Hi guys, I'm after a bit of advice please, as I'm in a quandary about what long lens to buy. Having got the photo-bug about 3 years ago now, i've been getting more and more serious with wildlife photography. 12 months ago I realised that the 200-400 which I currently have (which I thought was crazy money 2 years ago, how things change...) wasn't really long enough. I've had limited success with the 1.4x converter taking it out to 560mm, so started saving for a proper prime. Wind the clock on 12 months of eating baked beans on toast, pedaling to work, no visits to the local drinking emporium, I've almost saved enough for the big boy, the Nikon 600mm F4 VR prime. The problem is - I'm now not sure would be the optimum lens for me at this time. I currently shoot with a cropped frame, the D300, and would like to move to full frame as soon as funds permit, ideally to the Nikon D4 which I had kind of expected to be announced by now. My dilemma is between the following three lenses: Nikon 400mm f2.8 VR ============== + F2.8 aperture + More flexible than the longer lenses, takes the new 2x extender to give 800 f5.6 - Not hand holdable? - Overlap of range with existing 200-400mm lens. ? Unknown image quality at 800mm compared to [email protected] Nikon 500mm f4 VR ============= + hand holdable + cheaper than the other two - Compromised, *only* 500mm @ F4 Nikon 600mm f4 VR ============= + The big daddy. Should be sharpest of the three @ 600mm range + Offers the greatest range, 840mm with ease with 1.4x. - Not hand holdable - Not very flexible Before the new 2x extender hadn't come out, the choice was easy - the 600mm. However, while you still loose the stops of light as with the old one, the early reports of the image quality is that it remains extremely good. http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1021&message=31322765&changemode=1 discusses this topic at some length without a satisfactory conclusion, although there are some outstanding example images of the 400mm+1.4x of the eagles. I recall SilverPenguin saying that 400mm didn't seem very far with a full frame camera, which again is pushing me towards the 600mm. But the 400 would be awesome on a full frame for air shows. Oh the decision is too tough! Any thoughts?