The Crazy Zoom of a 1700mm Nikon Lens

Back in 2010, we shared a video showing Canon’s 1200mm lens — a giant piece of glass that has been called “The Mother of All Telephotos”. If you thought that focal length was long, check out Nikon’s 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8P lens. Nikon launched a prototype of the lens in 1990 for newspaper photographers covering baseball in Japan. The sample photos above show the lens’ ridiculous reach. A standard 50mm FoV can be seen on the left, while the right photo shows what the same scene looks like at 1700mm.

Nikon Zoom-Nikkor 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8P IF-ED (via Photography Bay)

  • Jake

    What you can’t tell is that those girls are really thirty feet behind the camera – the FoV actually circumnavigates the globe.

  • Lauren


  • Aaron Robles


  • Mako Koiwai

    Problem with long lenses is that they become unusable in warm weather, over any distance … because of “heat waves.”

  • Bas ter Beek

    So you should be able to watch through your own viewfinder using this lens?

  • lenyon whitaker

    think about the shutter speed you have to shoot at….

  • John Reinert Nash

    That’s some freaky bokeh in the background.

  • Sean Passingham

    What’s not mentioned is that those “newspaper photographers covering baseball in Japan” were actually watching from their homes in San Fransisco

  • Jake

    I think that would put us dangerously close to “Being John Malkovich” territory.

  • Tom Dawson

    I couldn’t image what it would cost

  • Dan Gater

    What the article doesn’t tell you is that the lens captured a scene 20 minutes into the future :-)

  • marcus


  • Trotty

    what about the 2000mm f11 mirror lens they made?

  • Daryl L. Hunter

    Nice bokah :D

  • Hunter Lindstedt Simmons

    Haha just imagine the possibilities. It could end up being trippy on a whole new level if you consider the fact that, with the light having to travel such a great distance, you’d actually be seeing yourself look at yourself in the past, in the past… I don’t even know, my brain just hurts now.