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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Nature & Landscapes Talk
Thread started 02 Jun 2017 (Friday) 20:20
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Another Yellowstone / Grand Teton Kit Thread

 
CEITam
Hatchling
7 posts
Joined Sep 2016
Jun 02, 2017 20:20 |  #1

Hi everyone,

I plan to visit Yellowstone and Grand Teton for the first time with extended family members in early September (9/2 to 9/11). I'm going with two of my young kids (age 3.5 and 1.5), two sister-in-laws (my kids' aunts), and two in-laws (my wife's parents). One of my sister-in-laws is also into photography, but have less gear and less into it than myself. The other adults are willing and able to take care of my young kids / watch them, so I will have some time to take pictures, though this is not a photography trip per se. Since we are traveling with young kids and elderly people, we are not going to do any strenuous hiking--probably just 1-2 miles on flat trails max.

Here are my current gear:

Canon 5D Mark IV with L-bracket
Gitzo 6X Carbon series 1 travel tripod (GT1541T) with Markins Q3T head (I think)
Canon 600EX-RT flash
Canon 420EX flash

Canon 11-24 f/4L
Canon 16-35 f/4L IS
Canon 24-70 f/2.8L II
Canon 24-105 f/4L IS (version I)
Canon 70-200 f/4L

Canon TS-E 24 f/3.5L
Canon 35 f/1.4L II
Canon 100 f/2.8L Macro IS
Canon 135 f/2L

I can only take 3-4 lenses with a tripod -- it needs to fit into a backpack and be portable enough to do minor hikes. I'm currently thinking of taking:

1) a wide angle lens for landscape: 16-35 or 11-24.
2) the 24-70 for family shots.
3) a longer lens for wildlife and some landscape.
4) if there is room, a specialty lens: either the TS-E 24 or 100 macro.
5) a tripod, some CPL and ND filters. Does not plan to bring flash.

Questions:

1) Any thoughts on which wide angle lens I should take? I'm leaning toward 16-35 because it's smaller and has IS, but not sure if wider than 16mm would be nice to have.

2) Do you think the specialty lens will be worth the weight? I'm leaning against the macro because not sure if that will be useful at Yellowstone. I really enjoy the TS-E as a "fun" lens and use it mostly for panorama, and sometimes for special effects. But it's a manual lens that takes time to set up correctly, and I don't want others to wait on me all the time. Your thoughts are appreciated.

3) What long lens do you think I should take / buy / rent? My sense is that my 70-200 is not long enough. I could either (1) buy or rent a 100-400 II with a 1.4 or 2 extender; (2) rent a big white like 500 or 600 and a 1.4 or 2 extender; or (3) something else, but not sure what. I'm really not sure what to do here.

Renting the big whites with extender will obviously give longer range, bigger aperture, better image quality, but the drawbacks are: (1) they're big and heavy and I'm not sure how to carry them around; (2) I've never handled a big white before; (3) they're expensive to rent (e.g., a Canon 500 f/4L IS II goes for $745 for an 11-day rental with insurance, a Canon 600 f/4L IS II goes for $890 with insurance), plus additional $48 to rent the extender; (4) my Gitzo travel tripod cannot handle these lenses and I would have to either rent or buy a bigger tripod and gimbal head, adding to the expense (Gitzo GT3542XLS and Induro GHB2 Gimbal package rents for $205). At this point, the rental costs around $1000 or more, which is more than half of the cost to buy a 100-400 II.... I'm leaning against this option because it seems like if I'm going to spend that much money (and I can afford it), I might as well spend it on buying something I can keep (e.g., the 100-400 II or a new Gitzo tripod, see below).

Renting a 100-400 II with extender is $200 plus insurance. But the lens is slow, especially with the extender -- not sure how big of a problem this will be. I am also not sure if my Gitzo travel tripod can handle this lens (it's definitely not rated for this focal length). I'm open to renting or buying a bigger Gitzo tripod set up if needed. What do you think about this option? Which extender do you think would be best? Do you think this can be realistically hand held with the IS (i.e., maybe I don't need to worry about tripod)?

