Photo by Tobias Hjorth

Most Expensive Camera Lens in the World

Last Updated on November 28, 2020 by PixelPluck

We have seen the battle of the biggest telephoto zoom lenses in our previous post. Here in this article, we are sharing some mind-boggling facts about the most expensive camera lenses in the world. Here you will find some of the most expensive camera lenses ever produced for commercial photography purposes. Needless to say that most photographers may never afford to buy the Most Expensive Camera Lens in the World. More importantly, they will never need these lenses for there are better and affordable alternatives.

Most Expensive Camera Lens in the World

The lenses from PhaseOne, Zeiss, and Leica are expensive because detailed care and attention is given to every single lens that comes out of the production line. It’s like Samsung VS Apple Product where both are great products with their own advantages and disadvantages.

Don’t bother checking your bank balance as the chances are high that you won’t be able to afford it. When somebody asks why do you charge so much then redirect them to this post for some insight on why photographers are expensive! 🙂

Moving on, here is a list:

Top 5 Most Expensive Lenses in the World are:

5. Sigma 200-500mm f/2.8 APO EX DG
If you`re into the big glass this is heaven! This is the biggest zoom lens in production right now. The lens weighing roughly 6 kg is certainly going to test your tripod. The carrying case for this lens is large enough to contain a full-grown man and weighs more than the lens itself. It comes with a giant lens cap that looks like some satellite radar trying to gain alien signals. 

Jokes aside, one of the important reasons for professional photographers to buy this lens is to capture moments that are not achievable by using slower lenses at higher focal lengths. An aperture of f2.8 lets in a massive amount of light which otherwise can not be achieved by the ultra-expensive commercial lenses at 500mm.
Price: $25,999

Sigma 200-500mm is one of the most expensive lens
Sigma 200-500mm f/2.8 APO EX DG Ultra-Telephoto Zoom Lens

4. Nikkor 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8.0 Lens
It weighs a whopping 36 pounds and measures 3 feet in length. This 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 a safe distance by AP journalists.
Price:  $60,000

Nikkor 1200-1700mm - Most Expensive Lenses
Nikkor 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8.0 Lens

3. Canon 1200mm Lens
– “The Mother of all Canon Telephoto Lenses”
Only a handful of these rare largest canon lenses exist today. B&H Photo dubs it, ‘The Mother of all Telephotos’. Canon 1200mm lens is more than capable of producing clear images of scenery miles away. B&H has a ‘slightly used’ model priced at $120,000, but supposedly Canon has been custom building new ones since 1993. The minimum focusing distance is 46 feet.
Price: $120,000

Canon 1200mm - Most Expensive Lenses
Canon 1200mm Lens.

2. Nikkor 6mm f/2.8 Fisheye Lens
This rare lens by Nikon was first unveiled at Photokina in 1970. This prime, designed for special scientific and industrial applications, is actually able to see behind itself! Nikkor 6mm f/2.8 Fisheye Lens weighs a whopping 5.2 kilograms and covers an angle of 220º. Even if you manage to afford it, you won’t be able to find it as this lens is a rarity.
Price by Auction:  $160,000

Most expensive lens - Nikon 6mm Fisheye
Nikkor 6mm Fisheye can see behind itself!

1. Leica 1600mm f/5.6 Telephoto Lens
It is simply the most exotic camera lens ever made. Leica 1600mm comes with a whopping Two Million Dollars price tag. It is a Leica lens that you’ll never get to see in real life. Billionaire photography enthusiast Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Al-Thani of Qatar ordered the specially made Leica APO-Telyt-R 1:5.6/1600mm lens directly from Leica and spent a whopping $2,064,500 to get it. This makes Leica 1600mm the most expensive consumer camera lens ever made.

The body of the lens is around 1.2-meters long, and 42cm wide. Leica 1600mm weighs at least 60 kilograms (132lbs). The exact specs are not available, but some figures are known. The focal length is 1600mm, which means it can be used to take pictures extremely far away in a very narrow field of view of 1.5 degrees. This lens also fits Leica’s 1.4x and 2x APO teleconverters, which boost the focal length to 2240mm or 3200mm respectively. Since the focal length is so long, it would be hard to get clear images. This is another reason this lens needs very solid tripod support.

Interestingly according to Leica history expert Thorsten Overgaard, a customized Mercedes four-wheel drive (4WD) was made to carry this lens. Sadly, you’re probably never going to see what this beauty can do. It was delivered to Al-Thani in the year 2006, and no pictures taken with it have ever been made public. This fact actually makes it even more exclusive and special.
Price: Over $2 Million

Leica 1600mm is world's most expensive lens
Leica APO 1600mm – Most Expensive Lens Ever made

There is a bare possibility for any future lens to come on top of these most expensive lenses ever made for professional photographers. The technology is evolving rapidly and lenses are becoming better at affordable price tags. You may not need a professional lens but it’s always advisable to upgrade to a prime lens from the kit lens.

Since you are interested in Most Expensive Camera Lens in the World and expensive camera gears, also read about the 10 Most Expensive DSLR Cameras in 2020.

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One comment

  1. Can this info be mailed out? Thanks! GodBless

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