The Camera Adds 20lbs: ‘Monster’ Lens Brings £101,000 at auction

FOLLOWING THE CALL OF A MYSTERIOUS PRIVATE BIDDER, the incredibly rare Nikon f/2.8 fisheye lens sold at Grays of Westminister for £101,000.

The huge wide-angle lens is said to be so extreme that is can “see behind itself” – weghing in at a healthy 5.2kg, measuring 171mm in length and a diameter of 236mm.

The giant lens is traditionally only used for scientific and industrial use – however its value has shot up significantly over the years as such large lenses become rarer to find on the market. A very similar one sold two years ago for (just) £36,000 (comparatively).

It was in 1970 that Nikon shicked everyone at the world’s fair for photography, Photokina,  when the company launched the fisheye Nikkor lens – with a  220º viewing angle, a lens wide enough to cover the 24x36mm full frame and area, and a ferocious speed of f/2.8.

The 6mm is for scientific and industrial applications and special effects when shooting portraits, architecture and interiors, etc.

Understandably, given that most wide angle lenses used in fim and television don’t even meature up to half this, the 220º fisheye Nikkor Nikon lens was only made to special order.

As you can see in the picture, the ginormous glass dome immediately dwarfs the camera attached.

This lens’s technical specifications are:

• 6mm f/2.8 Fisheye-Nikkor lens

• Serial no: 628024

• Lens construction: 12 elements in 9 groups

• Picture angle: 220º

• Diaphragm: Automatic

• Aperture scale: f/2.8-f/22 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scales

• Weight: 5200g

• Dimensions: 236mm dia. x 171mm long (overall); 160mm extension from lens flange

• Distance scale: graduated in metres and feet from 0.25m (0.9ft) to infinity (∞)

• Filters: built-in skylight (L1BC), medium yellow (Y48), deep yellow (Y52), orange (O56), and red (R60)

• Front lens cap: Slip-on, delivered in a rugged metal case.

Founder of Grays, Gray Levett said that their in-house vintage camera buyer has spent half year attempting to track one down foe sale.  “We were fortunate to be able to find this example in such pristine condition. It is a stunning example of the optical expertise of the engineers and designers at Nikon.”

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