This afternoon I made a walk into town and stopped by at a local photo gear dealer to go shopping for a picture frame. And of course I did some window shopping to spark new wishes and desires. And I found the ultimate item for my birthday and christmas wishlist.
It is the Sigma 200-500 f2.8 APO EX DG lens (yes, f2.8 at all focal lengths). I have seen it on the internet, but today the first time on real life. This thing is truly a monster. It’s big and it’s green. It comes with a 2x teleconverter, making it an astonishing 400-1.000 mm focal length. It weighs 17 kilos and comes in a case which is bigger than a man. This is a second-hand lens and it costs merely 6.999 Euros ! Piece of cake considering the suggested retail price of 20.000 Euros.
The first impression I had when I saw this thing on the net was “It must be made to be mounted on a tank !”
When I paid for the picture frame I bought I asked the clerk about that lens. And I learnt something interesting. My initial impression was not so far-fetched. The lens has been developed for the Israeli military. It must have gone like this.
“Hello Sigma Corporation ? This is the Israeli minister of defense ! We need a SPECIAL lens. It must be able to incredibly zoom in on the target…. er… subject. We want high aperture to see our tar.. subject even under low light conditions. It does not have to be extremely sharp, we just want to see enough to take aim. And we don’t care what it will cost.”
Sigma developed, Sigma delivered. After they delivered the lenses to the Israeli army they still had some parts left and decided to build some more lenses. There must be people out there who buy such things.
Guys, even if I had that much money, I would spend it on something else. That behemoth weighs 17 kilograms ! What do you want to shoot with that thing (and I talk about the type of shooting cameras do…) ?