It's such a relief to be back at 840mm, I wasn't doing so hot with the 100-400 II + 1.4x @ 560mm and f/8 in the winter light for small birds.
I ordered the new Wimberely foot AP-600 to try out, which gives a little space for your hand, versus the AP-602 which gives zero space. My hand gets a little fatigued, so here's hoping that aids me there. Also, definitely ordering the shortie hood I see that you have the short hoods too, do you feel that the weight loss and shorter length is a noticeable difference?
After a few days of using the 600 III:
- the 600 III feels exactly like a 500 II when it comes to hand holding. So much more tolerable than the 600 II was; that being said though, the 600 III is still a heavy lens.
- IQ of the III is exactly like the II, so it feels like I picked up right where I left off.
Somewhat related, but I've been testing out the EOS R with the 600 III, and for small birds it just isn't up to par. The camera takes a decade to wake up, the AF is too sluggish, and you don't get the small Spot-AF point for AI-Servo focus. It's do-able, but not ideal at all, and perhaps I just need more time with it. Regardless, the R is great for shooting everything else, so I'm not upset.
Sounds like you're happy , as far as the short hood, it is wonderful. I like the shorter length, it shaves weight but not enough just to do it for that. The shorter length wins with vehicles, wind etc. I personally will not go back to the standard hood.