Size Matters: Sigma’s 200-500mm F/2.8 “Green Monster” Lens Scares Off Rivals

The news last week that Canon’s rare, 1200mm super telephoto lens was on sale again reminded us of another giant piece of glass that generated tons of buzz when it was introduced in 2008: the Sigma 200-500mm F2.8 APO EX DG.

The lens, which has been dubbed “the green monster” for obvious reasons, was the first 500mm lens with an F/2.8 aperture. Offered in Nikon, Canon, and Sigma mounts, it’s also the only lens with a constant F/2.8 in that 200-500mm focal range but, then again, there aren’t many lenses offered in this range to begin with. (Tamron offers one model but its has an F/5-6.3 aperture range.)

While the Sigma 200-500mm F/2.8 isn’t as expensive as the Canon 1200mm lens (which is selling for $167,000+), it certainly ain’t cheap either: $25,999. It’s also really, really heavy, tipping the scales at around 35 pounds.

Good luck finding a tripod for it! As you can see from the above photo, which was shot at the 2010 photokina show, you’ll need something industrial strength.

If you want to learn what it’s like to actually use the Sigma 200-500mm F2.8 APO EX DG, Roger Cicala of Lens Rentals took one for a spin a few years ago. Get a load of the box it came in!

(Caption for image at the top of this story: Sigma 200-500mm F2.8 APO EX DG at Photokina 2010 show, Cologne by Håkan Dahlström. Image from Wikipedia Commons.)