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Thread: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

  1. #1
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    Question Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    Hi everyone,

    Not sure if this is the correct channel to post this question, Moderators, pls help to redirect if it's not appropriate. Thanks

    I'm heading for Beijing on 27th April, will be there till 3rd May. I intend to visit the Great Wall of China but many have told me that the path will be difficult and I should travel as light as possible.

    Any advice if I can leave my tripod at home (in Beijing) or I should bring it along with me? I've shaky hands by nature but can I rely on those stone walls to compensate for my shaky hands? I've a very light body (D60) but slightly heavier lens btw

    Also, what sort of lens do you bring up to the Great Wall? Appreicate any advice given. I've a 18-55mm (not the heavy lens that I'm referring to). If not sufficient, need to go and borrow (or steal) from my friends

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    Went there recently, and imo, a tripod is not really necessary, since most, if not all, the shots are outdoor. You should be able to achieve high shutter speed with reasonable f-stop (f-9) and iso (100). Furthermore, its quite windy up there, so I suspect a tripod might not be as useful as a pair of steady hands on firm support (the wall).

    I agree that you should travel as light as possible given the steep ascend, unless you are an energetic folk. If your subject focus is landscape, an 18-55mm should suffice. In hindsight, I wished I have had travelled with juz my cam and std lens, instead of dragging the full kit with me.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    Also wanted to mention that a monopod is more useful than a tripod, if you happen to have one. Besides the weight factor, the former is more versatile when composing a shot on steep gradients.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    I agree. Until you are young, fit and healthy or a proponent of Vertical Challenge and have good stamina, it is best to bring as little camera gears and barang-barang with you when you climb the Great Wall.

    The last time I was there, I went up with a full back pack of gears and ran out of steam halfway up. I would not make the same mistake if I ever go back there again.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    Since u will be in Beijing for > 1 month, I think u can go to different sections of the Great Wall on different days. Some sections are very well developed (ie easy to travel and walk up but also tons of tourists) while some other sections are not so developed. The steps are steep and plenty to walk, and there are no hand railing on both sides, (if I remember correctly) so u need to balance yr body. Yr challenge is probably how to avoid the fellow tourist inside yr frame/viewfinder and spoilt the scene, and its windy up there.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    Don't need to bring tripod... I went there.. took my 10-22mm lens only. As it is, walking along the wall was tiring enough.. If I had to lug a BIG bag along, I think i'll just faint. Some of the steps were quite steep and vertical, so it was quite scary. Also depending on when you go, it can get very crowded as well. So, best to travel light.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    If you are going on your own and not on group tour, I would suggest you go to the Simatai Great Wall, 司马台长城. You can have the whole wall to yourself.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by efyap View Post
    Hi everyone,

    Not sure if this is the correct channel to post this question, Moderators, pls help to redirect if it's not appropriate. Thanks

    I'm heading for Beijing on 27th April, will be there till 3rd May. I intend to visit the Great Wall of China but many have told me that the path will be difficult and I should travel as light as possible.

    Any advice if I can leave my tripod at home (in Beijing) or I should bring it along with me? I've shaky hands by nature but can I rely on those stone walls to compensate for my shaky hands? I've a very light body (D60) but slightly heavier lens btw

    Also, what sort of lens do you bring up to the Great Wall? Appreicate any advice given. I've a 18-55mm (not the heavy lens that I'm referring to). If not sufficient, need to go and borrow (or steal) from my friends

    Thanks in advance!

    Oy! Coincidence! I'm going to Beijing that time as well!! Well, I'll be there on 25 April to 2 May. Haha

    I tell you what I'm bringing to Great Wall - my EOS450D and my Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lenses. You MUST use Wide Angle to do the Great Wall justice man! I don't think you need a tripod if you are shooting in the day, unless you are doing long exposures. Then again, why would u do long exposures at the Great Wall?

    I will also bring my workhorse along (the 18-55mm). That's for those closer-up shots and stuff. But please, for the love of the Lords of Kobol, regardless if its the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, the Summer Palace, Wangfujing, Olympic Green, TianAnMen Square and the Egg, please, if you don't have a wide angle lens, go beg, borrow or steal one. Beijing is a city that the ancients built for the purpose of a wide angle lens.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    10-22 will be your best gear. unless u want to do some portraits.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    I just went up the great wall 2 wks back at Mu Tian Yu. Another touristy spot would be Ba Da Ling.
    Went up with my 450D + Tamron 17-50mm. Good enough for me. Would be better if i have a UWA lens.
    Hiked for 4 hours in total (to and fro) and some of the steps are realli steep. So i would suggest not to bring a tripod along.

