with a 24MP picture, the final cropped picture is at least a decent size (and this is using the 80-400 lens). I tried a D800, however there are focus issues with that camera (AF-C, single point, focus priority release, does NOT work. I shot over 17K shots on that camera, so have the NEF files to prove it. Same focus issue with the D4. Using AF-C 3-D focus on the D800 and D4, the focus point jumps around too much. See my review of the D4 on Nikons’ website for details.).

              Focus speed on the 50-500 Sigma is slower than the Nikon 80-400. Have tried two copies of the Simga, and gave up. Also, picture quality of the Sigma is not as good as the Nikon 80-400.

              With the D3X and the 80-400 lens, I can pick out the detail of the end of the riders whip from mid-field to either end of the field. The Sigma did not resolve that good. Have over 250K shots with my camera/lens combo.

              I did purchase a D3S, which I am using on Arena Polo (a lot smaller field). Have shot that with a 80-200 lens, and with a 28-300 lens. Since a lot of Arena Polo matches are played in inside venues, or at night, will shoot that sport with the D3S.

              While higher FPS is important, and desirable, must first get a good quality picture of decent size. Postage stamp final pic just won’t work. Only other option is to shoot from different position, and just give up half or more of the field. My equipment lets me catch entire match.

            • @William Jones,
              “I tried a D800, however there are focus issues with that camera (AF-C, single point, focus priority release, does NOT work. I shot over 17K shots on that camera, so have the NEF files to prove it. Same focus issue with the D4. Using AF-C 3-D focus on the D800 and D4, the focus point jumps around too much.”

              I can understand your frustration with your gear. I have run into similar issues on my older D3/D700/D300 bodies. I gave up on AF-C 3D. It wasn’t until last week that I decided to try it out again on my D4 at a motocross track. I used it with the 70-200m f/2.8 VR I, and I was absolutely blown away by the fact that I could capture the rider’s jump as he crested the first hill, and track then entire jump at 10 fps. Every frame was tack sharp at f8, and I did this over and over that day. AMAZING!!! I suspect that the focusing motor of the 80-400 either has too far to rack, or it is too slow. I’ve since gone back to the motocross track and tried taking some shots at f/2.8, but I found my hit ratio for correct focus went down by half at that aperture. My friend has the D800 and the newer 70-200 f/2.8 VR II, and I was able to track and shoot moving cars on the autobahn, while I was standing at a rest stop. At 5 fps, I was gitting about a 70% hit ratio, but when it nailed the image it was tack sharp. So much in fact that at 100 meters you could read the license plates on the passing cars with easy, despite panning and handheld shooting. I know its a shorter lens, but have you looked at the new 28-300 VR II from Nikon? The newer focusing motor may help in your case.

            • @ William Jones,
              I forgot to include the Motocross link to an animated GIF I created to demonstrate the D4 at 10fps with AF-C 3D tracking turned on. Again, I was able to achieve this over and over again; but I had to stop because it wasn’t resulting in images that were any more interesting. 🙂


          • Shawn

            Because the only thing that has anything to do with polo is the horseshit in this guy’s story.

            • Nikkorlens

              This guy is really a pro…
              Remains to be know of what…

            • Shawn, visit my website, then make comments about horse droppings. Perhaps you should provide us with a link to your website, and your pictures. My website:

              As far as the 200-400 lens, very heavy to handhold, and still leaves the under 200 range uncovered. I don’t shoot with tripod or monopod, as it doesn’t work for the style of shooting I do. To each his own poison.

        • Global

          A 135-500/bright variable VR would be better than a 50-500 with darker specs. We already can easily reach 14~300. My wish would be for:

          135-500/var VR
          400-600/f4 VR

        • zoetmb

          150,000 shots a year? So about 3000 shots a week? 600 per day? (5 days a week). 85 shots an hour? (7 hours per day).

          This always amuses me when people claim this. The problem isn’t that I don’t believe them, it’s that I do. And what it says to me is that they’re making movies and picking frames, not that they’re choosing a moment to capture. Personally, I don’t consider this to be photography. I consider it to be a security camera. But then it’s rare that I use the motor drive.

          If one spends just 10 seconds looking at each shot to decide whether to do something with it, that’s 69 days per year working six hours per day just picking photos.

