Editor’s note: There may be a few sections of the video that are considered NSFW, but there is no nudity or swearing. Keep this in mind before watching the video (you can skip to the 42-second mark to bypass the questionable segment).
One of the most unique (and expensive) lenses in existence is Sigma’s 200–500mm F2.8 APO EX DG ‘Bazooka’ lens. While few have had the opportunity to shoot with this lens, photographer and YouTuber Tom Calton was able to get one on loan from Sigma and has shared a video showing what it’s like to use the $26K lens when attached to a Sony a7 III mirrorless camera.
The cheeky five-minute video first goes over all of the features of the lens before diving into the real-world experience of using using it on a modern mirrorless camera. As Calton shows in his sample images, the resulting images are incredibly sharp at nearly every focal length and blur out the background ‘unlike any other lens [Calton has] tested,’ due to its long focal length and fast maximum aperture. To contextualize what it’s like to shoot at 1000mm with the 2x converter attached, Calton shows that he needed to stand 90m (295ft) away from his portrait subject to capture a full-body shot.
As Calton explains, the lens weighs 15.7kg (34.6lbs) and measures 72.6cm (28.6”) long by 23.6cm (9.3”) in diameter and is the largest high-speed ultra-telephoto zoom lens available to purchase. It’s constructed of 17 elements in 13 groups, including a super-low-dispersion elements as well as three extra-low-dispersion elements and comes with its own 2x converter, which effectively turns it into a ridiculous 400–1000mm F5.6 zoom lens.
Aside from the drop-in 72mm filter, which is located just in front of the rear lens mount, another interesting element of the lens is its dedicated BP-21 battery slot, which is used to drive the all-electronic focus and zoom motors (which are anything but quiet).
All in all, it’s a fun video that shows what it’s like to shoot a very unique lens that most of us will likely never have the chance to use.
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