Sorry for the super long post, but your thoughts are greatly appreciated! Feel free to propose alternatives not listed here.


Canon EOS 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 11-24mm F4L USM, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 135mm f/2L USM, TS-E 24.0mm f/3.5 L II, EF 16-35 f/4 L IS USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, EF 35mm F1.4L II USM | Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT, Speedlite 420 EX

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John ­ from ­ PA
Cream of the Crop
7,359 posts
Joined May 2003
Southeast Pennsylvania
Jun 03, 2017 10:22 |  #2

Before addressing some of your questions, I'd be interested in knowing how you are travelling to the area? That might have some bearing on exactly what you are taking, at least I think so having been to the area on numerous occasions.




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CEITam
THREAD ­ STARTER
Hatchling
7 posts
Joined Sep 2016
Jun 03, 2017 23:41 as a reply to John from PA's post |  #3

We plan to fly non-stop to Bozeman, then drive to the park. We will be moving a few times, staying on the east side, then west side, then somewhere closer to Teton. I don't recall the exact itinerary, but we are staying pretty close to the park at each location.


Canon EOS 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 11-24mm F4L USM, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 135mm f/2L USM, TS-E 24.0mm f/3.5 L II, EF 16-35 f/4 L IS USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, EF 35mm F1.4L II USM | Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT, Speedlite 420 EX

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John ­ from ­ PA
Cream of the Crop
7,359 posts
Joined May 2003
Southeast Pennsylvania
Post has been last edited 4 months ago by John from PA. 5 edits done in total.
Jun 04, 2017 03:40 |  #4

CEITam wrote in post #18370404 (external link)
We plan to fly non-stop to Bozeman, then drive to the park. We will be moving a few times, staying on the east side, then west side, then somewhere closer to Teton. I don't recall the exact itinerary, but we are staying pretty close to the park at each location.

Well you may be in luck. Bozeman has a camera store that also rents (and repairs) equipment. I personally haven't rented from them but an in-law, who later joined us in the Tetons, has. Go to http://bozemancamera.c​om/rentals/ (external link). Jackson Hole has a great camera store (http://ddcameracorral.​com/ (external link)) but unfortunately they do not rent equipment.

In the Teton area, make sure you personally get to Schwabacher Landing. It is the classic vista of the Tetons that you see on calendars, travel books, etc. See https://www.google.com ...0QsAQIPQ&biw=1440&b​ih=781 (external link). Seek it out and plan on a pre-sunrise shot. Some Googling around indicates sunrise in September is about 7 AM so I would recommend you get there about 6 AM. From the parking lot you walk to the vantage point, but walk to the 2nd vantage point, not the first. Takes about 10 monutes, if you don't stop along the way. The setup needs a tripod and you face west with sun rising behind you. The sun first kisses the peak and then works its way down the flanks usually giving the Tetons a nice pink appearance. The Snake River will be in the foreground. Not too far from Schwabacher Landing is Mormon Row, another often photographed area were herds of bison congregate, especially in the early morning. See https://www.google.com ..._AUIBygC&biw=1440&b​ih=781 (external link). A tripod usually isn't needed at Mormon Row but it is a short drive from Schwabacher Landing so if you do the two areas the same morning it will be in your car if needed. While you shot Schwabacher and Mormon Row, sent the rest of your group to Pearl Street Bagels, it is the favorite bagel of Harrison Ford who lives in Jackson.

My personal recommendation would be to get the eBook from Daryl Hunter, a professional photographer in the area. The book shows the best places to photograph, recommended equipment, time of day, GPS coordinates, etc. He also conduct tours. Check his website at http://www.theholepict​uresafaris.com/ (external link).




