Nikon 800mm f/5.6 lens announced

Nikon Japan has already listed the previosuly rumored Nikkor 800mm f/5.6 lens on their website. There is not much information except that the new lens will be on display during the The 141st Open Championship golf tournament (July 19-22, 2012) and Photokina (September 2012).

Update: I got the official press release, Nikon basically announced the development of the new lens, no further details were given:

TOKYO - Nikon Corporation will add the super-telephoto 800-mm, fixed local length lens to its lineup of NIKKOR lenses. This lens will offer a fixed focal length of 800 mm, a maximum aperture of f/5.6, and will be fully compatible with Nikon FX-format cameras.

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 lens, and will be best suited to capture of a wide variety of decisive outdoor scenes, from sporting events to wildlife. In addition to its superior optical performance, the lens will offer dust and water resistance.

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.

Nikon has been providing service and support to professional photographers for roughly 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 they can also borrow equipment.

Nikon has been also an official sponsor of The Open Championship since 1993. The Open Championship is the oldest of the world's four major tournaments* in professional golf (the next Open Championship will be held at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England between July 19 and 22, 2012). This lens is scheduled to be on display at the Nikon service depot that will be set up for professional photographers working at the event.
Furthermore, this lens is 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.

*World's four major golf tournaments: Masters Tournament, U.S. Open Championship, The Open Championship, PGA Championship

As a leader in the professional imaging market, Nikon will continue to develop and release products offering superior performance and functionality based on the optical technologies it has cultivated over its long history. Nikon will also continue to strive to strengthen and improve the service and support it offers to its professional customers.

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

*Specification and equipment are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of manufacturer. Exterior finishing and design are not final.

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  • jorg

    not olympics?

    • John C

      I am sure there will be one or two be at the Olympics. That is probably why they had to announce hit now. Why would they have it at the Open and not the Olympics? They wouldn’t.

      I guess from the press release that it will not be fully compatible with DX 🙂

      • FX DX

        I believe every AFS FX lens will work on any DX camera. What part of the press release makes you think that it is not compatible with DX?

        • John C

          It will work with DX just fine.

          Just found it interesting that Nikon’s press release chose not to include DX.

          • Art

            Odds are that anyone who is going to spend this much on a lens is also going to spend a bit extra to have an FX camera over a DX camera. Especially since with FX, you can always crop later and make DX.

            • Not necessarily- many birders and aviation fans shoot DX for the extra reach. On a D300s, this would be a 1200mm f/5.6 which is just plain ridiculous.

            • Calibrator

              > On a D300s, this would be a 1200mm f/5.6 which is just plain ridiculous.

              Not anymore:
              You can get Nikon P510 with a 1000mm zoom (42x).

              Of course the image quality is comparatively worse but it only costs a single-digit fraction of the 800mm + DX-body…

            • Scorpius

              Cropped sensors don’t give extra reach,it is as the name suggests a crop,nothing more.The lens always remains the same focal length no matter wether its a DX or FX sensor..And a cropped sensor would make this lenses more difficult to track with due to the smaller F.O.V….

            • Calibrator

              Scorpius wrote:
              “Cropped sensors don’t give extra reach,it is as the name suggests a crop,nothing more.The lens always remains the same focal length no matter wether its a DX or FX sensor..”

              When the cropped sensor has more pixels (=higher pixel density) than the same area on a full frame sensor then you indeed get more reach as the image is “bigger”.

              This is true even for the D7000 compared to the D800, which has about 1 MP less. Granted, the difference isn’t big but all other FX bodies are worse in this regard.

          • karl

            screw DX, what about CX ? 2160mm would be fun to use 🙂

            • this argment of dx is wrong as with fx dslr you xcan shoot in dx mode and still get same zoom of dx…infact that means with one prime you have the option to shoot at 1200 or 800mm….anyway just to make it clear d800 in dex would take better picture than any dx camera….also shoot in fx and crop later would be the best stretagy

            • Calibrator

              You are mistaken: Only the D800 comes close to the D7000 in regards to cropping. All other FX bodies are worse (in regards to pixel size), including the D3x.
              And if you compare the D800 to the amateur D3200 the D800 will lose in regards to crop factor.

              Image quality is another point entirely, as is focusing systems etc.

            • Ron

              “Only the D800 comes close to the D7000 in regards to cropping. All other
              FX bodies are worse (in regards to pixel size), including the D3x”

              Thank you Calibrator, i needed a laugh today LOL

          • iamlucky13

            That’s simply because you don’t need to clarify if an F-mount lens will work on an DX camera. Regardless of whether the lens is FX or DX it will. However, since DX lenses will vignette heavily on FX cameras, Nikon makes a point of stating explicitly the level of FX compatibility of lenses. You read too much into a statement they make almost every time they announce an FX lens.

      • Jetfire

        Because it’s banned from the Olympics. You see the rules out on no Long Lenses. LOL Don’t know what is a Long Lens yet

        • Scott M

          Yeah, I saw that…no “long” lenses at the Olympic venues. What is the cut-off size? Is this so no one smuggles a bomb in their lens? W T F?

          • Calibrator

            > What is the cut-off size?

            30 cm (lens plus body)

            > Is this so no one smuggles a bomb in their lens?

            They probably suspect gun barrels and rocket launchers…

          • Ron

            Well, they had the new Canon 200-400mm with the extender over there so i guess 400mm was fine.

        • Calibrator

          > Because it’s banned from the Olympics.