          And if one is spending 69 days per year in front of the computer picking shots, then that raises the number of shots per day they must take when they’re out shooting on the other days.

          I think anyone who practices photography this way should go shoot some film and learn to do great photography within those limitations. It will make one a much better photographer. To this day, when I shoot music shows, when I look down at the camera at the end of the night, I’ve always shot some multiple of 36 frames — usually either 72 or 108. I always laugh when I see that.

    • My guess is that they will release this lens for the Olympics.

      • Nikonuser

        Nothing other than release before the Olympics makes sense. (Or Nikon might have them available to certain NPS photographers to borrow for certain events).

        btw, I think it’s funny to read all the comments by amateur hobbiests who think this lens is targeted at them.

        Finally, what do you mean when you say that Nikon will announce it, but don’t give a probability rating? Is this almost definite or just speculation still?

        • @Nikonuser,
          “btw, I think it’s funny to read all the comments by amateur hobbiests who think this lens is targeted at them.”

          Best statement so far! Still wiping tears of laughter from my eyes!!
          I could only afford one of the big optics from Nikon and it had to be used! Best compromise was a 400mm f/2.8 VR (actually VRII motor, but Nikon didn’t originally badge it that way) and TC1.4, TC2. I thought about getting the 200-400mm f/4, but I didn’t like the MTF charts, and you can never have enough speed.

          For the amatures out there, like myself, the best and cheapest lens you can get for long focal length is the 300mm f/4 (Approx. $1250). Add the TC2 ($500), you get a 600mm f/8 which should still be able to focus on the D4/D800/e! Otherwise expect to spend $5K and up for 300mm f/2.8, 200-400mm f/4, $8K and up for 400mm f/2.8 and up.

          Alternately, a 70-200mm f/2.8 with TC1.4 on a Nikon 1 might fit the bill for you birders out there.

          • Nikonuser

            Yup, my own biggest lens is a 300/4 with TC. The 800mm is not targeted at your average amateur or your average pro. It’s a very specialized lens.

            • @Nikonuser, I also bought a beat up 10+ year old 300mm f4 just for use with my GigaPan Epic Pro, for doing panos. $700 with a RRS lens collar valued at $250. Best money I spent, even though the body of the lens looks like hell.

          • zoetmb

            Except that there are too many people with too much money. Wall-street execs, lawyers, doctors, drug dealers, CEOs, maybe a few movie or sports stars, etc. will buy this lens just to claim that have “the best”. Largely people who have no idea what an f-stop is. They’ll shoot with it on automatic, then claim that Nikon ripped them off because they don’t get perfect results every time. They’ll use it a few times to shoot their kid’s soccer game and then they’ll get tired of carrying it and it will sit in their closet.

            Pros (except for the top sports photographers) won’t buy it as much because they actually have to rationalize the cost for their business. And in the case of the sports photographers, the magazine/news paper they’re shooting for is buying it for them (and in the case of the cream of the crop, I bet Nikon is lending it to them).

            But does anyone really think Nikon can get this lens into the hands of photographers (except perhaps for a few prototypes) before the Olympics? I doubt that very much. You can’t even get the 24-85mm or the 18-300mm yet.

      • Tiger1050Rider

        The only sport at the Olympics that would benefit from this lens is the Sailing and even there the press are in boats as well.
        I Live right on the Cycling course and know it well. There are very few parts of the route that would need even my 200-400 lens.
        I’ll be up a step ladder in my front garden with my 85mm and 135mm lenes when the Peloton rides past my house at 30+mph in a few seconds.
        Most of the route is in built-up areas or on tree lined roads. No need for this lens then.
        I’m going to the rowing at Eton Wick. The 200-400 len will be used there.
        IMHO, this lens is just too big to be used to capture the action inside the stadia. With the 36Mp D800 you can use a shorter lens and crop away knowing that you will have a usable image at the end.

        • Mike

          Do you have accreditation for the rowing? If not, I’m not sure that you’ll get in with the 200-400 given the 30cm restriction.

    • Jim

      +1 on the 80-400.

      There are many times that a hand holdable zoom that reaches out to at least 400m is the only way to get shots. My personal example being shooting Grizzlies from a drift boat in British Columbia. You can’t use even a mono pod due to the motion of the boat. Hand holding a 200-400 F4 for an entire day just isn’t going to work even if there was room to work with it.

