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Gear & Apps

Shooting with the $165k Canon 1200mm Limited Edition Camera

By Hanssie on August 30th 2014

In case you needed to photograph the pores on your neighbor’s face in the next county, the massive and super rare Canon 1200mm lens I wrote about last week, is still up for grabs. Coming in at a cool $165k, only a handful of these lenses were made and MPB Photographic has one in stock.

Of course, before making such an investment on, well, anything, you probably should see it in action to make sure it gets the job done. So, the team over at MPB photographic has released a video showing off the Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6 L as it captures the sites around London. From The Mall, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben and the Thames, the ginormous lens was put through the paces with the Canon 1DX and for even more fun, they tossed on a few extenders.


Focal Length Comparisons

They compared the following lenses (and the two extenders) with the 1200mm:

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM
Canon EF 1.4x III Extender
Canon EF 2x III Extender

And the results are…just awesome. See them for yourself in the video below and head over to the MPB website to see their thoughts on this beautiful beast.

If you want to sell your house and first born to get this lens, head on over to the MPB Photographic website now before some wealthy trust fund child gets there before you do.

[via PopPhoto]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Basit Zargar

    Looks like em gonna shoot from home !

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  2. Michael Moe

    “i see you brought your camera. i brought my can(n)on!” ;) haha

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  3. Dre Rolle

    If someone’s able to use that without a tripod by themselves, they would be the most manly photographer for that brief moment.

    Personally I wouldn’t touch that thing, I’d be too scared of a my tripod leg snapping and having to sell my organs to fix a small dent.

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  4. Andrew Van Arb

    That thing must weigh a ton, but ohhh the images!

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  5. Ian Sharp

    We astronomers laugh at your tiny lens! ;-)

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  6. Martin Voelker

    In Yellowstone last year I used a Pana GH3 with an ancient manual Nikkor 400mm f/3.5 with one or two teleconverters. Together with the 2x crop factor this came to about 2000mm. Alas, the wolves I was watching that day never came closer than a mile. Slightly cheaper at $1k for the lens and a couple hundred for the TC.

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  7. Joseph Pesiri

    Great lens. I guess I know what I need to save up for next.

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  8. Mark Iuzzolino

    Good for paparazzi.

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  9. Jose Guerra

    Nice lens but boring sample shots

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  10. Tim Broadbent

    I’ve ALWAYS wanted one ! BUT, well I’m just an amateur’s amateur ! Still want one. But ! Like a kid in a lolly shop! Sieeeeee ! If only I could make some money with it! But , well there you go, pro’s don’t really need it. Hmmmmmm

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  11. Rafael Steffen

    I think that in todays digital world the new 400mm F/2.8 is the king of super telephoto lenses for sports and news photograhy.

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  12. Stan Rogers

    It’s sort of odd that the lens is still available, since it’s only recently become really useful. It’s a fine lens, no doubt, but it’s not a great stills lens. That’s not due to anything Canon’s done wrong; it’s that heat shimmer means you can only use it at certain times of the day at certain times of the year (or in certain terrains/environments) without getting really weird distortions in 95% of your shots. With video, your eyes will accept what you see; with stills it just looks like funhouse mirror effects. (It’s probably not quite as bad as the Minolta 1600/11 RF in that regard. And a pro tip: airfields are the absolute worst for heat shimmer, even before an out-of-frame jet exhaust gets anywhere between you and what you’re shooting. 11 rolls of film to get five clean shots and three where the effect actually looked good while the shutter was open is not a great average.)

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  13. Greg Faulkner


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  14. Jeff Morrison

    What a crazy lens. I would love to try it some day….

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  15. Ralph Hightower

    That is just insane! Would I want one? Hell YEA! The FD f/11 version was featured in Canon Lens Works in the 1981 edition.

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  16. Eric Sharpe


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  17. Brian Stalter

    “That’s a big lens, you must be a professional…”

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  18. Herm Tjioe

    Holy *h#t . . . .that belongs on a spy satellite

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  19. Rafael Steffen

    I remember an article published but Nikon when they used their 1200mm lens for the pope Francis first appearance after he was ellected. Amazing!

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    • Hanssie

      The lens is almost comical on the 1Dx and that is not a small nor light camera!

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