Iceland

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Greg7579
OP Greg7579 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,041
Re: My trip to Iceland, the majority of keepers were...

rcautox wrote:

I spent 10 days traveling around Iceland in a camper van two years ago. Beautiful country with loads of photo ops. I couldn’t get ahold of the 100-200 or 250 in time for that trip and regretted it! I took the 110 since I own it but found I always wanted a longer lens. I can’t recall any desire for the longer lens during hikes so if I go back I’ll take the 250 since it’ll remain the car for hikes.

The golden triangle contains the majority of the sights so recommend alotting a good chunk of time there. The fjords in the east-ish were lovely with long, empty stretches of highway around wide, gentle sloping inlets. The puffin in the northwest are worth the trek. We went in late may and encountered a light snow storm. The fjords to the NW are steeper and closer to a “classic” image of a fjord.
Coming from Alaska you can think of Iceland as a very compressed version of Alaska’s highlights.

OK.  So what you are saying is I need the 100-200 and the 250.  I need to add the 100-200 as the 6th lens.  I will.

Three questions:

I will of course do the Golden Triangle near the capitol but will also do the entire 286 mile ring road and all the paved major turnoffs.  How would you rate the possibility of a car break-in while it is parked and we are on a 4 hour hike?

I know you camped, but as you drove along did you see a lot of accommodation available for that day?  What month were you there?

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DMillier Forum Pro • Posts: 22,882
Re: My trip to Iceland, the majority of keepers were...

i wouldn't agree the golden triangle is where it is all at. It's fantastic everywhere! But the weather obviously makes different places look different at different times.

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DMillier Forum Pro • Posts: 22,882
Re: My trip to Iceland, the majority of keepers were...

RHWeber wrote:

Greg, I was in Iceland a couple of years ago on a Muench Photo workshop. I found that I shot a number of good shots with a 16 mm lens on my full frame Canon. I would take the Fuji 23 mm lens. I think you will like it. If you are looking for a short guided trip into the interior I suggest that you check out https://arcticexposure.is. One of the principle in the company is Skarpi Thrainsson. He is a terrific photographer. He was one of our guides on the Muench trip and is a wonderful guide. You can see some his work at: https://photos.skarpi.is. Have a great trip.

It's amazing how often I recognise places on websites..."Oh look, I took that photo 15 years ago!"

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I guess as someone who didn't get on an aeroplane before the age of 33, it's probably best regarded as a good thing....

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Greg7579
OP Greg7579 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,041
Re: My trip to Iceland, the majority of keepers were...
1

DMillier wrote:

RHWeber wrote:

Greg, I was in Iceland a couple of years ago on a Muench Photo workshop. I found that I shot a number of good shots with a 16 mm lens on my full frame Canon. I would take the Fuji 23 mm lens. I think you will like it. If you are looking for a short guided trip into the interior I suggest that you check out https://arcticexposure.is. One of the principle in the company is Skarpi Thrainsson. He is a terrific photographer. He was one of our guides on the Muench trip and is a wonderful guide. You can see some his work at: https://photos.skarpi.is. Have a great trip.

It's amazing how often I recognise places on websites..."Oh look, I took that photo 15 years ago!"

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I guess as someone who didn't get on an aeroplane before the age of 33, it's probably best regarded as a good thing....

Every place on Earth has been photographed tens of thousands of times and everyone is inundated with images.  But that doesn't mean we still can't get impressive shots with our Medium Format gear and being at the right place at the right time with great light can differentiate us from the great unwashed masses waving a phone around.  😁

I'm amazed that I'm so obsessed with camera stability with a 10,000 dollar camera body with great IBIS while on a monopod and shooting with a 4000 dollar lens with great OIS while 99.999% of the worlds population are taking shots with a phone camera with a sensor the size of a pea and holding it with two fingers and a thumb.

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MrPineappleHead New Member • Posts: 18
Re: Iceland

Greg7579 wrote:

Guys, we were going to Crete in July because it opened, but Iceland just opened. and it may be the right time to finally go.

We have wanted to go to Iceland for five years but in July and August it has been so packed that rental cars were super expensive and very hard to get and hotels and available rooms on the famous ring road (and its tributaries) were completely full and had to be booked weeks or months in advance. That killed it for me because I'm not smart enough to figure out 6 months out where where I will be every night on a long road trip by car. I just want to drive, hike day hikes and shoot and book two days out as I go.