          Only for normal spectators / private persons.
          Pretty cumbersome for the stands anyway, isn’t it? 😉

          I don’t expect problems for folks with press permits…

    • Charles

      The Open is before the Olympics. It will debut at the Open.

    • JS_js

      Supposedly, this is the standard kit lens for the D600.

      • kamran


  • Mark B

    It’s on Nikon Australia site –

    They posted it on the Nikon Aus Facebook as well.

  • Mughees

    First one to comment? wow first time i’m going to be the first one 😛

    whats the expected price? and why a 5.6 instead of a 4?

    • Maddog

      F4 would be humongous. As it is this will be an arm full. I have the manual focus version of this lens and it do git heavy after a while….That being said I want it.

    • Alexander N

      Yes, an F/4 would be HUGE. With simple mathematics, the front lens element would be 20cm in diameter. Imagine carrying that around!

      • Carsten

        Besides its DoF would be a equivalent to a 200mm f/1.0 (at the same magnification!), hard to imagine where you can live with such a thin DoF.

        Subject isolation is great, but at least the subject should be in focus and not only one three eye-lashes

    • LP

      Probably the price will be about 10.000$.

      • Nope, much more than $10,000.00 but that would make a good down payment. Some of us were talking about this lens a few days ago and looks like bottom price will be $18,000.00

        • vinman

          That’s great for speculation, but it would be an incredibly bad move for Nikon. The current Canon 800/5.6 can be bought all day long for well under $14,000 and in capable hands produces stunning images – even handheld (look at Art Morris’ images for proof). This is a very specialized tool, but even in it’s limited market must be priced competitively. At $18,000 you could easily buy the Canon 800/5.6 and a nice FX body for just those occasions when you need the length. Not a smart move, IMO.

          • …the majority of these lenses will be rentals. Not even media outlets bother owning something this specialized. Especially not today.

          • Pablo Ricasso

            No trollboy, you COULDN’T buy a nice full frame body for it. It mounts on a Canon.

            Also, you don’t even know how much the thing will cost. Clearly not a smart move on your part…

            • Pablo Ricasso
            • vinman

              Since I’m the only person who mentioned Canon in this part of the thread, I assume you’re typing to me?

              First, I’ll address your obvious lack of reading and/or retention skills. I never advocated or endorsed Canon. I simply added the fact (in response to someone who appears to have an IQ over 63, unlike yourself) that if the Nikon costs the speculate $18,000, it would be a very bad move since the Canon equivalent is well under $14,000. Now I realize I am taking a huge risk trying to clarify this point with you sense, apparently just seeing the name “Canon” sends you into a blind, ignorant rage – just try to power through it.

              My second point of contention is your mis-use of the term “troll(boy?)”. I’ve been a Nikon shooter longer than your parents have been kissing cousins, so again, please work on your reading skills before chiming in with your grossly inbred ramblings.

            • vinman

              And before you go to the trouble to point out the fact that I misused the word “sense”, I’m aware of it. My phone apparently used auto-correct and I didn’t catch it before I posted. Then again, you may very well be scratching your head wondering what I’m typing about. Google “sense, since, cents, and scents” for clarification.

            • Pablo Ricasso

              I since this “prediction” is where you got your price from,
              I predict that you will have a terrible accident while texting from your camera phone and the coroner will shoot your autopsy with a Canon.

            • vinman

              You continue to support my theory regarding your inbreeding…

            • Pablo Ricasso

              I actually helped a friend choose some lenses for a Canon system after he bought a rebel XT from a fly by night retailer for a $2000 one night when he was drunk. They sent him a silver (he ordered black) camera with an off brand flash that works with my Nikon and not on a Canon, some kit lenses that were made for film cameras, a plastic wide angle converter, a table top tripod, a throw away tripod and a cleaning kit. Maybe there was some other stuff.
              So I had him send some of it back and maybe they rebated him a hundred bucks and they cursed him out over the phone, much like you. At that point I thought he should probably call it a lesson learned and keep the rest of the garbage. Then we bought a Tokina 100 -300 f4 and a Tamron 20-40 f2.7-3.5, lenses that I had and that I knew would work. I also had him buy a 50 f1.4 as even an inbred like myself could understand that was a “no – brainer.”
              Much later, I pointed to a used rebel T2i and then we replaced the Tokina with a used copy of the much newer Sigma same thing, because the new sensor showed the weakness of the older lens. Unlike the rebel XT, the newer camera actually works with the tamron wide angle, not being confused by the variable aperture as the old one was. Later I had him get a 50-200L and the 80-200L. I would even recommend these lenses to people who have forced themselves into that system. My friend had because of some good experience using his mom’s powershot.
              What I noticed about the 80-200 was that it was marvelous wide open and cropped corner to cropped corner. Viewing the photos was as if I had somehow mounted a good 6×6 lens on my camera. The 50-200 is also good and underrated, having the best colors of the lot. The 50 1.4 has great image quality as well.
              So you might wonder what is the problem…
              One problem is that of all the lenses, only the 50 broke, (the only one bought new) and can now only be focused as close as a yard. Reading online, he found that the problem is common and one person showed how to take it apart and repair it, having broke his six times. That is completely unacceptable. He also was unable to trade in his old camera as the battery door needs to be taped shut. (The camera was also bought new) There is another issue with the plastic on the camera and I can’t remember what exactly, but I remember when I was deciding which system to get I looked at the second in line to the 1 series film camera and there was a dial that just kept rotating, failing to click stop in the various modes you could dial up. They told me that Canon would not warranty it but you could send it to them for a couple hundred dollars and they would install a new plastic dial, which I read was a common problem and would probably last so long before breaking again. That is completely unacceptable.
              Then, there is the image quality… Sharp? Yes. But with disappointing and often very unnatural colors, blown out highlights, detail completely lost in shadows, smoothed over textures, and so on. Probably the kind of stuff that a lot of people don’t much care about because they don’t know any better.
              I suppose the reason I dislike the brand, aside from the often poor color rendition, poor dynamic range, cheap plastic construction, and so on is the fact that other people LIKED it. In most recent history you couldn’t buy used lenses for it because everyone thought that it’s initial digital superiority would last forever and it seemed likely that Nikon would go the way of Minolta. And then, the company took that perfect lead it had, having mastered afs and full frame, and frittered it away, offering mediocre crap products with incremental improvements for higher prices. They seem more intent on segmenting the market according to how much someone spends than they do on breaking new ground and improving things regardless of the price. One might have predicted this behavior if one remembered that they also trashed the collection of every one of their manual focus photographers when they first took the lead. Smart move? Maybe for them…Maybe at that moment anyway…
              I suppose it bothers me more than other people because I buy my stuff used and if everybody buys garbage then all I get is garbage to pick from. If that lens costs more than the Canon (unlikely, even though it’s new and probably even better) it’s worth the difference because it mounts on a real camera.

