Osprey Perched in Yellowstone National Park
Photo Gear,  Wildlife

Using the Canon 70-200mm as a Car Lens for Wildlife Photography

In places like Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park, I like to have a separate camera body with a medium range zoom lens located right next to me in the car just in case I see some wildlife as I drive along the road.  I call this my “Car Camera”.

I use a Canon 500mm f/4 telephoto on a tripod for wildlife photos outside of the car.

But in places like Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, you never know what wildlife opportunity is just around the bend.

The Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L Zoom Lens is a fast, sharp zoom lens for short range wildlife photography.  It can also be used with a 1.4x teleconverter without losing much light (f/4) or sharpness.  The addition of the 1.4x teleconverter gives the lens a little longer reach.  The equivalent focal length range is 98 – 280mm on a full frame camera and 157 – 448mm for a crop sensor camera.

The Canon 70-200 f2.8 lens can also be used with a 2x teleconverter with the Canon 1dx and Canon 5d Mark III with autofocus only with the center focus point.  I used the Canon 70-200 with the Canon 7d so I did not try this combination.

Mountain Bluebird Couple at the Nest

The Canon 70-200mm lens can also be used for up close or intimate landscapes and is handy for a quick landscape shot from the car.

On a recent trip to Yellowstone, I took more wildlife photos with this car lens than with my Canon 500mm f/4 and Canon 5d Mark III.  This was due to the amount of animals that I saw along the road where I wouldn’t have time to set up the Canon 500mm f/4 and tripod.  So, it is important to have a good car camera for these kind of photo trips.

Red Fox Ready to Pounce on its Prey

The sharpness of the photos, while not as sharp as the 500mm f/4, were still quite good.  These were also shots that I would not have gotten without my handy car camera and lens combination.

All of the photos in this blog were taken with the Canon 7d and Canon 700-200mm f2.8 Mark II. 

Written by Martin Belan

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Using the Canon 1.4x Teleconverter and the Canon 70-200 f2.8 for Wildlife Photography
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Testing the Canon 300mm f/4 lens with a 2X Teleconverter

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