Iceland

Nikon 28-105mm AF-D Macro - Cheap Lens Review (with image samples!)

Nikon 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 AF-D Macro

Nikon 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 AF-D Macro

I'm not huge on gear reviews to be completely honest. I believe that there is way too much emphasis on products and not enough on technique and vision when it comes to photography in the 21st century. I'm not a "pixel-peeper" and care more about the feeling of an image and the story it tells than the technical info that accompanies it. This isn't going to be one of those insanely technical reviews with sharpness comparisons and fancy charts and graphs. That stuff bores me to death. I don't see the need to review all the cool stuff I use for photography, but when I come across a piece of equipment that impresses me and allows me to accomplish various things for an affordable price, it's definitely worth sharing. The Nikon 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 AF-D Macro is a versatile lens for an affordable price.

My two most used lenses are the Nikkor 18-35G and Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 VR II. I can get 80-90% of the images I need using those two super sharp lenses. They cover a wide range of focal length and are useful for a wide range of subjects, but what about the middle zone? There was a gap in my kit from 35mm to 70mm (aside from the 50mm 1.8G I own, that is). I was considering more expensive (yet fantastic) options like the Nikon 24-120 F4 VR or the 24-70 f2.8, but didn't see myself actually using either of those enough to justify spending one or two thousand bucks (remember kids - I'd rather buy plane tickets than gear). The cheaper "kit" lenses like Nikon's 24-85 VR were tempting, too, but they didn't turn me on as much. There is a Nikon 35-70mm f2.8D, but I'm not a fan of push-pull zooms. I remembered that my photography instructor back in college (David Hessell) said that one of his favorite lenses back in "the day" was the Nikon 28-105 AF-D. I checked out the specs and his images and concluded that this lens could be the right fit for me. Heading over to eBay, I found several excellent condition options for less than $150! A steal! I forked over a whole $100 to Roberts Camera's eBay store for one and haven't looked back. 

TECH SPECS:

  • Focal Length: 28-105mm

  • Maximum Aperture Range: f3.4-f4.5

  • Minimum Aperture Range: f22-f29

  • Field of View on Full Frame: 74 - 23 Degrees

  • Weight: 1.0031 lbs

  • Dimensions: 84 x 72mm (120 x 72mm zoomed out)

  • Optics: 16 elements in 12 groups (1 aspherical)

  • Aperture Blades: 9

  • Filter Thread: 62mm

  • Minimum Focus Distance: 1.7 feet, 0.7 feet in Macro Mode

  • Mount: Nikon F (metal)

  • Maximum Magnification: 1:2 at 105mm

  • Construction: Metal Innards, Tough Plastic Outside, with Rubber Zoom and Focus Rings

The Nikon 28-105mm AF-D Macro focuses as close as 1 inch from the front element when macro mode is engaged.

The Nikon 28-105mm AF-D Macro focuses as close as 1 inch from the front element when macro mode is engaged.

PROS:

  • Sharp where it counts

  • Great build-quality (made in Japan)

  • Excellent close-focus / macro capabilities from 50mm-105mm

  • Compact and lightweight (great walk-around travel lens)

  • Cost only $100-150 USD used

  • Good color saturation and contrast

  • Fast auto-focus

  • Covers a hugely versatile focal range from 28mm-105mm

  • Great minimum aperture range from f3.5-f4.5

CONS:

  • Light vignetting at widest and narrowest apertures (almost none at 70mm and 105mm at f8-f11)

  • Slight distortion at 28mm (still better than most wide-zooms)

  • Can get some flare at 28mm without hood

  • Gets physically longer as it zooms

  • No manual focus override (you can't focus manually while in autofocus mode - characteristic of older lenses)

  • No Vibration Reduction (this doesn't bother me, particularly)

  • 62mm filter thread (does not match my 77mm lenses, so new filters are necessary)