            • Pablo Ricasso

              Oh, and in all my blind ignorant rage that I get when you mention “Canon”, I forgot to add that I liked their consumer mini DV cameras for the delicate little plastic things they were. I bought a couple of them for very little at a nearby pawn store. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about them at all. I do consider my criticism to be fair.
              Also, even if it did cost 18k, (I doubt) what is the other option? Should the company concede the market to Canon and Sigma? Would that be a smart move? That sounds like something that Pentax or Minolta would have done. Or would you tell them to cut a few corners and bring down the costs? Would that be a smart move?

        • mike a

          i think i’ll buy a car instead

    • lol

      show me a 800 f/4 anywhere.

      • Have you tried using Google? Or is that too tricky for you?

      • preston

        genotypewriter, I was curious and took your advice 🙂

        Looks like Pentax had an 800mm f/4 for their 67 line. Optically it was very simple by today’s standards (6 elements in 6 groups) yet still weighed 39 lbs. Yikes.

        • It’s a 6×7 lens… so it’s like a 400/2 on FF… there’s nothing really to against. Also the construction is good enough for film because film is more forgiving to the optics than digital. That in combination with the large 6×7 frame, should give very satisfying results, to say the least.

          • D800e In Hand

            For someone espousing the value of “googling” before posting, you might want to check your understanding of optics.

            Aperture is an intrinsic property of the lens — f/4 means that the maximum light gathering optic is 1/4 the focal length.

            As someone who’s used everything from 8mm to 8×10 over the years, I tire of hearing than an 800mm (35mm) is a 2160 (CX). An 800 is an 800 is an 800. That said, I can appreciate that some folks are more prone to comparing numbers for the sake of numbers, and that 35mm-equivalent focal lengths have a long history for comparison.

            In any case, maximum aperture of the lens won’t change when it’s used on different sensors</b?
            An 800mm f/4 lens will still be f/4 (and 800mm) no matter what mount it's slapped to.

            I'm not going to tear apart the "film is more forgiving to the optics" save one point. I would only agree with your statement in the case of poor collection of off-axis incoming light for a CCD/CMOS sensor.

            • If you’ve used 8×10 and now you’ve stopped and started shooting with a D800 it speaks volumes about your understanding of cameras and/or competence in general.

              Also learn to read. I never said a 800/4 on 6×7 is a 400/2 on FF. I said it is like a 400/2, clearly referring to equivalence.

              As for how film’s more forgiving to optics than digital, I’ve done experiments on it… unlike you:

              And don’t forget to google a person’s nickname before you shake your two cents worth… you just might just embarrass yourself.

            • Pablo Ricasso

              I think he was saying that the depth of field would be similar to a 400f2 and I believe that it would. What an incredible lens that must be. And yes, everybody knows that f4 is f4. And I find it handy knowing that the lens perspective on a cropped sensor is the same as a 1200 on a full frame or that is will act like something over 2000 on a cx. That might be the only way I ever get a lens that gives me that much reach. Why fret the semantics so much? Everybody knows what is being said here. Probably even you.
              Oh, and nice photos Geno, you troll!

            • Pablo Ricasso

              But hey, lets be fair. We’re not all 18 years old and I would get tired of carrying a camera that large even if I was still 18. And not many of us could afford to make very many exposures on an 8×10…

            • @Pablo Ricasso:

              We’re not all 18 years old and I would get tired of carrying a camera that large even if I was still 18. And not many of us could afford to make very many exposures on an 8×10…

              If you think a camera you have is too heavy to carry, get a heavier camera and instantly the previous one becomes the portable one 🙂

              As for 8×10… it’s a lot cheaper than a D800 and will give you 750-1000 megapixels (conservatively) a shot. Worth every penny you spend and vein you pop carrying it 🙂

              Oh, and nice photos Geno, you troll!

              Indubitably 🙂

      • Ric


        • Bork

          The Hubble has an aperture of f/24.

          • Ric

            24 feet don’t you mean.

