It needs a scale to illustrate how long is this focal length. This super telephoto is not a day to day work out lens that you can casually take along everywhere you go. Neither the lens is that easy and convenient to handle - so don't simply rush out and buy such an optic, even if financially you can afford to do so. The extreme narrow angle of view (2°), weight (3.8kg), size (577mm) often restrict mobility and very poor portability. Although many would think such optic are best suited for sports and nature photography but their physical dimension often require proper setup and the limiting lens speed of f/11.0 is often too slow for such usage. However, the main advantage is its long reachness which is particularly useful for covering other inaccessible public. I have only seen once that the lens was used by foreign media and photojournalists who were here in Malaysia covering the Heads of Commonwealth Meeting where I have noticed how those hard working guys were suffering during the shooting sessions. Whatever it is, don't even think of hand held photography, a monopod/tripod or any other form of steady support is a MUST !
Thus, this lens can be an indispensable imaging tool used when it is physically impossible to approach the subject, either because of the danger involved for an instance, a rocket launching sequence, hazardous wildlife etc. or because there is something in the way as obstacles between photographer and subject of interest. The 1,200mm has a very restrictive angle of view of merely 2° and its depth of field is limited almost to the plane of focus unless the aperture is stopped down to f/22 or f/32. The distinctive compression of perspective makes subjects appear to be stacking right behind one and another. One major problem is its ability on magnification of camera vibration or movement caused by photographer, where the slightest movement will be magnified greatly resulted in blurry images. The use of high speed film types may be able to minimized such potential risk.
The IF-ED version of this lens was first introduced in 1978 and may not have any Pre-AI version existed and thus, you can safely concludes all lenses are carrying an AI lens specification in nature while prior to that, an ED and a normal version of the two parts super telephoto Nikkor lenses was available in the Nikkor lens family. Other than the king-sized Nikkor Reflex 2000mm f/11 and other exotic Nikkor Super Zoom lenses such as Zoom-Nikkor 1200-1700mm f/5.6-8.0 ED-IF and older Nikkor Zoom lens series such as Zoom-Nikkor 360-1200 f/11 ED, this gigantic Nikkor lens was definitely a King of super telephoto lenses.
Nikkor 1200 mm f/11 IF-ED
Technical Highlights: • Staggering 24X magnification (when compared with a normal lens) is ideal for sports, wildlife, and frame-filling shots of the sun or moon itself. • Unbelievably compact for its focal length - its telephoto ratio is only 0.48. • Outstanding picture quality with high resolution and no color fringing through the use of Extra low Dispersion (ED) glass. • Internal Focusing (IF) assures silky-smooth focusing and balanced operation by completely eliminating extension in the lens barrel. • TTL metering at full aperture. • Telescopic lens hood is built in.
• Built-in cantilevered tripod socket collar rotates through 360° for quick change from horizontal to vertical-format shooting. • Convenient filter attachment system - uses a special slip-in filter holder which accepts 39mm screw-in filters; dedicated gelatin filter holder also supplied.
Specification of Nikkor 1200 mm f/11 IF-ED Super Telephoto lense
Focal length/Aperture: 1200mm f/11
Lens construction: 9 elements in 8 groups (2 x EDs)
Picture angle: 2 °; Diaphragm: Automatic
Aperture scale: f/11~ f/32 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scales
Exposure measurement: Via full aperture method; meter coupling ridge provided for Al cameras
Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet from 14m (45ft.) to infinity (oo); Weight: 3,900g
Dimensions: 134mm dia. x 577mm long (overall); 569mm extension from lens flange
Filters (Rear/Front): 39mm screw-in via slip-in filter holder/ 122mm front screw-in; dedicated gelatin filter holder
Front lens cap: Slip-on; Lens head: Built-in telescopic type
Lens case: CT-1203 aluminum trunk; Usable teleconverter(s): TC-200*, TC-300 or TC-14 Warning: Certain AE modes (Programmed AE and Shutter Priority AE) on selective Nikon SLRs will not work efficiently with older TC devices. Use an Ai-S version for better compatibility, read the respective Tele-Extender(s) sections. Note: Serial Number of the Ai-S version of this Nikkor super telephoto lens may have been started from 179001. * Usable. but there is occasional vignetting.
| Nikkor 1,200mm f/11s ED-IF | Nikkor 1200mm f/11 ED-IF | Non-Ai Nikkor 1200mm f/11 ED | Non-Ai Nikkor1200mm f/11 Nikkor-P Auto | Focusing Unit
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Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
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Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm
MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm | 35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm | 100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm
Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E
Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number:
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-153.html by: my friend, Rick Oleson
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/fmount.htm by: Hansen, Lars Holst
Recommended Reading Reference on Nikon cameras and Nikkor lenses | about this photographic web site
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Co-developed with my web buddy, Rick Oleson® & Denmark, Creator of the Nikon Repair Group Mailing-List; A contributing effort to Michael Liu's Classic Nikon SLRs and Nikkor optic site.
Credit: MCLau®, who has helped to rewrite some of the content appeared this site. Chuck Hester® who has been helping me all along with the development of all these Nikon websites; Lars Holst Hansen, 'Hawkeye' who shares the same passion I have; Ms Rissa, Sales manager from Nikon Corporation Malaysia for granting permission to use some of the official content; Ted Wengelaar, Holland who has helped to provide many useful input relating to older Nikkor lenses; Some of the references on production serial numbers used in this site were extracted from Roland Vink's website; Hiura Shinsaku from Nikomat Club Japan. Lastly, to all the good people who has contributed their own expeience, resources or kind enough granted permission to use their images of their respective optic in this site. It is also a site to remember a long lost friend on the Net. Note:certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets & brochures published by Nikon and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their work for educational purposes. The creator of the site will not be responsible for may discrepancies arise from such dispute except rectifying them after verification. "Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" & "Nikkor" are registered tradename of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Site made with an Apple IMac.