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MAphoto1
25th of July 2008 (Fri), 14:20
Going to Yellowstone National Park in two weeks and was wondering what would be the best lens for taking pictures of the wildlife. I plan on renting the lens for the two weeks that I will be there. I already have a good lens for landscape shots. From what I have read, the best time to photograph the wildlife in Yellowstone is in the early morning and late afternoon, so the lens would have to have a decent aperture. Anyone have experience with the sigma 50-500? I know it doesnt have the best aperture range. Also, does anyone have tips on places to shoot and where to go in the park? Any information would be helpful.

Thanks,
Donal.

Mikelangelo
25th of July 2008 (Fri), 14:41
If you can, I would aim for a canon L series 300mm, 400mm or 500mm lens. Probably the 300 or 400 and bring along a 1.4x or 2.0x teleconverter and a VERY good tripod or a bean bag. (if you're going to rent it... try to get the best!!) Try to get the fastest lens you can as well, i.e., 4.0f is better than the 5.6f. I peronally want to try the 300mm 2.8, myself.

Keep in mind, this will all be heavy stuff. So if you're planning on hiking with it... bring a good camera bag/backpack that can hold it all easily and will be comfortable out in the woods!

Have a ton of fun and be sure to post photos!!!

In2Photos
25th of July 2008 (Fri), 14:47
Going to Yellowstone National Park in two weeks and was wondering what would be the best lens for taking pictures of the wildlife. I plan on renting the lens for the two weeks that I will be there. I already have a good lens for landscape shots. From what I have read, the best time to photograph the wildlife in Yellowstone is in the early morning and late afternoon, so the lens would have to have a decent aperture. Anyone have experience with the sigma 50-500? I know it doesnt have the best aperture range. Also, does anyone have tips on places to shoot and where to go in the park? Any information would be helpful.

Thanks,
Donal.
If you don't go the large L prime route try to get a Sigma 150-500 OS over the older 50-500. Optics are on par, but the addition of OS is a big plus.

jjackflash
25th of July 2008 (Fri), 14:53
Renting a long lens is a good option.....the lamar valley is a nice place for shots and if you are lucky you will see the wolves.

kowa827
25th of July 2008 (Fri), 15:12
First, to video wildlife I go where there are no People. You will see Elk,Deer, Pronghorn Antelope,Fox, on the road are alongside. Locations: North Entrance at Gardiner,2 miles into park left side there is trailhead ,Big Horn Sheep and Big Horn in Mt.Washburn area. Wolves in Lamar Valley and almost anywhere else there are no people. They control Bear, so you are lucky to see them. If you are real serious about Wildlife go to Kananaskis Country,Canada, its only 1 1/2 hours from Calagery. I saw a Large Male Grizzly, Sow Grizzly with cub, Black Bear with 2 cubs, Big Horn Sheep (Large Herds 40-50), Mountain Goat,Elk, White and mule Deer, Moose, Rabbits, etc. and you can go to Bow Valley (7 bear, little ones 3-400 pd.) short distance from Kananskis. And take someone with you that you can outrun. just kidding. Good Luck

M5Man
25th of July 2008 (Fri), 15:22
Donal,

Im sure ive just read an article somewhere about there being wolves there, look forward to seeing your pics.....

Hatch1921
25th of July 2008 (Fri), 15:33
I rented the 16-35L II from http://www.lensrentals.com and I brought my 100-400L. These were the only two I pulled out of my bag. A fantastic week!!! The 16-35L did a great job for the landscape shots and the 100-400L captured everything else.

Have fun on the trip.
Hatch

Mike55
25th of July 2008 (Fri), 17:35
600 F4 IS.

RikWriter
25th of July 2008 (Fri), 18:42
The best place to go for wolves is the Lamar Valley. Get there before dawn. For grizzlies, try Mt Washburn around dawn or the Lake area just after dawn. For moose, head towards the Cody entrance.
As for the lens, get the longest and best you can afford and can handle. Unless you have the right tripod and head, the 600 and 500 will likely be too heavy. Instead, try the 300 with a 2x and 1.4X TC, or the 400 5.6 or 100-400L IS.

jdcarlson
26th of July 2008 (Sat), 18:51
In these cases I am reminded of the old flying adage - 'there are three things that do you no good: (1) runway behind you, (2) fuel on the ground, or (3) sky above you'.
Yellowstone will take all you have - wide angle for scenics, long lens for wildlife (no lens is too long for skittish wildlife - antelope, wolves, etc.), and intermediate for close shots.
Just as soon as you leave a lens at home, that is the one you will need.
If you do not have a long lens - try renting a 500mm canon.
My longest lens is a 200mm, and a used a 2x tc many times, and a 3x tc a couple of times - even then I wanted a longer lens.
To do Yellowstone right you will need a BIG camera bag!!

Vaggeli
27th of July 2008 (Sun), 10:19
Just got back from yellowstone...its magical..i have a ef100-400 L IS & ef 17-40 there was times that i just needed the hubble telescope..Bring some filters like a polarizer..what you need is BUG SPRAY...did some trails..but saw most of wild life from driving around!! Bears,tons of Bison,Coyote,Mule Deer,Elk,Fox..e.t.c.

