By Andrew Liszewski
Sure, $120,000 might seem like a little much to spend on a lens, particularly a used one, but there’s some important backstory for this lens that you need to be aware of before you do your morning spit-take. Here’s an excerpt from the B&H newsletter:
The Canon 1200/5.6L USM (priced at $120,000… and if you live out of state we don’t need to charge you tax!) has been built on a special-order basis since 1993, and the ‘official word’ is there are “more than twelve, less than twenty” of them in existence. With a price tag equivalent to a pair of his-and-her sports coupes, they were produced at the rate of about 2-per-year and a delivery time of about 18 months. National Geographic magazine, Sports Illustrated, Canon Professional Services, and a few well-heeled enthusiasts are counted among the fortunate few who own these unique optics.
The lens contains 13 elements in 10 groups, stops down to f32 and has a minimum focus distance of 45.9 feet. You’ll of course need a tripod if you hope to use the behemoth, since it weighs 36 pounds and is about 33 inches long. To make things even more fun, the lens’ reinforced aluminum case is actually heavier than the lens itself, so you’ll want to set aside a few extra bucks for a wheeled cart if you plan to take it anywhere. And if you’re curious what kind of shots you can get with this thing, head on over to B&H’s site where they’ve posted a few amazing samples.