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The Tamron SP 300/5.6 is an excellent performer, it's relatively inexpensive (~$200), and it's very compact; MFD = 1.4m, wt = 0.7kg, L = 170mm, D = 65mm. If you want something longer than the 300/4L IS, then the manual focus Nikkor * ED 400mm f/3.5 and Nikkor ED 500/4 P are both very nice, and way less expensive than equivalent AF lenses. OTOH, the 300/4L IS is very nice. I used one for many years, until going to the 300/2.8L IS.