My wife and I have booked a visit to Yellowstone Feb 21-28 next year with an alumni group (15 people max) and I'm starting to think of what to take. This will be my first visit to Yellowstone, but if it lives up to expectations, I will plan to return. While this is not a tour just for photographers, they do mention it often as a reason to go in the brochure, so I'm hoping for a good deal of time for my hobby. I'm the type of person who would rather bring more than the minimum instead of leaving a lens at home and then wishing I had it with me. Here's my current plan of what to take: 1Dx and 5DMKIII, 24-70 2.8II, 70-200 2.8II, 300 2.8II, 600 4.0II, 1.4 and 2.0 TC III's, 600 flash, gitzo tripod with full gimbal and various clamps for panos, extra batteries/chargers and my Mac to work-up some photos during the trip. I'm equally interested in wildlife and landscape photography.
Things I'm debating whether to take or not: 24TS II, monopod w head, 16-35 2.8II.
While the IQ of the 24-70 is about as good as the 24TS, I wonder if I'll need the movements. It is currently on the 'do not take' list b/c I think most landscapes will be fine w/o TS and I'm a little concerned about condensation on this lens. I will take plenty of plastic bags for everything to warm up in after being out, but this lens has a lot of open joints/moving bits.
The monopod would be faster to get on/off the snowcats and set-up, but I know I'll need the tripod for evening work and can't see taking both. The RRS gimbal can cover all the movements of a ball head and will be great for (hopefully) tracking moving game, so I'm not taking a ball head.
The 16-35 is staying home b/c I plan to take panos to get more angle of view in landscapes - though this is slower to execute than a wider lens. Maybe the 11-24 will be out before we go and have IQ in the same league as the other lenses I'm taking
. I'd like to try some astrophotography as I imagine the 'seeing' will be good.
I'd welcome thoughts from anyone who has been on a similar cold weather photo trip. Thanks in advance.