Canon Lens News

The Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM sells for a record €500,000 at auction

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It looks like my bid of $1500 and a case of Loads of Ketchup chips wasn’t the winning bid for the Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM at the Wezlar Camera Auction that took place this past Saturday.

The Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM sold for a camera lens record €500,000 ($575,000USD) once the hammer hit. Previous copies of this lens have tended to sell in the $100,000 – $120,000 range.

From Wetzlar Camera Auctions:

A Canon telephoto lens EF 1200 mm f/5.6 from the 1990s achieved a particularly spectacular result. Only around 20 specimens of this lens were originally produced on special order only at the time. The then original list price was already U.S. $ 90,000. Two customers who were connected by telephone engaged in an exciting bidding war, so that the lens was finally hammered for fabulous EUR 500,000. It is the highest price ever achieved at auction for a camera lens in the world.

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
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Jul 21, 2010
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An RF 1200mm f/8 is on the roadmap.
Obviously, 1200mm f/8 won't be 'cheap' – the entrance pupil is the same as a 600/4. Even a 1200mm f/11 would be similar in entrance pupil to a 300/2.8 so still not cheap. A 1200mm f/16 could be 'cheap' but there's already the 800/11 + 1.4x which gets you almost there.
 
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Obviously, 1200mm f/8 won't be 'cheap' – the entrance pupil is the same as a 600/4. Even a 1200mm f/11 would be similar in entrance pupil to a 300/2.8 so still not cheap. A 1200mm f/16 could be 'cheap' but there's already the 800/11 + 1.4x which gets you almost there.
I mean cheap compared to the price of the EF 1200mm.
 
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neuroanatomist

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The 1200mm f/8L might be a mirror lens.

Forgot about that patent. I doubt we'll see an L-series mirror lens, but I could see a non-L 1200mm f/8 catadioptric lens. It would still need a 150mm entrance pupil, but could be relatively short and substantially cheaper than a standard optic.
 
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AlanF

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Aug 16, 2012
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I decided not to bid as it doesn't have IS although I couldn't hand hold it anyway. 1120mm f/16 with the RF 800 + 1.4x is rather nice to handle and it has good IS.
 
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Talys

Canon R5
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Feb 16, 2017
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Wow!

"Oh, honey, I have have to start buying all the Canon lenses, because eventually I'll get one that will net us half an million dollars extra. See, proof!"
 
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padam

EOS R
Aug 26, 2015
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Forgot about that patent. I doubt we'll see an L-series mirror lens, but I could see a non-L 1200mm f/8 catadioptric lens. It would still need a 150mm entrance pupil, but could be relatively short and substantially cheaper than a standard optic.
They've just released an L-series lens for VR applications, they can do the same with a mirror lens as well.
 

SUNDOG04

EOS 90D
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Mar 1, 2015
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The lens is nice but gets too long when you add an adapter to use on a Canon mirrorless body.
 
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mpmark

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Aug 9, 2016
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It would now be absolutely hilarious if Canon just announced the development of a RF 1200mm 5.6 with a 25k price tag. I’d be on the floor.
 
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neuroanatomist

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They've just released an L-series lens for VR applications, they can do the same with a mirror lens as well.
If they can overcome the mediocre sharpness, mediocre contrast, and donut bokeh that are the hallmarks of catadioptric lenses. But, you know...physics.
 
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Deleted

7D2
Sep 30, 2021
111
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Flipping heck. Many years back a bloke used to come in the bird hide at my local spot with one. Mounted on a massive tripod he used to get really grumpy if anyone dared to move as the wooden floor moved killing his shots. If the grumpy old git still has it I bet he is smiling now. Hope he sold it years ago as he was quite nasty at times and always had a dose of racism in him.
 

neuroanatomist

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The sad thing is that the person who won the bid almost certainly acquired it as a financial investment. I can only dream that it might have been acquired by a *photographer* who will actually *use* it to produce stunning photographs…
Like the Zeiss Apo Sonnar T 1700mm f/4 that was custom-built for a wealthy Qatari individual...

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