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Old 17th December 2012
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Re: lenses for Iceland/aurora trip

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That may be part of it John. But I've found you don't get the subtlety of colours with digital, especially the reds, purples and blues. It' almost as if the sensor 'sees' the greens more predominantly.
I'm happy with the colours I get from digital, certainly with Olympus cameras, but I agree that there is a certain quality (and I don't mean resolution) with film that cannot be replicated.
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Old 17th December 2012
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Re: lenses for Iceland/aurora trip

John, I'm only complaining about digital in regard to recording the northern lights.
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Old 17th December 2012
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Originally Posted by shirley View Post
Thank you all for your replies.

...
Chris, you have obviously done this before. Do you think it is worth hiring a 12mm or 45mm prime as I have the 12-50? Faster/sharper lens etc etc
...

Thanks guys
Looking at my latest I note iso 400 60 sec f2.8 for a middling brightness aurora so at f2 you are at 30 sec so at iso 1600 you have 8 sec...
Even if you just take the standard kit you will get good images
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Old 17th December 2012
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Re: lenses for Iceland/aurora trip

I don't have any personal experience photographing the northern lights, but a quick google will throw up a fair bit of info. One point I did see was that the aurora can be slow moving or quick moving, and so the latter will need a faster shutter speed (seconds rather than tens of seconds) in order for its internal structure not to be blurred. And that might need a larger aperture lens and/or high iso.

I stumbled on http://dzjow.wordpress.com/2011/08/2...rthern-lights/, and although it relates to conventional dslr use it is still pertinent. Have a look around the web.
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Old 17th December 2012
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Re: lenses for Iceland/aurora trip

...and there is http://www.flickr.com/groups/aurorawatch
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Re: lenses for Iceland/aurora trip

Chris, a bit OT but how often do you see the northern lights up there?
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Re: lenses for Iceland/aurora trip

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Chris, a bit OT but how often do you see the northern lights up there?
Varies...if aurorawatch goes 'yellow' then there is a reasonable show...but this is a low solar max so have not seen many beyond the auroral oval
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Re: lenses for Iceland/aurora trip

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John, I'm only complaining about digital in regard to recording the northern lights.
Regretably that's something of which I have no experience. I say "regretably" because it is one of the great shows of nature which I really would have liked to see for myself. I hope that Shirley gets a good show!
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Re: lenses for Iceland/aurora trip

Actually John, I think the predominance of green aurora in the posted links demonstrates my point. We saw 2 weak green aurora about a month ago but most of the strong/good shows I've seen had reds, blues and purples as well as greens. Non of my film shots have the predominance of green digital shots have.
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Re: lenses for Iceland/aurora trip

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Actually John, I think the predominance of green aurora in the posted links demonstrates my point. We saw 2 weak green aurora about a month ago but most of the strong/good shows I've seen had reds, blues and purples as well as greens. Non of my film shots have the predominance of green digital shots have.
Now you mention it, David, most of the recent aurora shoots I've seen are very green. Still very beautiful and spectacular but maybe not very accurate. I wonder if a Tiffen Enhancing filter would help boost the red spectrum without causing an overall cast?
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Old 18th December 2012
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Visually the aurora is white or a faint green colour. The digital reproduction is pretty faithful. Yes the stronger aurora do excite other gases more giving the other colours but most are oxygen green.

Shirley...it is the visual change that will take your breath away...photos are a reminder to spark your memory...
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Old 18th December 2012
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Re: lenses for Iceland/aurora trip

Green is mostly the predominate colour, if lucky you may see reds, purples or even blues. It's all down to the lady Aurora and the hand she deals out, so, as Chris said above, live the experience first and any photographs are just a reminder.

The last three years I've missed out on the December meteor shower so I'm hoping next year to combine the two - Meteors and the Aurora

If you 'really' know your camera inside out, it is possible to alter the colour balances to suit your personal taste? If in doubt, stick to daylight setting and remember to shoot in RAW - you have more control in PP and still retain all the original data intact.

As you're going in February, get out and about now in the cold and the dark and practice night togging. You'll be surprised at what can and will go wrong. As the Scout's say - 'be prepared'.

All I have to do now, is follow my own advice - easier said than done?
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Old 18th December 2012
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Re: lenses for Iceland/aurora trip

Shirley, do you have any old fast wide angle OM Zuiko lenses kicking about? The OMZ 21mm/F2 or the OMZ 24mm/F2 (+ cheap ebay adapter) might do at a pinch rather than having to hire anything; they would give you the speed even if not the FOV of the 12mm. The manual focus might even be a bonus.
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Old 18th December 2012
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Re: lenses for Iceland/aurora trip

Don't know what particular dates you're going Shirley, but it's probably worth checking to see what the moon is doing at that time. Ideally you might want to avoid times when the moon is full - looks like the middle of February would be your best bet.
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Old 20th December 2012
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Re: lenses for Iceland/aurora trip

Thank you so much to everybody, it is really helpful to draw on everybody's experience and knowledge.

I am leaving on 18th Feb for 4 nights, so I am hopeful that the lights will come out to play on at least one night. During the daytime we will be whizzing around in super jeeps, supposedly traveling where no other vehicle can go in winter, so there should be good opportunities to take frozen pics during the day, regardless of what happens in the evening/night!

I am stocking up on thermals and may buy a few extra batteries to avoid running out of juice in the cold.

I have followed all links suggested, they provide wonderful inspiration but the overriding advice seems to be to not forget to enjoy the display, regardless of the success or otherwise of the photography.

Thanks again, any other tips gratefully received.
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