      Always glad to see Nikon release great new products, but the wait for a refresh of the 80-400mm is becoming some what frustrating for myself and others who do use and value such a lens.

      • Jim, you have some nice pics on your site. I didn’t see any of the Grizzlies (didn’t look at all your pics, however). What gallery are they in?

        Glad to see someone else who understand just how good the 80-400 lens is.

        • Nikkorlens

          Your AF issues are not related to cameras, but to the slow 80-400 focus. Select focus priority in AFC. And if it’s so good the 80-400 why do you need a replacement?
          Never heard a pro with only one camera…. better served with one D series with a 70-200 and a second one with a 200-400. You even could sell much more…
          Using a monopod is no shame at all, and photographing polo is no worse than any other sport. Croping photos means you don’t have enough reach.
          Came on man, wake up. You don’t have the right tools and it’s surprising that you have not yet understood.

          • I tried a 80-200 f/2.8, 28-300 VR, and the 85 f/1.4G lenses on the D800 and the D4. Same focus issue as with the 80-400. If I use one camera with the 200-400, will have to be on a monopod, and then need second camera with shorter lens. However, I stand at the boards next to the field, and sometimes need to move (or get run over when the horses come over the boards), so using a monopod for camera A becomes a tripping hazard. A have shot with two cameras, and prefer a single camera solution, which for me is the D3X with 80-400. A D800 with same lens, IF it had worked, would have given me the ability to get larger crops.

            Mr Nikkorlens, may I suggest that you try shooting this particular sport, then make comments; or at least try taking pictures of a running horse that is 200+ yards away, and let me know how big of a cropped picture you can get. You are restricted to 400mm max. Yes, I could leave the pictures uncropped, however I prefer to produce a final picture that concentrates on the subject, with extraneous material cropped out. A 200-400 with a 1.4TC would make that a 280-560, a lot better reach, however I would then need a second camera with a 28-300. Again, I have shot with two cameras, and it was a problem, plus the 200-400 as a handheld lens, is not easy (a polo match lasts about 1.5 hours, and there are normally two such matches a day). Come to Florida sometime and see what is involved. Shooting soccer or football is a lot smaller field, it does not give you a good comparison.

            To Dr SCSI: I tried the 28-300 lens on both the D4 and D800, and had the same issue. Sir, if possible try shooting a sport with multiple players for each team, and then let me know if the 3-D will stay on player 1, on team A, or switch to other players from the same team. Especially try this when the players are moving directly towards or away from you. Even if the focus stays on your selected player, when moving directly forwards or backwards, watch to see the focus ratio. Also, if the focus system is improved on the D4 and D800, why are you only getting a 70%+ hit ratio, while I can get a 90%+ hit ratio on the D3X and D3S? That does not sound like an improvement to me.

            My main point is I would like an upgraded 80-400 lens from Nikon, or, even better, a 50-500 Nikon lens. We all have certain things that we wish Nikon would make and/or upgrade, I am just expressing mine. I don’t and won’t make comments about other peoples camera or lens choices, as each person should use what they like or prefer. If someone can provide me with a suggestion of a better lens to use (must start at 80mm or less, and have a maximum of at least 400mm), then please list. If I have tried something, and it didn’t work for me, then I will mention. Perhaps I got a lemon, or perhaps other people have not tried and then listed the same problem. Information is valued; helpful suggestions are appreciated; criticisms do nothing to help me or anyone else who reads this.

