Nikon's Ridiculous 800mm Lens Only Costs $18,000

Nikon has been teasing development of the new absurdly long, fixed AF-S Nikkor 800mm, f/5.6 aperture lens since last year. Now it's here, and you'll be happy to know that this lens' crazy and inflexible magnification potential is coupled with the absolutely ludicrous price of $US18,000. But don't worry, cheapskates, because there's an actually affordable new lens coming out too.

In fairness, this lens is freaking marvel of design intended only for professionals, and the Nikon product rep who introduced me to it told us they expect to sell every single one. Surrrrre they will. I mean the thing has up to four stops of VR image stabilisation! Because you're going to hand hold it, obviously. (Also note: the fixed aperture can be trimmed to f/8.0 using a special AF-S Teleconverter TC800.)

On the much more practical end of the lens spectrum, Nikon is also introducing a AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 lens that is optimised for full-frame sensor cameras like the Nikon D600 and Nikon D800. The new lens has a nice compact size and weight just under 500 grams. And at $US750, it costs considerably less than the 800mm monster. [Nikon]