But now rental cars are available in Iceland (but extremely expensive) and rooms seem to be open enough to not have to book your whole trip and have some moving-around flexibility. But there is a chance the normal throngs of humanity could come piling back in there soon, so it could bite me.

Wo, we will arrive in Iceland on 5 July and stay 25 days and will have a rental car the whole time and explore the ring road any any other paved roads that extend off the ring road and loop around the main peninsulas. The interior of the island is only reached by super-jeeps or other specialized 4WD very-high clearance vehicles and one has to go by guided tour. I probably won't do that (but might).

We will do short hikes and I of course will be shooting every day like a madman.

I will take whatever I can fit on the plane with me. On my back will be the Peak Design Everyday Backpack Version 2 loaded with my 15 inch Dell XPR 4K laptop, 250 (w 1.4x TC), 45-100, 23, 30 and 45. On my shoulder will be the Compagna Little weekender with my 10 inch tablet, GFX 100 body, 50r converted body, the EVF and tilt adaptor in a sunglasses case and the Leica Q2.

In my checked bag will be the RRS tripod, monopod and filter case (with CPs and NDs).

That is it.

I will leave these GF lenses at home:

32-64 - I have it covered with the 30 and 45-100, but I love that lens.

100-200 - I need it. But for long I will just use the 250 and for the short I have the 45-100.

50 - Nope. I have the 45 and 45-100.

110 - Very tempting, but you can't carry everything and I have the 100 for landscapes covered well with the 45-100.

120 - No way.

63 - Nope. Got it with the 45-100.

Any comments on the lens selection for Iceland and all those incredible landscape opportunities?

Congrats, you'll love Iceland. While I no longer live there, I was in Reykjavik and I am half Icelandic myself. I think you are more than covered with the focal lengths and lenses you are bringing. The GFX system will really do the landscapes of my homeland justice.

Funnily enough, I used to work for a couple of the car rental companies in Iceland so I can appreciate how expensive it is to rent for that amount of time. My advice would be to get a 4x4 and do not hit any sheep (the insurance included does not cover that!). Also, you are not insured if you are crossing rivers. If you have any questions about where to visit or certain places I'd be happy to answer. Make sure you visit the erupting volcano and do so at night so you can get some awesome shots of the lava. I'm jealous that you'll be there for so long.

Also, make sure you have good hiking boots, and weather proof clothing, the conditions change every five minutes.

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DMillier Forum Pro • Posts: 22,882
Re: My trip to Iceland, the majority of keepers were...

Greg7579 wrote:

DMillier wrote:

RHWeber wrote:

Greg, I was in Iceland a couple of years ago on a Muench Photo workshop. I found that I shot a number of good shots with a 16 mm lens on my full frame Canon. I would take the Fuji 23 mm lens. I think you will like it. If you are looking for a short guided trip into the interior I suggest that you check out https://arcticexposure.is. One of the principle in the company is Skarpi Thrainsson. He is a terrific photographer. He was one of our guides on the Muench trip and is a wonderful guide. You can see some his work at: https://photos.skarpi.is. Have a great trip.

It's amazing how often I recognise places on websites..."Oh look, I took that photo 15 years ago!"

Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I guess as someone who didn't get on an aeroplane before the age of 33, it's probably best regarded as a good thing....

Every place on Earth has been photographed tens of thousands of times and everyone is inundated with images. But that doesn't mean we still can't get impressive shots with our Medium Format gear and being at the right place at the right time with great light can differentiate us from the great unwashed masses waving a phone around. 😁

I'm amazed that I'm so obsessed with camera stability with a 10,000 dollar camera body with great IBIS while on a monopod and shooting with a 4000 dollar lens with great OIS while 99.999% of the worlds population are taking shots with a phone camera with a sensor the size of a pea and holding it with two fingers and a thumb.

I hate using phone cameras because of the ergonomics and being effectively blind at distances less than 3 feet unless I have my reading glasses on in which case I am blind to anything beyond 3 feet.

But you have to admire what they've achieved with those devices.  I have some prints I made from my now long defunct 5MP Razr phone camera. They look just as good as any dedicated camera up to about 8" x 6".

