300-800mm f/5.6 EX DG APO HSM

  • FX coverage
  • Autofocus (in-lens focus motor)
  • 18 elements in 16 groups, 2 ELD elements
  • 9-blade aperture diaphragm
  • smallest aperture is f/32
  • 46mm rear drop-in filter
  • 20' (6m) minimum focus; 1:6.9 maximum reproduction ratio
  • 21.3 x 6.2" (542 x 157mm) long, diameter
  • 207 ounces (5870g) weight
  • included rotating tripod collar, LH1571-02 595 lens hood, carrying case, circular polarizer, caps
  • US$10,000
  • Model Number 595

Thom's Mini Review: I had a day to play with this lens when it was accidentally shipped to me instead of the lens I ordered (yeah, really, how do you make that mistake on something this expensive and big?). It's a mammoth lens, and a bit awkward to handle (you really are going to want to be handling, supporting, and carrying it by the handle in the tripod collar, not by the camera). Optically, my brief tests with it showed it to be very sharp, with no real flaws. The zoom ability lets you decide the framing, obviously, but I found that the 20' minimum focus distance was a bit long at 300mm. I'm not sure how truly useful the "wide" end of the lens will be because of that; maybe if you're shooting a herd of elephants, but when a dog ran towards me I lost focus before I wanted to, even zooming out. The real problem with this lens is its size. This isn't a lens you're going to be packing into carry-ons on the plane: by the time you add padding, it's longer than the official international maximum carry-on size. I suppose if you shoot out your RV or live on a game farm or at a zoo you might find it the right choice, but I really can't recommend this huge beast to the traveling photographer unless they do all their traveling with their own vehicle. Pity, because it seems fine optically. 

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