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Thread: Recent trip to Iceland

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Holland
    Posts
    8

    Re: Recent trip to Iceland

    Hi Steve,

    my trip to Iceland is planned form juli 21th til august 7th ! As you have experience in taking LF gear with you to Iceland...maybe I can pose a few questions:

    -Is it wise to ship my gear (Sinar F2 + stuff) to a poste restante adress, or take as baggage in the plane
    -Whata is your experience with the x-raying in the aurport in Iceland (or did you find an adress where one can buy 4x5 film and have it develeoped).

    Hope to be able to add my experiences in amonth or so.

    regards


    Francois

  2. #12

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Wales
    Posts
    193

    Re: Recent trip to Iceland

    Hi Francois. I visited Iceland exactly a year ago and only took LF with me. The experience has lead me to change plans for a forthcoming trip back to Iceland on 7 April 2009. I am happy to share these experiences with you/anyone who is interested . Warning this is a long post!

    I decided to camp during my 2 week stay and this meant that I was lumbered with a great deal of camping equipment as well as my LF gear. The idea was to allow me to "be at the right place at the right time" - but the unpredictable weather (howling wind!) meant that I spent more time sleeping in the rental car than in the tent! Next year I plan on using the International Hostels and have booked a single room for approx 22 GBP per night in a number of locations.

    If you plan on renting a vehicle to get around then MAKE SURE you rent a 4x4 - I didn't and although a great deal of the Ring Road is surfaced with tarmac a large stretch is still very rough gravel roads - bone shaking in a regular car.

    4x4 rental IS expensive but is the only way to confidently travel around Iceland if photography is the reason for your visit. I consider myself a fairly confident/capable driver (ex-Police) but I had more hairy moments driving at low speeds on "major" roads than I have ever had chasing bad guys! . Driving in Iceland is "an art form" and the capabilities of a 4x4 will ceratinly improve driving confidence without meaning you have to take to the rivers!! I have booked a 4x4 for my next visit

    I toyed with the idea of shipping film to Iceland, buying it there or carrying it myself - shipping was expensive, buying sheet film is a non-starter and so taking it yourself is the best option (IMHO). I appreciate that there is a thread on another part of this forum where there is an on-going debate about the effects of X-rays etc. But flying out of Gatwick (London) and the return had no visible impact on the film I used - a combination of Fuji Provia 100 in 5x4 and 120 roll film. But all film was carried on my person!

    I carried my equipment as follows: Ebony 45SU body, 4 lenses and 200 sheets of Fuji Quickload film, 25 rolls of 120 roll film in a Lowepro Pro Trekker as carry-on luggage (way over the 6kg weight limit but no-one checked). However, lugging this on the trek through departures at Gatwick was a pain. Quickload film comes in boxes of 20 envelopes, but you can squeeze a few more into each box without damage. I carried a spare envelope in my pocket to show any inquisitive security but it went through scanners without any issues.

    I wore a photo vest Looked a complete $%&^% but managed to carry an extra 2 boxes of Quickload film and a spare ground glass/frame for the Ebony. I also carried 10 rolls of 120 film in leg pockets on my cargo pants - can't believe I didn't get pulled!

    I checked 2 LARGE holdalls as checked luggage and had to pay about 60 extra for excess baggage (but knew this prior to flying and got a discount by paying on-line). These holdalls contained basic food supplies, tent, sleeping bag, inflatable mat, cooker, clothes, etc etc! I packed my Gitzo 1325 CF tripod in its original (heavy-duty) cardboard box and was able to fill the availabe space in the box with odds and ends! I also carried the following photo equipment in Peli Cases (small) inside the holdall - Art Panorama 6x17cms film back and viewer, light meter, spare light meter, Fuji Quickload back, spare Quickload back! cable releases, cleaning kit (a must!), LEE filters and holders and a Fuji 300mm T lens. I tried to cover every eventuality by taking lens spanner, screwdrivers etc too. This proved useful as I discovered (after shooting) a roll of 120 film (after waiting for an hour and a half at a location for weather to improve) that one of the screws/bolts in the casing of the Art Pan back had fallen out - leaving a nice hole directly above the exposed film being taken up on the spool After much swearing I managed to locate the screw and bolt in the case and was able to replace them - believe it or not the developed roll of film only showed the tiniest amount of fogging on the outer edge of two frames

    Cleaning kit is a must!!!!! Iceland should be renamed "Dustland" - so make sure you have an air-blower, lens brushes, cleaning solution and a few microfibre cloths too. If you are planning on shooting near the coast then make sure that you have a cloth to wipe down equipment from spray carried in the air.

