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Nikon to extend telephoto lens range to 800mm

Sometimes size matters, and bigger telephoto lenses make photos of distant animals possible. Nikon's 800mm f5.6 lens will doubtless have a big price tag, too.

An early look at Nikon's forthcoming 800m f5.6 supertelephoto lens
An early look at Nikon's forthcoming 800m f5.6 supertelephoto lens. It'll look even bigger once a lens hood is mounted.

Nikon will add an 800mm f5.6 supertelephoto to its product line, closing a competitive gap with its longtime rival Canon.

Nikon didn't announce when the lens will ship or how much it will cost, but you can bet it'll be expensive. Canon's Canon EF 800mm f/5.6 L IS USM costs more than $13,000.

But for some photographers, notably those who shoot wildlife and especially bird images, supertelephoto lenses are worth the price. And now that videographers are buying SLRs, some new purse strings may be loosening.

Nikon plans to show the lens off at the Photokina show in Cologne, Germany, this September, it announced yesterday.

Nikon also offers a 200-400mm zoom along with 400mm, 500mm, and 600mm supertelephoto models. Canon has a 100-400mm, along with the 400mm, 500mm, 600mm, and 800mm models. Canon has announced a 200-400mm model that has a built-in 1.4x extender that will let that lens reach to 560mm, but that isn't yet shipping.