Sunrise and Storm Clouds over Mountains and Marsh, East Iceland (Nikon D600, Nikon 28-105mm AF-D, 28mm, f11, 1/4 sec, ISO 100, tripod)

Sunrise and Storm Clouds over Mountains and Marsh, East Iceland (Nikon D600, Nikon 28-105mm AF-D, 28mm, f11, 1/4 sec, ISO 100, tripod)

This lens is perfect for travel. It's light and it's focal range covers a vast range, allowing me to shoot a variety of subjects without changing lenses. 28mm is wide enough for most situations while that 50mm to 105mm range with macro allows me to get in super-close and tight when I need to. At around $100 USD it's a wonder to me why it's not in everyone's bag. 

The Nikon 28-105 AF-D Macro was released 1999 as sort of a kit lens with the Nikon F100 35mm camera (which I also own and love). In my opinion, it beats the crap out of those all plastic 18-55's that entry level DSLRs come with today. Those can be sharp, but flimsy. Sure it's an older model, with no VR and no M/A switch, but it holds its own when it comes to versatility. If you've used super-fast "G" series lenses, you'll notice that this older "D" lens autofucuses slightly slower, but it's not slow enough to notice unless you're comparing it side by side with a newer lens. For me, it's a great all around travel and nature lens, allowing me to get closer to small subjects than my more expensive zooms. When I don't need the reach of my 70-200mm and don't need to take in a wider landscape with my 18-35mm, this is the lens I use these days. Just pop it on the camera and go!

More Image Samples:

Spring's First Flowers, Creston, North Carolina. These blooms are about the size of a U.S. dime. (Nikon D7100, Nikon 28-105mm AF-D, macro switched on, 90mm, f5.6, 1/100 sec, ISO 100, tripod)

Spring's First Flowers, Creston, North Carolina. These blooms are about the size of a U.S. dime. (Nikon D7100, Nikon 28-105mm AF-D, macro switched on, 90mm, f5.6, 1/100 sec, ISO 100, tripod)

Double Daffodil (Nikon D7100, Nikon 28-105mm AF-D, macro switched on, 105mm, f9, 0.4 sec, ISO 100, tripod)

Double Daffodil (Nikon D7100, Nikon 28-105mm AF-D, macro switched on, 105mm, f9, 0.4 sec, ISO 100, tripod)

Carolina Anole (Nikon D600, Nikon 28-105mm AF-D, macro switch on, 105mm, f6.3, 1/320 sec, ISO 1000, hand held)

Carolina Anole (Nikon D600, Nikon 28-105mm AF-D, macro switch on, 105mm, f6.3, 1/320 sec, ISO 1000, hand held)

Check the Nikon 28-105 AF-D price on Amazon.

For my full photography gear list, click here!

Is Iceland Overcrowded?

Tourists at Jökulsárlón Beach, Iceland

Tourists at Jökulsárlón Beach, Iceland

Is Iceland Overcrowded?

When I complain about tourists and photo workshops I do not mean to imply that I have any more right than anyone else to be at a destination. Sometimes photo workshop participants think that because they paid lots of money to go and shoot a place that they deserve the best locations more than others, but I do not feel that way. That would be very hypocritical of me since I am, in fact, a travel photographer and writer with the purpose of promoting travel, cultural, and environmental awareness. That said, as a travel writer, I need to point out the realities of my experiences to my audience as honestly as possible.

When I first visited Iceland in 2015, there were lots of tourists, but not so many that it hindered photography. Most people in Reykjavik spoke to me in Icelandic first because most of the people in town were still actual Icelanders. In other words, the number of visitors had not exceeded the number of residents in town (even on popular shopping streets like Laugevegur). Since then, the number of tourists in Iceland has not only increased dramatically, it had actually increased by 70% in 2016 (the number of American tourists, alone, exceeded the number of Icelanders in 2016). This was unprecedented and the small country of 330,000 inhabitants was not expecting, nor was it prepared for, such a sharp increase. It is estimated that 2.3 million people will visit Iceland by the end of 2017.

