treebound wrote in post #17430429
Yep, after having slept on the thoughts and plans, and after bringing my camera to work with me and getting the battery charged up with intentions of checking out the 200-500 during lunch with it mounted on my camera and monopod, I pretty much decided to hold off on it and to keep squirreling away spare funds to get something newer with IS since I also want more reach for sporting events in addition to photographing birds and wildlife.
Knowing myself I'll still keep an eye open on what's available in local stores and on craigslist and might just change my mind again, but for now I think I'm holding out until I get the budget balance increased. Plus there are other things on my shopping list which may come first, many of which are also photography related.
Other options are to look at things like:
Canon EF 200 F2.8L prime, look for original MKI version, they are often as low as $300~400 depending on overall shape. But they take very well to extenders, and that would give you a fast, light, 400 F5.6 and 200 F2.8 in a single package. Not a zoom. But is much faster than a zoom. Worth hunting for.
Tokina 300 F4 ATX, generally around $400. Takes a 1.4x TC and becomes a 420mm F5.6, or 300 F4.
Sigma 50-500 can be found near the $500~600 mark at times, if you just shop.
Sigma 120-400 generally around $500~600.
Takumar 300 F4 and 400 F4 can be found from $100~400 depending on condition. Manual, but sharp.
The reality is, big reach comes at a big cost because it takes big glass.
The cheapest serious reach really right now is the Tamron 150-600, as you get real 600mm at $1k mark that is sharp and fast enough for general use with VC and AF.
The 55-250 STM is probably the better inexpensive reach lens until you can save up and afford something twice or three times as long that costs from $600~$1k really.