Hangzhou West Lake photo advice

kaihp

I'm not new here
Mar 19, 2012
850
5
I'll be on a supplier visit in a couple of weeks time, and will have a bit of time (some hours) on the day of arrival to explore around the West Lake.

Any recommendations on lenses? I'm thinking to bring the 16-35/4L IS & 24-70/2.8 for the 5D3.
What about filters (C-POL, ND) & tripod/remote?
 

magarity

EOS 80D
Feb 14, 2017
175
90
The haze from air pollution is usually rather bad so don't count on any sweeping vistas turning out well in pictures unless there was a windy thunderstorm the day before.

No one will look twice if you want to set up a tripod so feel free to take one along. If anything, be ready to chat photography with locals who got there before you, although the topic will likely be that they have mark iv's while you have a iii.
 

Mikehit

EOS 5D MK IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,224
415
magarity said:
lthough the topic will likely be that they have mark iv's while you have a iii.
Sounds like any self-respecting [insert technology here] forum
 

magarity

EOS 80D
Feb 14, 2017
175
90
Mikehit said:
magarity said:
lthough the topic will likely be that they have mark iv's while you have a iii.
Sounds like any self-respecting [insert technology here] forum
But in a tech forum they'd be snobs about it. Chinese photography hobbyists in a local park will just be completely puzzled. I had a Chinese guy ask me if I was a pro and I said, no, it's just a hobby. He sighed. "That's an expensive hobby. I used to go out and buy the latest model but it just got to be too much so I had to give it up." That's about a direct quote as well as I can remember it. He then looked at my camera and asked why I had only a 6D. It's just a hobby! He honestly didn't get it.

The original poster should have some ready excuse, "I loaned my mark iv to my brother/father/son-in-law and got this iii out of the closet. Wow, it still works!".

Speaking of the original poster, you asked if taking any filters is a good idea. Any park, and especially one as famous as West Lake, is going to be crowded. If you have a dark enough ND to take exposures for several minutes you can "erase" the throngs of fellow tourists.
 
Mar 2, 2013
57
0
Yes, the crowds will be unbearable, especially at the weekend. Take the speedboat taxi out to the island and you will have the place to yourself. The ND filter suggestion is good. Get there around dusk. Enjoy.
 

kaihp

I'm not new here
Mar 19, 2012
850
5
CanadianInvestor said:
Yes, the crowds will be unbearable, especially at the weekend. Take the speedboat taxi out to the island and you will have the place to yourself. The ND filter suggestion is good. Get there around dusk. Enjoy.
Thanks. I'll be there during the week only, so fewer people (not few!) than during the weekend.

I'm planning to bring the 16-35 & 70-200, so I only need the 77mm filter(s).
 
Feb 18, 2018
7
1
I would simply go with one or two lenses for Your trip.

For me, those simple setups work great when I am traveling or doing some urban photography.

Too much gear or anything new will only take You out of Your concentration.
 

axtstern

EOS M(ediochre)
Jun 12, 2012
254
0
One suggestion in case that you arrive in Hangzou over Bejing: Plan a stop at the photo city near the Wukesong subway station. 3 or more shops that are dedicated to filters, several just for bags, tripods or cloth for photogs...

I usually buy some fake camera bags there. Fake is actually a relative word here. The bags are not clones of anything the brands here sell. They use their own designs which can be very clever and of decent quality and add a brand logo as a sales help. I would not trust 5000$ equipment to be protected by a 59$ bag but you will be amazed what you can find there. As there are more than 60 shops under one roof the merchandise usually allow you to take their bags into other stores for a comparison. It is a pleasure to take camera bag into the tripod shops and test on your own back which bag handles the load the best.
 

magarity

EOS 80D
Feb 14, 2017
175
90
axtstern said:
One suggestion in case that you arrive in Hangzou over Bejing: Plan a stop at the photo city near the Wukesong subway station. 3 or more shops that are dedicated to filters, several just for bags, tripods or cloth for photogs...
I strongly recommend everyone not buy filters in China. There are too many knockoffs that are incredibly cheaply made. I got some that the coatings started to peel off in less than a year.
 

kaihp

I'm not new here
Mar 19, 2012
850
5
Thanks for everyone's suggestions & recommendations.

I was only at the east end of the lake (ie the promenade) after sunset, so the tripod got plenty of use together with 10sec exposures. I used the 16-35 (panorama) & 70-200 (detail shots of Pagodas etc), which worked well. I didn't use the C-POL & ND filters.

I was flying in from Hong Kong directly to Hangzhou, so I was unable to take advantage of axstern's advice on the Wukesong Photo City tip. Chinese brands are quite good value/money when bought in China (my collection of Benro pods, ArcaSwiss-plates & filters demonstrate that).

Oh, and nobody asked why I only had a Mk III. Just one guy looking curiously on when I did the long-exposure panoramas.