Beautiful shot and subject, as are all your shots. Amazing that you could get this shot from a zodiac at that focal length @ 1/250. It conveys the movement in his paw while otherwise maintaining sharpness. A tribute to your skills and to the quality of the lens. Out of interest, what IS setting do you most commonly use and how do you find the IS compared to your version II primes?
I would love this lens for its versatility but it is a reach too far at AUD$13,000. Am seriously looking at the 500ii at $10,500 on the basis that I can get 700mm with the 1.4x extender for wildlife and still use it @ 500mm for outdoor sports, light permitting.
Love looking at the pics and dreaming, please keep them coming.
Thanks dslrdummy, it's certainly a challenge, we were fortunate here as we were in a protected Cove and the swell was minimal plus only 4 Photographers in the Zodiac helped, but on other days I managed to get a load of Images with 1/2 a Polar Bear, or none. In this Image we had been following the is Guy for a while, looking ahead I could see he was likely to make a jump between the Rocks so I slowed the shutter thinking I'de get one of those blurred Images, but kept focus on his head & eye wanting that part to stay in Focus, didn't quite work how I thought, Animals often don't get the Memo, but worked Ok.
I almost exclusively use Mode 1 on the IS, sometimes Mode 2 if I'm shooting Cheetah running down a Kill, and this is similar on my use of my 300f/2.8 II & 600f/4 II. The IS seems no different between all my Primes and the Zoom, works just amazingly well, I find the 300f/2.8 II will focus marginally quicker than any of the others, but the difference is marginal. I do see a slightly darker Image when I flip in the 1.4x, but I compensate by shooting the 200-400f/4 at slightly higher ISO than I would say one of the Primes.
I've not owned the 500f/4 II but I understand it's every bit as good as the other Version II lenses, I did own & use a lot the 400f/2.8 II but sold it when I purchased and had used the 200-400f/4 for a couple of trips. But the 400f/2.8 II with the 1.4x was a pretty good piece of gear, if I didn't still own the 300f/2.8 II I would certainly have kept the 400 if only for that f/2.8
And yes the AUD prices are pretty horrific, I'm an Aussie myself but I've lived in Singapore/Jakarta now for 30 years (but moving the Family back next year at long last), so I'm used to dealing with one particular company here that give me USD base prices (B&H/Adorama) less the 7% GST refund when I fly out next time I leave Singapore, I'm a Resident not a Citizen so GST refund works for me. If your planning a trip through Singapore worth looking at, you could save at least AUD1200 off that Aussie price of 13k. Unfortunately your getting it both ways now, AUD weak against the USD & Aussie Tax.
Only place I know off hand that gets a worse deal are South Africans, the 200-400f/4 is around 18k USD there, I don't think there's many favours done for Europeans as well.