Those were enjoyable - thanks for sharing - some wonderful angles used as well
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I have a question for the 500+ guys - how many of you shoot bare glass (i.e. with no extenders?). I was reviewing Art Morris' blog posts the other day and noticed that he almost always has an extender (usually the 2x!) on his 600mm. I realize he has a style that requires close shots, but it mirrored my experience with the 800mm. It just didn't seem long enough - or should I say it was too long for stuff that was close to mid-distance but not long enough for nesting eagles and such
How do those of you hiking with the 500 handle it?
But the 500f/4 II has almost as much versatility, lower entry price by a significant margin, and as you say, will get you out to 700 without reverting to the 2x converter, which I'm not enamoured of.
Your issue I would guess would be having the 500 & not having the 300, you will miss that f/2.8 a lot of the time, but if you could have both ?? Almost heaven.
Thanks for the review. Does the cone grip help you keep your elbow against your body? Yes, the description of your fitness is very pertinent. I too shoot with the 400mm f/5.6L hand held, which is like a toy lens compared with one of the f/4 or f/2.8 lenses. One of my concerns is not being able to hand hold the 600mm lens, and I am indeed working with dumbbells to increase arm and upper core strength. I am guessing that I am going to need to get to at least 15# in endurance style sets, but what do I know? At any rate, once I get to my desired fitness level, I am going to rent first the 600mm and then if that's too heavy the 500mm.
The current 400 f5.6 L is a great lens but it could use IS for sure.
Unfortunately the replacement rumor has been circulated since 2009 on the Internet and it is still just a rumor.