The bird glass choice turned out to be a “least of evils” option, a Sigma 100-400mm. Although no time was wasted getting into the field, the weather would not cooperate. A steady rain fell under dusk-like conditions for almost four hours, stopping (of course) about five minutes before I had to leave.
Under these conditions, the lens did not impress at all. It struggled to focus, missed critical focus, and didn’t look particularly good when it appeared to have achieved critical focus. Still, the conditions made it impossible to pass judgment on the lens. And as I recall, a previous copy’s best captures were those done in good light.
That the TC-1411 is currently available was a catalyst in the choice, but it won’t get added to any cart until I see how the lens does in better light and clearer shooting conditions. The thing is, with a lens that can capture details in low light as the Lumix zoom can, image processing is easier both in-camera and post. And it’s just the opposite with a lens that doesn’t capture fine details, rendering fuzzy smears where moderately fine details should appear.
If it turns out the Lumix is the better option in poor conditions and the Sigma in brighter light, I’ll be satisfied. But for right now, I’m just hoping that today’s choice doesn’t become the equivalent of pooping and stepping in it!