Wed 05-Sep-12 03:31 AM | edited Wed 05-Sep-12 03:36 AM by M_Jackson
Debra, I used a D300 here in the Tetons for most of my shots until I bought a D4.
I have a 200-400mm on most of the time in case I see some sort of animal along the road. That would likely be an elk or antelope and I like to be ready. For bison, either the 200-400 or the 70-200 works fine for profile shots. You usually have time to switch lenses with moose and bison. The 70-200 works for some shots with a bison or two and some of the Teton range in the background. A 24-70 gets more bison and more of the scene. A 24-70 works fine at Schwabacher Landing, Snake River Overlook, Mormon Row Barns, and Oxbow Landing plus most valley vista shots. I use a super wide angle less here than you'd expect. It seems to flatten the mountains. Instead, I like to shoot the 24-70 or even the 70-200 in vertical and shoot stitched panos. On a DX body, a 70-200 or 80-200 works fairly well for most moose shots.
After buying a D4 full frame camera, I tend to use a 70-200mm at Oxbow Bend more than the 24-70. And, I am now using the 200-400 more with moose than the 70-200.
If I had an extra grand, I might consider the 28-300 VR lens to use as a carry around setup. I've missed shots while just walking around because I didn't want to carry the heavier load. There is a lot of discussion on the lens forum about that lens and the 18-300 DX lens. Tom Manglesen has a 28-300 connected to his D800 most of the time and it is around his neck when he is out with his 600mm on a D4. I asked him if it is sharp and he simply said "Sharp enough".
Lastly, the park service changed the rules this year, requiring people to STAY 100 yards from a bear. They don't even allow people to stop alongside the road and shoot out their window within 100 yards, much less stand alongside the vehicle or shoot out the sun roof. Getting good bear shots is much tougher now, even with a 600mm. I gave up. The rule for the rest of the large mammals is 25 yards. 25 yards from a moose or bison is awfully close!
Your instructor will probably already know, but in the Tetons, you need to be up and out the door before the sun comes up. Elk and moose will usually be moving towards the willows or timber as soon as the first light hits them. The Tetons look best in the morning, too.