This will only be of interest to photography geeks: legendary lens maker Carl Zeiss has just unveiled a made-to-order only 1700mm F4 lens. The first of its kind has Arabic writing on the side and the emblem of the state of Qatar. It weighs 256kg and is gives you three times more telephoto than the biggest existing commercial lens (the kind use for sports photography). My question is what do they want with it? Is a Qatari prince into some kind of extreme bird-spotting? Or long-range voyeurism? is this to enable them to see from one end of the country to the next? Peek into Saudi Arabia? I don't know, but this is a gadget you basically have to be Qatari to afford.
The Arabist is published and edited by Issandr El Amrani, a writer and analyst based in Cairo, with contributions by friends.
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