These are pretty good Rocky. I like the bush tits. I'm always chasing these little bu__ers around without much luck.
I've shot some shots with my buddy's 100-400, and found it a little softer than my 300 f/4. It also focused a little slower, but not much. Maybe your copy needs a calibration? It is possible. From what I've read about Canon's QC, there is a small chance it could be out of whack. Maybe switching to a prime lens is the answer. They are definitely sharper than zooms.
About the noise in the 40d. I imagine it isn't too much different that the 30 and 20d's at high ISO. You can only conceal so much noise via a cameras processor without smearing out detail. Have you tried a NR program? I use a plug in in CS2 that Mike recommended, and it is excellent. http://www.imagenomic.com/download.aspx They have a freebie if you want, or you can pay for a more extensive version. They all work well....cheers...Don
yeah, i have Neat Image for NR, but i'd been led to believe the 40D was a good deal better at high ISO (i.e. 1000 and up) than the 30D was at 800. this appears to be about the same. oh well...
the 100-400L is definitely backfocusing. i took some shots today, in good light, and it's pretty obvious the lens is focusing behind the subject. so off to Canon it goes!