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WOW, sounds like some rich guys slamming a regular guy with a malcreant Tamron. To answer the OP with a solution like get a Nikkor $5000 lens if you want to take pictures sounds a bit snobbish imho.
not trying to be snobbish, but i've had experience with some of these tamron zooms, and i have not be amused by the quality, priceing was great though.
my comment was not that the soulution was to buy a nikkor 200-400, but to not expect to much from the tamron 200-400, i know i never did from other tamron of similar quailty/IQ/aperture.
there are many other zooms that can be looked at that will give better results @ 400mm, on the other end of this- they will cost more than a couple hundred bucks, some may be over $500 some may be $5000, the point is most people who accpet photography as a hobby eventually reliaze it is expensive and people who want a high resoultion, sharp, and detailed image at a long focal length many times choose to invest in lenses that will do so.
to the OP-
an older manual focus nikkor like a 400mm F5.6 AIS, will fit your needs perfectly if you want a sharp but cheap 400mmm image, they run about $300-400 used, i found them impressive.