I'm new here. Got my D90 the week it was available in Malaysia. Now I'm using the kit lens and 50mm f/1.8. I'm interested in bird photography, the low-cost way. I know "real" bird photographers use the big 400mm or higher primes, and my budget is limited to below $2000. I'm about to get the 80-400 VR but before taking the jump, I'd like a second (or third ...) opinion on this lens. So there's 5 combinations: 80-400 VR. From what I read, it's slow, not recommended with TC and soft at max focal length. 70-300 VR for now, and possibly upgrade to an AFS version later, or never. 300mm f/4 with TC 1.4 (420mm x 1.5 = 630mm FF equivalent) For following options, I'm thinking of possibly getting a different camera brand, just for bird photos. Olympus E-520 specifically for tele with the Zuiko 70-300. The lens is supposed to be slow but it be a 600mm FF equivalent at the long end. Canon 450D with the 400mm f/5.6 L prime, effectively 400*1.6 = 640mm FF. I've read that it's a very fast lens, sharper and cheaper than the 80-400vr. A long shot: Canon 450D with the 400mm. It's got 15 megapixels so it would be easier to crop, but I've also read that the Canon 50D has too many megapixels resulting in soft images at apertures f/8 or smaller. So this combo will work only at f/5.6! I'm leaving out third party options due to QC problems. Thanks in advance for your inputs.