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John ­ from ­ PA
Cream of the Crop
7,359 posts
Joined May 2003
Southeast Pennsylvania
Post has been last edited 4 months ago by John from PA. 5 edits done in total.
Jun 04, 2017 04:05 |  #5

Another good resource is Tom Heckler's interactive photomap available for $10 at http://wyofoto.com ...e_Teton_Photomap_PD​F.html (external link). There is also a Yellowstone version, which I haven't used but Tom does quality stuff so I imagine it is excellent. His "parent" site is at http://wyofoto.com/ind​ex.html (external link) and you can try his interactive map for the Grand Tetons as well as view the Yellowstone offering. Make sure you click through to actually use the interactive maps. It is really neat what Tom does to help the user. The Teton map is at http://wyofoto.com .../Teton_Photomap_201​0.html (external link) and once there click on revolving icon #6 for Schwabachers Landing.

The best of the best IMO is Tom Mangelson; website is http://www.jacksonhole​traveler.com ...ackson-hole-photographer/ (external link). He also has a studio in the town of Jackson. Many years ago he did the photography of bald eagles used by the postal service. Check his site and you will see he recommends:

Wide-angle lens 24-120mm, 70mm-200mm and 28mm to 300mm.




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ejenner
Goldmember
ejenner's Avatar
Joined Nov 2011
Denver, CO
Jun 14, 2017 23:50 |  #6

Maybe you'll be OK in September, but you might consider a small stun-gun to get the crowds out of your way  :p


Edward Jenner
5DIII, 7DII, M6, GX1 II,M11-22, Sig15mm FE,16-35 F4,TS-E 17,Sig 18-250 OS Macro,M18-150,24-105,T45 1.8VC,70-200 f4 IS,70-200 2.8 vII,Sig 85 1.4,100L,135L,400DOII.
http://www.flickr.com/​photos/48305795@N03/ (external link)
https://www.facebook.c​om/edward.jenner.372/p​hotos (external link)

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FarmerTed1971
fondling the 5D4
FarmerTed1971's Avatar
Joined Sep 2013
Portland, OR
Jun 15, 2017 00:27 |  #7

16-35, 24-70 and rent the 100-400 and maybe a 1.4x.
I will warn you that 400 is still not adequate if you are shooting wolves on the other side of the Lamar Valley but it just might get the shot that your 70-200 won't.

1. Take either/or. If size is an issue then the 16-35. The 11 might be really nice for some things though. If you have the room then take it.

2. I took my 100L last time... and didn't use it once. If macro is not really your thing then leave it at home. I don't see a TS getting much use either.

3. A 500 or 600 would be awesome to have... but your tripod won't handle them so opt for the 100-400 instead. If you really want to bring a big lens then consider a monopod.
There have been many times in Yellowstone where I've pulled over to shoot bears and just sit in the grass observing for a long time. A monopod works well here in a pinch.

Have fun!!!


Getting better at this - Fuji Xt-2 - 18-55 - 35 f2 WR - 50-140 - 6D - 135L - 70-200 f4L IS - 600EX-RT x2 - ST-E3-RT - flickr (external link) - www.scottaticephoto.co​m (external link)

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kellyrmc
Senior Member
kellyrmc's Avatar
Joined Nov 2011
Tucson, AZ
Sep 10, 2017 22:34 |  #8

I'm heading out on the same itinerary starting this Thursday and I'm wondering which lenses you found your self using most often? Just curious :-)
Kelly


Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EOS 40D | Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM, EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM | Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX | Canon Speedlite 580EX II

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John ­ from ­ PA
Cream of the Crop
7,359 posts
Joined May 2003
Southeast Pennsylvania
Sep 11, 2017 08:01 |  #9

kellyrmc wrote in post #18449006 (external link)
I'm heading out on the same itinerary starting this Thursday and I'm wondering which lenses you found your self using most often? Just curious :-)
Kelly

FarmerTed addressed this fairly well immediately before your post.

FarmerTed1971 wrote in post #18378804 (external link)
16-35, 24-70 and rent the 100-400 and maybe a 1.4x.
I will warn you that 400 is still not adequate if you are shooting wolves on the other side of the Lamar Valley but it just might get the shot that your 70-200 won't.

