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| Re: Wildlife Lens Choose |
I currently own two of your choices, and have owned and sold two others.
I use the 500 f/4 I for birds, for most shooting from the vehicle, and for almost all my winter time work from camo blinds. You just can\'t beat it for sharpness, reach, convenience...on and on...
In the warmer months, I do more wandering in the woods, and a lot of paddling in a kayak. Then, I usually shoot with a 400 DO; it is smaller and weighs less than the 300 2.8, so is easily carried (on a Cotton Carrier, sometimes hooked into my belt by the tripod foot, or just cradled in one arm). There is a slight trade-off in sharpness/resolution, and sometimes a lack of contrast, but PP and framing usually solve that...
I sold a 300 2.8 a few years ago to fund the 500mm, but usually used teleconverters with it anyway, negating its legendary sharpness somewhat. I very recently let go of my 100-400 zoom; since I acquired a 70-300L, I never used it, preferring the newer lens\' light weight and more advanced IS...
I sometimes wish I had the 400 2.8 instead of either the 400 DO or the 500; the larger aperture would sure be handy for dark forests and early mornings, but the weight would probably break me. And the way newer bodies handle higher ISO\'s certainly help in low-light situations... I\'m sure I\'ll eventually rent one for a week, just to prove to myself I made the right choices (and help quell my gear-lust)...I would recommend renting to anyone contemplating buying a supertelephoto lens; at first, it seems like you\'re throwing several hundred dollars into the wind, but holding and shooting with the lens will show you way more than all our forum recommendations ever could. And when you are spending six or eight (or eleven) thousand dollars, a few hundred to be sure you made the right choice is money well-spent in my opinion...