MAphoto1
27th of July 2008 (Sun), 15:02
thank you everyone for the useful information! Should I really consider getting something like a 400mm + ? Might i be better off with the 70-200 IS f2.8 which i was considering to rent. does anyone have experience with Sigma 150-500 OS

thanks,
Donal.

RikWriter
27th of July 2008 (Sun), 15:37
thank you everyone for the useful information! Should I really consider getting something like a 400mm + ? Might i be better off with the 70-200 IS f2.8 which i was considering to rent. does anyone have experience with Sigma 150-500 OS

thanks,
Donal.

No, you would definitely not be better off with the 70-200, it won't be near long enough. 100-400 is a minimum.

MAphoto1
27th of July 2008 (Sun), 15:59
is there any lenses that have a better apeture than the 100-400 or should that be sufficient. should i not worry too much about apeture?

thanks

RikWriter
27th of July 2008 (Sun), 16:28
is there any lenses that have a better apeture than the 100-400 or should that be sufficient. should i not worry too much about apeture?

thanks

Yes, you could get the 300 2.8L IS and the 1.4X and 2X TCs.

Bubble
27th of July 2008 (Sun), 19:00
rent 400 f/5.6 with 1.4x TC. Cheap/light to carry around. :)

inthedeck
27th of July 2008 (Sun), 19:07
A lens that isn't broken. Haha, sorry, couldn't refuse.

I'd take a variety, even though it might get heavy. Always refer to Forest Gump, 'life is like a box of...' you get the drift.

See ya, enjoy the trip. Oh, and I'd get a 500 or 600 L lens, for the trip.

RikWriter
27th of July 2008 (Sun), 19:31
rent 400 f/5.6 with 1.4x TC. Cheap/light to carry around. :)

Won't autofocus with the TC on it. Not a good thing for wildlife.

rr3507
27th of July 2008 (Sun), 19:37
If you can lug it around the 500 with a 1.4 or 2x TC would be optimal. I can't hand hold it for more than about 30 seconds to a minute though.

You should consider taking a really high quality prime though. I only wish I had the equipment I have now when I was there last time.

rr3507
27th of July 2008 (Sun), 19:46
Won't autofocus with the TC on it. Not a good thing for wildlife.

It will on a 1D.

RikWriter
27th of July 2008 (Sun), 21:04
It will on a 1D.

I don't know that he has a 1-series camera. At any rate, most good wildlife shots in Yellowstone will be early morning. I wouldn't want f8 to be my max aperature for that.

MAphoto1
27th of July 2008 (Sun), 21:41
I have canon 40D for a body... does anyone have info on the sigma long zoom lenses 150-500 OS... with a prime I feel i might be too restricted without the ability to zoom? It is also true that I will be shooting mostly in early morning and late evening, so I should need a decent aperture ?

In2Photos
27th of July 2008 (Sun), 21:55
I have canon 40D for a body... does anyone have info on the sigma long zoom lenses 150-500 OS... with a prime I feel i might be too restricted without the ability to zoom? It is also true that I will be shooting mostly in early morning and late evening, so I should need a decent aperture ?
While it isn't wildlife I wrote a short review on it here: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=543629

IMO it would be a fine lens for your needs. Native 500mm in a package smaller than the 300 f/2.8. Pretty good IQ, good AF, 4 stop OS.

RikWriter
27th of July 2008 (Sun), 21:58
I have canon 40D for a body... does anyone have info on the sigma long zoom lenses 150-500 OS... with a prime I feel i might be too restricted without the ability to zoom? It is also true that I will be shooting mostly in early morning and late evening, so I should need a decent aperture ?

Yes, you would do better with a faster lens. As I said, the 300 2.8 with teleconverters would be good, 500 f4 would be even better.

Bubble
28th of July 2008 (Mon), 02:50
also visit this forum:

http://www.yellowstone.net/forums/viewforum.php?f=6

MAphoto1
28th of July 2008 (Mon), 23:14
thanks for the advice so far guys... I think I may go with the 100-400. Im not sure I would like the primes because I would just feel to restricted

Bubble
28th of July 2008 (Mon), 23:15
thanks for the advice so far guys... I think I may go with the 100-400. Im not sure I would like the primes because I would just feel to restricted

not really. Just need to learn how to move back/forward from the object a bit. However, the result will be better with prime. :)

S.Horton
28th of July 2008 (Mon), 23:24
thanks for the advice so far guys... I think I may go with the 100-400. Im not sure I would like the primes because I would just feel to restricted

I used them both in Yellowstone.

The 100-400 only got run at 400. The f/5.6 max aperture is a key limitation, and you'll shoot at higher ISO to buy some shutter speed as a result.

So, if you're going to rent, then the 500 f/4 would get my vote, and do take a 1.4 TC along plus a monopod and good tripod.

