Welcome to my page and welcome to my blog. No you didn't miss anything. This is my first blog entry. I've moved to the arctic island Svalbard to up my skillset on operating a camera in polar regions. The cold and wind chill is a surprisingly limiting factor. Oh, and getting used to being on polar bear watch at all times while out and about.
Svalbard is an island neighbouring the North Pole situated at 78deg North. Approximate 2400 people live here and 3000 polar bears. Keeping a watch out for polar bears is always on your mind, but most of all, photographing a polar bear is mostly on my mind. Just not too close. Hence the extreme tele-lenses I've been testing.
Photo from Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Testing out the Canon EOS R5 with the RF 600mm lens.
The Polar region is an interesting climate to get used to working in. I thought I knew a lot about operating in the winter as I am from Norway and spent my life in the cold and snow. All that general winter experience doesn't count here! It's a whole new game filming and photographing in the extreme arctic. My camera however, seems to have no issues with the cold what-so-ever, and I wonder if my camera will outlive me. I've been testing a range of the new Canon RF lenses with the Canon R5 , and I love everything about the lenses and the camera. There are a few specific factors that play into my decision to choose the R5 for arctic wildlife photography.
Comparison test of the 200-400mm 1.4x f2.8 & the RF 600mm f.11 with the Canon EOS R5.
Some days can get really cold. I'm ok down to about negative -21°c any colder than that and absolutely everything becomes a challenge. Keep your fingers warm! When they get too cold, everything hurts to touch. You can't even pull your zipper open on your bag or flick a clasp on your tripod. You don't notice your hands getting cold. For dexterity operating the camera I used to wear neoprene gloves as seen here with my middle and index finger exposed to operate small intricate buttons and touch-screen menu's. Never again will I make this mistake. Although you can't feel the cold, the cold still gets you, and frostbite starts to set in. When you finally arrive home and get warmed up again, the pain in your hands and fingers is unbearable as they thaw back from mild-frostbite. Just as a fair warning against frostbite, it took me 3-4 months to regain feeling in my fingertips again.