If you've been saving your money for some RF lenses that you can't get your hands on due to the manufacturing issues around the world, that may turn out to be for the best.

Wetzlar Camera Auctions will have a Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM up for auction starting on October 9, 2021. How much will this lens fetch at auction? That's tough to predict at the moment, but the EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM has sold a few times for more than $150,000 USD in the past.

The Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM was released in July of 1993 as a built-to-order lens and retailed for around $100,000 USD. The number of these lenses out there is unknown, but it has been hypothesized that there are less than 20 of these lenses in existence.

A Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM took about a year to build once it was ordered, as Canon could only manufacture about 2 of these a year because of the time required to form fluorite crystals.

About the Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM

This super-telephoto lens has the longest focal length of an interchangeable lens for AF SLR cameras at the time. Silent and fast AF is realized using a ring USM (Ultrasonic Motor) and rear focusing system.

Extremely sharp, professional-quality images are realized through the use of two large-diameter artificial crystal fluorite lens elements (3rd & 6th) that thoroughly eliminate the secondary spectrum. Although the optical design is the same as FD1200mm f/5.6L (prototype), this lens is optimized for the EF system with a nonlinear focus cam for moving the focusing lens group, a focus preset function for quick focusing at a predetermined point, and a power manual focusing with three focusing speeds.

A one-touch revolving mechanism for quick switching between vertical and horizontal formats is possible. Extenders EF 1.4X or EF 2X transforms the lens into a manual focusing super-super-telephoto 1700mm f/8 or 2400mm f/11 lens.

Marketed July 1993
Original Price 9,800,000 yen (w/case and hood)
Lens Construction (group) 10
Lens Construction (element) 13
No. of Diaphragm Blades 8
Minimum Aperture 32
Closest Focusing Distance (m) 14
Maximum Magnification (x) 0.09
Filter Diameter (mm) 48
Maximum Diameter x Length (mm) 228 x 836
Weight (g) 16,500

Go to discussion...

65 comments

  1. Just: WOW!

    I hope Canon/the owner offers together with this lens a free trial membership in your local gym to avoid postural defects, backache and herniated disks during transport and holding this lens.
    ;)
  2. Photos from this camera will be stolen by some eco-mentalist doing fund raising and awareness campaigns with their org name on it.

    They will only compensate the photographer/owner by crediting them, when they are caught.

    Something to consider when raising funds for purchase.

    Edit: Those opposed to my point of view should buy this $150,000 lens, if they can. :)

    Edit 2: Reading the responses tells me that they never created anything worth stealing. :)
  3. Anyone know what camera backpack I should use with this? Let's see: 36+ lbs. and 32+ inches length for lens then a camera body or two and a 1.4x and a 2.0xTC? Maybe a U-H**l Trailer? :rolleyes:
  4. This lens is merely a curiosity, a museum piece. Like the EF 200 f/1.8 or the EF 50 f/1.0, there are superior alternatives to owning a lens merely for bragging rights.
    No one will be buying this because it out performs an EF600 f/4.0 L IS III and a 2X III.
    It doesn't.
  5. This lens is merely a curiosity, a museum piece. Like the EF 200 f/1.8, there are superior alternatives to owning a lens merely for bragging rights.
    No one will be buying this because it out performs an EF600 f/4.0 L IS and a 2X III.
    It doesn't.
    But with a 2xTC it does outperform a 600 with two 2x TC’s :-) .... maybe......
  6. But with a 2xTC it does outperform a 600 with two 2x TC’s :) .... maybe......
    If I thought for one minute you actually thought that, I'd tell you I have a potatocam I could sell you at a good price!
  7. No I’m not bothered by your vitriol, all it does for me personally is to give any other comments you make less weight or value.

    You are an experienced big white owner and user, something the forum could benefit from, yet you limit your input across threads to bitching about non lens specific irrelevancies. Most people here are keen amateurs not professionals, many would be happy for their images to be used by charities and non profits because they are more worried about the wildlife they are photographing than recovering the cost of their big lens.

