Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6 L USM lens review

Canon-EF-1200mm-f5.6-L-USM-lens-review-2 Canon-EF-1200mm-f5.6-L-USM-lens-review-3 Canon-EF-1200mm-f5.6-L-USM-lens-review
B&H published an interesting review of the Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6 L USM lens currently available in their used department (see also this post):

With the Canon 1200mm lens, planning involves not what to bring and leave behind, it starts with this question: “How many people do I need to bring with me to carry the gear needed to get the shot?” If you own this lens, you had better have at least one friend who is passionate about photography and willing to carry heavy loads. You may be better off with two or more friends. Carrying the lens, camera bodies, and supports is more accurately a 2.5-person job. Hauling the gear to a location and shooting a lens like this is more akin to a logistics challenge than simple planning.

Also, there is nothing casual about this lens. You cannot just decide, on a whim, to take it outside to make some photographs. If you want to try to use the optic to its fullest potential, you will need to scout locations, have ideas of what images you want to capture, and keep an eye on the weather. Remember to do all this while coordinating the schedules of several other people who you will need to pull this off.

Here is an example of the zoom capabilities of the lens:

Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6 L USM lens specifications:


Lens Mount Canon EF
Focal Length 1200mm
Maximum Aperture f/5.6
Minimum Aperture f/32
Angle of View 2.1°
Minimum Focusing Distance 45.9' / 14 m
Autofocus Motor USM
Image Stabilization N/A
Weather Resistant Not Supplied By Manufacturer
Magnification 0.09 x
Lens Construction 13 Elements / 10 Groups
Diaphragm Blades 8
Filter Ring Diameter 48mm Drop-In
Dimensions 9.0 x 32.9" / 228.0 x 836.0mm
Weight 36.4 lb / 16.5 kg
Compatibility Canon EF Mount
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  • dodude

    how can that lens have a 48mm filter ring? looks 8-12 inches in the front

  • fjfjjj

    The “zoom capabilities of this lens”? But it’s not a zoom. So, “none”?

  • Aekn

    Thanks for the review. I’ve been thinking of picking one of these up.

  • Aekn

    It would be fun just to phone in an order for it and wait to hear the question “can I add a protective filter for that new lens?”

  • Eagle of MorningCalm

    no thx. I will just use bridge cameras.

  • markz

    pfft 16kg…

    that’s nothing…. until you slip a disk….

    more seriously though you can tell the markup these things must have, despite being used and old, as every time one is up for sale in one of the major US or UK (or Singaporean) shops we get a promo review with half the shop staff out from behind the counter and on the street for a day of having fun with the beast

  • jojo

    Used by one previous owner, his assistant, and 17 of our staff?

    • fjfjjj

      …and exposed to saltwater spray

  • Gravande_medborgare

    Or get an extra 800 mm and buy a Nikon P900. But then you loose 1.5 friends, though.

  • Martin Francis

    I presume this is the same one they had in stock when I visited NYC back in 2009. As it’s more of a curiosity than a useful item, it’s not a real surprise that it hasn’t sold. I guess B&H decided to earn themselves some web traffic to make up for it.

  • FREE Palestine

    jews photographing the great wall…. great….. jews… what the world needs.

  • where can i purchase this jewpod? =)

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