Attention Wildlife and Nature Photographers….

Hi! I am heading to Yellowstone National Park next week and I will only have one day to try to capture its beauty and wildlife. I really wanted to try to get some exceptional images (as much as my skill level will allow) so I am going to rent a lens(es) from Since I don’t have the appropriate lens and I am not going to spend $1500++ on buying a new one, my question for you wildlife photographers is what lens(es) should I rent? What is a necessity for capturing the best images. My camera is a Nikon D7000 and my lens is the standard AF-S Nikkor18-105 3.5-5.6.

Here is the extent of my wildlife photography to date…..

The cat is mimicking the statue..or vice versa, I’m not sure.

….so please, please, please any help on the lens or in general tips is very much appreciated!! Thanks 🙂

29 thoughts on “Attention Wildlife and Nature Photographers….

  1. Are you trying to shoot wildlife or scenery? If it’s wildlife, you need something very long and a tripod to support it. I’d suggest nothing shorter than a 300 2.8, which will “see” like a 450mm. The reason I suggest something like a 2.8 is so that you can separate the subject from the background. If it were me, I’d shoot with a 400 or 500mm. But, I like to fill the frame. If you are talking about shooting “iconic” scenes, look for something wider. Maybe down around the 14mm range, which “sees” like a 21mm. Hope that helps.

  2. Susan, I would suggest and I currently use canon lenses, but with the Nikon, be sure to get a lens with a focal range between 100 and 500mm and if available, a 600 to 800mm prime is ideal. just be sure that your apertures cant be opened up 1.8 to 2.8 esp when light fades and animal activity is on the rise. I have no complaints with my sigma 100 to 500. It has given me some tack sharp shots during prime light. Also if you plan on doing landscape shots, try the tamrom 10 to 24 wide angle. Does a nice job. GOOD LUCK!!!

  3. Honestly..If you have not been out here in my neck of the woods…well Wyoming that is…Wildlife is just that…wild and far from being seen. If you can get away from the main for a few days you might see some critters. Otherwise you might just end up with photo’s of the normal seen it a billion times tourist pictures. If it were me going to Jellystone..i would photograph the real animals..the people taking the pictures of the same thing they have done for the 50 years.. What if you photographed from the perspective of what the animals see? Now that would be cool. and no special lenses needed for that.

  4. there are three that come to mind other than the 300, 400, 500 mm f4 lenses (heavy lenses, tripod needed, but get awesome wildlife shots if your lucky enough to see them!) the three I take with me for landscape work is the Nikkor 12-24mm 2.8 lens, the 24-70mm 2.8 lens, and my 70-200 2.8 VR lens. they are all three expensive lenses! However, a great walk around lens (though not very effective in low light without a tripod) is the Nikkor 18-200 VR lens. It is much lighter, far less expensive, and works great for “all around” photography. I normally keep that lens on my D300 when driving or walking around. The other lenses are for my D700 and get used most frequently with my Induro CT213 tripod. Hope this helps! Good luck to ya!

  5. I agree, you’ll want a long lens. I borrowed a 400mm lens for my Nikon when I went to Yellowstone. Some wildlife will be quite a distance away. I was able to photograph a grizzly out in a field with it. Some wildlife you’ll be able to get with your standard lens. Bison are often up close and personal. I envy you going to Yellowstone. It is such a fabulous place.

  6. Hi Susan- agree with Stan. All those lenses are great…the 70-200 is my favorite, however, it is a heavy lens which is challenging for travel but worth it. It is good you have the 18-105 for some wider landscape shots.
    I like my 18-200 as a lighter walk-around wide zoom.
    Have a great time!

  7. The 70-200 is versatile providing you options on zoom range but for really sharp photos you can’t beat a prime/fixed lens – less glass between your subject and the sensor. I have shot most of my wildlife with the Canon 400mm f4.0 DO IS lens, all handheld and got some amazing results. Sometimes it is too close but on a crop sensor camera it is superb for birds, giving you an effective 640mm focal length. Look forward to seeing what you chose and the images you get 🙂

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