Photographers have always favored Iceland, but it wasn’t until after the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010 that tourism got a huge boost. Iceland was struggling economically after the 2008 recession and welcomed tourism and the income it brought. Then came famous TV series Game of Thrones and music group Of Monsters and Men. Thanks to budget airlines like Wow Air, making the relatively short flight to Iceland is more affordable for Americans and Europeans alike. Add the cheap airfare, short flight, and the stunning natural beauty and you’ve got the recipe for “Iceland World” – everyone’s favorite European theme park complete with spas, volcanoes, trolls, and elves! (Bring the kids! Bring Grandma! It’s fun for the whole family!)

Is Reykjavik becoming too touristy? I would say that in the short span since my first visit in 2015, yes, in a way. Stores and restaurants have popped up providing more crappy souvenirs and tourist-friendly, generic Americanized menus. Luckily, my favorite spots (Bergsson Mathus, Sandholt Bakery, and Noodle Station) are still going strong, if not stronger now due to tourism (Sandholt has undergone a very swanky renovation). The rough-around-the-edges, almost punk rock feel, of Reykjavik is getting a lot more gentrified (for lack of a better word). I have also noticed a bit of price gauging in some restaurants, gas stations, and even hotels. A recent study showed that over 80% of Icelanders are in favor of steeper taxes and fees for travelers. I can’t help but understand why after my most recent visit.

My qualm is with the effect that this sharp boost in tourism is having on the natural environment. Iceland prides itself on energy efficiency and conservation of its uniquely beautiful landscape. Many tourists don’t respect the place. On my journey across Iceland last week, I saw trampled moss, people harassing livestock for selfies, pulling off the road in dangerous places, camping in places where overnight camping is not allowed, leaving trash strewn about, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg (no pun intended). It reminded me of how poorly some visitors treat the Blue Ridge Mountains where I live. It comes down to respect. If you’re visiting someone else’s country, show respect, follow the rules, don’t leave anything behind, and take only pictures.

The Real Iceland Experience

Kirkjufell at Sunrise, Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Kirkjufell at Sunrise, Snaefellsnes Peninsula

I was fortunate to visit Iceland for the third time last week. It’s hard to stay away with Wow Airlines making fares to the small and uniquely beautiful North Atlantic Island so cheap. What made the trip even more affordable was that my wife’s expenses were paid. She designed an alternative spring break course for 12 university students to visit Iceland and study sustainable business practices. Iceland, being one of the more sustainable and energy independent nations on earth, was the perfect place for it. I, of course, had to tag along.

My itinerary broke away from the group for a couple days as I traveled by car from Reykjavik to Stokksnes way out in east Iceland – a 6 hour drive total. I stopped along the way to photograph some places I’d been to before, as well as some new locations. I slept in the back of the rental car at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, as a cold wind roared over Iceland’s largest glacier and snow pounded the car windows. It was a frigid and restless night, but the following morning revealed some spectacular sights and excellent photo opportunities. 

Challenges: Bad Weather and Tourists

Winter in Iceland is harsh (though, ironically, it was colder and snowier back home that week). I experienced about every type of rough weather that Iceland could throw at me during my two-day south coast road trip. Day one, alone, included rain, sleet, heavy snow, light hail, high winds in excess of 40 MPH, and temperatures well below freezing. Low hanging clouds covered most of the landscape and whole mountain ranges were not visible for almost the entire day. Photography was challenging in these conditions.