            • I have several points to make to your comments, and I mean no offense.
              1.) Nikon has improved the 3d tracking tremendously in the new D4 an D800 cameras. I was just expressing my enthusiasm over this with respect to shooting motocross with the D4. I agree with you about the difficulties it would have when tracking multiple players, I can’t imagine that to work flawlessly; but I have heard from professional football fotographers that it is able to track a player moving diagonally across the field with opponents and team players crossing in front of the subject for brief moments. The sensitivity for subject interruptions is configurable on this feature; you can adjust the delay before the camera gives up trying to find the subject again.
              2.) In your previous posts you hadn’t mentioned the 28-300 and I thought it might be something worth while for you to consider, since you expressed interest in the ability to go wider than the 80-400 . I own this lens and haven’t even put it on my D4, but I did lend it to my friend with the D800 and he had not mentioned any issues with it.
              3.) The 70% hit ratios I referred to, were of passing cars on the German autobahn traveling at speeds of 80+ miles per hour at a distance of 100 meters when they were directly in front of me, and even further in distance away as I shot the rear license plates. I was simultaneously panning about 140 degrees with my upper torso. I never mentioned owning a D3S or D3X, my reference was for improvements of the D4 over previous cameras I have owned (D3, D700, D300). Considering I only had the D800 in my hand for five minutes, and the fact that I was shooting license plates of speeding cars (not running hoarses), this is my only explanation for my reduced hit ratio. Oh, and the fact that I am an ameture who only recently started to expieriment with panning. I think I forgot to mention that I was also shooting at 200mm f2.8 and not the 4.0 to 5 one would get when using the 80-400. So yes, I was impressed with 70% and the improvements vs previous cameras I have owned.
              4.) For your sake, I truly hope Nikon will make an improved lens that meets your requirements. I understand your goals completely, and based on my knowledge of numerous Nikon lenses, I know no better solution then that to which you have come. Its like you said, to each his own poison.

              I can only make one last suggestion, use Lightroom to filter your photos by focal length (if possible, which I think it is) to determine your most used focal lengths. You may discover that you predominately stay in a smaller subset of the available range you have in the 80-400. This may lead you to other options, not previously considered.

  • Spinnicle

    What a waste! Why not make it zoomable (i.e. 100-800/f5.6 VR. )

    • Alex

      Hah hah. For such a lens, when you order it the B&H rep. will ask, “Would you like to add small truck to go with that order?”

      • The 300-800 f/5.6 by Sigma, which uses older material for the construction, weighs 5.8Kg. A Nikon lens starting from 100 instead and adding VR won’t even make it double the weight. So you won’t need a truck.

    • Michael

      You do realize how large a 100-800 constant f/5.6 would be, right? Super-telephoto primes are prime for a reason; superior optics in the best possible package.

  • Ibbo

    Will happily stick with my 600mm/f4. With the TC14 it already gives me 840mm/f4 with no loss of quality.

    • Ibbo

      Sorry, should read 840mm/f5.6!

      • peterw

        What about 1120mm, and ‘no’ loss of quality?

        (indeed air perturbance)

        • Ibbo

          Good point: the 800mm/f5.6 with the TC14 will indeed produce 1120mm/f8. That of course is the new focussing limit with the D4 and D800. The 600mm/f4 can again do better: 1200mm/f8 with the TC200III.

          I use both combos with the 600, and am more than happy with the results FOR MY PURPOSES, which is sport. Others have different needs, and take a different view.

          If I were starting over again, I still think the 600 plus TCs gives me more options with the new bodies:
          600mm: 600/4. 840/5.6. 1200/8
          800mm: 800/5.6. 1120/8
          For me, a no brainer.

          • Arthur

            Correction: the 600/4 with the TC200III will give you 600*20=12.000mm at sqrt(2)^(4+ln(20)/ln(2))=f/18

            (Assuming that such a teleconverter has the same light loss as connecting multiple TC20’s – in this case ln(20)/ln(2))=4.32 TC20-teleconverters. This seems to be plausible as the difference between the TC14, TC17 and TC20 follows these same rules.)

            Not bad by the way for a non-mirror lens!

  • bharat

    Putting my house on ebay 😉

    • Want it.

      Putting swmbo on fleabay!!


      No livestock allowed.

  • Nikon should stock stores with the the lens already announced last month, instead!!!

  • Unrelated: What happened to the D600?

    • waiting for the announcement, we have the specs and the leaked images, not exact date yet but it should come out before Photokina

      • Subhasis

        Hi Admin:

        Thank you very much for all the good work you have been doing! It is good to have the specs and leaked images of the D600. However, we have not seen any image of the back of this camera where most of the controls reside. Can we have the rear image sometime soon?

        Thanks again.

      • PeterO

        I love the confidence with which you state that.

      • Neil

        waiting for the announcement, we have the specs and the leaked images, not exact date yet but it should come out before Photokina.

