After taking hundreds of test shots with different variables and some camera settings, I am now able to get decent results using the lens at 300mm / 100feet / f5.6.
I do not know exactly how this was achieved (magic) but here is what I did.
1.No boyz n the hood (yep, the hood was causing a problem, either with defraction, focusing or light) ?
2.Turn on "Highlight Tone Priority". **
3.Used "Evaluated Metering" (spot metering was not as good)**
4.Overcast day (sunny day also worked well).
5."Burst Mode" seemed to help.
6.Took the "Firmware" back to 1.1.1 from 1.1.2 ?
7.Disabled "Focus Assist Beam" ?
8.Turn on "Expo Sim" (that has always been on, I reckon).
9.Played rough with it instead of babying it.
so i really do not know what helped the most, I am leaning toward "Evaluated Metering", "Hightlight Tone Priority" and the hood.