The world's biggest lens is Qatari

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.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region,