Sometimes Even 1200mm Is Not Enough

Like many of you, the most telephoto I typically shoot is 200mm. If you are David Bergman then you probably shoot at 600mm. But what if that still isn't enough? Well you need to buy the Canon 1200mm lens duh! And if this lens does not get you close enough to the action then you probably need to read the full post to view your last option.

And the most ridiculous lens Canon has ever made:

Here is the excerpt from the youtube video:

READ!! Canon 5200mm F14 Prime Lens. The world's largest dedicated SLR Super Telephoto lens.
Extremely rare. Made in Japan.

Most probably a government ordered cold war spy tool - it certainly wasn't designed to look at the stairs with the use of it's ND filters...

It uses a mirror & lens combination. The front lens is massive.

Rear drop-in filters can be used.

•Focal Length: 5150mm
•Exposure Control: Light quantity is controlled with the use of built-in ND filters, corresponding to f/14, f/16, f/22, f/32
•Minimum Object Distance: 120 meters (Approx 393 feet!)
•Size: 500mm(wide) x 600mm(high) x 1890mm(deep) [20x24x75.6]
•Weight: 100kg (220 lbs) without stand.

From a Canon Flyer:
"This is the only ultra-telephoto lens in the world capable of taking photographs of objects 18 to 32 miles away (30km to 52kms away). Having a focal length of 5200mm, Canon Mirror Lens 5200mm can obtain one hundred times as large an object image as that of a 50mm lens."
"For focusing this mounted or fixed lens on an extremely distant object, two aiming telescopes are set on the side of the lens barrel, and the entire lens is placed on a rigid stand which rotates smoothly. Minimizing the overall length had been a big problem in designing this lens. However, the Catadioptric system that is applied to the other two Canon mirror lenses (Canon 800mm f3.8 & 2000mm f11) has succeeded in reducing it down to one third of the nominal focal length. In general focal length and optical aberration increase with each other, however, our long and persistent research and development have succeeded in solving this problem. Canon mirror lens 5200mm composed of spherical main and secondary mirrors and a correction lens would assure you of clear images."

The magnification of this lens is truly staggering.
If mounted to a Canon XL HD series video camera for example, a reach of 1000x optical (at least) would be possible (approx 37,500mm).

If it was mounted on a DSLR with a crop factor the magnification would be larger still.

The video is a series of stills I took of the lens when I inspected it last year. I have also included video of the simulated magnification (35mm simulation) - all a bit of fun. In fact the maximum video telephoto simulation still just falls short of 3700mm in 35mm terms. So the 5200mm would be much closer & far sharper & distortion free. The video was shot with a Sony PDW 510 16x9 2/3 SD XDCAM disk camcorder with a TV video lens (18x1) using up to 3 optical (x2) extenders. If the 5200mm was hooked up to a video camera we'd be seeing a close up on an eye...

To make it clear - the video is simulated - not shot with the actual 5200mm lens - since it's a "Prime" - how could it be zooming anyhow??!! lol And of course there would be no CA.

If anyone has some other information about the 5200mm lens - its history & uses please post and or message me.

To the NEW owner & Canon Collector from ### in Europe, of this amazing lens (the actual one pictured) - please show us some pictures from it - the world really is waiting...(and contact me!! ;))

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Wow, crazy lens. Crappy engineers though, serious CA on that thing /sarcasm

I don't think the 5200mm comes with a tripod collar.. it's not even an L... I'm not buying...

I'll buy a 5200mm lens when it comes in a 2.8 fixed ;)

Wow, that dude from europe is really compensating for something;о)

The 5200 needs auto focus, not buying that without it! =)

It's West New York! These lenses make me scared of having my windows opened...

of course, if you want something faster than f/14, there's that zeiss 4/1700 (on 6x6) monster...

This is one lens I am actually not all that interested in...from an owning perspective. Canon usually just sucks me in. I think I can pass on this one. HA!

ouch, you would need to people for manual focus. Not very practical... haha

Unless your profession is spy, I can't imagine needing a lens that big.

If you put a laser beam in that thing it could destroy a whole planet! like I really need to zoom in on a bird's eyeball. well maybe some people are into that thing :-/

ohhh, I want one (or two)
I'll keep on dreamin...

Now I can make a photoshoot with a model 52km away :D

Randy Curtis jr's picture

horrible presentation of this lens...should've let the guys at fstoppers handle this