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Author Topic: Lens advice for shooting Yellowstone winter  (Read 2459 times)

jspiteri

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Lens advice for shooting Yellowstone winter
« on: January 19, 2012, 11:27:17 AM »
I have a trip planned to Yellowstone this winter and looking to rent a telephoto lens (haven't got a huge budget for rental so no 500mm f/4 L unfortunately).

The two I am currently debating between are:
400mm f/5.6 L
70-300mm f/4-5.6 L


The 400mm has the advantage of extra reach and probably the edge on sharpness.

The 70-300mm would be more versatile if the wildlife gets reasonably close. I have rented this before and, as expected of L series, it is well built and has impressive IQ.

So I guess i'm asking has anyone been to Yellowstone, or had previous experience shooting similar wildlife, and is able to offer any insight? (I'm open to other suggestions of course)

Any advice is very much appreciated.

Thanks

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Lens advice for shooting Yellowstone winter
« on: January 19, 2012, 11:27:17 AM »

AprilForever

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Re: Lens advice for shooting Yellowstone winter
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2012, 12:54:03 PM »
The big problem with the 400 5.6 is no IS. Are you using a tripod? A good tripod with ball head? If not, be wary of the 400 5.6. The 70-300 is an incredibly useful lens. I used to have the old 70-300 IS not L, and it was the best lens ever! (not as good as my 70-200 2.8, but do understand my meaning here...)

What kind of animals are you trying to get pictures of? And how many animals are out and about in yellowstone in the winter? Some, indeed, but perhaps they might be rather remote...
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Canon 14-24

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Re: Lens advice for shooting Yellowstone winter
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2012, 01:54:04 PM »
curious as to why the 100-400 IS is not up for consideration?

jspiteri

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Re: Lens advice for shooting Yellowstone winter
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2012, 04:08:55 AM »
I've thought about the 100-400mm but the push/pull zoom and sharpness at the long end put me off slightly.

I will be taking a tripod, fairly decent but unfortunately hasn't got a great ball head on it.

I've got realistic (I hope!) expectations of shooting Bison, Elk and Moose with anything else being a bonus. Obviously I can't be sure but research suggests the dramatically reduced visitor numbers and visible contrast of the wildlife and white snow will be good for spotting. I'll be shooting on ASP-C so i'll have the extra reach.


BBT

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Re: Lens advice for shooting Yellowstone winter
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2012, 06:37:14 AM »
I owned an EF 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM. Being a DO series lens, it has a very compact body. I love the image quality produced. The size of the lens is the main factor why I bought it. I need the reach yet without the bulk and without the 'attention gather' that the huge white colored L telelens always get.
The only thing about this lens, may not suitable for snow condition (never tried it) since I don't think it has the seal quality as the L lens. And when you sling you camera downward from your shoulder, the lens will extend downward (lacking the retaining gasket/seal). It comes with manual lock mechanism to avoid it.
Overall, I'm always impressed with the image quality produced.

smirkypants

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Re: Lens advice for shooting Yellowstone winter
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2012, 07:01:14 AM »
I would take a 7D + 70-300L on a trip like that in a heartbeat. It's a very nice and versatile, as well as weather resistant, combination. Just make sure you bring something in the 20mm range as well for those panoramic shots.

DavidGMiles

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Re: Lens advice for shooting Yellowstone winter
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2012, 07:56:16 AM »
Funnily enough, my gear is packed and that is exactly where I am headed tonight, I fly out of the UK early hours of the morning ... as for what I have packed

It is comprised of the following: 10-22, 24-105mm L, 100mm L macro, 70-200 2.8 ISII L, 100-400mm L ... and my new favourite 70-300mm L ... and 2 50D bodies

This selection is based on the advice of the professionals that we are going with - and covers everything from wildlife through landscape to macro - we will be covering it all in the two weeks

Are you using snow mobiles to get around - you should be able to get shots of wolves and coyotes too if you are lucky

This is the trip we're heading out to participate in http://gerlachnaturephoto.com/Yellowstone/Winter.html - but we're doing some other bits before as well


« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 08:00:10 AM by DavidGMiles »
Workshops & Tours for Wildlife & Nature Photography - NaturesLens - http://natureslens.co.uk - often to be found shooting with a 1DX mainly coupled to an EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x or an EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM

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Re: Lens advice for shooting Yellowstone winter
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2012, 07:56:16 AM »

docsavage123

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Re: Lens advice for shooting Yellowstone winter
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2012, 08:15:12 AM »
I went to Yellowstone n May 2010, just as the park was re opening. I took the 400 F5.6, 70-200 F4 neither have image stabilisation, had no problems with birds in flight. I also took 2 bodies as well 7d and 40d as well as 10-20/24-70 for landscape shots. The 400 F5.6 trounces the 100-400 for image quality - tested it against my friends copy who after seeing the difference he bought a 400 F5.6 as well. I got some good bison, elk, moose and bear as well as birds.

The 70-300L as far as I know is weather sealed so that would be a good one to take as well as having image stabilisation. If you rent it ask it if it comes with a tripod collar as I dont think the standard model does.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2012, 10:11:55 AM by docsavage123 »
Canon 7D, 5D Classic, T2i, 100-400 F4.5-5.6L IS, 400mm F5.6L, 70-200 F4L, 1.4 EXT ii, EF100 F2.8 Macro, EF50mm F1.8 ii, 40mm Pancake, Sigma 24-70EX DG F2.8, Sigma 17-35 F2.8-4 HSM, Sigma 18-50 F2.8-4 OS , EX430 II. Red Snapper tripod.

jspiteri

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Re: Lens advice for shooting Yellowstone winter
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2012, 03:18:33 AM »
I went to Yellowstone n May 2010, just as the park was re opening. I took the 400 F5.6, 70-200 F4 neither have image stabilisation, had no problems with birds in flight. I also took 2 bodies as well 7d and 40d as well as 10-20/24-70 for landscape shots. The 400 F5.6 trounces the 100-400 for image quality - tested it against my friends copy who after seeing the difference he bought a 400 F5.6 as well. I got some good bison, elk, moose and bear as well as birds.

The 70-300L as far as I know is weather sealed so that would be a good one to take as well as having image stabilisation. If you rent it ask it if it comes with a tripod collar as I dont think the standard model does.

Thanks, that's interesting to know. Did you get a lot of use out of the 400?

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Re: Lens advice for shooting Yellowstone winter
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2012, 03:18:33 AM »