        Hi Admin,

        Similar wight to the Canon 800mm f/5.6 IS or current Nikkor 600mm F/4 VR?

        It will be interesting to see if the new Nikkor 800 f/5.6 mm sets a new design trend (especially reduction in weight) for Nikon. The current Canon 800 mm signalled design trends for their latest super-telephoto lenses.

      • nuno santacana

        There is a clear hunger for D600 (and D400 too).

        We are grateful for having those leaked images and specs, but there is more to have. Like sample images at 3200 ISO…

        Photokina is in September. Any guess for release date, July or August?

        • BartyL

          Thom Hogan thinks August.

          • fordstr

            Wish it would come out before August, pretty much no way to have it in hand for weddings even in late October.

  • SkintBrit

    If I were planning on spending that kind of money, it would go on a 400 2.8 and a TC20 111.

    • yes, this new 800mm f/5.6 lens will not come cheap

  • Hunt

    This is the year of the Nikon lens.

    I will sell my kidney, liver, heart, brain, or my whole body for one.

    • Hermann Kloeti

      You’ll feel gutted.

      • Johnnymunro


  • Nikkorlens

    Hopefully there’s still who can buy such lenses.
    Jealousy is the sin’s mother

    • peterw

      Canon has this 800 F5,6 lens for ? two year or so?
      Several birdphotographers changed their 500F4 for this lens. But it certainly less than 10%. 500 F4 you can take ‘easely’ abroad in an airplane or so.

      • Nikkorlens

        The Canon 800 can be perfectly packed in a carry on bag. Not the same for the old Nikkor 800.
        The Canon is even lighter than the old 600.
        For more info go to see the Arthur Morris site.

  • TheInconvenientRuth

    Actually this release makes perfect sense. They’ll sell tons of these in Japan to photographers covering the Japanese baseball league. Not to mention wildlife photographers. It’ll be great on the D4 or on the D800 (1200mm DX f.o.v. at 15mp anyone?)

  • Ken Elliott

    Nice! It’s good to see Nikon filling out the gaps in the exotic line. All we need is a 105 DC and 135 DC and Nikon can start on the mid-level lenses. Stuff like a revised 80-400, and a range of lower cost ‘birder’ lenses (400 f/5.6, 600 f/8) and semi-pro f/4 zooms (70-200).

    Nikon is getting there folks.

  • C

    Nice job NR! Thank you for your R!

  • Grumpy guy

    Seems Nikon keep releasing (well as far as rumours go) lenses I either can’t afford (this one) or don’t need (variable aperture crap).

    I guess I shouldn’t complain. The 85 1.8g and 28 1.8g are pretty sweet.

  • Blackout

    400/2.8 + TC20 Eiii or 600/4 + TC14 Eii combos are more versatile and allow to obtain high-quality photos, publishable on better magazines.
    What should give more a 800/5.6 to be attractive for market? An impressive optical quality and mechanical innovation that includes elements in exotic metal alloys and carbon fiber for exceptional rigidity with low weight. All at a price less than or equal to that of the Canon.

  • Jim

    Anybody got a good guess on the price?

    • I’d say somewhere in the ballpark of $13,000-15,000.


  • This is quite impressive. It’s sure to be a spectacular lens. And, with the new focusing system being good up to F/8, it will still function on the D4 and D800/E with a 1.4x TC attached! Very nice. I can’t help but wonder, though, why one would really NEED this lens. I can see them really wanting the lens, but I can see no NEED market for the lens. Unless you and your friend want to take intimate family portraits of your other friends seated on the opposite side of the football field. EXTREME wildlife photographers could really use it. I can see that too.

    PS. The video opportunities with both the D800/E and the 2.7x crop factor of the D4 (the only usable video mode anyhow) would be incredible. 800(2.7)=2160mm FOV with F/5.6 light availability. Incredible for video. And the 1.5x crop on the D800 (and still cropable from there) and its inherent resolution=detail. Very, very nice.


    • JB


      I guess it all depends on your definition of need but you could say do you really need a 600mm f4 versus a 500mm f/4 or a 400mm with TC……

      As someone who regularly photographs birds, more lens is almost always better. I bought a 600mm last year, but if a 800mm had been available I would have at least considered it….depending on increased cost. I had the chance to shoot with a Canon 800mm on a D1x this spring and it was a really nice extra bit of reach on a FF camera. I may never have one…but I’m glad Nikon will be making one!


