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12-20-2014, 05:11 AM   #16
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Also note that a tripod is a truly essential part of your gear! You can honestly get pretty good shots on a stopped down kit lens, as long as you have a tripod and remote, and fairly OK low light performance. And don't forget plenty of warm clothes. Sitting around taking photos all night gets COLD.

12-20-2014, 01:04 PM   #17
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Giotto carbon fibre tripod with quick release ball head should have the tripod side of things covered.

High end snowboarding gear plus base layers etc should cover the clothing side of things.

My only concern on the clothing side is footwear. A lot of standing around in sub zero might warrant a purchase I think.


I've bought the Samyang 14mm F/2.8 so will have to get out once its here and shoot some low light stuff to get the hang of where I need to be.

I've not done any wide angle stuff before and not a whole heap of low light either so I've got my work cut out for me to get myself up to speed.

So long as I've got the equipment that is capable, it's down to me then.

Looking forward to the challenge with fingers crossed we actually witness the Northern Lights and get up close and personal with the Orca's.

I'll try and remember to come back and post some resultant pics.

ZoeB - I have a friend doing that trip in January.

Looking at the averages for temperatures in March, it doesn't look that extreme tbh.

More worried that the rain / snow fall and clouds might be the big issue but just have to live in hope.

Thanks for everyones input.

Gaz
12-21-2014, 10:56 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by GAZ_XB9R Quote
Giotto carbon fibre tripod with quick release ball head should have the tripod side of things covered.

High end snowboarding gear plus base layers etc should cover the clothing side of things.

My only concern on the clothing side is footwear. A lot of standing around in sub zero might warrant a purchase I think.


I've bought the Samyang 14mm F/2.8 so will have to get out once its here and shoot some low light stuff to get the hang of where I need to be.

I've not done any wide angle stuff before and not a whole heap of low light either so I've got my work cut out for me to get myself up to speed.

So long as I've got the equipment that is capable, it's down to me then.

Looking forward to the challenge with fingers crossed we actually witness the Northern Lights and get up close and personal with the Orca's.

I'll try and remember to come back and post some resultant pics.

ZoeB - I have a friend doing that trip in January.

Looking at the averages for temperatures in March, it doesn't look that extreme tbh.

More worried that the rain / snow fall and clouds might be the big issue but just have to live in hope.

Thanks for everyones input.

Gaz
I wear Sorel felt lined boots with a thin silk base sock for wicking and a heavier pair of wool socks over that when I go to Lapland in northern Finland. Has worked well for me so far. Be sure to pack or buy locally a lot of hand warmer packs. You can stuff them down your boot legs and they will help.

Last time I was in Lapland a few years ago, I had only a small pocket camera with me and the auroras were amazing. The hotel owner said they were the strongest in over 20 years. Fun fact: the hotel I stayed at had an aurora alarm in each room.

Be prepared that you may not see anything, it can be cloudy for days.
12-23-2014, 02:51 PM   #19
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We did a trip which involved a lot of aurora in at the fall equinox a few years ago. I had a K5 and used a Tamron 10-24. For the aurora, stopped down isn't that necessary. They aren't what I'd call "sharp" to begin with. I would generally shoot with that lens wide open or close to it. Does it have to be super fast? I could only go to f3.5, and it was fine. If I did it all over, I might just bring the 15mm limited and shoot at its f4. I'd be happy enough. For daytime shots, you'll still probably want the wider angle. The landscapes in Iceland just beg for the wide angle treatment. Then you'll want f8. With the K5, don't be afraid to use high ISO. I shot out to 6400 for my aurora shots although of the 100's of photos I took of the northern lights, 90% of them were probably at ISO 800-1600.

As for landscape. Having the wide lens will allow you to get some landscape in. If you stop your lens down or use a long enough shutter speed, the aurora will light up the landscape for you. You won't need the moon much. We had a new moon and the landscape complemented the shots nicely. The best shots captures some of the surrounding water as the longer shutter speeds allowed the water to reflect the aurora.

In Iceland, don't expect trees. The island has very few. The original settlers cut down most of them 100's of years ago, and only in the past 50 years have there been any attempts to bring trees back.

A tripod is a definite must while you are there as would be a remote.

02-06-2015, 06:39 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by GAZ_XB9R Quote
I've bought the Samyang 14mm F/2.8
GAZ, Just be sure to get out at night and try some star shots with the lens to find infinity. My Rokinon was way off before adjustment (closer to 2M) and I will be double checking this week as it is still not quite right. Good luck with your aurora hunting, I will be in Iceland on my return from the UK around the equinox and solar eclipse this march, sadly I can only stay over a couple of days so fingers are crossed!
02-07-2015, 06:16 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by ZoeB Quote
And don't forget plenty of warm clothes.
One important consideration is what to wear on your hands while shooting. For cold conditions, I've had reasonable results with cheap woolen "finger mitts" - the type where you can flip back the part that covers your fingers.

These are made of fleece:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N55YWJC/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_dp_ss_1?pf_rd_p=1...4JSZ8W3V9P2CHG

Your thumb is still covered, which can be awkward, but if your camera is on a tripod, you'll probably be able to manage without using your thumb much.

I've found these mitts can be enhanced considerably by wearing a very thin glove underneath, so that your fingers are not 100% exposed when you're shooting. You just want something that slows heat loss from your finger tips without impeding your ability to work your camera controls. I've used thin cotton gloves a couple of times, but the other day I purchased some ultra thin, tight fitting fleece gloves that I will try out under the mitts.
02-11-2015, 11:16 PM   #22
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Hi gaz. I look forward to seeing your pictures, If you are on facebook, check out aurora borealis notifications group, they have some great links for beginners for taking pics of the Northern lights. To help keep your feet warmer, take a piece of cardboard to stand on. Also if you don't have a remote for your camera use the two second timer on your camera, it can make a big difference in a crisp picture of the northern lights a a blurry pic.
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