Which lens option for wildlife in the Tetons?

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jfriend00 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,273
Which lens option for wildlife in the Tetons?

Spending a week in the Grand Tetons (home base in Jackson, WY) this summer looking for wildlife to photograph with my Z7. Expecting to see moose and elk and maybe a bear or two along with other animals. We will likely do wildlife drives in early morning and late evening and do hikes during the day. The "hikes during the day" is where weight enters the picture. Wildlife drives are car-based and not as weight sensitive.

For my Z7, I have Z-lenses 14-30 f/4 and 24-70 f/4.

The long glass I own is F-mount, first generation 200-400 f/4. I could bring that and use it, but am considering other options which I might rent. Here are my options:

1. Bring my 200-400 f/4 and use it with the adapter. Would not have any coverage from 70-200. I considered my 200-400 to be seriously sharp at 200, but not as much at 400 (when shooting field sports with a D300/D750) though I haven't used it with the Z7 focusing.

2. Bring my 200-400 f/4 and use it with the adapter and rent Z-mount 70-200 f/2.8. This would probably be too heavy to bring both lenses hiking. Would give me good low-light wide apertures.

3. Rent the new Z-mount 100-400. One lens with a nice range. f/5.6 would cause me to have raise ISO more for dawn or dusk wildlife shots than some other options, but hearing excellent sharpness reports at 400 wide open.

4. Rent the F-mount 200-500 and use it with the adapter. Would give more reach, but not cover 70-200 range and not sure how IQ compares to 100-400 or 200-400.

What option would you choose and why?

FYI, I will have both monopod and tripod for long lens stability.  Monopod when hiking, tripod when near the car.

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 jfriend00's gear list:jfriend00's gear list
Nikon D750 Nikon Z7 II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G ED-IF VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR Tamron 15-30mm F2.8 +2 more
Nikon Z7
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