Looking to the expertise on this forum for some help.
After selling off a bunch of "toys" I don't use often, and rat-holing money for about a year, I've finally managed to set aside about $1K - $1200 for a lens.
Shooting on a 50D body. I currently have the 18-55 STM and 55-250 IS lenses (love them both!).
Most of my shots are for roadside wildlife, or in my blind set up at my feeders or a wetland area I have permission to shoot at. Birds are generally my subject, unless something else interesting pops up.
I have no delusions of becoming a "professional" wildlife photographer, and can't see myself dropping $5K on a camera lens anytime in the next 15 years, but I do know what great image quality looks like (from my medium format transparency days) and doubt I'll be satisfied with anything less than really sharp images.
Past lenses have been the Tokina 400 5.6 SD (Loved the lens, but the IQ and contrast weren't quite up to my standards unless it was stopped down quite a bit), a 300 4.5 ED Nikon MF lens (fantastic IQ, but no image stabilization for hand holding, and not much reach), and a poor copy of a Sigma 100-300 f4 that I recently returned for a refund.
Most likely, this lens will sit attached to my camera body on the passenger seat of my car for quick photos on my way to and from work. I work and live in a very rural setting, so stopping on a gravel road to shoot wildlife is a pretty frequent thing for me.
Looked hard at the 50-500 and 150-500 OS sigma lenses, but the experience with the poor copy of the 100-300 has me feeling a bit burned. Also concerned about the overall size and weight of those lenses.
Right now, I'm really on the fence between a 400 5.6L and the 100-400L with IS. I've had folks tell me I can't go wrong with either. I've even thought about the 70-300 IS (non L) with a 1.4x on it to take the place of my 55-250IS and save me a few $$.
I'd appreciate any and all input the forum can provide until Canon comes out with an affordable 500 5.6 IS lens for guys like me ha, ha.
Thanks in advance.