    Yes unlawful image use is a problem, that is not limited to images shot with big whites, and it should be talked about, but not by hijacking every thread that has anything to do with a long lens.
    Well some good news, I just read this morning that IG lost a lawsuit where they were allowing third parties to imbed photos from peoples accounts without fear of copyright infringement through a loophole. I think they won’t be able to get away with that in the future.
  8. Can it be used with the 2x extender? Would be F11 - which is totaly reasonable and usable on daylight! (I use the 2x extender with the 100-400 which works great :-D)
    That would be a 2400mp :-D
    You can mount that on an APS-C Sensor, resulting in 3840mm.
    It could be put on a 12k URSA camera (which is only 7000€ or something). - Thats 80 megapixel at 3840mm! So about the same framing as an 6826mm lense on a Canon R5!!!
  9. Can it be used with the 2x extender? Would be F11 - which is totaly reasonable and usable on daylight! (I use the 2x extender with the 100-400 which works great :-D)
    That would be a 2400mp :-D
    You can mount that on an APS-C Sensor, resulting in 3840mm.
    It could be put on a 12k URSA camera (which is only 7000€ or something). - Thats 80 megapixel at 3840mm! So about the same framing as an 6826mm lense on a Canon R5!!!

    It is compatible with both the 1.4 and 2.0 TC's. I've used the 800 with a 2x on safari for a couple of skittish animals and it did a fine job at f/11.
  10. Your lengthy response says different.

    I invite everyone to look at my post history. I only bring up this warning when the topic falls into the category of the law of diminishing marginal utility.

    I'm not here to win the internet so just watch the video I linked to that debunks your points.

    Think of my warning this way.

    I often travel long mountain roads. As a motorist I appreciate signs like this one below as it cautions everyone both experienced & inexperienced travelers the challenges they may face ahead.



    Again, if it bothers you then kindly ignore/mute me. I do not mind not seeing any of your posts.
    Well, at least you know there's a latrine at the top.
  11. Nobody steals my photos. Waiting patiently for someone to flatter me. *sobbing a little*
    Sir, to be honest I rather do your genre of photography for the past 2 decades.

    Thus avoiding all the virtue signaling yahoos in the process.
  12. The lens was very long time ago (must have been in the 90's) on tour in Holland and I was able to make some test shots with it. From what I remember, the lens was very slow in focussing. I had the first edition of the 300 2.8L, compared to that one the difference in AF of the 1200 was a joke. In my opinion back then, the lens was not suitable for fast tracking sport events. Beside, I think the lens was 20 kilograms, insane heavy to carry around.
    These days....it belongs in a museum.
  13. If I thought for one minute you actually thought that, I'd tell you I have a potatocam I could sell you at a good price!
    Until now, I haven’t heard of a potatocam. Now that I’ve looked it up, I wonder if more than just a half baked idea, would this create a creamy bokeh.
  14. Anyone know what camera backpack I should use with this? Let's see: 36+ lbs. and 32+ inches length for lens then a camera body or two and a 1.4x and a 2.0xTC? Maybe a U-H**l Trailer? :rolleyes:
    I’m hoping the next gen version will have 15 stops image stabilization for those hand held shots.
  15. So I coincidentally just did a video review on the FL 1200mm from 1972, Canon’s first 1200mm lens - aka the “poor man’s EF 1200mm” - the FL is only max f/11 but performs surprisingly well on an R5. It’s a very very niche piece of kit because of the focal length. Would have loved to do a side by side with the EF 1200mm but I can’t afford the insurance!

  16. Just: WOW!

    I hope Canon/the owner offers together with this lens a free trial membership in your local gym to avoid postural defects, backache and herniated disks during transport and holding this lens.
    ;)
    Just get your butler and one of your footmen to carry it !

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