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.

 

 

 

光明山 (Bright Hill)

Bishan, Singapore

This week I went to visit a place that is rather unknown to a lot of people in Singapore, the Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery (KMSPKS). Located in the North-East region, the KMSPKS is the largest Buddhist Monastery in the Lion City. It covers more than seventy-four thousand square meters, the equivalent of almost eleven football pitches!

It’s hard to believe that it doesn’t come up in most of the city guides especially because of its size and characteristics. Just as an example, I opened the two touristic guides that I have at home about Singapore – a Rough Guide from 2016 and a Lonely Planet from 2013 – and none of them make any reference to KMSPKS Monastery.

The fact that it is not well-known and promoted as a tourist attraction contributes to the atmosphere here.

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The KMSPKS Monastery has several different halls and buildings, all of them very distinct and with different purposes. You can read more about it on their website. But one of the most impressive buildings is the Hall of No Form. It’s a massive meditation hall that houses a Giant Buddha made of bronze with almost fourteen meters tall.

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The Hall of No Form

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The evening gathering 

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Singapore is densely populated, finding a place like this is always good, it tends to slow things down a little, it makes you stop to take everything in. I know that Monasteries, Temples or other sacred places are not exactly the typical weekend afternoon destination, but it is worth the trip if you’re only free on the weekend, they’re places of worship, seclusion and mostly quiet, so regardless of your religion, you´re sure to find some calmness from a visit to the KMSPKS Monastery.


光明山 (Bright Hill)

Fujifilm X-T2

Fujinon 35mm F2

Samyang 12mm F2