As for where to be, others nailed it -- We were there about a month ago for a second visit.

Enjoy!

Mike55
29th of July 2008 (Tue), 02:50
Also, does anyone have tips on places to shoot and where to go in the park? Any information would be helpful.

Thanks,
Donal.


Great site for camping, lodging and pictures of individual areas of the park:

http://www.parkcamper.com/

MAphoto1
29th of July 2008 (Tue), 10:37
i have been looking at the prices for renting the 400mm and they are def. out of my price range. Could i get the 70-200 f2.8 or the 100-400 with a teleconverter like 1.4x or 2x

inthedeck
29th of July 2008 (Tue), 10:42
70-200 w/ TC will probably be better than 100-400 with one. You'll also retain AF with the 7-200 2.8 and TC on the long end.

MAphoto1
29th of July 2008 (Tue), 10:44
does the TC effect aperture?

inthedeck
29th of July 2008 (Tue), 10:53
Yeap. with my 400 5.6, adding a 1.4TC makes it a 400 f8. No AF on the 5D, unless you tape the pins...but, I don't bother.

RikWriter
29th of July 2008 (Tue), 11:09
i have been looking at the prices for renting the 400mm and they are def. out of my price range. Could i get the 70-200 f2.8 or the 100-400 with a teleconverter like 1.4x or 2x

I don't think anyone suggested you rent the 400 2.8...it's not a good lens for general wildlife. The 300 2.8 would be a better choice, if you can't afford the 500 f4.
Please take my advice and don't get the 70-200 and try to use it with a 2X TC. It effects IQ and AF speed greatly. Just get the 100-400 and don't try using it with a TC, or better yet get the 300 2.8 prime and the 1.4 and 2X TCs, as I suggested earlier.

inthedeck
29th of July 2008 (Tue), 11:13
Yeap...gotta agree with Rik on this one. TC's cause degradation on some lenses, others accept them well. Though, the 70-200 with a TC might not be your 'best' option. The 100-400 will.

S.Horton
29th of July 2008 (Tue), 11:41
+1 for Rik's advice.

In2Photos
29th of July 2008 (Tue), 12:46
Yeap. with my 400 5.6, adding a 1.4TC makes it a 400 f8. No AF on the 5D, unless you tape the pins...but, I don't bother.
Actually the TC would make it a 560 f/8. ;)

inthedeck
29th of July 2008 (Tue), 12:53
Actually the TC would make it a 560 f/8. ;)

Oh yeah...DOH! Calculations didn't even cross my mind. :)

John_TX
29th of July 2008 (Tue), 17:43
Speaking of TC's, primes, and Yellowstone:

Of these two, which would probably be better?

Canon EF 400 f/5.6?
Canon EF 300 IS f/4 + 1.4x TC (420mm f/5.6) (Tamron/Kenko or Canon)

RikWriter
29th of July 2008 (Tue), 18:33
Speaking of TC's, primes, and Yellowstone:

Of these two, which would probably be better?

Canon EF 400 f/5.6?
Canon EF 300 IS f/4 + 1.4x TC (420mm f/5.6) (Tamron/Kenko or Canon)

Just MHO, but I would go with the 400.

MT Stringer
29th of July 2008 (Tue), 18:46
I have canon 40D for a body... does anyone have info on the sigma long zoom lenses 150-500 OS... with a prime I feel i might be too restricted without the ability to zoom?

No info on the one you are asking about, but I own the Sigma 120-300 f/2.8. I love it! It is kinda heavy to tote around though. Add a 1.4x and you got 168-420mm f/4. Add the 2x and you got 240-600mm f/5.6 (auto focus still works). I took it with me on vacation, but our swing through Rocky Mountain National Park never got us off the beaten path so I didn't get any shots at wildlife with that lens. If you don't want the spend the bucks to buy it, you can rent it also.
Note: I've got over 25K shots on my lens this year from sports and wildlife photography (mostly sports).

I did get a few shots with the 70-200 f/2.8 at the ground squirrels at Seven Fslls in Colorado City, but they were literally at our feet.

Here's an example - shot with the 40d, 70-200 2.8

Hope this helps.
Mike

Blue Deuce
29th of July 2008 (Tue), 18:54
If staying close to my vehicle or not venturing far off the beaten path I would / have taken my 500 f/4 with the1.4x. If you plan on taking some of the what can be strenuous hikes take the 100-400 with out a TC or check out the new Sigma. The 100-400 can also be useful for landscapes as well if you want to travel light when hiking.

Been there easily 50 plus times since we own property close by and I always wish I had just a little more reach when looking for wildlife.

www.lensrental.com

MAphoto1
30th of July 2008 (Wed), 15:21
I went with the 100-400 thanks for the help everyone. lots of pictures when i get back!!!

x2x3x4x5x
30th of July 2008 (Wed), 15:42
Good job on the 100-400. Great lens.

RikWriter
30th of July 2008 (Wed), 17:33
I went with the 100-400 thanks for the help everyone. lots of pictures when i get back!!!

Good choice.