I must admit, one of the things that I really love about photography is the equipment, the high end lenses, flashes that have t1 durations of a millionth of a second, or a camera that can take a trillion frames per second. My favourite lenses are telephotos, they enable you to get right up close to the action and show you detail that you can never get with a smart phone or smaller lens.
Of course the faster the movement and the further the distance the bigger the lens you need…. Well, Canon made a 5,200mm focal lenth super telephoto lens:
The actual zooming in the video isn’t the lens, the video is just a simulation and is believe to be 30mm short of the actual total focal length of the super telephoto.
There isn’t a lot of information on the lens and it was believed to have been made for the cold war (although I cannot imagine any spy carrying this around subtly!) The lens had built in ND filters giving aperture settings of F/14, F/16, F22 and F32. The minmum focussing distance was a whopping 120 metres! The whole thing without the stand weighs in at 100kg. You’re not going to be hand holding this one..
The magnifcation if mounted to a 1/3rd image sensor would be 1,000 times, or the equivalent of a 37,500mm focal lenth.
This is an extract from the Canon flyer:
“This is the only ultra-telephoto lens in the world capable of taking photographs of objects 18 to 32 miles away (30km to 52kms away). Having a focal length of 5200mm, Canon Mirror Lens 5200mm can obtain one hundred times as large an object image as that of a 50mm lens.”
“For focusing this mounted or fixed lens on an extremely distant object, two aiming telescopes are set on the side of the lens barrel, and the entire lens is placed on a rigid stand which rotates smoothly. Minimizing the overall length had been a big problem in designing this lens. However, the Catadioptric system that is applied to the other two Canon mirror lenses (Canon 800mm f3.8 & 2000mm f11) has succeeded in reducing it down to one third of the nominal focal length. In general focal length and optical aberration increase with each other, however, our long and persistent research and development have succeeded in solving this problem. Canon mirror lens 5200mm composed of spherical main and secondary mirrors and a correction lens would assure you of clear images.”
I hope you found this interesting, and happy saving!