The Heavy Artillery From Nikon
Nikon have just announced that they will be producing a new 800mm f:5.6 AFS VR lens. No word yet on exact release date for general purchase and no word on the price but their press release says that they will have examples to be seen at the NPS stand at the Open Championship later this year.
I looked up what the Open Championship is and apparently it is a prestigious golfing game played in Lytham, Lancashire. It is right by the sea so they should be able to get those old Soviet submarines up on the beach easily. Why one would make a game of these is beyond me, but apparently it is famous, and Nikon will have the lens there for their professionals to look at.
It will also be displayed at Photokina later in the year.
This is going to be a remarkable device for the Nikon photographer. 800mm on an FX camera with VR stabilization means that the avid wildlife photographer will be able to optically approach what they would not dare to come near physically - and with a clarity of focus that should be award-winning. I am sure that we will see the users of DX-sized Nikon cameras trying it out too, extending their virtual focal length to 1200 mm. This is getting into serious surveillance territory.
Of course it is not without cost - see note above about how we don't know the price yet. You can safely bet it will be over the $ 100 mark...But I mean the weight and size - this is an 800mm lens that does not fold the light path so you are going to have to cope with 800mm of something - metal, plastic, rubber, and glass - to get that focal length and at this level of build quality there is going to be some meat on them bones. Unless you are the Incredible Hulk you will not be hand-holding this one - tripod or tripods( yes, really, look at some of the rigs for long lenses in the past ) or a bipod on the ground. When you fly with this one the airline will be weighing it, not you. Of course they will be charging you, but if you can afford the lens you can afford to ride up the front of the plane with the comfy seats and the free bags of peanuts.
When are we going to get one? I thought you'd never ask.
You'll probably have noted the weddings tag for this bog posting as well. This should be the ideal lens for Royal weddings...or local affairs where you are not particularly close to the bridal party. ;)