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Nikon 800mm f/5.6E FL
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Nikon 800mm f/5.6 FL

Nikon 800mm f/5.6 FL (FX, DX and 35mm coverage, 52mm drop-in filters, 10.1 pounds or 161.6 oz./4,590 g, 19'/5.9 m close focus, about $17,900). enlarge. My biggest source of support is when you use any of these links, especially this link directly to it at Adorama, when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thank you! Ken.


29 January 2013   Nikon Reviews   Nikon Lenses    All Reviews


Nikon 800mm f/5.6 FL

Nikon 800mm f/5.6 FL on a Nikon D4. enlarge.


Introduction         top

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Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

This newest Nikon 800mm super telephoto adds technology new to Nikon.

These two new technologies are:

1.) An electronically-controlled diaphragm, which is what every Canon lens has had since 1987. Other Nikon lenses still use a mechanical pin on the lens to control the diaphragm, exactly as Nikon has done since 1959.


2.) Fluorite elements. Again we professionals chuckle at this "new innovation" from Nikon, as Canon has been doing this in their super-teles since the 1970s.

Nikon introduced this lens because Canon has made an autofocus Canon 800mm f/5.6 IS since 2008, while Nikon gave up on the 800mm pro market with the discontinuation of their manual-focus Nikon 800mm f/5.6 AI-s in 2005.


Specifications         top

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Name        top

Nikon calls this the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR.

    AF-S: Silent Wave Autofocus Motor (SWM).

    NIKKOR: Nikon's brand name for all their lenses.

    E: Electronic diaphragm, just as every Canon lens has done since 1987.

    FL: Fluorite elements. Canon's been doing this in their ultra-teles since the 1970s.

    ED: Magic Extra-low Dispersion Glass.


Also has, but not included in the name:

    G: Gelded for cost-reduction and removing compatibility with older cameras.

    D: Couples distance information to the Matrix Meter.

    IF: Internal focusing; nothing moves externally as focused.

    N: Magic Nano-crystal coating, meaning a coating which varies its index of refraction continuously to achieve even greater reflection reduction. It's probably only on one surface, and is used mostly for marketing purposes.

    SIC: Nikon’s Super Integrated Multicoating


Optics        top

Nikon 800mm internal diagram

Nikon 800mm internal diagram.

20 elements in 13 groups.

Two of ED glass, and two fluorite elements. Canon's been using fluorite since the 1970s in their ultra teles, so Nikon has finally caught up to Canon 40 years later.

It's multicoated, which Nikon calls Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC).


Diaphragm        top

Electronic (electromagnetic), just as every Canon lens has been since 1987.

9 rounded blades.

Stops down to f/32.


Vibration Reduction         top

Rated four stops improvement.


Coverage        top

35mm film, FX and DX.


Focal Length        top


When used on a DX camera, it gives an angle of view similar to what a 1,200mm lens gives when used on an FX or 35mm camera.


Angle of View        top

3.2° on FX digital and 35mm.

2° on small-format DX.

2.5° on Pronea APS.


Close Focus        top

19 feet (5.9 meters) from the image plane.


Maximum Reproduction Ratio        top

1:6.6 (0.151x).

1:6.4 (0.156x) if focused manually.


Hard Infinity Focus Stop?        top


You have to let the AF system focus at infinity.


Focus Scale        top

Yes, abbreviated.


Depth-of-Field Scale        top



Infra-Red Focus Index        top



Aperture Ring        top



Filters        top

52mm filters are held in a drawer.


Teleconverter        top

Nikon TC800-125 Teleconverter

Nikon TC800-125 Teleconverter.

AF-S TC800-1.25E ED, included. It's specially designed low-magnification 1.25x converter only for this lens and is not sold separately.


Teleconverter optics

Nikon TC800-1.25E Teleconverter

Nikon TC800-1.25E Teleconverter.

5 elements in 3 groups; 1 ED element.

It's the first Nikon teleconverter with ED glass.


Focal length with teleconverter

With the teleconverter, this becomes a 1,000mm f/7.1 lens (1,500mm equivalent on DX).


Autofocus with teleconverter

Autofocus isn't rated to work well except on the newest D600, D800 and D4.


Angle of view with teleconverter

2.5° on FX digital and 35mm.

1.7° on small-format DX.

2.0° on Pronea APS.


Teleconverter Size

Nikon specifies 2.5 " (62.5 mm) diameter by 0.6 " (16 mm) extension from flange; 1.1" (29mm) long overall.


Teleconverter Weight

Nikon specifies 4.8 oz. (135 g).


Teleconverter Product Number

2206 (not sold separately).


Supplied Teleconverter Accessories

BF-3B front cap.

LF-4 rear cap.

CL-0715 bag.


Size        top

Nikon specifies 6.3" (160 mm) diameter by 18.2 " (461 mm) extension from flange.


Weight        top

Nikon specifies 10.1 pounds or 161.6 oz. (4,590 g).


Hood        top

HK-38 Lens Hood included.


Case        top

CT-801 Trunk Case included.


Included        top

Matched AF-S Teleconverter TC800-1.25E ED and its accessories

Slip-on Front Lens Cap

HK-38 Lens Hood

LF-4 Rear Lens Cap

52mm Screw-on NC Filter

LN-2 Lens Strap

CT-801 Trunk Case

Monopod Collar


Warranty         top

5 years, USA.


Development Announced        top

12 July 2012.


Product Announced        top

29 January 2013


Promised for         top

April 2013.


Nikon Product Number        top



Price, USA        top

$17,900 at introduction, January 2013, including matched AF-S Teleconverter TC800- 1.25E ED.


Performance         top

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As expected for Nikon's ultra-teles, the rated MTF curve is exceptional:

Nikon 800mm f/5.6 FL MTF

Nikon 800mm f/5.6 FL MTF.


Even with the mild teleconverter, it's also exceptional (better than any other Nikon lens):

Nikon TC800-125 MTF

Nikon 800mm f/5.6 FL with TC800-1.25 MTF.


Recommendations         top

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You folks know who you are.

Personally, 800mm lenses are pretty useless most of the time because of haze or heat shimmer. I find my best use for these lenses is grabbing the disc of the sun at sunset, especially as reflected in windows or in wet sand at the beach.

For sports, you get much better pictures with the lens you already have if you'd simply get closer.

Personally, do a quick reality check and Nikon can stuff this lens for $17,900. The Canon 800mm f/5.6 IS is a proven product and sells for only $13,250, so if you want an 800mm lens and shoot Nikon, you can upgrade to the Canon lens instead and buy a dedicated Canon body for the same price as the Nikon 800mm alone. The professional Canon 1D X is faster and better than any Nikon body, so you'll probably upgrade everything to Canon after using the 1D X anyway, so look at all the money I just saved you.

Pros don't buy these lenses. Nikon and Canon's pro support programs loan them out for free at sporting events hoping TV viewers see more black or white to influence consumers. Therefore, don't take any of the prices that seriously. Nikon and Canon probably take a loss on the sale of each of these lenses, considering the small quantities sold. They are created mostly for bragging rights, like the unbeaten Nikon 13mm f/5.6.

If you've found all the time, effort and expense I put into researching and sharing all this, my biggest source of support is when you use any of these links, especially this link directly to it at Adorama, when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live.

Thank you!



More Information         top

Intro   Specs   Performance    Recommendations   More

Nikon's 800mm f/5.6 FL page.

Nikon's Press Release.

Nikon USA's 800/5.6 page.


Help me help you         top

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Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.


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