            • Carsten

              The aperture is 2.4m, focal length 57.6m, hence f/24 is correct ( page 3)

      • D700guy

        There you go. I really dont see the point of this 800mm f5.6. You can get an 840mm 5.6 using a 1.4 teleconverter on a 600mm f4

    • Scorpius

      F4 is not as important with the ultra efficient high iso of todays pro body’s .. what is more important is the weight,it has to be at least as light as canon’s magnesium bodied EF800mm

  • C-CH

    I wonder how heavy it will be? more then 10 pounds?

    BTW: Any news about a new 80-400, a new pro body APS-c (with 24mp), or If the nikon 1 will get the sony Chip from the RX100 with 20mp? at the photokina?

    • nobody

      Who needs a modern 80-400 anyway?

      The next lens to be announced will be the new 1200mm 🙁

      • Steven Georges

        That would be the Big Bertha lens.

    • LP

      About 12 pounds.

  • hokland

    Just out of curiosity. How much would this bad boy set me back?

    • Tiger1050Rider

      How about the two arms and a leg that you would need to have to use such a beast?

      It will be expensive. They won’t make many of them but their production run should last at least 5 years.

      That said Dixons (boo hiss) at London Heathrow T5 are still selling the D300 and the 80-400 lens. Yes there are actual units on display. I can’t remember if it was the D300s or not.
      I tend to treat this sort of outlet as trying to get rid of the ‘bin-end’ kit on unsuspecting travellers with a couple of hours to fill before their flight.

      • BartyL

        Which would be perfectly fine if they were charging ‘bin-end’ prices. But I bet they aren’t, are they. Ain’t nothin’ for sale at airports that you can’t get for 25~50% less somewhere outside the airport. At least, that’s how it works in Oz.

        • zoetmb

          I’m pretty sure the stores at Heathrow guarantee that their prices are the same as branches outside of the airport. And with cameras, if not lenses as well, almost everyone sells at list these days anyway, because Nikon leaves so little margin for the dealer, it’s almost impossible to discount.

    • Kurgan

      Well, regarding the cost… Let me put it this way: maybe you should consider whether you really need both lungs and kidneys.

  • arizonaSteve

    Just pre-ordered mine on amazon. lol.

    • karl

      just one ? lame.

  • Jason

    There are bound to be examples of this lens at the Olympics – the first few off the assembly line will be reserved for selected professionals and not for sale to the general public, but I’d be surprised if the winner of the men’s 100m doesn’t get his picture taken with one . . .

  • Handy for the tweety birds in the back yard.

    • Andy

      Yeah, if you want to see their itty bitty little eyeballs. 🙂

      • ATM

        It’s just a 800 mm, not a telescope.

  • Hollander

    i guess it will be available in store before the D4 leave the factories…that seem to be located in another univers….

    • Andre

      Thanks for the laugh Hollander, you join the ranks of the other mindless wannabes on these forums that either can’t afford, don’t know how to use or simply haven’t got a clue about cameras or buying one.

      I can walk into 3 stores tomorrow and buy a D4 ( have got the money to do so ) but won’t be because the 2 D800 bodies we bought 2 months ago are doing fine. 🙂

      Go and get a life, or maybe substitute life for coolpix.

      • Hollander

        depends where you on that planet are living you “Mr i can afford two D800 and i am so proud to tell the world”…

        • Hollander

          We both have something to talk about actually … play with your fingers.

    • david distefano

      you can walk into the camera store here in fresno, california and buy either the d800 or d4 and walk out with your new toy.

  • nuno santacana

    Nikon knows what we want. They would never sell more than a dozen 400 f/4 VRII or a 80-400 f/4-5.6 VRII

    • ano102

      and you hope they will sell more 800 f5.6 than 400 F4 ?
      good joke …

      • BartyL

        Well, at least you got his joke.

        • ajamess


      • Jake

        I’m sure they already have many pre-orders from actually pros who will use this.

    • Bintang

      I know that Nikon needs a new flag ship lens, but I would like to see that 400mm f/4 AF-S as well. VR is good, but I can live without it on my tripod, if the price is 20-30% better, at around USD 1900 – 2100.
      I guess, 400mm + 1,4 TC could be the ultimate 560mm/f5.6 tele lens for serious amateurs and many professionals, who need the reach and a “light weight” equipment.

      • lol

        most people that want the 400 f/4 just get the superior 200-400 f/4

        • Bintang

          Unfortunately I never had the chance to try it by myself, but I have read very mixed reviews of the 200-400. Many people said, it suffers around infinity.
          On the other hand it’s 7.5 lbs and it is too much weight for me to carry.
          Last but not least, the current (6.5K USD) price is way over my budget. 🙁
          I’m not a professional sport, wildlife or BiF photographer. I do fashion, weddings and studio photography mainly. Wildlife is a hobby with less than a dozens of opportunities in a year. With my 70-200 VR+ 1,4 TC I can have 280mm/f4 with only a tiny sacrifice on the detail side. So I need some affordable, 400mm, lightweight lens around 2K to 3K USD .

          • jake

            You could get a 500mm f4 ais p for less than 4k for sure.

          • Jake
            • John C

              The 500mm f/4 P is a very sharp lens if you don’t mind MF. It also works “semi” AF with a modified 1.6 TC-A to make an 800mm f/6.4 for under $3000. It gives you a small range of AF that works well if things are not moving too fast toward you or away from you, and if you can stop down bit it looks pretty good.

              If you are not a pro, skip the new 800mm f/5.6, try it and save some weight and the extra $15,000!


