Now those are some interesting responds, THANK YOU - much appreciated!
A quick summary and a few comments on what I have read so far:
- Get the 400 f4 DO: I don’t particularly like that lens: It’s big, it’s heavy, it’s also very expensive, and IQ is not up to the 500 (by far as I hear).
- Get the 100-400: I don’t need the 100-399 part so I don’t want a zoom. Besides it’s still rather big, it’s not light either and IQ is not anywhere in the same League than the 500. 400 f5,6 L would be the only “alternative” but 400 is rather short e.g. for birds and lacks IS.
- Get the 300 2.8 2: This would be a great lens without any doubt but I had a cheap 300mm and it is still too short for what I’m planning to do with it. So I would probably only use it with the 1,4x or the 2x – and doing so is not optimal.
- Get the 200 2: I have a 200. 200 is waaaaaaaaaaaay to short. I would use it with 2x exclusively and it would still be short so what’s the point?
- Get the 500 4 1: This one is too heavy. I’d rather spend more and have a more usable lens. Besides IS is better on the V2 and I plan to use it handheld so that is important to me.
- Get the 400mm 2.8 1: Are you serious? I’m not Hercules’ bigger brother!
- Use the money to buy a house / retirement fund etc.: Honestly thanks for the advice! But there are still probably 40 years left till retirement and I think it is not so likely that I will see any of the money spent again (you know economic crisis, climate change etc.). Besides we have a very good social system here in Austria. I was looking into buying a flat about a year ago but that is somewhere in the region of €300k-€400k and I do not want to lose the freedom of going anywhere I want in a couple of years. But that’s a little off topic anyways.
- Safety and Security concerns: If the lens gets stolen from my home or my home burns down the lens would be covered by insurance. If I take it out I’m on my own. The danger of damaging it in a bicycle accident (although those are extremely rare and the lens has very good impact resistance) is a real concern – thanks for that hint. Getting robbed or something like that is highly unlikely where I live since crime rates are very, very low and people are not allowed to have handguns or anything - so that is not a real concern. Although I would have to think twice to travel abroad with it, for that reason.
- Renting: Well, this would be a nice thing but I do not have really a possibility to do so here. There are some shops that rent but I couldn’t find one that rents superteles.
Let me quote an important American who has become an internet sensation recently... I am sorry this will be lost on our euro friends...
"Aint nobody got time for that!!!"
I know the “song” but I have no idea what you mean.
i'm guessing there is no woman in your life, this type of venture seems indicative to a single persons lifestyle.
LOL! Well, you guessed wrong! And the funniest thing is: My girlfriend totally approves this lens. If it was for her I would already have it - she even offered to pay for it! I know I'm a lucky sob...
In conclusion I am a little surprised that nearly everyone said that I shouldn’t do it. Well, I guess you are right. So my alternatives at this point are:
- getting the 400mm 5,6 (don’t think so)
- waiting for the rumored 400mm f4 (non DO) that will probably be announced this year (and then use it with 1,4x most of the time)
- forgetting about wildlife and continue to make macro shots and a few landscape and night shots in between
I will sleep a few nights over it.