So with all the talk of Photokina coming up, lets go back and take a look at some of the older camera equipment that was top of the line back in the day. Take this 100 inch, 2540mm infrared lens for instance. It is so big it requires two people to operate. One to frame the shot and one to take the shot.
The camera appears to be a 4×5 large format film, which causes the lens to be equivalent to a focal length of 760mm on a 35mm sensor or film.
The Corbis archive has a better picture of the lens with a brief description of its purpose. Below is the original caption.
"A new camera equipped with a 100 inch infrared lens can look through atmospheric haze and record on film objects up to 30 miles away, a feat almost impossible in terrestrial photographic equipment previously. Developed by the Army Signal Corps engineering laboratories at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, the camera provides the tactical advantage of being able to photograph targets many miles away in combat conditions. Manning the camera are Private First Class Jim R. Sarver (L) of Pittsburgh, sighting through the viewfinder, and Private First Class Robert Aytres, of West Long Branch, New Jersey, preparing to make the exposure."
via - petapixel.com