              Also could try a 400mm (or even 300mm) f/2.8 AF-S I or II with TC 20E III. TCs rob some sharpness of course, but they also give you a shallower DOF than the 800mm f/5.6 will. Cost would be around $5000-6000 ($3000 with the 300mm)

          • iamlucky13

            Comments like, “The 200-400 is soft when focused at infinity” really need to be kept in perspective. These people are talking about comparing it to primes like the 400 F/2.8 and 500 F/4, which aside from being optimized for a single focal length, are even more expensive than the 200-400.

            Everything I’ve read indicates that despite what minor quibbles people have with the 200-400, it still beats out almost any other telephoto zoom, and is exceeded by only a few high end primes.

            Anyways, what do you need 400mm for at a wedding or fashion show? And when would you be focusing at infinity for a wedding?

            Is a 2x TC on your 70-200 really such a compromise as to be unacceptable? What about the 300 F/4 and a 1.4X TC?

            If it’s genuinely the case that neither of those options will work, then sorry, but you’re out of luck. You either need to pony up the dollars for one of the existing lenses, or give up. I wouldn’t mind a 400 F/4, either, but waiting and hoping Nikon fills that relatively small gap in their lineup does you no good if and until they actually fill it.

            If you haven’t tried the above combos to see if they’ll work for you, there’s almost no excuse not to, since they’re both significantly less than your stated budget. You could get the TC-20 III for $500, and if it doesn’t work, sell it for probably less than $100 loss.

            Or you could get the 300 F/4 used, and if it doesn’t work well enough with the TC-14 you already own, you could likely sell it for the same price you paid for it.

        • Ian

          I have the 200-400 f/4 and I absolutely love it!

          • BartyL

            You’ll be in trouble now. Here come the posts from the Puritans screaming about how their unborn foetus may have sensed you referred to a body part by it’s widely known medical name and how could you why don’t you think of the children not ‘sophisticated’ how common no class childish lowering the tone society can only be prevented from crumbling into the sea by agreeing not to name organs usually hidden by ‘civilised’ people vulgar clown etc.

          • Purile!

            Well, that’s only fair.

            It’s clear that you intelect is severely undersized.

          • Colossus


            Even a tiny mind can spot a typo.

        • Superior? lol… as compared to a non-existent lens?

          Also by that logic you must think the 18-200 is superior to the 70-200 because of the extra zoom range.

      • Bintang

        Ok, I realized that my quick price suggestion is unfortunately very-very optimistic even without the VR function. My budget won’t allow a 4-5K USD investment for that lens, so I have to change my mind and ask for a 400mm/5,6 lens.

        • PAG

          I shoot birds with the 300mm f/4 plus the TC1.4 and am very happy with it. I can get crisp shots even wide open. The combo costs less than $2,000.

          I also love the flexibility of shooting 300mm or 420mm and I would think twice (maybe thrice) before replacing it with a less flexible 400mm f/5.6. I’d have to get something major for the decrease in flexibility like pro-level AF performance.

        • Joseph

          Here’s a thought:

          Search around and get a Pentax 67 400mm f/4 and adapter for Nikon F-mount. Should set you back $750 or less. At least, that’s what I sold mine for after getting a 300/2.8 and 1.4x TC.

          Other than being manual focus (which didn’t matter too much, the big beautiful MF ring on that lens is fantastic), it was a great performer and I got many excellent sports shots. Learn to pre-focus and you’re golden.

  • nuno santacana

    Btw, this lens doesn’t make sense if it isn’t clearly cheaper than 600 f/4

    • PB PM

      Generally speaking a lens without a TC performs better than one that does.

    • lol

      except if you want image quality as it will blow the 600 f/4 out of the water and not have to put up with clumsy TC.

      • For some reason do you think image quality is proportional to focal length or something?

        • Pablo Ricasso

          No. He was merely saying that the lens will be better than using the 600 with the 1.4x and while I have used neither lens I believe that either of us would find his assertion to be correct if we did.

          • I agree about the TC thing but lol’s statement was poorly worded.

    • Astrophotographer

      I tend to agree. Or at least can’t be much more than the 600mm. The 600 has a 150mm aperture while the 800 will be ~140mm. And 16 elements vs 15. A little less glass should mean manufacturing cost about the same.

      As for weight. The AIS 600/4 weighed 5650g. The AIS 800/5.6 weighed 5450g.

      So it will be comparable in price and weight to the 600mm.

  • Nikon Switzerland also:\de_CH\news_article\data\BV-PR-WWA0712-45147

  • Would love to try it… However not running to do it as I tore my shoulder… Putting down my 300mm f/2.8

  • JP

    I own the old 800 5.6 IF ED. Got it some years ago second hand in good condition for 2.300 Euros with TC201 and TC14B. It is a fine non-AF lens on the D3 with good IQ even with the TC14B. But it is nearly useless on the D300, D800 and V1 regarding IQ. I expect it to have have the same weight but be cheaper as the 600/4. Also the old 800/5.6 was cheaper than the 600/4 when new.

  • daniel

    I guess this lens, due to the huge dimension and weight, would be part of a new Nikon marketing approach. I assume that Nikon wants to plant millions of lens on massive tripods all over the world so that photographs cam make the needed pictures.

  • Smudger

    The tripod collar looks much better, but the foot & the connection to the collar still look weak.

    Just need a D400 to hang from it………

    • peterw

      somebody with keen eyes and experience on long lenses has commented!