The newer stuff seems amazing if you can get over trying to shoot pictures with a rectangular slab of glass with no physical controls.

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rcautox Regular Member • Posts: 140
Re: My trip to Iceland, the majority of keepers were...

DMillier wrote:

i wouldn't agree the golden triangle is where it is all at. It's fantastic everywhere! But the weather obviously makes different places look different at different times.

You misunderstood me. I said the majority of the attractions are in the Golden Triangle. I then listed my favorite spots at each “corner” of the country. My point being-don’t rush past the Golden Triangle to get away from the crowds like we did. There are loads of amazing things to see in that small region. The entire country is spectacular. My wife reminded me we loved the north coast, west of the puffin if memory serves.

I imagine lodging options drop with distance from the capital. That said it’s a small country so I wouldn’t stress about location of lodging.

I never felt concerned leaving my camera gear in the van while hiking. I wouldn’t take the 100-200 if I had the 250. Obviously take ND filters. I used my 6x the most but needed the 10x a few times.

cjb
cjb Regular Member • Posts: 491
Re: Iceland

Fun mental exercise! What about this combination?

  • 23
  • 32-64
  • 100-200
  • 250+1.4TC
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DMillier Forum Pro • Posts: 22,882
Re: My trip to Iceland, the majority of keepers were...

rcautox wrote:

DMillier wrote:

i wouldn't agree the golden triangle is where it is all at. It's fantastic everywhere! But the weather obviously makes different places look different at different times.

You misunderstood me.

I do that often. Apologies.

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nameless0ne
nameless0ne Regular Member • Posts: 421
Re: Iceland

I honestly do not understand need to bring so much gear. I will be fine with just 23, 45-100 and 100-200. Even maybe with just 23 and 100-200.

Less weight — more hikes, more energy to bring better pictures. Less time spent on thinking which lens to choose. That‘s my way.

Knowing what u have I will take Leica Q2, 23 and 100-200 with 50r. (Or 100s?). Lightweight is an asset.

Wish yuo great time in Iceland!

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Mwalrod New Member • Posts: 4
Re: Iceland

I just returned from 10 days in Iceland. I split my time between the south coast, Snaefellsness peninsula and  only a day in the golden circle. The south coast was probably my favorite, but all the areas were incredibly beautiful. I’m planning to return in September or October and would like to explore the highlands and the north coast.

I brought the 23, 32-64, 45-100 and 100-200 and used them all extensively. I only wished I had something wider. I also brought my A7riv and a few Voigtlander primes for backup, but never used that system or even carried it with me.

My backpack was certainly heavy, but the nice thing about Iceland is I felt comfortable leaving lenses in the car as needed to lighten the load.

Mark

Greg7579
OP Greg7579 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,041
Re: Iceland

MrPineappleHead wrote:

Greg7579 wrote:

Guys, we were going to Crete in July because it opened, but Iceland just opened. and it may be the right time to finally go.

We have wanted to go to Iceland for five years but in July and August it has been so packed that rental cars were super expensive and very hard to get and hotels and available rooms on the famous ring road (and its tributaries) were completely full and had to be booked weeks or months in advance. That killed it for me because I'm not smart enough to figure out 6 months out where where I will be every night on a long road trip by car. I just want to drive, hike day hikes and shoot and book two days out as I go.

But now rental cars are available in Iceland (but extremely expensive) and rooms seem to be open enough to not have to book your whole trip and have some moving-around flexibility. But there is a chance the normal throngs of humanity could come piling back in there soon, so it could bite me.

Wo, we will arrive in Iceland on 5 July and stay 25 days and will have a rental car the whole time and explore the ring road any any other paved roads that extend off the ring road and loop around the main peninsulas. The interior of the island is only reached by super-jeeps or other specialized 4WD very-high clearance vehicles and one has to go by guided tour. I probably won't do that (but might).

We will do short hikes and I of course will be shooting every day like a madman.

I will take whatever I can fit on the plane with me. On my back will be the Peak Design Everyday Backpack Version 2 loaded with my 15 inch Dell XPR 4K laptop, 250 (w 1.4x TC), 45-100, 23, 30 and 45. On my shoulder will be the Compagna Little weekender with my 10 inch tablet, GFX 100 body, 50r converted body, the EVF and tilt adaptor in a sunglasses case and the Leica Q2.

