I was lucky enough to spend some time in Iceland in the early spring – the trip of a lifetime, and the chance to take some photographs of the stunning landscape.
This was a photographic opportunity not to be missed, so I thought long and hard about what equipment to take with me. How many camera bodies, which lenses? A heavy tripod or a lightweight one? Or perhaps just a monopod? Which filters shall I pack, should I use a battery grip, and which bag will I put all of this in?
In the end I went against all this and decided to keep it really, really simple. My kit of choice was the trusty Fuji X100, with a wide angle converter attached to give an equivalent field of view of the classic 28mm. Nothing else, that’s it.
There’s something very refreshing about travelling this light with a single, fixed lens camera. Some people may find that they can’t get away without the flexibility of a zoom, but I’ve have always had a soft spot for primes. It’s just one less thing to worry about, one less distraction.
You look through the viewfinder and think more about composing your shot, and if you need to zoom in you move forwards, and move back to zoom out. Also, Iceland isn’t really the place to have to worry about taking a lens off a camera and fitting a new one mid shot. The weather can be particularly wild out there, and personally I’d look to keep the camera weather sealed at all times.
The Fuji wide angle adapter in particular is a stunning achievement by Fuji. Attaching this widens the view from 35mm to 28mm, but there’s no loss in quality and no loss in light – the maximum aperture is still a very useful f2. I attached the adapter before I caught my flight to Reykjavik, and it stayed on the camera permanently until I landed back in Edinburgh ten days later.
As a travel camera I can’t recommend the X100 highly enough. It’s well built and compact, but oozes quality, and produces results that match much larger and more expensive DSLR cameras. It also managed to capture all the features of the very different landscapes Iceland has to offer. It records all the detail in the highlights of the steam emitted from the volcanic fissures, and of the snow covering the mountains, whilst also not blocking out the shadows in the black volcanic beaches along the south coast. It handled everything that was asked of it with ease.
Here are some examples of the images I took, again all on the X100, and all with the wide angle adapter fitted.