Ok, bored and fustrated with work stuff at the moment, so my mind wanders.
I currently shoot with the gear I have listed below, mostly with the 55-250 lens. At some point, in the far distant future, after I find enough pennies on the ground or rob a bank or something, I plan on upgrading the lens.
Upgrade to what?
Obviously 300 or 400 f/2.8 would be a coveted choice for sports. However, unless anyone can hook me up with an estate sale where the seller has no clue of what they have, or a divorce sale where an angry husband/wife is screwing over a photographer husband/wife, those are out of the question.
So, let's say in the $1000 to $1500ish range.
70-200 f/2.8. maybe with IS version 1 if used. This seems like a kick butt lens and very versitle covering a lot of uses, but a max of 200 mm seems like it could get limiting for sports. Could potentially toss on a 1.4x TC to make it almost a 100-300 f/4, but I imagine that IQ would suffer. Would still benifit from a zoomable range though, and could still fall back to shorter focal lengths when the light gets low and/or crappy. For what it's worth, 2x TC's sound great on paper, but I haven't seen anyone say they actually use a 2x with "acceptable" results.
Why not just grab a 300 f/4 and call it good if I end up using the TC most of the time in the above option? Seems like this would have better IQ at 300mm than the 70-200+1.4x. Would have to still rely on the 55-250 when something shorter is needed, but how much? I seem to recall seeing in the sports photos section 300mm used quite a bit with fantastic results (granted the f/2.8, but more focusing on the focal length). Now, the f/4 STARTS to improve the aperature issues, as I gain over the 5.6 at 250mm on my current lens, but I suspect that low/poor lighting would still be a challenge. Ultimately, this would be an upgrade in capability, as it doesn't really replace my current lens (which would be fine, I think)
I had the thought that the 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 would be a good solution. (had never heard it called "dust pump" before). Zoomable range looks great. Does nothing to upgrade aperature though. $1,500 and still struggle with low/poor lighting? Ouch. However, I would expect the IQ from 100-250 to be better than my current lens under good light, right? This gives a longer reach and a nice wide range to use it with, but I have seen a comment that at 300mm, the 300 f/4 just "does better" IQ wise.
So, which one should I dream about getting "near term". Unfortunately, I am not in the situation to make a move anyway, so it is all just a dream. Just curious which would be the better purchase.
Right now I tend to bounce back and forth between the 70-200 f/2.8 and 300 f/4 option.
Thanks for reading.