While shooting the view over the Reynisfjara sea stacks from Dyrhólaey, I was perched high on a cliff where winds were strongest. I had to hold my tripod with both hands while shooting. I was using a polarizer and 6-stop neutral density filter for long exposures. I needed to blur the waves as they fanned out across the shoreline in just the right curve. It was raining very hard, and sideways. Using a cloth to wipe my lens between shots, I was finally able to capture the wave I was hoping for. Most of the shots show water spots on the lens, but I was lucky to get two or three out of a dozen that were spot free. The method was to wipe, press the shutter, pray, and review the image on the LCD with my gloved fingers crossed. That was the second shoot of day one (after a short hike around the Solheim Glacier, which produced few pictures), and I was already damp and tired with several hundred kilometers to go. If there is anywhere you will have to work extremely hard for your images in challenging conditions, it’s Iceland.

Dyrhólaey

Dyrhólaey

The long drive from Vik to Jökulsárlón provided zero photo opportunities. Rain, sleet, then snow, obscured my views of the moss-covered lava fields that I was hoping to capture. I arrived at Jökulsárlón and the glacial lagoon to find no change in the conditions. I took a walk around the lagoon, and later the famous “Diamond Beach,” in the rain without any camera gear simply to get a sense of the place I had come so far to photograph. My original plan was to shoot the icebergs at Jökulsárlón and scoot on down Route 1 to Höfn an hour east to photograph sunset at the mountains of Stokksnes. I wanted to sleep in Höfn and return to Jökulsárlón for sunrise. That didn’t happen. Nature has little empathy for a photographer’s plans. The weather was obviously not going to let up as heavy snow began to fall and the winds became dangerous. Realizing that it had taken me much longer to get to Jökulsárlón than anticipated and that the clouds were going to snuff out any possible sunset, I decided to hunker down at Jokulsarlon and get some much needed sleep (I had not slept for 3 full days…long story).

After a long, cold, and uncomfortable night in the back of a RAV4 with nothing but a 30 degree sleeping bag (thinking, “why do I do this to myself?”), and having eaten nothing the day before other than an energy bar and gas station muffin, I arose at 5AM to find the beach and lagoon already swarmed with buses, tourists, and photo workshops. It was amazing. I had seen more-than-average crowds at popular spots the day before, but why were so many people way out in east Iceland at 5AM? (See my article: Is Iceland Overcrowded?) Noticing the precipitation had stopped and the sun was peaking under the dark clouds on the far horizon, I made a split decision. I would relieve myself of the crowds and book it over to Stokksnes for sunrise. It was risky. I had an hour and a half until sunrise and it was an hour and ten minutes from where I was, but I decided it was worth a try. Stokksness was at the top of my shot list, and I was going to shoot it come hell or high water…and high water there was.

Along the gorgeous drive to Höfn in decent weather I saw reindeer, fields of grazing horses, and glacier carved mountains. The light was coming through the dark clouds, which no longer covered the snow-capped mountain peaks. It was nothing short of magical. I quickly realized in my sleepy underfed daze that the light wouldn’t last. I had to make another decision, either continue to Stokksnes and hope I don’t miss the light, or stop at one of the designated pull-offs along the way to shoot the pink alpenglow that was forming on the mountaintops. I decided to shoot what was in front of me.

Mountains in East Iceland

Mountains in East Iceland

I pulled over at the next available pull-off (one that tourists are allowed to stop at), jerked my camera out of the bag, selected a lens, popped it on my tripod and shot three or four images of the pink sunrise kissing the snowy mountains. I expected this glorious light to bathe the majority of the mountains from top to bottom, but instead, it only grazed the peaks and vanished within maybe 60 seconds. The resulting images are among my favorites from the trip, so I’m glad I stopped.

By the time I arrived at Stokksnes, parked, paid my entrance fee (unexpected), and drove out along the beach access road for the best view, clouds had formed and completely snuffed out the morning light. It became so dark and overcast that the color images I shot actually look like black and whites at first glance. The mountains at Stokksnes are made of black rock and sand. The peaks and folds were sprinkled with snow. Only the tall grass along the shores gave any color. It’s a barren and ominous place when the clouds take over. 