    See one of the pix that i have taken there. (Pardon the blue-ish tint on the mountain as i am still a noob when it comes to photography)
    Last edited by w3iw3n; 20th April 2009 at 04:26 PM.
    My Flickr
    EOS 7D | BG-E7 | EF 85mm F1.8 | EF-S10-22 F3.5-4.5 | EF-S17-55 F2.8 | 430EXII

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    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    Wow, thanks for the quick responses! Good advice.

    Not very fit, have not hit the gym for a few months, in a shape that my personal trainer will frown upon. Will take note and bring bare minimal.

    Will also attempt to go and steal a wide angle lens. But if cannot, take multiple shots and stitch?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    Wow ! You got personal trainer ! Impressed !

  13. #13
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    what's the opening hours of the great wall? i never saw anyone did any sunrise or sunset with great wall before. or is it becos there is no public transport at the reasonable hours of good lighting?

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    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by w3iw3n View Post
    I just went up the great wall 2 wks back at Mu Tian Yu. Another touristy spot would be Ba Da Ling.
    Went up with my 450D + Tamron 17-50mm. Good enough for me. Would be better if i have a UWA lens.
    Hiked for 4 hours in total (to and fro) and some of the steps are realli steep. So i would suggest not to bring a tripod along.

    See one of the pix that i have taken there. (Pardon the blue-ish tint on the mountain as i am still a noob when it comes to photography)
    Is this taken at 17mm? If so, I better save up for a 10-20 before my grad trip next year, if not i use my 18mm sure CMI.
    Dun blame the camera...blame the one behind the viewfinder :bsmilie:
    My Flickr..pls leave comments!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    ""You MUST use Wide Angle to do the Great Wall justice man! I don't think you need a tripod if you are shooting in the day, unless you are doing long exposures. Then again, why would u do long exposures at the Great Wall?""

    Yup. A wide Angle will improve your pics.

    A tripod will bring you back some unexpected pictures. Consider a ND + CPL Filter, Long Exposure Day time with moving Clouds.

    What you achieve is 风云变色。 A long standing wall that stood against time. The wall does not move. The Clouds move and the sky changes colour.

    Then again, That is another level of photography. :-} Enjoy your trip.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by Andrew Ng; 20th April 2009 at 11:13 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    Travelling? bring an UWA 10-22 and the plastic 50mm..
    want to have your face in the pics for souveniers? Then best to bring a tripod along and a remote.

    Don't forget the UWA.
    Loslos...

  17. #17

    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    How old and fit are you?

    If it is a photographic tri. Definately bring a tripod.
    Please Don't Report This Post To A Moderator

  18. #18

    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by tkbonz View Post
    Is this taken at 17mm? If so, I better save up for a 10-20 before my grad trip next year, if not i use my 18mm sure CMI.
    yeap. 17mm on a cropped camera.
    an UWA lens would be great for the great wall.
    My Flickr
    EOS 7D | BG-E7 | EF 85mm F1.8 | EF-S10-22 F3.5-4.5 | EF-S17-55 F2.8 | 430EXII

  19. #19
    Senior Member zoossh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Ng View Post
    A tripod will bring you back some unexpected pictures. Consider a ND + CPL Filter, Long Exposure Day time with moving Clouds.

    What you achieve is 风云变色。 A long standing wall that stood against time. The wall does not move. The Clouds move and the sky changes colour.
    do you have any links to such 风云变色 pics? i haven't seen a good one yet, and really like to see them.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Beijing 2009 - Need tripod for Great Wall? Kind of lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by zoossh View Post
    do you have any links to such 风云变色 pics? i haven't seen a good one yet, and really like to see them.

    Hi! Here is a link I found with some fantastic clouds. With stills and moving one. Imagine that with the Great wall. :-}

    http://www.pbase.com/sadie04/clouds_and_storms&page=all

    http://www.pbase.com/gilazouri/china

    Imagine and Create. :-}
    Last edited by Andrew Ng; 22nd April 2009 at 12:44 PM.

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