You can look at it from top… You can look at it from bottom… You can look at it from the side… I think it doesn’t really matter from which angle you look at it: the word to describe it is BEAST.
I’m talking about the new Sigma lens (as of this date still not for sale): the Sigma APO 200-500mm f/2.8 EX DG.
Ok, let’s face it. It’s an amazing piece of photographic technology. It offers a maximum aperture of f2.8 through the whole range, as it’s own LCD displaying subject distance and focal length and is constructed to minimize image degradation typical of Ultra-Telephoto Zooms. As an added feature, comes with a 2x Tele converter turning this monster into a f5.6 400-1000mm. For more info and technical details go here.
Now, let’s start thinking of possible uses. No, this is not a lens that you’ll probably find between the gear of a hobby photographer so it must find its niche amongst highly specialized photographers (wildlife maybe?). For me, the only use I can think about giving it is offering a personalized service of facial hair counting at a 100m distance. You think I’d be successful? Either that or debt collecting. Anyone seeing something like that pointed at them is bound to drop everything to the last cent they might be carrying, and will do so without being asked.
Anyone interested in acquiring this canon (yes, probably can also be used as a RPG launcher in disguise) must prepare for a huge investment. No final prices are known but a popular site for photographic material is pre-selling it for something like €15.000,00. Hmm, new car or new lens? Of course the car might also come in handy as the weight of this thing is probably higher than what is safe to hike with. Also, you don’t need a tripod for it, you need a castle tower just to assemble it.
If you are still not quite visualizing the size, look at the right of the picture. Yes, that is a normal dSLR camera attached to it.
A somewhat funny approach to this lens can be read here (read also the comments section of that post).