Canon's Incredibly Rare 1200mm f/5.6 Lens Is Expected to Sell at Auction for More Than $150,000

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.

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8 Comments

Alex Yakimov's picture

Of course I want it. Not 150k-600k badly, but who could resist wanting such a marvel?

Carlos Calvo's picture

I would have bought it but the 16kg and 14m minimum focusing distance are deal breakers for me 🤣🤣🤣

Andy Day's picture

Ha! 😆

Kurt Hummel's picture

I’ll start the bidding, $1 Bob.

RT Simon's picture

To a social media ‘influencer’ who will probably drop it sooner or later.

Stuart C's picture

This has the exact specs you see forum gearheads crying for, but in a compact size for £600.

Tom Reichner's picture

This may be the one I got rid of a few years ago. I sold it because it didn't pair well with my 1.4 teleconverter. Wasn't willing to take the hit in image quality.

Alex Yakimov's picture

Let's have a comparison with Nikon P1000, shall we?)