One of Canon’s rarest lenses is about to come up for auction: the EF 1200mm f/5.6 L USM, the world's largest interchangeable autofocus SLR lens. If you have a spare $150,000, you might want to place a bid for this exceptional piece of glass.
As reported by Canon Rumors, Wetzlar Camera Auctions will open bidding on the 1200mm lens on October 9 this year and it’s expected to draw a lot of interest, not simply because it is a remarkable piece of engineering, but also because there are so few of them in existence — possibly as few as 20.
Canon began marketing this lens in July 1993 and according to B&H Photo, produced around 2 lenses per year. Many were made to order with a lead time of around 18 months as the fluorite crystals took a long time to grow to the required size and construction was then completed mostly by hand. Back in 1993, it retailed for around $90,000.
The lens weighs more than 36 lb (16 kg), is 3 feet (1 meter) long, and its front opening measures 9 " (23cm). The minimum focusing distance is 45.9 feet (14 meters).
Current owners are thought to include the billionaire founder of Oakley and RED Digital Cinema James Jannard, Sports Illustrated Magazine, and National Geographic. Unsurprisingly, it’s assumed that several security agencies have also splashed out.
Will you be placing a bid? Let us know in the comments below.