The SIGMA 200-500mm f/2.8 EX DG was a very niche lens that SIGMA released in 2007. I had a chance to hold one back when Lensrentals.com had a copy of the behemoth. It's big and heavy, but who was it made for?

I have been told that law enforcement and military were the main customers for the SIGMA 200-500mm f/2.8, but we don't know how many were actually sold. Lensrentals.com did say it only rented a couple of times when they did have it in their inventory.

Juza of JuzaPhoto posted the original review of the lens back in 2009. He has now had another chance to use the SIGMA 200-500mm f/2.8 in the field and has written about it.

The backstory for the review

There is only one example of the 200-500 2.8 in all of Italy: it is the one I tested in 2009, which was then sold to a private individual and finally purchased by RCE Foto, a chain of shops with which I have been collaborating for some time. As soon as I found out, I contacted them to present them with the project of this field test, and even if with a bit of effort I managed to convince Luca from RCE Livorno (whom I thank from the bottom of my heart, and who obviously I recommend that you are from the area and want to sell or buy used) to lend me the lens for this adventure.

You can check out the full review and sample gallery over at JuzaPhoto

The review is in Italian, but Google Translateworks just fine.

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21 comments

  1. I know someone who has one for astronomy! The Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 is usually referred to as the "Sigmonster". I once saw someone carrying that 5.87kg/13lb monster. He didn't hand hold it.
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  2. As an italian I know Juza very well, here in Italy let's just say the website, and they guy, are not really considered serious, just to be kind... ;)

    Sooooo, one day trekking and sleeping in a tent with a 18kg lens, just to take the picture of a flower...lol.

    Then a mono-expression and half asleep model, some random ducks, then the last day in the nature, not a single picture taken (not even that single flower!), apart from two backstage pictures of himself flexing the biceps; could expect nothing less from the guy ahah, seems like a photo shoot to create pics for his Tinder/Grindr profile ahahah :LOL:

    The cityscapes are the only decent pictures, they're pretty good, but he could have easily taken them with something less exotic and less of a burden.

    Nice lens, but he's still a clown, even more so then before; but kudos to him for putting the thing with the tripod in the water (even if he probably have enough money to pay the bill if the Sigmonster sunk in the water), you need balls for that.
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  3. I know someone who has one for astronomy! The Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 is usually referred to as the "Sigmonster". I once saw someone carrying that 5.87kg/13lb monster. He didn't hand hold it.
    5.8kg? Such a feather light ballerina!

    The 1st version of EF 600mm 4.0 took 6.0kg onto the tripod. No, paired with an extender I did not handhold this ....
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  4. I was posting on DPReview when this lens was introduced. The mocking was intense. Sigma had introduced their 120-300 f/2.8 and 300-800 f/5.6 previously then went berserk with this lens. Imagine how a 200-500 f/4 would have been received instead of this monstrosity.
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  5. I know someone who has one for astronomy! The Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 is usually referred to as the "Sigmonster". I once saw someone carrying that 5.87kg/13lb monster. He didn't hand hold it.
    I would just get the Sigma 800 f/5.6 over that one.
    I am happy with my RF 800 f/11 IS anyway.
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  6. Next up, the Canon 5200mm lens:

    IMG_9239.jpeg

    I can hear at the complaints already… At f/14, it is unusably slow. It needs an adapter to work with my R-series body. It doesn’t take extenders. Yada yada yada.
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  7. I know someone who has one for astronomy! The Sigma 300-800mm f/5.6 is usually referred to as the "Sigmonster". I once saw someone carrying that 5.87kg/13lb monster. He didn't hand hold it.
    I couldn't remember if it was SigZilla or SigMonster
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  8. I deadlift just so I can one day hand hold a monster like this, should they ever make it back to production.

    edit: how heavy would a 600 2.8 be?
    Probably lighter than this thing without the zoom mechanism
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  9. Next up, the Canon 5200mm lens:

    View attachment 212438

    I can hear at the complaints already… At f/14, it is unusably slow. It needs an adapter to work with my R-series body. It doesn’t take extenders. Yada yada yada.
    Does it even have a stabilizer? My EOS M100 doesn`t have IBIS, so can I shoot low light events with that?
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  10. I would love to see Sigma re-design this lens in the modern world. Given the advances in optical design since this lens came out, my guess is they could make it about half the weight, and significantly better optically. Put some Phase Fresnel / Diffractive Optics in it, and really shrink that guy down.
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