      Smudger, I guess your D300 can have some more shutter releases 🙂
      good light to you

  • andy

    Do want >_>

  • very good

  • Mr. Normal

    Can’t afford it.

    Don’t need it.

    Boy do I want it!

    • George

      Ha ha!

  • catinhat

    Really need 800 mm? — the old Nikkor 400mm f3.5 AIS works wonderfully with the old TC-301, and gives you 800mm f7.1, which is almost as good as f5.6. Very sharp wide open with TC on. Can use 1.4TC to get 560mm f5. I also used it with the Sigma 1.4TC and noticed no tangible quality degradation at all. Optically this lens is probably as good as anything out there in the tele realm, and I think slightly better/sharper than 300mm f4. The construction is “heavy metal”, similar to the old 300 f4, only much bigger, and it is somewhat front-heavy. Anyway, it is a lovely thing to use on those days when super long is desired and the absence of AF could be worked around. All said, the used cost of this 800mm, TC and all, is something like 10% of the estimated cost of the newly announced thing, so consider it a bargain.

    • Ibbo

      The 400/3.5 was fine on film. I have been trying it on a D4 and D800 this week. It is very second rate on digital, though I agree that it makes a very lightweight 800/7.1 with the TC301 if weight is the over-riding issue.

      For performance, however, the 600/4 plus TC14 blows it out of the water.
      One TC curiosity: although the 600/4 plus TC200III works fine on the D4, with the D800 it produces terrible colour fringing.

      • catinhat

        Can’t speak for D800 with all its megapixels, but I’m surprised by your experience with 400/3.5 on D4. I used it on D300 which has a higher pixel density than D4, and was very pleased with it indeed. Unless it is corner sharpness that is not visible on DX that you’re talking about, I’m not sure what to make of it. Tack sharp is how I would describe 400/3.5.

      • neversink

        I will check out the color fringing. Haven’t found color fringing on either D4 or D800 with 500mm with TC 1.7. Haven’t tested with other TCs yet.

      • Pablo Ricasso

        The dof is short when the lens is open. I believe that the color fringing would be on things slightly out of focus, meaning most everything, and, as always, away from the center of the image. With lengths, speeds, weight, and costs as high as they are I would think that many of these lenses would be found attached to a cropped sensor much of the time anyway, eliminating most of the problem. I use mine with a film camera.
        My 400 f3.5 is sharp despite looking like it survived a grenade attack, but it is not as sharp as the 300 f2.8. The image is wonderful wide open on the 2x, but again not as sharp as without. They do appear so at first glance however, because at that point everything else is so wonderfully out of focus that the image really just pops out of the page like it was three dimensional, like you could reach out and feel it. It seemed like there used to be a lot of those 400 lenses to be had but now I hardly see one and they are usually more expensive and quick to sell. In fact, lately I see few Nikon 400s of any aperture for sale.
        I should add that the lens and converter perform badly at anything other than wide open, not that anybody would care…

  • Oh how I wish I had the money to throw around and buy this thing. It’s going to be a sick wildlife lens.

  • Dweeb

    “Nikon has also been working to expand the lineup of NIKKOR lenses.” I’m so touched, 15K maybe? How about some new modern PC 2 axis shifts or a 300 F4 VR? … modern 80-400VR? … modern 16mm? …

    • PAG

      Another vote for a 300mm f/4 VR and an updated 80-400mm. I know that those of us who want these lenses sound repetitive but we can hope that somebody at Nikon peeks here every once in a while and will grasp that they’re leaving an entire market to Canon.

      I don’t know about amateur sports photographers, but bird photographers can be real gear hounds. A big part of it is the level of feather detail we try to achieve. Another is that birders, as a group, tend to have money. Studies done on the economic impacts of birding show that birders in the U.S. skew to the above average end of the income and education scales. Bright people with cash and a passion are just the kind of loyal customers you want.

  • neversink

    OK OK OK

    I secretly want one of these babies… BUT…. I never buy a lens unless I have a need for it. If I can’t see myself getting back my investment in $, then my accountant has told me, “NO, NO, NO…”

    I have my 500 and what more do I need in Super Teles????
    500mm f/4 With the TC 1.4 I have 700 mm at f5.6
    (A very good comparison to what the new 800 will offer.)
    With the TC 1.7 I have 850mm at f6.8

    The 500mm is sharp with or without TCs. I have seen no noticeable IQ deterioration.

  • rich in tx

    nice lens, but I dont need it. ken rockwell said all I have to do is shoot with a 50mm 1.8 on my D800 and CROP!

    • Pablo Ricasso

      With a d40 because megapixels don’t matter…

  • CreativeAngle

    This lens is good to have in Nikon lens lineup for the people/agencies willing to buy it. But it appears Nikon engineers love challenges and that’s why they design all sort of things not needed by lesser mortals. I wish the day would come when they would feel doing something crappy and roll out lenses like 100-300 or 80-400 or 100-500 .

  • Benjamin D.

    “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.”

    This statement makes me wonder about the rumored D600 entry level FX. No hint of any more FX body coming and a statement which looked back on next year would be incorrect if they released another FX body. Am I just over thinking this?

    • Yes, you are overthinking this. Speaking with Nikon reps at WPPI in February in the NPS lounge, they stated one of the reasons for refreshing much of their lens lineup is that the old lenses did not stand up well to the capabilities of the D4 and D800/D800e. I would imagine this counts for the long optics, too.