It All Comes Crashing Down

Despite it being just after sunrise, tourists and other photographers had already trampled the beach. Getting the classic composition of the rolling black sand dunes in the foreground was not possible due the scattered footprints. There were several vanloads of photographers on workshops and two camper vans (one camper van was stuck in the sand and some of the photographers were helping to dig it out). I counted 40 people on the beach that morning. I am still amazed at how many people were out on that beach in the middle of nowhere in Iceland in March. Luckily, about the time I found some good spots to shoot from the crowds had all but moved on entirely. I almost had the place to myself. I set up on a rocky bit of coastline, examining the height of the waves. I wanted a long exposure of the waves crashing and flowing through the rocks in my foreground, the beach in the middle, and the craggy mountains of Stokksnes in the back. I set up in what I thought was a safe and dry spot. Just before I pressed the shutter for my first shot, a large and unexpected wave crashed into me, soaking me from the chest down and drenching my camera gear! The next wave didn’t even come close. It was a strange fluke. No other wave came crashing up the rocks that high. I was wet, cold, hungry, and pissed. I clambered back up to the sandy dunes, dried my gear with a towel, and sat in the car for a few minutes, trying to gather my composure and warm up in the air conditioning.

Stokksnes

Stokksnes

After I had cooled down in temperament and warmed up in body temperature, I headed back out to the beach and pulled off a few decent exposures of Stokksnes. Then it was back to Jökulsárlón, stopping once to photograph a herd of Reindeer running along a beach (another magical moment). I arrived around 9AM to find hardly any parking. I expected more crowds around this time, but was still shocked at just how many people were there. It seemed that every automobile sized iceberg at Jökulsárlón had 10 photographers pointing lenses at it. Regular tourists flocked from iceberg to iceberg taking selfie after selfie. It was a nightmare for a working travel photographer with a shot list. Getting an image without anyone else in it was a big challenge. I joined the swarm after finding a parking spot on the beach. I knew the shot I wanted, so I set up my equipment in advance. This time I didn’t want to get wet, so I slipped on the rubber rain boots I packed. I walked up and down the beach looking for the least populated spot and settled on a big blue iceberg sitting in the black sand about the size of a small car. I wanted the waves to encircle it so I could capture the action of the sea foam swirling around the iceberg. Gaging the waves, I determined that I would probably only get my knee-high boots wet up to my ankles. I composed my image and just as I was about to press the shutter release, noticed a wave coming closer, it seemed to quadruple in height by the millisecond – crashing over the iceberg and enveloping me from the waist down. Foiled again! The following swell brought the water, which had been barely touching my toes minutes earlier, over the tops of my boots – filling them with frigid salt water. I stood in amazement. I could not believe this happened to me twice in one morning!

Jökulsárlón

Jökulsárlón

I hobbled back to the car with squishy boots to find that someone had parked so close to the driver side that I could not open the door. I was so mad the water in my boots started to boil (seemed that way anyway). I emptied my boots on the passenger side and climbed over to the driver’s seat to park elsewhere. After repeating the same drying off ritual as I had at Stokksnes, I returned to the beach and to the same iceberg – this time getting my shot. I then went over the to glacier lagoon to shoot the icebergs floating in the calm water. I forgot how cold and damp I still was once I started examining the various shapes, sizes, colors, textures, and patterns of each iceberg. I got into my “zone” and forgot the crowd buzzing around me. By noon, I had a much better outlook (tons of images and much dryer clothes). The sky was clear and the light became harsh, so instead of making any stops on the way back to Reykjavik, I simply enjoyed the ride through natural scenes that were too cloudy to see the day before. I joined back up with my wife and her tour group, had some excellent Indian food (my first real meal in two days), and enjoyed the comfort of a warm bed.