In my checked bag will be the RRS tripod, monopod and filter case (with CPs and NDs).

That is it.

I will leave these GF lenses at home:

32-64 - I have it covered with the 30 and 45-100, but I love that lens.

100-200 - I need it. But for long I will just use the 250 and for the short I have the 45-100.

50 - Nope. I have the 45 and 45-100.

110 - Very tempting, but you can't carry everything and I have the 100 for landscapes covered well with the 45-100.

120 - No way.

63 - Nope. Got it with the 45-100.

Any comments on the lens selection for Iceland and all those incredible landscape opportunities?

Congrats, you'll love Iceland. While I no longer live there, I was in Reykjavik and I am half Icelandic myself. I think you are more than covered with the focal lengths and lenses you are bringing. The GFX system will really do the landscapes of my homeland justice.

Funnily enough, I used to work for a couple of the car rental companies in Iceland so I can appreciate how expensive it is to rent for that amount of time. My advice would be to get a 4x4 and do not hit any sheep (the insurance included does not cover that!). Also, you are not insured if you are crossing rivers. If you have any questions about where to visit or certain places I'd be happy to answer. Make sure you visit the erupting volcano and do so at night so you can get some awesome shots of the lava. I'm jealous that you'll be there for so long.

Also, make sure you have good hiking boots, and weather proof clothing, the conditions change every five minutes.

Mr. PineappleHead ... I thought you lived in Hawaii!  You are now my valuable resource and I will PM you for advice.  I'm not sure why I need a 4X4 because I will never leave the pavement and they say the paved ring road and paved off-shoots are good for a normal sedan in July.  But I might go ahead and get a 4x4. I'm afraid if I get a 4x4 it will be beat up and abused at 230 bucks a day.  I don't want to go off-road in Iceland unless I'm on a guided trip in a super-jeep.

Anyway, I have great hiking gear and clothes - it's just getting it there.   I'm very experienced and at my age (64, but thankfully fit), I don't take chances because Teresa is with me and I do 8 or 9 miles and under- preferably under if a long day hike, but prefer two or three short hikes in a day.  If I decide to do a long 8 - hour day hike, it will be with the Q2 only.  Short 2, 3 and 4 mile hikes I will hump GFX gear.

And I don't like stream crossings on hikes.  We have water shoes in the pack, but I don't like it these days.  It's an alert signal for me now.

I'm an old Army Infantry Ranger.  My goal now at 64 is to not spend a night on the trail and not get in trouble on the trail.  (I have spent hundreds of nights sleeping on hard ground in my life after hiking very long distances with heavy loads in places best left forgotten.)

Anyway, I want short hikes to great places and I want my GFX gear with me, and I want the rest of it safely back in my car at the trailhead - a car that will not be broken into.  😁

And ... I occasionally I will need to hole-up in a place with good connectivity so I can upload images here and to Flickr.

But one question.... When I land at 6 in the morning I'm getting my car and blasting off North on the Ring Road and I will book two nights somewhere and get adjusted.

I'm trying to decide if I should start or end the trip in the Reykjavik.  2 nights max.  Maybe 3.  Tell me where to book when I land.  I can drive 2 or 3 hours from the airport on the ring road or golden triangle route near the City, but then I want to find a place and go to sleep.  It's an all-night flight and I don't sleep on airplanes.

Do me a favor.  Call some friends or relatives and ask what they think this July will be like compared to the July before Covid.  Will it be full again or half-empty in Iceland when it comes to the tourist mobs out in the parks, major sites and on the ring road.  That's what I really want to know.

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Greg7579
OP Greg7579 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,041
Re: My trip to Iceland, the majority of keepers were...

Good advice - thx....

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Greg7579
OP Greg7579 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,041
Re: My trip to Iceland, the majority of keepers were...

DMillier wrote:

I hate using phone cameras because of the ergonomics and being effectively blind at distances less than 3 feet unless I have my reading glasses on in which case I am blind to anything beyond 3 feet.

Me too!  True of almost everyone over 60....

But you have to admire what they've achieved with those devices (phone cameras)....

Yes.  It is amazing.

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raymondg Contributing Member • Posts: 976
Re: Some further thoughts...

