May 27, 2018, 06:01:55 PM

Author Topic: Headed to Belgium, what to bring?  (Read 5137 times)

ahsanford

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Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« on: January 18, 2018, 12:16:22 AM »

I've got a few days in Bruges coming up soon for work.  I've never been to Belgium, so I'm excited at the prospect.

All the camera gear I can bring must fit in the photo insert of my PRVKE 21 bag (see link with pictures of the photo insert here as well as in the comments where I share another photo insert shot), which means we're talking my 5D3 and 2-3 lenses, and none bigger than my 70-200 2.8.

My usual Europe loadout is 5D3 + 24-70 f/4L IS + 16-35 f/4L IS + [35 f/2 IS or 50 f/1.4] + filters + BR Strap.  Know that I generally live in the 24-50 FF space, but cramped churches and city squares usually have me reaching for the 16-35.

So, I am looking for:

1) Places to go and shoot, most likely will be in the evenings after my work is done.

2) What gear you'd recommend and why.

Thanks!
A

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Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« on: January 18, 2018, 12:16:22 AM »

Geert Catteeuw

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Re: Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2018, 01:13:34 AM »
Your kit seems ok to me, I use the same.
I don't know if you will be using the 70/200 a lot.

Keep in mind that this time of the year it gets dark around 5:30 pm. ( tripod? )

Bruges is a bit of a 'synthetic' old city, it can look quite artificial.
Also, generally it can be quite crowded.

But anyhow, welcome to Belgium and enjoy ( food and drink should be very good... )

Try to visit the 'Halve Maan' brewery and try their beer if beer is for you.  :P
The beer is called 'Brugse Zot' and is sold all over town.

G.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 01:15:38 AM by Geert Catteeuw »

Paul W. H

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Re: Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2018, 04:01:28 AM »
Ypres/Leper is about 30 miles south west of Bruges and well worth a visit just to see Tyne Cot Military Cemetery (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) and the Menin Gate where they play the Last Post every night 20:00 (local time), I have seen grown men in tears here.

Your kit looks fine, I would add a flash just in-case
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jolyonralph

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Re: Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2018, 10:25:05 AM »
You could probably do quite well just taking the 16-35 f/4L and the 50mm f/1.4. 

We're all guilty of taking too much kit with us. Better to travel light and use what you have well.

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stevelee

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Re: Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2018, 11:20:31 AM »
You could probably do quite well just taking the 16-35 f/4L and the 50mm f/1.4. 

We're all guilty of taking too much kit with us. Better to travel light and use what you have well.

When I was in Bruges, I just had along my S120, which has the lens equivalent of a 24-120mm zoom, more or less. I just checked in Bridge the photos I shot there, and almost all of them were taken near the wide end of that range. Only a few got near the 50mm equivalent, and the only shots zoomed in all the way were of a swan. So your suggestion would have worked just fine for me.

I took pictures along the canals and then of and in the buildings around the market square. I enjoyed the fries with mayonnaise at a place on the square, and went a block or so behind it to Dumon Chocolatier. Nearby I had a Trappist ale.

Our guide said that this is the most photographed view in Bruges:



I shot this at the equivalent of 24mm (f/2.2, ISO 80, 1/2000 sec.).

dickgrafixstop

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Re: Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2018, 12:58:55 PM »
You can get along nicely with the 16-35 but I'd also take the 50 for inside shots.  Skip the 80-200.  My last trip I took only a 35 1.4 and the 85 1.8 and was satisfied with the coverage.

bedford

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Re: Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2018, 02:39:54 PM »

Our guide said that this is the most photographed view in Bruges:




It is  ;D



I think two thinks are essential for Bruges: a wide-angle lens and the willingness to explore the city on your own (thereby avoiding the crowds).

Regards,
Oliver
« Last Edit: January 18, 2018, 02:45:37 PM by bedford »

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Re: Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2018, 02:39:54 PM »

Sporgon

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Re: Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2018, 03:16:18 PM »
An umbrella 😊

hne

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Re: Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2018, 04:55:06 AM »
An umbrella 😊

...and reasonably warm clothes. January in Belgium is typically 4°C with a 35% probability for rain.
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docsmith

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Re: Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2018, 07:48:16 AM »
I was in Belgium a few years ago.  Great place, so I bet you'll have a lot of fun.  Back then I used the 24-105 for the vast majority (90%+) of my shots, everything else was the 70-200 II.  So I think you'll be set with a tripod and the kit you describe.

Best tip will be to pick up Rick Steve's guide to Belgium.  It includes the main walk through Bruges as well as a few other things around there.  But this walk is very well traveled.  Worth it, I would start with it.  But then get off the beaten path a bit.   But that is why I liked Ghent.  Had a great architecture, but felt more lived it and less touristy.

The shot of the bell tower already shown in this thread is probably one of the best for night.  I would recommend the boat tour during the day.  As for other pictures, the market square, any number of bridges, and then the pond at down by Begijnhoff enclave was very scenic.

I also really enjoyed downtown Ghent and then Market Square in Brussels, if you can make it.  If you are a history buff, they built a new museum at Waterloo that I would recommend.

A few pics from Bruges...
« Last Edit: January 19, 2018, 07:53:20 AM by docsmith »

ahsanford

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Re: Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2018, 11:27:40 AM »
Great stuff, everyone -- very much appreciated.

- A

StoicalEtcher

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Re: Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2018, 11:30:42 AM »
An umbrella 😊
You beat me to it!  :) But, all joking aside, an umbrella is strongly recommended.

ahsanford, as far as gear goes, if you can leave the 70-200 behind, then as well as the wide angle (which will get lots of use), I would recommend a macro lens for a different take on Bruges - it is full of small details (architecture, statues, lace, etc) that could make for an alternate view of a trip (as well as the great wide-angle scenes).
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stevelee

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Re: Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2018, 11:40:52 AM »
For grins, here is an iPhone panorama I made of the market square:



The fries place is near the left edge, just out of the picture.

The Bruges pictures I have posted are at http://www.stevelee.name/rivercruise/belgium/bruges/

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Re: Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2018, 11:40:52 AM »

johnf3f

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Re: Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« Reply #13 on: January 19, 2018, 07:47:25 PM »
Just my thoughts on a visit to Belgium - Ditch the gear and enjoy the BEER! 8)
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ahsanford

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Re: Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2018, 08:11:56 PM »
Just my thoughts on a visit to Belgium - Ditch the gear and enjoy the BEER! 8)

Of course -- and Belgian beers are some of my absolute favorites.

But photography and beer are not mutually exclusive at all.  Both are firmly on the agenda.  8)

- A

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Re: Headed to Belgium, what to bring?
« Reply #14 on: January 19, 2018, 08:11:56 PM »