Today Nikon’s crown jewel Nikon AF-S Nikkor 800mm F5.6E FL ED VR lens was officially announced. The super telephoto lens will be the longest one that Nikon will offer in a mass production.
Although Nikon is 4 years late with their response to Canon EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM AF, it seems that Nikon have managed to produce a great competitor who sensibly excels the Canon model.
Nikon 800mm F5.6E FL ED VR is the first Nikon lens with two fluorite and two ED glass elements out of 20 elements in 13 groups. The fluorite glass elements are the largest in the lens – they are placed right behind the front glass protector.
The lens kit includes also a specially designed Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC800-1.25E ED, which also has one ED element to match the telephoto prime image quality. Thanks to the ED glass, and the fact that the teleconverter has been designed exclusively for this lens, the image quality should be identical regardless of the use of the converter. Nikon 800mm f/5.6 coupled with Nikon 1.25x converter comprise a lens of 1000mm f/7.1 focal length.
I was very impressed by the MTF chart, which – if correct, means that Nikon has produced an immensely sharp and contrast lens, second to none of their current telephoto lenses and superior to Canon 800mm f/5.6. Below are the diagrams of the two competitive lenses, as well as charts compared with other Nikon lenses.
Here is the MTF chart showing the result of using the 1.25x teleconverter. The output speaks for itself.
Here you can see a detailed comparison of the specifications of Canon 800 mm f/5.6 and Nikon 800 mm f/5.6. You can also have a look at some photos that I took with Canon 800/5.6 in the gallery of the site.
Nikon AF-S 800 mm FL f/5.6E ED VR lens is expected to be available in April at the shocking price of approximately 18000 USD, where the kit will also include 1.25x converter. This is by far higher price than that of Canon EF 800 mm f/5.6 L IS USM, which sells for “only” 13000 dollars.