      Personally, I like the Canon idea of the built-in teleconverter. If Nikon made such a lens, it would be very enticing. I don’t do a lot of long work anymore, but I’m sure I could find a reason to use it. The current project I have on the go would actually work well at 800 mm, but at f16 or higher to get to large structures 2 miles apart in the same frame.

      • Pablo Ricasso

        I never heard of a built in teleconverter. So I must say whaaaaat?
        And I don’t think any amount of stopping down would bring stuff two miles apart into any kind of focus on this lens. Focus on one and you would be lucky if you could even see the other.

  • Henry

    IAmBIG campain to come

  • ActionJunky

    I am pre-ordering 10 and them selling them for 33% more on ebay.

  • This baby is going to cost a ton of money and weigh a ton. I suppose it is perfect for some birder with deep pockets.

    There is a lot of glass I would like to see like an upgraded 70-300VR similar to Canon’s L version in that range or a 35mm f/1.8 that isn’t huge like the f/1.4 version.

    • Pablo Ricasso

      Agreed. It’s time for some new lenses between the length of 28 and 800 now. I’d like them to make a 105 f2 macro to replace the f2DC and the f2.8vr macro. I’d also like them to announce a 100-300 f4 and an inexpensive 35 like you mentioned. And how about a 65 f1.2 while we’re at it?

      28 x 1.3 = 36.4
      35 (36) x 1.4 = 50.4
      50 (51) x 1.3 = 66.3
      65 x 1.3 = 84.5
      85 (84) x 1.25 = 105
      105 x 1.3 = 136.5
      135 x 1.5 = 200
      200 x 1.5 = 300
      300 x 1.67 = 500
      500 x 1.6 = 800

      If that isn’t tight enough, you can add in the 180 (174), 400, and 600. I skipped those lengths because those lenses get big in a hurry and few people would want to haul even what I listed there.
      The difference between 50 and 85 is 1.7x and that is too much a spread for a length that should be that easy to produce. The next normal macro should probably be 65 also, rather than 60 or 55 and should be f2 as well. Possibly there should be another macro at around 42 or 43. By doing that a person would be able to use primes from 18 to fifty without having a gap more than 1.2 x and be able to go from 50 to 200 without having a gap more than 1.3 x, if one included the 180 prime. Of course, the 14-24 zoom is even better and leaves no gap whatsoever…
      The other advantage is that many sets would oscillate between speed and close focus ability, making them less redundant than they appear on paper. For instance, the 28 is probably useful close up while the 35 is fast. The 42 would be macro again and the 50 fast. The 65 would yet again be macro and the 85 fast. The 105 would be a macro and the 135 would be fast, allowing one to choose macro for the 200 and speed at points beyond.
      Short of making lenses in the 65 mm focal length, they might try updating the 24-70 so that the image is strong in the corners and with less falloff and distortion at the wide end.
      I think photographers would be better served if the set was a 22-65 that actually went to 65 and a 65-185 that actually went to 185 rather than the 24-67 71-192 that we have now, because then they could really carry just two lenses much of the time. A tiny 18 f4 prime would go well with that. A 250 and a 400 and converter(s) would finish the other end. The 14-24 should then become the 12-22. Come on Nikon… SIGMA has a second version of that already.

      • neversink

        Hey Ricasso… Still trying to push those cheap Sigma lenses….. You gets what you pays for. Have you ever looked at that lens and put it in your hands. Man, itfeels like a cheap pos… If you can stand the stench, then be my guest (YUCKO!!!!)

        Good luck with those wishes, though. I have too many lenses as it is. The only thing I am looking at is the 200 Micro lens. I love the 105, but sometimes even that puts me too close to my subject.

        • Pablo Ricasso

          Oh you should know what I stink about those stigma wide angle zooms. I just ranted about them the other day. I was just hoping someone in the Nikon engineering department might read this occasionally. I was trying to prod them. I want a 12 as much as I want a 1000, but I sure don’t want that stigma. I heard the second version fixed one trivial thing and is worse for everything else. Voghtlander made a 12 mm prime. I read that their 15 is great…

          • neversink

            Hey Amigo Ricasso,

            Voigtlander makes great lenses, more comparable to Zeiss.

            Stigma lenses… Ha!!!!! They are a joke as I have said on other occasions….

        • Pablo Ricasso
      • Lens designer

        wow, you sure are lacking in knowledge in lens design. please read technical books on the topic before you say things like you just did, because they don’t make sense at all.

        • Pablo Ricasso

          Or perhaps you weren’t intelligent enough to make sense of it.
          What part of what I plainly said did you not understand? Perhaps an enlightened troll like yourself can bridge what must be a vast amount of ignorance.

          Most sincerely,
          A HOBBYIST

      • PAG

        Sigma? I have a buddy who is about to by a Nikon 55-300 after the death of two different Sigma 70-300 lenses. And one was repaired at least once. As Neversink said, “you gets what you pays for.”

      • Calibrator

        > I’d like them to make a 105 f2 macro to replace the f2DC and the f2.8vr macro.