Jökulsárlón

Jökulsárlón

Things Are Looking Up

The remainder of the trip went rather smoothly compared to the first few days. The weather was generally more cooperative and I enjoyed tagging along with my wife’s group of students as we toured the Golden Circle and ate amazing burgers and ice cream at Efsti Dalur – an organic dairy farm near Geysir. The next day, I got to have an experience I had never had before. I rode an Icelandic horse (rather nervously, but I got use to it) across the snowy fields of Hveragerði surrounded by mountains. This was my first horseback riding experience, and though it was a bumpy ride, it was as majestic as you might expect. The day ended with a great dinner at Icelandic Fish & Chips.

Riding Icelandic horses in Hveragerði

Riding Icelandic horses in Hveragerði

My wife built a free day into her itinerary so we could go to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula alone. Waking at 4AM, we drove to Kirkjufellsfoss on icy roads. This day, there were very few others out and about. A few photographers were already at Kirkjufell when we arrived just before sunrise, but not nearly as many as I was expecting based on my experiences earlier in the week. Sunrise was spectacular, and I made images of both Kirkjufellsfoss and Kirkjufell Mountain in the bright and colorful morning light. It was by far the most photographically productive morning of the whole week. We even saw a few seals in the bay!

Kirkjufell at Sunrise, Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Kirkjufell at Sunrise, Snaefellsnes Peninsula

We continued around the peninsula and through the national park, stopping occasionally until we had visited every spot on our list. We finished early and decided to head over to a waterfall that we had never been to, Hraunfossar. Despite it being sunny, it was the coldest day of the trip and very windy. Because we arrived at the falls in the afternoon, the light was harsh and made for less than ideal conditions for photographing waterfalls. I employed my polarizer and 6-stop neutral density filter yet again and came away with several images that I was initially happy with. Back at the apartment later, I noticed I had made a critical mistake while reviewing my images. I didn’t cover my viewfinder while taking long exposures at Hraunfossar; so light leakage from the bright sun at my back caused awful purple streaks across my images. Rookie mistake…I should know better! For some reason I didn’t notice this on the LCD while I was shooting the images. At first I was devastated, then realized if nothing else, I could edit them as black and whites and the purple streaks would probably not be an issue. The winter moss was brown and drab in the afternoon sun, so black and white ended up being best anyway. I can’t believe I made such a novice mistake…lesson learned!

Hraunfossar

Hraunfossar

Still No Northern Lights

I know better than to plan a trip around a celestial event as unpredictable as the Northern Lights, but I was still really hoping to at least see, if not photograph, the aurora this time. Alas, the storm clouds never parted at night while I was out in the boonies where I could most likely see them in the right conditions….maybe next time. I am happy with the images that I was able to get overall, despite the harsh winter conditions and crowded locations. As popular as Iceland has become it is still a challenging place to photograph well.

For my packing list including camera gear I used on this trip, click here. To see more images from this trip visit jonreaves.com.

( Click the pins on the map above to see every location I visited on my recent trip to Iceland. )

Packing List For Iceland (Winter Photography)

Icelandic weather can be quite treacherous, especially during winter. Here are a few essentials I'll be packing for my March 2017 trip (not everything is pictured).

Icelandic weather can be quite treacherous, especially during winter. Here are a few essentials I'll be packing for my March 2017 trip (not everything is pictured).

Rough Itinerary: 

I'm very excited to be returning to Iceland for the third time! I'll be visiting some new locations, as well as some that I've been to before (weather permitting, of course). The general plan (again...weather permitting) is to do a little car-camping as I travel east along the Icelandic south coast on Route 1 from Reykjavik to Hofn and back, stopping frequently along the way to make images. On my journey I hope to finally visit and photograph Jokulsarlon Beach and glacial lagoon. I also hope to see the northern lights. On my last visit to Iceland in October, the skies never cleared enough for the aurora to be visible. During my upcoming trip I should have three good opportunities to see and photograph the northern lights at some epic locations - as long as there is a break in the clouds (fingers crossed). It's looking like I may be able to do some horse-back riding and spend some time on the Snaefellsness Peninsula again as well. Needless to say, I'm beyond excited!

