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Battle of Biggest Zoom Lenses Ever

Battle of Biggest Zoom Lenses Ever.

Like they say, the more the better !!

We tracked down the biggest zoom lenses ever produced for normal photography purposes. From legendary Nikon 1200-1700mm to Sigma’s Green Monster. From Canon 1200mm bazooka to World’s most expensive Leica 1600mm to world’s largest Canon 5200mm. Its very obvious that none of them are cheap. They look like missile launching units and to buy them you will have to blow your bank account. Even then the chances of getting them is extremely low.

5. Sigma 200-500mm f/2.8 APO EX DG Ultra-Telephoto Zoom Lens feat The Green Monster

Price : US $ 26000
You might confuse it for being a portable missile launching system. The green color gives further boost to its intimidating monster look.

Sigma 200-500mm f/2.8 APO EX DG Ultra-Telephoto Zoom Lens feat The Green Monster
Sigma 200-500mm f/2.8 APO EX DG Ultra-Telephoto Zoom Lens

4. Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6 L USM Lens

Price : Above US $ 100,000
It was the Longest Fixed Canon Telephoto Ever Made with just 2 degree field of view. Built-to-order by Canon from the year 1993 to 2005, each lens was hand-crafted. They produced just 2 lens a year with a delivery time of about 18 months. Only a dozen-or-so were ever made. Who bought them? National Geographic magazine and Sports Illustrated are known to own a couple, the Feds probably have a few squirreled away somewhere, and a few well-heeled photo enthusiasts.

Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6 L USM Lens
Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6 L USM Lens

3. Leica APO-Telyt-R 1:5.6/1600mm Lens

Price : US $2,064,500
If you think spending US $ 10,000 a lot for your hobby then you have no idea to what extent one can go if they have Money. Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Al-Thani of Qatar ordered the specially made Leica APO-Telyt-R 1:5.6/1600mm lens direct from Leica and spent a whopping $2,064,500 to get it. This makes it the most expensive consumer camera lens ever made. This Leica APO-Telyt-R was prototyped and built in Leica’s Solms, Germany factory, where the prototype can still be seen on display. At 1.2-meters long,  42cm wide at the end with whopping 60kg or 132lbs weight it may need a truck to be carried around. Please free free to suggest some Tripods for this MegaMonster in the comments below. Interesting fact is that It was delivered to Al-Thani in 2006, and no pictures taken with it have ever been made public.

Leica APO-Telyt-R 1:5.6/1600mm Lens
Leica APO-Telyt-R 1:5.6/1600mm Lens

2. Nikkor 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8.0 Lens

Price : US $ 60,000
Weighing in at 36 pounds and measuring nearly 3 feet in length, the manual focus lens was introduced in 1993 and had a hefty price tag of $60,000. It was first used in 1990 at the Koshien Stadium, the baseball ground at which the spring high school baseball tournament is staged. It was also used during the french hostage situation to  capture photos from safe distance by AP journalists.

 Nikkor 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8.0 Lens
Nikkor 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8.0 Lens

1. Canon 5200mm f/14 Tele-Monster feat Cannon

Price : US $50000
Looks like some weird mutation transformed a Canon lens into a Cannon. Jokes apart, This 5200mm prime lens is the world largest known SLR lens.

Canon 5200mm
Canon 5200mm

It’s said that only three of this toys are around, all made in Japan, and all in private hands. The lens focuses on objects 18-32 miles (30 – 51.5 km) away. If it was even more powerful the earth’s curvature would be a serious issue. The minimum distance is 400 feet (120 meters), the weight is around 220 lbs (100 kg). One of these monsters sold in eBay a few years ago for a ridiculous $50000. Definitely not recommended for frequent travelers.

Read about Top 5 Most Expensive Lenses.

Since you can’t afford to buy these expensive ones, Read about the 10 Dream Lens for Every Photographer which you can actually afford.

Buy Top Lenses here : Top Lenses on Amazon


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  1. So the article is about the biggest zoom lenses ever. Kind of misleading considering that 3 of the 5 are not zoom lenses at all. It seems you’ve committed a pretty rookie mistake using the term zoom, instead of telephoto.

  2. I think we are just in beginning of photography revolution, look back to computer engineering from 50 years ago and campare it with what we get now, I try to imagine what photography technologies and industry will be in near future

  3. Ha. Loved the curvature remark

  4. Truly when someone doesn’t be aware of then its up
    to other people that they will assist, so here
    it takes place.

  5. Do you have any video of that? I’d care to find out some additional

    • On the 5200mm lens you said that it focuses on things 18-32 miles away. Then you say that IF it was more powerful that the earth’s curvature would be an issue.
      Well, at 10 miles, there would be 66 feet of earth in between you and an object at equal height above sea level.
      At 32 miles, there would be 682 feet of curvature.
      So your comment doesn’t make any sense.

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