        • Pablo Ricasso

          Because then you get one lens that does the job of two. A few people use the 2.8 macro for portraits. The lens is sharp enough wide open, but wide open still isn’t very wide and it has a lot of fall off at that aperture. The Zeiss 100f2 macro is supposed to be one of the best lenses you can get. The only compromise is that it isn’t 1:1 but 1:2. I haven’t read about anyone using it on a tube or the results, but I also haven’t read anything negative (no pun). And yes, let’s have some auto focus with that. The 105 f2dc is not as well received as the 135 counterpart and both are old designs. I’m sure it can be improved upon.
          The bokina (vivitar/tokina) 90 (87) f2.5 is a contender for the most sought after third party inexpensive prime lenses of all time and was one of the sharpest lenses anybody had tested when newish. It is exactly the same concept as what I am discussing being as it can be be your macro and still replace your 85 portrait lens. Like the newish Zeiss, it only goes to 1:2. They gave it an extension tube with three more elements for close range correction so that it would be optimized for normal use or macro depending on whether or not you were using the tube.

          • Calibrator

            Thanks for the explanation. I use my 105VR nearly exclusively for macros so what you wrote doesn’t bother me much – especially as I’m on DX where it’s already a tele anyway.

          • neversink

            The 135 DC is a gorgeous lens…. (I have rented it for a job, but find the 105 macro, or the 70-200 to also have gorgeous bokeh. The 135 DC is great, but not needed for what I do.) By the way, I find the bokeh in the 24 f1.4 superbly soft and scrumptious. Most people don’t consider bokeh when purchasing wide angles as an important factor, but it is part of the beauty of that particular lens. Unless you are looking for that extra soft bokeh

            So, I imagine the bokeh in the new 800 might be the most scrumptious in the Nikon line up.

  • Nick Con

    800mm? *yawn*………

    Waiting for updates for actual kit that the average pro or prosumer would like…

    e.g. more info about D60o, new Prime lenses e.g. 50 1.2 or new 24-70….

    • JumanJu

      go to canon

  • Ralph

    Im hoping this comes with its own sherpa. Itwont be the price of a small car but a large one.

    Lens envy for me, if I could afford it I couldnt carry it. I struggle holding my 500f4 P still and its only 3Kg.

  • Aldo #2

    btw… I just saved 15 percent by switching to geico and I hear there’s a d800 focusing issue…

  • neversink

    Doesn’t anyone know how to stay on topic here…. The subject is the new Nikon 800mm lens…

    • Aldo #2

      I was j/k … we do however need a forum that’s always active in which we can just talk about d800, d600 and d4.

      • neversink

        Aido – I wasn’t talking about your comment. I thought it was pretty funny… I was referring to all those comments about other Nikon products such as “Where’s my D600.” “This is not what I want from Nikon.”

        Anyway, it is 5:44 AM and I am running late….

  • AM

    Yeah, my next walk-around lens. I could even take it for hiking on the Irak-Iran border.

  • ImageX

    I have a the Bigma OS and rarely use it as it is. It IS sharp but loses that as the focal lengh increases. Maybe that’s why I don’t use it much and maybe it’s because I don’t need a super telephoto lens like this new 800 mm. Especially for what it will cost.

    PS FYI, I have not had any problems with the Bigma OS other than hunting sometimes. Build quality is fine. I only paid $900 for it when it was only 3 months old.

  • JumanJu

    WOW! Nikon has once again amazed me. What a beauty.

    congrats to you NR for the previous sneak peaks of this lens.

  • John Richardson

    This is gonna rock on my Nikon J1 !!!!!!!

  • Calibrator

    How many of you people are actually willing to buy this lens?
    How many of those who could buy it would never reach ROI?
    How many of you would rent it?

    And how many of you will only get wet pants like people debating in a Ferrari forum that will never own one?

    Personally, I read this thread only because I know that half of you guys are discussing off-topic anyway…

    • Hollander

      this is true for 90% of the announcement made on this NR site (D4,D800, …) so i give you a +1 😉

    • neversink

      Calibrator — To answer your question:

      1. I would rent it if I only needed it for a local shoot or a short amount of time.
      2. I would buy it if I had to take it to Africa for two months.
      3. I would buy it now if I could get the ROI, but I have little need for that given what the 500mm f4 gives me alone and coupled with TCs

      So, there you have it.

      • Calibrator

        So we are at “1”.

        Should’ve posted earlier, I guess…

    • BartyL

      a) No.
      b) N/A.
      c) No.
      d) My pants are pretty dry. The only use for this lens that might interest me personally would be some occasional astrophotography. So occasional that the purchase would officially constitute a ‘brain-snap’. And the sort of money you would spend on this lens alone would otherwise buy you a very nice schmidt-cassegrain or schmidt-newtonian ‘scope with high quality GOTO mount and a purpose-built monochrome 6MP camera with automated RGB filters and thermoelectric cooling. So for my purposes it would be a bit of a dud.
      e) Where’s the D600, and so forth.

  • Eager Beaver


    I’m first on my dealer’s list.

    • Scorpius

      Second if you share the same dealer as me.. 😉

  • John_IGG

    I use my 70-200 mm f/2.8 VRII + TC-20 III on a Nikon D300s body + a ReallyRightStuff Lens Support Pkg and I am good to go…

    That being said, I am not a professional, only an amateur and a collector.

    • John_IGG

      Besides, if I use this combo on my new D800E, I can crop to my heart’s desire.

  • outkasted

    Hey the lens just turned green. Whats up with that?

    • Pablo Ricasso

      No man, you’re just experiencing lens envy.

  • Pat Mann

    This lens is designed to put the final nail in the DX coffin. DX users can no longer claim that you have to have a DX camera for sports and wildlife, and that Nikon has to provide a pro DX camera. Any FX camera with this lens is now perfectly capable of all the range a DX camera previously had. Who needs a D400 any more, when you can get the same results with a D600 or D4 and this lens?

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