1. Take either/or. If size is an issue then the 16-35. The 11 might be really nice for some things though. If you have the room then take it.

2. I took my 100L last time... and didn't use it once. If macro is not really your thing then leave it at home. I don't see a TS getting much use either.

3. A 500 or 600 would be awesome to have... but your tripod won't handle them so opt for the 100-400 instead. If you really want to bring a big lens then consider a monopod.
There have been many times in Yellowstone where I've pulled over to shoot bears and just sit in the grass observing for a long time. A monopod works well here in a pinch.

Have fun!!!




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kellyrmc
Senior Member
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Joined Nov 2011
Tucson, AZ
Sep 13, 2017 14:05 as a reply to John from PA's post |  #10

Yes, I read that and appreciate it. I'm still interested in knowing what CEITam actually used for this trip.
Kelly


Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EOS 40D | Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM, EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM | Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX | Canon Speedlite 580EX II

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CEITam
THREAD ­ STARTER
Hatchling
7 posts
Joined Sep 2016
Sep 15, 2017 23:37 as a reply to kellyrmc's post |  #11

Hi Kelly,

Sorry for the late response. I rented a Canon 100-400 II with a 1.4x extender III. I also brought my 16-35 f4, 24-70 f2.8 II, 135 f2, and TS-E 24, a travel tripod, a flash, and some filters. I also bought a Mindshift Backlight 26L backpack because I wanted a rear opening bag that had a great hip belt to help with the weight (the backpack is awesome and I'm glad I bought it).

My most used lens by far was the 16-35, mostly for landscapes and geothermal features, but also sometimes for a quick family shot when I didn't want to change lens. The IS was extremely helpful to get shots without a tripod and it kept the ISO low. Something that I didn't anticipate was how helpful circular polarizers were with geothermal features. The hot springs and pools are very colorful, but have a lot of reflected light -- with a CPL, I could cut the reflections and capture the very vibrant colors of the hot springs.

The 24-70 and 135 didn't get much use. I thought I would use them for family shots or taking pictures of my little kids running around, but didn't bother to change lens. The tripod was mostly used to take group family shots with a remote release. The flash was used a few times when taking family shots, mostly as a fill to balance with the background. I did use the tripod with the TS-E 24 to take some shots of the Old Faithful Inn, which is a pretty cool building. The TS-E was a "fun" lens and I didn't expect to use it much.

I used the 100-400 a lot less than expected. This was mainly because we saw VERY few animals, which was the main disappointment of the trip. I got some shots of bisons, but that's about it. And even bisons were hard to come by. Did not see moose, elk, and other large animals. Grizzly bears are apparently at high elevation right now, so are expected to be hard to spot. But we didn't see black bears either. As an aside, the 100-400 with 1.4 extender would be fine for animals somewhat close to the road, but would not be enough if they were further out (and the spaces in Yellowstone can be VAST, especially in places like Lamar Valley). I did use the 100-400 for some shots at Mammoth hot springs -- those terraces are really cool looking if you zoom in close.

Let me know if you have any questions.


Canon EOS 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 11-24mm F4L USM, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 135mm f/2L USM, TS-E 24.0mm f/3.5 L II, EF 16-35 f/4 L IS USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, EF 35mm F1.4L II USM | Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT, Speedlite 420 EX

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CEITam
THREAD ­ STARTER
Hatchling
7 posts
Joined Sep 2016
Sep 15, 2017 23:46 as a reply to kellyrmc's post |  #12

Let me add that I had seriously considered bringing the 11-24 instead of or in addition to the 16-35. In retrospect, I'm glad I went with the 16-35, mainly because of the IS and the fact that I could use CPL with it (11-24 does not take front filters). There were some places where I wished I had the 11-24 (there are some geothermal features that are really big and 16 was not enough to capture them), but there weren't that many such instances. Also, the 11-24 is pretty heavy, and I was already bringing the 100-400. I don't think the 11-24 would be worth the weight.


