Now something a little bit different – My travel gear

Reviews

It’s official. The rainy season arrived in Singapore. This week I’ve been trying to finish a post about Chinatown, mainly night shots taken with the x100, but the weather didn’t let me go out to the streets. I know, weather shouldn’t be an excuse when it comes to photography but hey, we all have our weaknesses 🙂

So I decided to do something a bit different. Actually it´s the first time that I do something like this but it makes sense. A photo travel blog should talk about traveling and that includes photography gear.

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Fujifilm X100 

The Fuji x100 became my number one choice camera for traveling. Sometimes, if it’s a short trip, the only camera that I take in my backpack.  And there are a few reasons why. First the portability, good image quality in a small package, second the fact that it is easily replaced in case of damage – this one I have I got on a second-hand online deal for a fraction of the price that I would pay for a new DSLR – and this allows me to focus exclusively on the photography rather on the possibility of damaging the camera, and finally because of the focal length, the 35 mm is arguably the most versatile and useful focal length especially for those who, like me, don’t have zoom lenses. And yes, this little camera just looks…incredible!

 

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The Fuji x100 became my number one choice camera when it comes to traveling.

 

 

 

Fujifilm XT2 + Fujinon 35 mm F2

The Fuji XT2 is a high-end Interchangeable camera that I use for more specific situations when I’m traveling, such as difficult weather conditions – its weather sealed – or if I want to do some portraits or more dramatic landscape with the use of a wide-angle lens. It’s an amazing camera, fast and responsive in every light situation and always delivers excellent quality images but it is also heavier and much more expensive than a smaller point and shoot.

The Fujinon 35 mm F2 is simply one of my favourite lenses. I truly admire everything that this lens offers. Sharpness, size, the lens design and my favourite focal length.  In most situations this lens is all that I need! And again, for traveling, it has just the perfect size and weight.

 

 

Samyang 12 mm F2

 

First thing – this is a manual focus lens – but this fact alone makes this lens an immediate great choice for travel photography. Why? Because a super wide-angle 12 mm f2 (18 mm equivalent) in such a small and light package can only be possible if the lens is manual. And it pays off when it cames to traveling. Though there are better lenses in terms of image quality it is almost impossible to beat Samyang´s price, weight and size. And with a 12 mm you can literally include all that you want inside the frame making this lens extremely useful for landscape.

 

 

 

 

Tripod and the small stuff

A tripod is always that element that I want to leave behind when I’m traveling. No matter how good the quality is, it’s a burden to take along but you end up regretting if you don’t.

Finally the small stuff. An SD card holder makes it easier to organise your memory cards, a USB pen or an external drive to download your files and one my favourites, a Iphone data transfer device that can be used any time to upload images from your phone to the cloud or a social media stream.

 

 

 

PULAU UBIN

Pulau Ubin

Pulau Ubin, Singapore

Pulau Ubin is an island located in the North-East area of Singapore with an estimated population of thirty-eight people and a total area of 1,020-hectare. The official National Parks website which ‘Pulau Ubin’ is part of, describes the island as a ‘journey back in time’ where you´re able to observe Singapore last villages or ‘Kampong’. I’m not entirely sure how accurate this is, what I do know is that Pulau Ubin offers something that no other part of Singapore does.

I arrived at the Changi Point Ferry Terminal very early, just in time for the first boat of the day. Departures are based on the number of people present, there is no official time-table. The boat leaves when it has 12 people. A ticket costs three Singapore dollars one way, if there isn’t enough people you have the option of paying for the remaining seats.

 

Pulau Ubin singaporeMen on a boatPulau UbinPulau Ubin SingaporePulau UbinPulau Ubin Singapore

 

There aren’t many options available once you arrive at the island – either you walk or you rent a bike. The second option is the most obvious one. Just after the disembarking port you will find half a dozen rental stores with different types of bicycles. The rental process is very simple, no documents or signatures needed, only cash and off you go. Before you decide to go, just do a quick ‘pre-trip’ inspection of your bicycle. It can make all the difference. Unfortunately I skipped the inspection and took a bicycle with the most uncomfortable seat that I can remember. The scenery did however made my lower back pains, worth it. Beautiful light, the most enjoyable bird singing and a real sense of proximity with nature.

 

Pulau UbinPulau UbinPulau Ubin SingaporeUBIN - 13Pulau UbinUBIN - 17Pulau Ubin SingaporeUBIN - 19

 

Chek Jawa is probably one of the highlights of Pulau Ubin. It’s a preserved area with rich biodiversity. You have to hike since cycling is not allowed in this part of the island. But the hiking can be quite pleasant due to the constant scenery change –  dense coastal forest, mangroves,  coral rubble and sandy beach can all be seen during the hour and a half hike.

 

Pulau UbinUBIN - 22UBIN - 23Pulau Ubin

Just before I went back to the Jetty point I stopped at the The Wei Tuo Fa Gong Temple. It looks more like a small farm converted into a Worship place. Its full of buddhist and chinese paraphernalia and around five people doing some sort maintenance. There are also two ponds filled with turtles and huge lizards (Water monitor lizards, I think).

The temple itself is somehow underwhelming with some garbage lying around, especially near the pounds, and has a ‘bizarre’ atmosphere. At least when I visited on an early Tuesday morning.

 

UBIN - 25UBIN - 27UBIN - 30UBIN - 31UBIN - 33UBIN - 43UBIN - 34UBIN - 35UBIN - 36Wei Tuo Fa Gong Temple

 

 

I left Pulau Ubin just around lunch time after seven hours of cycling and hiking. If you want to visit Pulau Ubin keep in mind that this is, above everything else, a natural park destination and not exactly a sample of the old Singapore. As a natural park it can be exciting (and challenging) but as cultural destination a little bit underwhelming.

Some final tips:

. Bring your mosquito patch, in fact bring all the mosquito repellent you can find.

. Test your bicycle before you pay for it.

. Bring snacks and water. During the week most of the road food stalls are closed.

. Bring a light rain jacket. I was lucky (or not) to visit the island on a sunny day.

. Use sunscreen and a hat

. Bring cash. Not sure if there is any ATM available.

 

 

Pulau Ubin Singapore

Arriving at Changi Point Ferry Station

 


Fujifilm X-T2

Fujinon 35mm F2