The quality of Fuji lenses are fantastic. There is very little to gain in the field with Primes over Zooms for most uses (billboards aside). Taking the 32-64 instead of the 30 and 45 gains space and weight with very little loss. In fact, you actually gain. You cannot always position yourself to suit a prime and zooms can be very handy there. Not  a heap happening from 64-100 IMO hence my call on that one.

The 250 is a beautiful lens but not very versatile. I think you would get more out of a 100-200 and TC if you must. You would probably want to be on a tripod anyway so the lower f stop shouldn't be a problem.

Did I mention that Iceland is windy... always windy? The most claims for hire car damage in Iceland is for doors being blown off/damaged due to wind...so watch it when opening doors.

I was ok with my camera backpack when I flew internationally (A380) but the Iceland Air flight was a much smaller plane and it was a close call on weight. 5 or 6 GF lenses plus camera and accessories is stretching it. I think Iceland Air has a generous 22 pound carry on limit but also be careful on size as you really don't want to have to check your gear in.

Final thought. I took Zeiss primes with me that I already had covered by the zooms. In the end, I could not tell the difference between lenses and could have saved myself a lot of back pain and sensor dirt. Iceland is wet, windy, has fine sand and you do not want to change lenses too often.

Enjoy  you trip, it is a fantastic place and a photographers dream. BTW, you need to take all the cliche/iconic photos before you go for that unique shot. Otherwise, people will not believe you ever went there (lol)

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dick Forum Member • Posts: 51
Re: Iceland

I've just returned from an 8-day trip to Iceland.

I'm not able to help with your photogrpahy questions. However I thought that I'd recommend that you make sure that you see the Fagradalsfjall erupting volcano and Háifoss (a waterfall). For me, these were the two highlights of my trip (though I didn't do the ring).

Re the expense of visiting Iceland, I found hire car and accommodation not too bad but eating out and drinking out very expensive.

There aren't many tourists in Iceland at the moment - the car parks for the attractions weren't very full.

I hope that you have a great trip.

Regards

kristian1 Senior Member • Posts: 2,909
Re: Iceland
2

Hi Greg

In my opinion in Iceland is always better to have more lenses than less , since most of the attractions are not far from parking , no long hiking distances. And after all you can always leave some gear in car when you want to take longer walk.

Maybe there will be times that you will want wider then 23mm lens , for example make sure to visit Seljalandsfoss (it is on the main road) best is to visit before sunset when light is hitting water as backlight (need luck to have clear day) , but in this location you will need wider lens for some compositions when you are behind waterfall (my recommendation is stacking vertical images with 23mm).

Also make sure to visit Kvernufoss Waterfall , it is not very well known but it is very short walk from main road and in my opinion must visit.

I am sure you will enjoy there and bring some great images.

Also don't look for always sunny days , on cloudy day there are many great opportunities to make some moody shots.

Edit: someone suggested to protect your gear from water , I was twice there in Iceland (at that time didn't have Fuji GFX) but used Canon 5dsr , and it got really really wet from waterfalls , I didn't protect it and it survived, for sure it is better to be careful but I wouldn't be too worried since Fuji is also weather sealed.

All the best

Kristian

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Simon Pollard
Simon Pollard Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: Iceland

I have done the Iceland ring road a couple of years ago in November / early winter and am returning this November to do similar but with greater focus on the south coast section.  The conditions / weather / light can be off the scale at that time of year due to low angles of the sun all day (short days).  Not for the faint hearted when the snow storms come in though !!  Oh yes ... very expensive for food / drink in particular.

I will take 23, 45-100, 100-200, 250 with 1.4x

Perfect !!

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Ed Constable Regular Member • Posts: 396
Re: Iceland

Get a 4x4.

Why take the 45?

But enjoy. Iceland is wonderful, beautiful and can deliver some wonderful culinary experiences (not puffin ... there are some outstanding restaurants and chefs)

Ed

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Greg7579
OP Greg7579 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,041
Re: Iceland

Ed Constable wrote:

Get a 4x4.

Why take the 45?

But enjoy. Iceland is wonderful, beautiful and can deliver some wonderful culinary experiences (not puffin ... there are some outstanding restaurants and chefs)

Ed

Thanks Ed.  Sure, I have the 45 covered with the 45-100, but I'm taking the 45 for hikes and city-walks in the Capitol.  Also, I have several ND filters for the 45 and that will be good for streams and some waterfalls.

Plus, It's the 45!

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