Canon EOS 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 11-24mm F4L USM, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 135mm f/2L USM, TS-E 24.0mm f/3.5 L II, EF 16-35 f/4 L IS USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, EF 35mm F1.4L II USM | Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT, Speedlite 420 EX

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CEITam
THREAD ­ STARTER
Hatchling
7 posts
Joined Sep 2016
Sep 15, 2017 23:54 as a reply to kellyrmc's post |  #13

And if I were to do it again, I think 16-35, 24-70, 100-400 with 1.4 extender, a tripod (if you care to have one) and some filters would be enough. If you want to save more weight, I would drop the 24-70 if you're mainly interested in taking park pictures (instead of people pictures).


Canon EOS 5D Mark IV | Canon EF 11-24mm F4L USM, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM, EF 135mm f/2L USM, TS-E 24.0mm f/3.5 L II, EF 16-35 f/4 L IS USM, EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, EF 35mm F1.4L II USM | Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT, Speedlite 420 EX

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John ­ from ­ PA
Cream of the Crop
7,359 posts
Joined May 2003
Southeast Pennsylvania
Sep 16, 2017 07:50 |  #14

kellyrmc wrote in post #18451383 (external link)
Yes, I read that and appreciate it. I'm still interested in knowing what CEITam actually used for this trip.
Kelly

You are probably on your way but another good link (I had already provided a few in this thread) is http://www.jacksonhole​traveler.com ...rand-teton-national-park/ (external link). Make sure you watch the video by Tom Mangelson and consider visiting his studio in the town of Jackson.

If need be go out of your way to get to Schwabacher's Landing and the Mormon Row/Moulton Barn area. Schwabacher's is best done in the early AM, you want to be at your vantage point 20 to 30 minutes before sunrise. As you face the Tetons the sun rises at your back and "washes" the peaks from the top down with a beautiful pinkish light. After you have finished at Schwabacker's head to Mormon Row which is just a few miles away. I might add that every time I have been to Mormon Row in the early morning, probably prior to 7 AM, there has been a herd of bison grazing. Its a beautiful photo op but be careful especially of a male cow combination with a young calf.




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kellyrmc
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Joined Nov 2011
Tucson, AZ
Post has been edited 29 days ago by kellyrmc.
Sep 19, 2017 15:53 as a reply to CEITam's post |  #15

Update: Apparently I saw a coyote, not a gray wolf :(
Thanks for the response, CEITam. I had a completely different lens experience :lol: I didn't use the 16-35mm at all (I was planning on it for night photography and it was too cloudy). I mostly used my 400mm with the 1.4 extender and the 24mm-70mm. I have to say that the entire 5 day trip was not only cloudy, but foggy, sleeting, raining, snowing and generally flat gray photos resulted. BUT, I did have a half day of sunshine, which was glorious. I was extremely lucky while I was there to see bison, elk, a moose(!), my first bald eagle, and a grizzly with a fresh kill! The grizzy was really very far away at Hayden Valley and even with my 540mm is a brown blur with ears :) But, someone with a monocular or is it a telescope(?) did let me get a good view of the bear thru their lens. It was exhilarating. I was able to get a shot of what some people said was a grey wolf, but I'm not sure. Hubby thinks it's a coyote or a coywolf (sp?). I'll post a picture when they're downloaded.
I'm sorry you didn't get to see much wildlife. That is disappointing -? I have to say that I saw the most at Hayden and Lamar valleys. Not sure if you went there? Also, a few of the elk and the moose I saw on the road, while I was driving at 5am to catch the sunrise by Yellowstone Hotel.
I was expecting to see a lot of elk, since I was hearing that it's fall and the rut is on, but I only saw a few here or there. Maybe I wasn't in the right spot. The unpredictability of what you may or may not see while you're there is such a gamble.
Thanks for sharing!
Kelly


Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EOS 40D | Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM, EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM | Sigma 50mm f/2.8 EX | Canon Speedlite 580EX II

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