Yellowstone: rent 200-400 or 500?

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Apr 8, 2008
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52
Location
Durham, NC
Heading back to Yellowstone in June.

I'm debating which lens to rent - the 200-400 f/4 or the 500 f/4 for long-distance wildlife. I'll be on a monopod for support most of the time.

I'll have a 1.7 converter with me - which is a consideration, because I can use it on my 70-200 to get some of the distance of the 200-400 if I choose to go with the 500.

I've used the 200-400 before and loved it, but not the 500. Anyone have any comparision experience to share?
 
Joined
May 27, 2006
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7,412
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Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
If you're bringing your 300 f4 I'd try the 500 or a 400 2.8 - Yellowstone critters look sooooo good with the shallow DOF and the 400 plays nice with the TCs.

In June you'll have no problem with the shooting distance for bison and coyotes - wolves and bears are another matter.

Sean
 
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Joined
Dec 29, 2008
Messages
863
Location
Bronx,NY
Heading back to Yellowstone in June.

I'm debating which lens to rent - the 200-400 f/4 or the 500 f/4 for long-distance wildlife. I'll be on a monopod for support most of the time.

I'll have a 1.7 converter with me - which is a consideration, because I can use it on my 70-200 to get some of the distance of the 200-400 if I choose to go with the 500.

I've used the 200-400 before and loved it, but not the 500. Anyone have any comparision experience to share?

What did you use on your last trip ? I'd say that would dictate what I on the return trip. What where you lacking?
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2008
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3,063
Location
Mohawk Valley, New York , USA
When I went last year I rented a Tamron 200-500 to use on my D300 ... I used my D700 mainly for landscape and with the 70-300VR as well ....
I honestly used my 70-300 far more than the big lens ....
This year when I go out I'm taking my new 300f4 , my 1.4 xtender and my D7000 and know that with the increased mps I can crop abit more as well so I think I"ll be fine ...
When I was there the wolves and bears were so far away it did'nt matter how big my lenses were ---- you could see them well with scopes but that was about it ..... I never had a close encounter with either species but it all depends on your timing and luck ....
had one coyote that ended up 20 ft. from me while others were much, much farther ...
You'll find most elk & bison will be relatively close ....

Now I've never tried either of those lenses but If it was me I'd use the 500 and a 1.4 with a crop camera ....

ron
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2006
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1,243
Location
London UK
I went to Yellowstone back in January and had to choose between taking my 600 or my 200-400. In the end I opted to take the 600 for the D3s, and have the 70-200 on a D7000 and this ended up being the perfect combo for me.

Most of the time I needed all the reach I could get, but for the times there were closer subjects the 70-200 on a D7000 was perfect, plus I had a 1.4 and 1.7 if I needed them.
 
D

DW Brewer

Guest
My 500mm is my stock Yellowstone lens, used for a majority of my animal images over six trips there. Like others have mentioned, I keep a second bocy handy with a 100-300 or 120-300 on it.
 
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Oct 20, 2010
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home
I went to Yellowstone back in January and had to choose between taking my 600 or my 200-400. In the end I opted to take the 600 for the D3s, and have the 70-200 on a D7000 and this ended up being the perfect combo for me.

Most of the time I needed all the reach I could get, but for the times there were closer subjects the 70-200 on a D7000 was perfect, plus I had a 1.4 and 1.7 if I needed them.

I may be a little confused, so bear with me.
Are you saying you used the 600mm and it was enough?
OR
Are you saying that you used the 1.7 with the 600mm (1020) to get maximum reach?
This was better then the 1.7 with the 200-400mm (680mm) (not enough reach)?
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2006
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London UK
I may be a little confused, so bear with me.
Are you saying you used the 600mm and it was enough?
OR
Are you saying that you used the 1.7 with the 600mm (1020) to get maximum reach?
This was better then the 1.7 with the 200-400mm (680mm) (not enough reach)?
Yes I took the 600 and left the 200-400 back in the UK, I substituted it with the 70-200.

You can never have enough reach with wildlife. The 1.4 and 1.7 were used on both lenses as and when required. But having the 70-200 was helpful for the close to medium range wildife, so that lens with the 600mm gave me a pretty accurate range of focal lengths.
 
Joined
Oct 20, 2010
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home
Yes I took the 600 and left the 200-400 back in the UK, I substituted it with the 70-200.

You can never have enough reach with wildlife. The 1.4 and 1.7 were used on both lenses as and when required. But having the 70-200 was helpful for the close to medium range wildife, so that lens with the 600mm gave me a pretty accurate range of focal lengths.

Thank you,
I can only imagine having that much reach.
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2008
Messages
52
Location
Durham, NC
Thanks for the feedback. I'm probably going with the 500 (I had been leaning that way to start. Last time the longest I had was a 70-300 with no converter, so this will be a major improvement.
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2009
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1,464
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Boston, MA
Are you gonna do a lot of hiking or mostly shooting from the side of the road?

I'm going to rent something next time I go - is monopod the way to go with a 500 f/4?

On our trip we saw black/brown bears within 50 yards, and grizzlies more like 100 yards. Is 500mm + TC sufficient for grizzlies at 100 yards?
 
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