>I'll start by saying that for non-flying birds in my >experience, fieldcraft to get yourself closer to the subject >is going to have a bigger impact than glomming on ever longer >TCs onto ever longer lenses.
Agree...every time I have put a bit more care and time into approaching my subject or camoflaging myself the results have been better. However, sometimes you are only in a new location for a few hours and there is no time to get the birds "acclimated" to your presence, or you are in a location where dangerous wild animals are present and so you must shoot from a hide or a vehicle even though a closer approach on foot would be possible if it were safe. some birds have a much bigger "bubble" than others
Having changed from D300 to D800 I am finding some challenges. Even though my D800 can put more pixels under my subject from the same distance with same lens, the subjects are smaller in my viewfinder and images not much sharper than before...so knowing the best options for stretching the reach of one's lens while retaining as much detail as possible is very relevant.
I'm considering a choice between 200-400 and 300 f2.8 with some or other TC and the intention is to use it mostly for birding. I know a longer lens might be a better option but the price is virtually double again! So this thread was really interesting to me. Thanks all for sharing