    So how will my plans change for my next trip?

    I've decided against Quickloads - The weight and space taken up by the boxes of film was too great. I plan on taking regular sheet film, 120 roll film and a harrison tent. All film will be carried on my person but NOT WEARING THE PHOTO VEST AGAIN

    I'm cutting down lenses to just 3 - a 75mm, 110mm and a 150mm.

    I'm taking the Ebony 45SU and the lenses as carry-on (need to find a smaller backpack too as the weight limit on next flight is only 6kgs)

    I'm taking one holdall as checked luggage. This will carry the Gitzo CF and Manfrotto 410 head, a small Peli case for the 6x17 back and viewer, peli case for double dark slides (20) and light meter, cleaning kit etc. This will carry spare clothes. NO CAMPING GEAR but will take a sleeping bag - for hostels and (if) sleeping in the car is necessary.

    My biggest mistake was in thinking I could "do" Iceland in 2 weeks My advice is to research the island and then focus on one end or the other - don't try and cram it all in one visit - just accept the fact that you will have to/want to/need to visit Iceland more than once!

    My next trip will concentrate on the south of the island from Vik to Hofn. This stretch looks so short on the map but take it from me the Icelandic road conditions mean that travel times are three times that on normal roads - but much more fun!!

    I'll shut up now!!

    Feel free to email me if you have any other questions!

    Regards Paul

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Holland
    Posts
    8

    Cool Re: Recent trip to Iceland

    Hi Paul,

    this is valuable info !!! Indeed I arranged for for 4x4 including hostels to avoid camping in the open air (I've been doing quite a lot of travelling and gained experience the hard way . Because of the awful amount of gear I'm going to take with me I decided today to ship of the Sinar with DHL (and start praying in church for the next few days......)
    Anyway, since I do not have any experience in driving a 4x4 it'll be an adventure, maybe a quit course would be in place. I'll take your advice and simply sneak the filmmaterial on my body through the safety checks. Further; your're probably right; one cannot 'do' iceland in just a few weeks. I'll siply regards this trip ma first scouting tour; because if half of what I expect is true it'll be worthwhile to come again (as I should to Tasmania, Namibia, Mali, Scotland, Wales, Turkey, Kazachstan, China etc. etc., life is too short I'm afraid ).

    Anyway; thanks for you comprehensive reply, once back I'll report on my own findings (including photographs), and, who knows, we might meet somewhere, sometime !!



    Francois

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    5

    Re: Recent trip to Iceland

    Thanks for sharing your experience - the picture is really nice.

  5. #15

    Re: Recent trip to Iceland

    "I am now looking for the smallest back pack possible to hold the Ebony 45SU and associated gear."

    I love the Kelty Redwing 3100 backpack as a 2-3 day pack for warm weather.

    If you cut a couple if small 1/4 inch slits where the rear focusing knobs go, the 45SU fits perfectly in a small $9 Igloo cooler which has the hard plastic insert and the padding as well. There are a few small ones made so take your camera to the store if you're interested. I use a knee pressure wrap as a pad in front of the camera and packing plastic behind the camera.

    Photobackpacker.com also makes really nice camera and lens cases that mount on a backerboard specifically for this pack which are very light and rugged.

  6. #16

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Wales
    Posts
    193

    Re: Recent trip to Iceland

    I think I've sorted a backpack for my Iceland trip next April - a Tamrac Adventure 10. This will carry the camera and lenses as carry-on and everything else will be checked. I've ordered a camera case and lens cases from Photobackpacker to fit it out.

  7. #17

    Re: Recent trip to Iceland

    That is a really nice bag for carry on. I'd love to hear what you think of it once you've used it for a while.

    Happy Trails!

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