A morning visit to the Nikon showroom put any notions of the 500mm PF to rest. On a dumb adapter without firmware help, it didn’t have enough native contrast to generate peaking cues even when set to “High.” That the M-Adapter-L displays only the M lens list when an uncoded lens is attached obviates use of IBIS. End of that story; but the 300mm, with plenty of contrast, is still a possibility.
Further reading revealed a firmware update to the shorter Sigma zoom last July, directly addressing the issues I experienced when I owned one previously. A few commenters indicated significant improvement. Reading some of what I wrote back then, along with some of the better shots I got with it, it was a fairly capable lens. I may very well give it another try, with fingers crossed that I can also find the TC-1411; as it’ll otherwise be just a lesser alternative—albeit with AF—to the 180mm + 2X.
But before going that route, I’ll see of there are any updates on its big brother as well. It might be easier to handle a heavier lens without needing to fiddle with a teleconverter.
The Elpro VIIa didn’t impress on the 90mm APO-Summicron this afternoon. Strangely, the best results I ever got with it were with an X-Vario some years ago. One shot today, this with the 180mm capped with a Canon 500D close-up lens, which did a competent job. Otherwise, little but rain . . .
UPDATE: Just noticed that the Sigma FW update I read about earlier is applicable only to the Sony version. No TC-1411 in stock at the places I shop. Back to the drawing board . . .