Hammer falls on world's most expensive lens

Thankfully the hammer that fell recently on the lens was at Wetzlar Camera Auctions for the extremely rare Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6. Originally manufactured in the 1990s in very limited quantities and by special order only, the lens recently auctioned was made in 1997 and had an estimated value of €80,000-€100,000 according to the auctioneers.

Few could have predicted the stratopheric price paid when the hammer finally fell. As reported by Petapixel, the final price paid was €500,000 (approx. A$785,000). With a closest focus distance of 14 metres, the lucky new owner is unlikely to be doing any close-up work with it.

With each lens taking up to a year to make, largely due to the time taken to grow massive fluorite crystals required for the gigantic elements (13 elements in 10 groups), it's believed that there are only around 20 in existence – a figured revised down from initial estimates of 100. Given their scarcity, the lenses rarely come up for sale, with recent sales by B&H in 2009 and 2015 pulling in U$120,000 and U$180,000, respectively. And when they're next likely to be available for sale is anyone's guess. If you do happen to own one of the lenses, you can purchase a waterproof cammo lens cover - lens not included!

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