CUSTOMER CASE STUDY: Photographing the Aurora Borealis in Iceland with the Canon EOS 5D IV.
6 April 2018
Here, our customer Christopher Warren shares his beautiful images of the Northern Lights, having hired the Canon 85mm f1.2L II USM from us, to use with his own Canon EOS 5D MK IV.
'We planned our trip so that we could spend a week driving across the South Coast of Iceland, we had a large 4X4 vehicle to get us to as remote a place as possible to avoid light pollution from built up areas. The camera kit that I'd selected to photograph the Northern Lights was a Canon EOS 5D MK IV, mainly for the broad ISO range and the Canon 85mm f1.2L II USM, provided by Hireacamera. The main reason for my choice of lens was the very wide aperture and that it would go well with the full-frame camera body. I also used a Manfrotto tripod.
Initially we weren't particularly lucky with the weather, we kept in regular touch with the Icelandic Met Office and, although there was a lot of activity from the Aurora, there was dense low cloud cover making good views impossible. (Contrary to common belief, the Northern Lights are not actually influenced by the weather, but the clouds make them hard to see.)
All of a sudden on the third day, the cloud cover began to clear and the Met Office were reporting significant Aurora activity - they have a scale from 0-9, they were rating it a 6 on this occasion. I set the camera up in the Manual mode, the camera and lens were an ideal combination; the wide aperture and sturdy tripod allowed for ISO ranges between 400 and 1600 to be used with a 10 second exposure time, reducing the need for the 'High ISO Noise Reduction' setting and reducing the time required to process the image, allowing the light from the stars to shine through. Initially we were a little unsure as the sun was just starting to set, whether we were seeing the Aurora or if it was our imagination, but as soon as the sun disappeared the sky lit up and we were treated to a truly memorable light show.'
We would like to say a massive thank you to Christopher for sharing his wonderful images with us!