Packing List for Iceland (Winter Photography)

Because I've been to the land of fire and ice twice already during cold months, I have a good idea of what I need to pack as well as what I don't. Layering is important. Lucky for me, I live in a climate very similar to Iceland's, so I didn't have to run to the local outfitter and drop a bunch of dough on new gear that'll only be used on this trip. Much of the clothing I'll need, I already have. (That isn't to say I didn't hit up the post-winter sales at my local outdoor gear stores, however....full disclosure.)

The key to surviving wet, windy, and cold winter weather is to layer clothing. Being able to remove clothing when necessary is just as important as bundling. Getting sweaty leads to getting cold and can cause hypothermia. It is better to be a little chilly and dry than cold and damp. Iceland is constantly windy and it precipitates almost daily year-round. The clothing I'm packing must be made of durable water resistant (if not waterproof) and breathable moisture wicking material (not cotton). I'll require a base layer (long thermal undies and thermal top layer), mid-layer (fleece, wool, thermal pullover or soft-shell jacket), and an outer layer (waterproof, windproof, breathable, and made of durable fabric). I'll also need a hat, gloves, wool socks (they insulate even when wet), and sturdy waterproof hiking boots.

I typically travel as light as possible and have to make sacrifices to save weight as well as money on budget airlines. Fortunately, I have one piece of checked luggage included in my ticket price in addition to a normal sized carry on. I'm taking full advantage of that so I can have every piece of photo equipment that I could possibley need. For the detailed post about all of my camera gear, click here. Without rambling further, here is my packing list for a week in Iceland:

Camera Gear:

(All my camera gear will be taken onto the plane, except the Gitzo tripod and multi-tool, which will go into my checked luggage. Lenses will be wrapped in Domke Gear Wraps for extra padding.)

Clothing:

  • Base-layers: Thermal Underwear (2), Thermal Base-layer Long-Sleeve Tees (2)

  • Mid-layers: Arc'teryx Fleece Pullover, Sherpa Adventure Gear Pullover

  • Extra layer: Columbia Water-Resistant Fleece Soft Shell

  • Outer layer: Columbia Water Proof Rain Jacket

  • Pants: Kuhl Hiking Pants (2), Mountain Hardwear Fleece-Lined Waterproof Pants (1), Thin Rain Pants (1), Jeans or Comfortable Travel Pants for the Plane (1)

  • Wool Socks (5 pairs), Regular Socks (2)

  • Wool Hat

  • Insulated Gloves for Low Temps

  • Regular T-Shirts (3), Button Shirts (2)

  • Merrell Waterproof Hiking Boots With Vibram Soles, Rubber Steel-Toe Rain-Boots (for photographing on beaches and near waterfalls)

  • Yak Trax (for added traction while walking in the snow)

Miscellaneous Gear / Accessories:

  • Map of Iceland (with locations marked)

  • Marmot 30 Degree Sleeping Bag

  • Petzl Tikka Head lamp (for hiking and northern lights photography)

  • Extra Glasses & Case

  • Cell Phone and Charger

  • U.S. to European Power Adaptor & Car Charger (for charging batteries while car camping)

  • MSR Camp Towel

  • Toiletries (minimal - no razors or hipster hair and beard products...just toothbrush, paste, and deodorant)

  • Passport, wallet, and copies of ID's

  • Food and water for the Road-Trip

For the Flight:

Like I said, I typically try to travel as light as possible, but my minimalist approach has been thrown out the window for this particular adventure. Normally, I take only one backpack, which contains only essential camera gear, a small travel tripod, and only the clothing I can't do without. Iceland in Winter requires more of everything: more layers, more shoes, more than one camera body, and a larger tripod. My next trip (after Iceland Part III) will allow me to return to my minimalist style of travel packing, but I'll announce the when and where for that trip later. Thanks for reading and happy travels! 

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Packing List for ICELAND (Winter Photography)

( Check out my article on How To Afford To Travel! )