      • @JB,
        I have shot a few birds, went and bought the 400mm f2.8, put it on a DX body with a 1.4x TC, and still didn’t have enough reach!

        I would like to see Nikon make a 400-800 f5.6 VR II lens for all of the bird photogs in us. Or at least for those willing to spend $12k for the privilege!
        This lens could fit perfectly behind the 200-400mm f4. We could call it the VR squared version for vibration reduction & versatility & range!

        • JB


          That would be one heck of a lens with one heck of a price tag! Sign me up!!! Now all I need is to find someone to cary it for me!

  • Kim Olsen

    So…a D4 and this 800mm lens…the price would be higher than the value of everything i own…damn

  • sgts

    Thanks for this, now with this lens i will be able to view rangers playing dumbarton from the comfort of my east coast home 🙂

    Hi Broxi !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • PeterO

      Where’s broxibear been? Miss him.

      • BartyL

        Probably out taking photos.

      • Ooops

        + 1 to that

      • No idea, I miss him too

  • PJS

    I may have to finally replace my 200-600 f/9.5!!

  • Chuck

    I have a 800mm 5.6 Manual focus I use mostly as a wildlife lens with a D 700 and now a D800. Iwould like Auto Focus and VR as on the bigger Nikon lenses VR works well on tripods.

    • Maddog

      I also own the manual focus version of this lens. I am looking forward to seeing what this bad boy can do. As for the price, when I got mine it went for about 6400 US bucks versus 600 f4 going for 8 or 9 large. I don’t know if we will get that price break now but maybe we won’t have to take out a second mortgage to get one, just a couple of body parts… 🙂

  • David

    I have a MF 800mm F5.6 in mint condition – which I truly enjoy using. Not sure if the VR would bring anything to the table for me – as the MF is quite easy to operate. Support with a pillow or bean back – or vehicle roof is always good. Hand Holding – not so much. It’s not the weight, it’s the length. (Try holding on to the 300mm F2.0). As far as focal length goes…. even the 800mm is sometimes not long enough!!!

  • Kon_head

    I owned a Canon 800/5.6 IS before switching to Nikon. The deal breaker with the Canon 800mm is the 20′ min focus distance. Even tho I have more reach, I still can’t get any more magnification with little birds. I ended up using 2 ext tubes to get closer, but certainy not an ideal solution. I hope the Nikon 800/5.6 can focus closer.

  • maybe one day

  • Gunnar

    If it’s less than $2000 I’m in

    • Aldo #2

      For 2k you may be able to get the front and rear caps…

      • mikils

        Come on, they will throw in the soft bag…..

      • Actually he could probably get the rear lens cap (no front caps), the front lens leather condom, the Fiberglas two part lens hood, and the 52mm drop in circular polarizer filter for $2K!

  • Dweeb

    That’s an awful lot of elements for a simple telescope.

  • VC

    I’ll say it again, the best lens to add to their lineup would be a 500mm f/5.6 VR. It would realistically be reasonably affordable $1000-$2000, decent quality (possible outdo the Sigma 150-500mm), reasonable size, and cover a range that is seriously out of reach for the average consumer. Birders, myself included, would love to see a lens like this.

    • susan


  • Larry Gerbrandt

    I owned the Nikon 800mm f/5.6 IF for a couple of years and actually wound up making a nice profit on the deal (bought it used from a camera shop in Los Angeles and sold it on eBay). The lack of autofocus was the primary reason I sold it. It was simply impossible to focus quickly and accurately on a dim digital viewfinder. Camera shake also proved to be a huge issue. Mirror slap would cause the whole rig to bounce up and down and mirror lock up meant you couldn’t focus at all. The best support wound up being a sandbag. Probably going to be priced in the $12,000+ range. Definitely a rent vs. own lens for me.

  • Kim Olsen

    Just want to mention that Nikon should rather focus on extreme teles too, it’s been a while since 600 f4 came, we’re in due for a new lens in the long range.
    Besides, a 80-400 patent is released i think, + we have a new 18-300mm too out now, perhaps not with the best quality optics, but still some of the cheaper stuff.
    Gotta start saving for D4 before i buy this one, or D3s for that matter, both are great cameras.
    Well, Sigmas 300-800mm f5.6 is a much cheaper option.

