Birds in flight - Sigma 100-400 FE or Tamron 70-180 FE or Sony 70-300

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Birds in flight - Sigma 100-400 FE or Tamron 70-180 FE or Sony 70-300

I have a Sony A9 and I am currently using it with the Tamron 70-180 F2.8. I am shooting birds in flight (at night, with flash), at a distance of 10 m max (for a small project). I also have a Sony 200-600 but it is too heavy, too much zoom and slower in AF.

I would like to be able to zoom more, around 300 mm (I can not move closer and I do not want to crop too much)+ I would like to stay in budget (SH only).

Ideally I would buy a Sony 100-400 (I had one in the past and was superb), but my budget options (600 EUR) are:

- buy a SH Sony a6500 and use the Tamron (270 mm max)  - I love the Tamron - so light and such a fast AF

- buy a SH Sigma 100-400 and use it on A9

- buy a SH Sony 70-300 and use it on A9

I have tried in the past 2 new 70-300 and both they were soft at 300 so I returned them. I am not sure about the AF speed with A9. Anyone has used this combination?

A6500 might help, however I am not sure how is performing the AF. At ISO 1600 I believe the noise is not a problem for APSC

With the Sigma 100-400 I do not have any experience - reviews are positive in regards to AF capabilities, but...I would prefer feedback from a regular user.

Any advice will be appreciated! Thanks!

Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 Sony a6500 Sony a9 Sony FE 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G OSS Tamron 70-180mm F2.8 Di III VXD
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