The new Nikkor AF-S 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens


Nikon announced the 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens back in July of 2012. After the official release last week, I still could not find any sample images from the new lens on the Web except the three photos on Nikon’s website and the few old images from the 2012 Olympics.


Nikkor AF-S 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens ay the 2013 CP+ show in Japan (credit: gqtuazon)

The Nikkor AF-S 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens has some unique technologies:

  • Two fluorite lens elements that offer superior transmissivity from the infrared to ultra-violet range and demonstrate superior chromatic aberration compensation throughout the visible range. It seems that Nikon found a way to successfully implement fluorite lens elements. Here is a quote from Nikon Imaging website:

“In the past, correcting this problem for telephoto lenses required special optical elements that offer anomalous dispersion characteristics – specifically calcium fluoride crystals. However, fluorite easily cracks and is sensitive to temperature changes that can adversely affect focusing by altering the lens’ refractive index.”

  • Electromagnetic diaphragm mechanism for seamless mechanical control and enhanced stability in auto exposure control during continuous shooting (used also in Nikkor PC-E lenses).
  • The included TC800-1.25E ED teleconverter has been designed exclusively for the 800mm lens and can deliver 1000 mm focal length with combined maximum aperture of f/7.1. This is the first teleconverter equipped with an ED element.


The lens hood for the 800mm f/5.6 lens (model: HK-38, product number: 4985) is listed for $1000!

The patent for the Nikkor AF-S 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens was filed in October, 2011 and is pretty close to the actual lens design:


AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f5.6E FL ED VR lens designb

The Nikkor AF-S 800mm f/5.6 lens seems to have one of the best MTF charts ever seen from a Nikkor (or any other?) lens. Please note that different manufacturers have different ways of measuring their MTF charts.

Nikkor AF-S 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR lens MTF chart ($17,896.95):

AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f5.6E FL ED VR lens MTF chart

Nikkor 600mm f/4G ED VR lens MTF chart ($9,799):

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f4G ED VR lens MTF chart

Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM lens MTF chart ($13,249):

Canon EF 800mm f5.6L IS USM lens MTF chart

Sigma 800mm f/5.6 EX APO DG HSM lens MTF chart ($6599):


Next is a specifications comparison between the 800mm f/5.6 and 600mm f/4 Nikkor lenses – currently the top two big guns in Nikon’s lineup

AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f5.6E FL ED Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f4G ED VR
Lens AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4G ED VR
Focal Length 800mm 600mm
Maximum Aperture f/5.6 f/4
Minimum Aperture f/32 f/22
Format FX/35mm FX/35mm
Maximum Angle of View (DX-format) 2°40′
Minimum Angle of View (DX-format)
Maximum Angle of View (FX-format) 3°10′ 4°10′
Minimum Angle of View (FX-format) 3°10′
Maximum Reproduction Ratio 0.151x 0.14x
Lens Elements 20 15
Lens Groups 13 12
Compatible Format(s) FX
35mm Film
FX in DX Crop Mode
35mm Film
VR (Vibration Reduction) Image Stabilization Yes Yes
Diaphragm Blades 9 9
Nano Crystal Coat Yes Yes
ED Glass Elements 2 3
Super Integrated Coating Yes Yes
AF-S (Silent Wave Motor) Yes Yes
Internal Focusing Yes Yes
Minimum Focus Distance 19.36ft.(5.9m) 15.7ft.(5.0m)
Focus Mode Auto
Filter Size 52mm 52mm
Accepts Filter Type Slip-in Slip-in
Dimensions Approx. 6.3×18.2in.
160x461mm (Diameter x Length)
Approx. 6.5×17.5in.
166x445mm (Diameter x Length)
Weight Approx.161.6oz.(4590g)
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