  • canon goes for about 13200 to 13800 nikon may be somewhat lower at 12500 to 13000 still only a dream

  • looking for a part-time job that pays about 13000 grand in about 2 months

    • $13K in two months for part time job?!?!
      The only kind of jobs I can think of that pay so well, especially for part time work, are blow job and rim job. At least that is what the documentary on protistutuion said.

      You better stock up on Chapstick!

      All names have been changed to protect the innocent.

      • Prostitution! You damned Nikon slut. Just kidding and my apologies to those who took resemblance to my remarks.

  • Vin

    I just had a call from Pro Photo Oregon. in Portland they are getting D800’s and D800E in, i had to pass because i just got my E already. not sure if they are all spoken for?

  • ActionJunky

    Unless is available in gloss RED paint, I’m not interested.

  • Peter

    hmm, not realy a lens which will sell inlarge numbers. The whole world is waiting for a good 80-400 replacement and then they come up with this. Bad Nikon market research? I can’t wait for a nice AF-S 100-500mm !!

  • its good is matching Canon, hope we will see an update to 80-400, 300 F4,etc..

  • KitHB


    I’d guess the VR for such a long lens has a few tricks up it’s sleeve, normal VR is optimised for hand held wobbles – hence the recommendation to switch off VR on a tripod – so does this one counteract the characteristic (and predictable) oscillations from tripod mounts and mirror slap? An 800mm lens balanced on a single point over the tripod will wobble and take time to damp down, could VR be tuned to compensate for this? The clue would be if Nikon talk about a preferred tripod set-up to use with this lens.

    On the other hand, there is always the videographers universal lens support, i.e. a firm pillow.

  • De Michael

    I am just waiting for the mighty 10-2000 mm Zoom f/2.8!
    That way I can trash all other lenses! One for all! Yep , thats the way……

    • j

      I’m waiting for a PC Micro Nikkor 6 – 2000 mm VRII ED DC f/0.9 nano pancake.
      AF-S but not gelded of course, under $500 maybe?

      • De Michael

        Yeah Baby! Give it to me…….

  • Steve Starr

    Canon 800mm 5.6 is $13,899 on Amazon, which suggests the retail list is $22,200 for it normally. This thing may hit the $16,000 mark with VR if the 600mm 4.0 is $10,299. Sigma 800mm maybe half that at $9,500.

    A new car it is.

  • porkchop

    How about a 24-70 2.8 vr, they would sell them by the truck loads if it was priced between $2,000-$2,500!

  • Maybe the prices of the others lenses will decrease 😛

  • neversink

    I prefer the 500mm / f4, the lightest of the big arsenal. With the IQ of a D800, D4 or even the 12 mp D3s/D700 sensors, I can always crop a bit.
    With a TC 1.4 I have 700mm / f 5.6
    With a TC 1.7 I have 850mm / f 6.8
    With a TC 2.0 I have 1000mm / f 8

    All of these are AF ready on the D800 & D4, admittedly the AF above f5.6 has some limitations, but works brilliantly within those limitations.

    So why do I need the 800m 5.6 ???? I could only use the TC 1.4 with it if I wanted to retain a semblance of AF. With 1.4 TC on the 800 I have 1120mm at f8 – And so much more weight than the 500mm F4!!!!!! But I know a ew doctors and lawyers who will buy this and use it once…..

    • Pablo Ricasso

      Oh certainly. And I’m sure the 500 lens is as sharp on a 1.7 x converter. Probably the autofocus is faster too, despite the half stop loss of light…

    • Funneee

      Anybody with any knowledge of psychology can see plainly from your language that you’ve never owned or even used such lenses. My guess is you got a second-hand D90 and have recently bought a 50mm f/1.8 as an upgrade to your 18-55mm, so you could “quadruple your ISO” or whatever it says on your latest Ken Rockwell page.

      • “Anybody with any knowledge of psychology can see…”

        Anyone who has watched MTV knows that vocabulary, writing style and knowledge (or the lack thereof) on subject matter has very little to do with what they can afford.

        So, to hell with your degree in knock-knock jokes j/k

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