The 500mm lens was a wonder to hold…but, not for very long, at least, not for me. The camera and the lens weigh about 14 pounds which doesn’t sound like much. EXCEPT, the whole contraption is just shy of two feet long and is bulky AND the thought of dropping that $14,000 load is scary. Careful I was. And, of course, one needs a tripod. I have three. None of which comes close to being able to RELIABLY handle something like this. And, of course, even with a substantial tripod, you can’t just slap this thing on any sort of tripod head. Or at least any that I have. So I rented some suitable tank like equipment to complement the Beast’s unwieldiness. That tripod and head weighed at least 20 pounds, too. Off I go, headed for Burke Lake to find the eagle’s nest that everyone says is there. I have the lens which has a suitcase all of its own, the tripod & head which have no carrying case or straps, and, of course the five pound camera. Now I know that people do this for a living so I have concluded that one or more of the following is true: (1) they are in better shape than I am, (2) there is special carrying equipment for this gear, (3) they have equipment Sherpa to help them, and/or, (4) they have drone delivery of the equipment to the shoot location (my vote). So no eagles for me. A couple of geese (standing still), people in boats, shots of a tree branch that would have been a cool place for an eagle to land at the same time I was shooting. None of them were very good.Which brings me to the other Beast dimension. Getting a good shot does not just happen! With a couple other of my lenses (14-24 & 105), I found that I really had to work to figure out how to optimize what the glass could do. The Beast was the same and I really ran out of time so was very early in the learning curve. I did not have the VR version but I’m not sure that would have made a difference. Nor did I experiment with off-camera shutter control. I found focusing a real challenge. If I do this again, I will use the manual focus more or auto-focus and the lock down at the distance. I had a lot of fuzzy shots when you look closely. Some of that is because I didn’t control the depth of field well enough, some because I think the camera was “jittery” and some because…they just weren’t in focus. Would I rent this again? Probably not. That’s not the shooting I normally like. Would I like to have a long prime lens? Yes. Probably the 300. But then I’ll need to invest in more lottery tickets for that to happen.The shot below is at 500mm. The DOF is very narrow. I had locked focus on where the batter had been standing. You will notice that the ball and the ump are in focus, the pitcher, not so much. This is not a crop, this is right out of the camera from about 100′ away.