The Green Monster: A Look at the Sigma 200-500mm “Bazooka” Lens

Sigma’s 200-500mm telephoto lens is so large (2.3 feet long and 34.6 pounds) and so expensive ($26,000) that many people just can’t take it seriously. Last year we shared some hilarious customer reviews that poked fun at “the green monster.” If you’ve been wondering how the lens actually looks, works, and performs, the folks over at LensRentals recently purchased a copy of the lens for their inventory and snapped some behind-the-scenes photos of their initial tests.

The photographs above and below show the sheer size of the bazooka lens. Having a sturdy tripod or muscular bipod (AKA a photo assistant) is highly recommended.

The Canon 500mm f/4 IS II and Canon 800mm f/5.6 are pretty hefty lenses, but look puny when placed next to the green monster:

Check out the box and case that the lens comes in. Shipping for this baby cannot be cheap:

An interesting feature of the lens is that it accepts small-ish 72mm filters. Instead of covering the front element, the filters are inserted into a slot in the lens close to where it connects to the camera:

Here are a couple of sample photos shot at 200mm and 500mm, both at f/2.8:

LensRentals founder Roger Cicala reports that even when used with a 2x teleconverter for 1000mm images, the lens is “impressively sharp” — especially when stopped down. He has released a number of full-resolution JPEG sample images here in case you’d like to pixel peep.

If you’d like to play around with the lens without having to sell both of your kidneys, LensRentals is planning to offer this lens as a rental. You’ll still need deep pockets though: the cost will likely be over $1,000 per week.

A Big Addition [LensRentals Blog]

Image credits: Photographs by Roger Cicala/LensRentals