I have had a trawl through past threads looking at different lenses and gear suitable for birding.
I am not trying to re-open Pandora's Box..... There are some fairly 'feisty' discussions in past threads but I didn't quite find the info I was looking for...
I have a Canon 50D and one lens - 70-200mm f2.8 plus a 1.4 TC - and a monopod.
I have improved my stalking skills enormously but I need to get much closer.
I have noted (jealously) the wonderful images taken by members with the Canon 100-400 and I certainly have lens envy of all the longer lens.
However, I do not have unlimited funds and I would like to be able to carry the lens around without the need for a back brace.
My thoughts.. feel free to point out faults in my logic.
I am not inclined to sell the lens and TC that I have to buy a 100-400. It seems to me that to have both the 70-200 plus TC and 100-400 is doubling up a little on length, and with no other lenses in the bag perhaps not a clever idea. (??)
I would love a 500mm f4 but the price is the biggest killer here.
300 f4... Would no doubt be much better/ than the 280 currently achievable with my present setup..... to me not much difference in length. Is there some other advantage compared with what I already have that I am missing with the 300?
400 f5.6..... Good price compared with other L series lenses. Comments/reviews seem to labour the old technology angle. Is this a problem? My greatest concern is that it appears not to be weather proofed like the newer lenses. In practise what does this mean? No been outside in damp weather??..... Could be a problem as I live in Vic in the ever-dripping Dandenong Ranges. I believe this lens will AF on the 50D but not with the TC attached. (Although I did read somewhere that if the connectors (?) were taped AF would work.- not sure if this causes any issues.)
No IS..... Is this a problem?
Most people's bird images appear to have been shot at either f5.6 or f8 so I'm hoping the f5.6 of this lens would be OK. Would a flash be desirable for use with this lens and perhaps compensate (?) for the focal length?
I would love to hear from anyone who is using/has used this lens for birding.
Should I suck it up and wait a few years and perhaps buy a 500 f4? ..... I have to say I'm hoping the answer to that is no because that means I'll have to wait for ages.
Any other options?
Once I have bought ? lens I am planning on buying another body. I thought a 7D as I'm yet to find someone unhappy with theirs.... considered a 5D but again the cost is greater plus I was thinking that the extra length from non-full frame might be an advantage when shooting small birds.
And yes... I do realise that without the proper user skill any lens/camera can be a total waste of money.
Thanks for your help, all points of view appreciated!