Photography: Sigma’s 200-500mm f/2.8 lens

Thanks to Rusty for pointing out a lens that, apparently, made its debut more than two years ago, yet went entirely unnoticed by me. The Sigma 200-500mm f/2.8 lens.

f/2.8 means that this lens lets in a lot of light, allowing you to shoot in dimmer light or to get really high shutter speeds for freezing motion in sports. You rarely see zoom good lenses above 200mm, much less with an f/2.8 aperture. But Sigma has done it, and it goes all the way to 500mm. (Bonus: they include a 2x tele-extender, allowing the lens to serve as a 400-1000mm f/5.6 lens.) 500mm is a pretty long telephoto.

There’s a problem with crossing a really long lens with a really wide lens, though. The fact that it’s $22,000 worth of glass is one of them. The other is that it’s ludicrously large.

The Italian JuzaPhoto has a review of the lens, the only site I’ve found that far that actually used the lens prior to reviewing it. There are a lot of 100% crops from what appear to be Arab postage stamps, with a link to some real shots with the lens. The shots are quite remarkable, though I find it odd that there are maybe 8 photos in the world known to be taken with this lens.

But one pressing question remains: why, Sigma, would you make the lens green?

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