Hi, me again.
So on the gift thing, this is actually from my parents in a way, it's a thank you for managing their estate; my dad died first and I took care of the finances for my mother for about a decade. Never took anything for all that work except for this lens. My dad shot wild life and I suspect he'd both approve and think I'm crazy (which is prolly true).
The tools I have so far to help are a manfrotto monopod (I think the same one as shown in this thread), a gitzmo tripod w/ a ball head (yeah, I know, need a gimbal head, trying to decide between the wimberly and the mongoose). All left over from my Dad's stuff.
The tripod is pretty useless without mirror lock up and remote release, this is too big of a setup for it to hold it still when the mirror moves. Is that normal or not?
I've also found on both monopod and tripod that if I don't use IS when just taking a shot w/o remote release then things are blurry.
I haven't yet tried doing multiple shots, I'm doing single shots. Does everyone use continuous to get keepers?
With the monopod I have to use IS, I can't hold it still enough.
The comments about this being like shooting are spot on. I target practice with a .30-30 and the feeling is very similar. No recoil though.
I don't consider myself particularly buff - I think most people could hand hold this if they prop the left elbow against their chest - I thought that was standard technique for any longish lens?