I'm visiting Iceland on a photography tour in September. I'm reviewing my camera gear and wondering if I need any additional equipment, or replace some of my existing gear.

I'm shooting with the Canon 80d with the 550d. I also have an SX720 compact which I keep in my pocket as a backup.

I currently have the EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens which is my normal day-to-day lens. Is this going to offer enough on the wide angle or would investing in something like the 10-18mm IS be a better option for landscapes? This lens will be on the 80d.

I also have, and will be taking, my ancient Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. I've found on the 80d that the quality isn't really that great, especially in the corners. The lens must be at least 10 years old now and has been knocked around a bit over the years. Is it worth upgrading to more recent, higher quality, lens for the higher specification cameras? I originally got this lens when I got my first dSLR, the 300d. It still produces reasonable images.

I'm wanting to get some filters as well, an ND, graduated and polarising, but these will be determined by what lens I'm using when I know the filter sizes.

I'm also going to get a light weight tripod, my current Manfrotto is too heavy for the plane.

Is there any other photographic equipment I should be considering taking?

I don't want to spend money unnecessarily but will spend what I need to get great photos from this once in a lifetime trip.


  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Nobody can tell you what you "need" or if something is "worth it". That's a decision you have to make based on your finances - perhaps try rephrasing your question as "what will have the biggest impact". \$\endgroup\$
    – Philip Kendall
    Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 11:44

1 Answer 1


Nothing needs to be upgraded. Nothing needs to be replaced. 99.999% of the quality of the photos from the trip will come from actually taking the trip; taking the time to take the camera out of the bag, composing the photo, chimping, adjusting the settings, and trying again; and the willingness to irritate traveling companions with the nuances of a photographic obsession. To put it another way, foregoing the purchase of a wide angle lens, a lightweight tripod and significant upgraded 300mm zoom lens might go a long way toward making the trip to Iceland half of a "twice in a lifetime" opportunity.

It's also money that could be spent to get access to better subject matter on this trip by offestting local travel costs to remote areas...and rental equipment (on the assumption that some photographic equipment can be rented in Iceland).

For me, travelling is not the best time to learn new techniques because I find that learning new techniques such as the use of graduated ND filters tends to produce worse photographs at first and only with experience do the photographs start becoming better as I start to develop intuition for the results before I shoot. New unfamiliar equipment just tends to get in my way when travelling and techniques are better developed and practiced before the trip.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. I like this answer. I will be buying the tripod though mines just not practical to take on a flight and you know there will be the most awesome Aurora if I don't have one! \$\endgroup\$
    – TimTrott
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 6:44

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