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Wife and I are making our first trip to hopefully catch the lights in 4 weeks, looking for any advice. Doing lots of reading, plenty of good sources online but any special tips from anyone with experience is appreciated.
-Planning on taking old 5D, rebel T2i, nikon V1. Figure needing to shoot at iso 800 with f/2.8 or faster. Other than 50/1.8, I do not right now have any fast wide lenses. Without breaking the bank, looking at tokina 11-16/2.8 and samyang 35/1.4, may even pick up the 10/2.8 for the nikon. Have never owned any sigma lenses, any strong feelings about any of their semi-wide 1.8's instead of the samyang? Likely not going as expensive as the canon 24/1.4.
-Read somewhere to use wired cable release but not infrared in the cold but cannot find a reason. Any ideas?
-Anyone with equipment failures from cold with these cameras?
-Any SD/CF card issues at cold temps?
thank in advance,
I would suggest not overloading yourself with too much gear. Fumbling around in the dark changing lenses and such is quite tedious, and half of the fun is just relaxing and watching the show yourself withou the camera. Rent a Nikon 14-24 or a Canon 16-35 MkII - either one covers essentially everything you would need to shoot successfully. Maybe rent a Zeiss 21 f/2 for a prime. 24mm is about the max I ever shoot Aurora at anyway - anything longer just doesn't look as interesting IMO.
Experiment with exposure times. The Aurora have intricate detail which shows in fast (5-10 sec) exposures, but also look quite pleasing at longer exposures (30-45 sec).
Camera gear holds up fine in the cold. I've had my stuff out at -50F with no problems, though battery life gets short. Take extyra batteries and keep them in an inside coat pocket when not in use. Cables get stiff at those temps, but the most limiting factor will be your endurance. We've been having a really cold winter so far, so be sure to bring plenty of Arctic Gear!