This is an often maligned lens, due to its high cost and the lower contrast compared to regular lenses. Both are true and the latter is easily fixable in the digital workflow. The upside that no other lens can compete with is, that one can carry it for miles without undue strain, handhold for substantial periods of time, like waiting a few minutes for some wildlife to move into position, or for some sports action to happen. Obviously, there are even lighter 400mm lenses, but those have typically no image stabilization and a very small maximum aperture. At this point for me, this is my one size fits all super telephoto lens. There are sharper lenses, longer lenses, faster lenses, etc. but this one can do almost everything, and do it good enough.
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