Some days with a Loxia lens trio in arctic climate

Started Feb 17, 2017 | Discussions thread
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Magnar W
Magnar W Senior Member • Posts: 2,481
Some days with a Loxia lens trio in arctic climate

Last weekend I was hired for a job at 78 degrees north, in the Longyear city on Svarbard, where the arctic night still rules and the sun never rises. We had some daylight though, more like dawn or dusk with the sun slightly below the horizon in the middle of the day. About eight week from now and until late august, the midnight sun will never set. Normally februar is normlly cold, with themperatures around minus 15 to 20 degrees Celsius, but this weekend the temperture was fluctuating between zero and minus ten degrees - not freezingly cold as I walked around with good clothes and gloves.

In the Longyear city, with about 2000 inhibitants, we are quite well protected from polar bears, but when we are leaving the center of this small city we have to stay close to the car if polar bears should show up, as we did not carry any weapons for protection - the polar bears run at about 50 km per hour for long distances, so you can't escape from them. We were three persons, but with three agains one the polar beer will be the winner anyway!

I bought with my Sony A7, a small Gitzo tripod, and the Loxia 21 mm f:2.8, 35 mm f:2 and 85 mm f:2.4 manual focus primes, which was a superb lens trio for such a trip. I had no problem operating the camera or lenses in the arctic climate, and I often replaced the lenses, also at night. The manual focus works like a breeze, these are excellent lenses!

Here are some pictures whict all tell something about distinctive characteristics of Svalbard. Enjoy!

The last full moon that is seen from Svalbard this spring. When the next full moon is arriving, the night sky will be almost as bright as on a cloudy day. Panorama, Loxia 21 mm at f:5,6.

Mountains across the bay, lit by the full moon. In the foreground a part of the coal transportation system that is lit like a mini Eiffel tower. Panorama, Loxia 85 mm f:8.

A station where coal from two mines met and were reloaded to one main transportation system to the longyear city. The station is lit by blue lamps, and stands out like a piece of art in the arctic landscape. We can also glimpse traces from polar light in the sky. Panorama, Loxia 85 mm f:5.6.

In the middle of the day - no rising sun at all. A view against buildings and the widespread transportation system from coal mining. Now international space science and other kind of research is an important part of the activity up here. Panorama, Loxia 85 mm f:8.

How people live, and cableway poles for coal transportation. Panorma, Loxia 21 mm f:5.6.

Typical houses in the Longyear city, Svalbard. They are small, but expensive, and it is not cheap living up here. Here are many shops, restaurants, galleries, hotels, etc. though.

The people are very nice and poses when they are asked - here an inhabitant with one of his dogs. Driving dogsleds are popular both as speartime activity, and for guiding tourists around. Loxia 85 mm f:2.8.

Some of the arctic arcitecture. Many buildings are put on the ground, others are built on poles that reaches fore to five meters into the perma frost. Mild winters the last years have caused a lot of trouble for many buildings though.

There is a church, and also a small hospotal, but people are not allowed to die here! Panorama, Loxia 85 mm f:8.

A mom with her small child, dressed for cold climate and marked to be seen by cars during the arctic night, with no daylight at all for months! Loxia 85 mm f:2.8.

Polar light seen from north of the polar light arch, so we actually have to look south! This photo and others from outside the town were taken where you can be surprised by dangerous polar bears. Loxia 21 mm f:2.8.

Here we can see the lights from a dog sledge ride in the shadows under the moonlit characteristic mountains on Svalbard. Being here is like visiting a different planet! Loxia 35 mm f:5.6

You can not find any greenhouse further north in the world! This one is at 78 degrees north, not far from the ice surrounding the north pole! Loxia 21 mm f:8.

There is still some coal mining activity from this mine, mine No. 7. High dynamic range (HDR), Loxia 21 mm f:8.

 Magnar W's gear list:Magnar W's gear list
Sony Alpha a7 Sony Alpha a7R III Sony FE 90mm F2.8 macro Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8 Zeiss Loxia 35 +2 more
Sony Alpha a7 Zeiss Loxia 21mm F2.8
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