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Thread: Lapland in December advice

  1. #1

    Default Lapland in December advice

    Hi

    Going to Lapland for 3 nights and I wanted advice about allowing what sort of camera settings will I need with so much snow. Any tips about taking photos of Northern Lights? I have a Canon EOS 5d iii and a Canon EF 24-105 F4 L USM.
    Also anything I need to consider about the the low temperatures?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member* John Liddle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lapland in December advice

    Hi Chris and welcome to the forum.

    SWMBO and I have been lucky enough to see and photograph the lights 3 times now. Be prepared for the possibility that they might not show!

    I have used both the 5D3 and the M5. Shoot in manual with ISO to 800-1600 (the lower the better), f4 to 5.6, exposure on bulb and anything from 5 to 15 seconds depending how bright they are. Use a tripod and a remote release. Take spare batteries and keep them warm in an inside pocket. Avoid breathing on the lens (using the lens hood helps here). Shoot in RAW and sort out noise etc in post processing.

    There are two approaches to focussing either :-
    prevent the focus ring from moving with a rubber band (like a wristband) and then focus using AF on a distant object during the day and then carefully switch to MF or
    use magnified live view and MF on the stars (but be careful not to jiggle the focus ring afterwards if you move the camera to get a different view).

    As to the cold - just wrap up bloody warm!

    Above all, take time to just look and wonder - the lights are an awe-inspiring sight and you need to see them with your heart as well as the camera.

    You can see some of my efforts in the Astrophotography section under "Christmas lights" and "Levi lights"

    Good luck and enjoy Finland
    John Liddle

    Backwell, North Somerset - "Where the cider apples grow"

  3. #3

    Default Re: Lapland in December advice

    That is wonderful John - I really appreciate your advice. We are very excited about the trip, particularly my six year old daughter!

  4. #4
    Member* colin C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lapland in December advice

    Welcome eForum Chris and we look forward to seeing your Northern Lights shots.
    Colin



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    Default Re: Lapland in December advice

    John has pretty much covered it. I used the same combination that you have and set to about 1000iso about f8.0 and 15-25 secs. It's generally best to try and get some foreground interest rather then just a green sky.
    When I went to Iceland, I'd read that it's best to see them when there's no visible moon but we had a full moon. Our photographer guide said if you just want to see them, then yes, no moon is best. if you want to photograph them then bright moon is better to light the foreground.
    Also familiarise yourself with the camera settings so you can adjust them in darkness.

    John

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    Default Re: Lapland in December advice

    If you want to avoid star trails then you can use the '600' rule. Divide 600 by focal length, this will give you longest exposure before star trails occur. Might be worth reading round as I seem to recall it's a figure of 500 for full frame.

    Did photograph the aurora in Iceland a few years ago and did some research on suitable techniques.

    Good tripod of course, manual focus. Use live view to zoom in on a star to determine focus. Switch off IS.
    Info I found suggested start exposure of ISO 800, f4 and 30 sec this was a good starting point. Worked well for me.

    I used a wireless remote so I could keep my hands in my pockets to keep warm.
    Canon 5D3, 7D2, 60D, Canon 70-200L f2.8 IS II, Canon 300 f4L IS, Canon 16-35 f4 L, Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, Canon 1.4 MkIII extender, Sigma AF 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM, Sigma 150-600 Contemporary, Tamron SP AF 70-300 F/4-5.6 Di VC USD, Canon EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/16830751@N03/

  7. #7
    Member* John Liddle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lapland in December advice

    Quote Originally Posted by antoeknee View Post

    I used a wireless remote so I could keep my hands in my pockets to keep warm.
    Cunning!
    John Liddle

    Backwell, North Somerset - "Where the cider apples grow"

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    Default Re: Lapland in December advice

    If the budget stretches as they are not cheap I would 200% recommend one of these, in cold weather my eyepiece mists over as you breathe on it, this stops that happening, I use one on my Canon 1D and when I cracked it due to dropping it.... duh!!! I bought another from these guys as the price was the best I found.

    Canon Anti-fog Eyecup

    http://www.speedgraphic.co.uk/viewfi...g/17241_p.html

    And although the above link says Canon 1D mk3 it is compatible, see

    https://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/c...og-eyepiece-eg



    Edit :
    And above all enjoy it :)


    .
    Last edited by TonyT; 22-11-2017 at 20:24.
    Canon 1DX, 50D, EF500 F4.0 L, EF100-400 f/4.5-5.6L I , EF100-400 f/4.5-5.6L II, EF70-200 f/2.8L II, EF180 f3.5L Macro, EF 24-105 f/4L, EF17-40 f/4L, EF2.0X III, EF1.4X III, 430EX II, MR-14EX...

  9. #9

    Default Re: Lapland in December advice

    Thanks for your tips - should I take head torch to help see? I have not used the camera in years so I am just trying to get my head round it again!
    Thanks again
    Chris

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Lapland in December advice

    I would and spare batteries for it and if doing a long exposure if your camera hasn't a shutter on the eyepeice, cover it to stop any stray light entering. Some cameras have a noise setting for long exposures too, but not been there so cannot comment.
    Canon 1DX, 50D, EF500 F4.0 L, EF100-400 f/4.5-5.6L I , EF100-400 f/4.5-5.6L II, EF70-200 f/2.8L II, EF180 f3.5L Macro, EF 24-105 f/4L, EF17-40 f/4L, EF2.0X III, EF1.4X III, 430EX II, MR-14EX...

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