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Nikon announces development of AF-S 800mm f/5.6 G VR as expected

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After a report on this site of a patent application shown late last year, Nikon has now officially announced the development of an AF-S 800mm f/5.6 G ED VR. A prototype will be shown to professional photographers at the Open Golf Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England, between July 19th and 22nd 2012. I also expect the prototype lens will be used at the Olympics in London later this month.

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The above diagram which was used to describe the optical construction in Nikon's patent application last year shows internal focusing (IF) at G2 and VR compensating optics at G3, the latter accounting for the high number of elements in modern telephoto designs. It's also safe to assume that this lens will also feature a SWM and Nano Crystal coat.
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Nikon's last 800mm f/5.6 was a manual focus AI-S lens, with 8 elements in 6 groups. The Nikkor 800mm f/5.6 IFED, shown above weighed 5450g and was produced in batches between 1986 and as late as 2005, though I can't actually believe that they made any after 2000.

Press release


Nikon announces development of F-Mount 800mm super-telephoto lens

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 12 July 2012
Nikon today announced the development of a ground-breaking super-telephoto, fixed focal length lens to add to its line-up of full frame (FX) NIKKOR lenses. The 800mm, AF-S lens, with a bright aperture of f/5.6 and VR (Vibration Reduction) system, will be fully compatible with the auto focus system of all Nikon FX-format cameras.

The new lens has been developed to further strengthen the NIKKOR line-up of super-telephoto lenses. It will boast the longest focal length of any NIKKOR autofocus lens, and has been designed with field sports, news and wildlife photographers in mind. In addition to its superior optical performance, the lens will offer dust and water resistance.

“We are very excited to showcase a ground-breaking new milestone in NIKKOR development at this summer’s major sporting events” said Robert Cristina, Manager, Nikon Professional Services, Europe.
“It reflects our on-going philosophy to turn ‘feedback into fact’ for the world’s leading news, sports and wildlife photographers,” he added.

A prototype of the new lens will be premiered to professional photographers at the Open Golf Championship at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lancashire, England, between July 19th and 22nd 2012. Nikon has been an official sponsor of The Open Championship since 1993. The lens will also be on show to the general public visiting Photokina 2012, the world’s largest photo and imaging exhibition, in Cologne, Germany, from September 18th to 23rd.

Earlier this month, Nikon announced that total production of NIKKOR lenses for interchangeable lens cameras had reached seventy million and that the total production of AF-S lenses equipped with the Silent Wave Motor (SWM), the autofocus motor developed by Nikon, had reached 30 million. This year, Nikon released three professional FX-format D-SLR cameras: the flagship Nikon D4, the Nikon D800 and Nikon D800E, which offer incredible resolution and image quality.

An on-sale date, suggested retail price and further specifications will be announced by Nikon Corporation at a later date.

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