Dubai, Prague, St Petersburg, Moscow and Beijing...

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by polyglot, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I'm leaving for the Trans-Siberian Railway in two weeks! :D

    Apart from endless fantastic photo opportunities, it has been pointed out to me that this is a good chance to pick up some cheap+interesting gear (brass lenses, maybe an Iskra) that wouldn't normally make it to the west or wouldn't be worth shipping. I have 3 days in Prague, 6 in St Petersburg, 2 in Moscow & 3 in Beijing. Plus 4 in Mongolia and 5 in Guilin/Yangshuo but I don't expect so much shopping there :wink: Does anyone have suggestions for interesting secondhand gear shops in these cities?

    Of course if there's something that I must go see/photograph in any of those places that you think I perhaps don't know of, by all means I'd like to hear about that too.
     
  2. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    Run don't walk to the Wukesong camera mall in Beijing.

    Pretty much everything there, really. Lots of second hand places, brand new shops and accessories too. I got an inexpensive tripod I really liked there, even some film/paper/chemistry places too.

    Not sure when it happens, but when I was there last fall on a Sunday (IIRC) there were tables set up all around the large building, and they had a flea market kind of thing going...just fantastic. Seems like a regular thing but I don't know if it's weekly, monthly or what.

    Accessible easily from subways...just get off at the, you guessed it, Wukesong stop. Not hard to find.
     
  3. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    You will use hell of money and buy second hand camera from Beijing. Not makes sense.
     
  4. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    I'm jealoux!

    Just returned from Prague (my 25+'th trip down there)...
    there are two big photostores down there - and they are in the same street, so easy to find.
    Name of the street: Vodickova (sp?) - one is called FotoSkoda and the other a little further upthe street on the other side is called Fotooptika.

    The used market is not what it used to be.... Too many rich americans/germans and japaneese people have almost vacuum cleaned the town... (not my words - words from people working in these stores) - but there are still fine things to see and maybe buy.

    In any case - Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world - you're in for a treat!!
     
  5. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    there was (is?) a huge outdoor swapmeet in Moscow when I was there in the 90's. I remember an ample supply of old view cameras and lenses. At the time I was importing factory new scopes and lenses etc. What a wonderful trip you are undertaking!
     
  6. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    25th(!) trip to Prague!? Damn, and I haven't even made it to Europe yet.

    So it sounds like there are 2-3 stores in each of Prague and Moskva (fotofishka, kamepa/kamera, ekta-f) to visit, plus the mall in Beijing.

    Does Wukesong have much in the way of interesting old gear? In my googling for it, it sounded like mostly DSLRs and cheap chinese accessories.
     
  7. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    Your trip sounds wonderful. www.kamera.ru is reasonably central in Moscow, a couple of kilometers from Kiev Station. The entrance is on a back yard, downstairs. The website lists current prices, so check it out to see if its worth the trip. I am sure there are other places as well. The real bargains, however, are when people are selling gear through internet ads.

    Izmailovski Market in Moscow can be fun. You will find all the typical russian souvenirs, fur hats, soviet memorabilia, fine rugs from central asia, cheap DVD:s and also some stalls with camera equipment. It is rather touristic and beware of the fake wehrmacht-leicas. You will find all kinds of cameras and lenses. Saturday or Sunday mornings are the best.
     
  8. Colin Corneau

    Colin Corneau Subscriber

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    I've been there, you haven't.

    I'll second a recommendation for Prague, also. I was there a while back and it's a magical place. Beautiful light, beautiful streets...a fascinating place.
     
  9. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Just arrived in Москва and it seems that my hotel (Вега) is right between Ismailovsky Markets (the huge wooden tourist trap with surrounding stalls?) and Партизанская station so I'll check that out for a start.

    I've been through 8 xrayings so far and have at least 4 remaining, which concerns me a little so I think I will get a roll of P400 developed tomorrow to check. I also need to stock up a bit since I'm burning it a little faster than planned :wink:

    I have maybe half a day of free time here (more if I skip the guided walking tour) so I think I may spend most of it photographing the metro.
     
  10. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    Yes, that is Ismailovsky. The market is busiest on weekend mornings, but why not check it out as you live so close.

    The metro is magnificent, look at the monument to partisans in your metro station. That is just a start. Ploshad revolutsio is a favorite, as well as the ring line. I think that photography in the metro is formally not allowed, but I did it a lot and no-one of the guards says anything.
     
  11. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I've had a look at плосчад революции and партизанская so far (visited ГУМ and red square last night) and plan to take the ring route to экта-ф to buy more film. And there are a few others I want to see too, mainly for the murals and chandeliers.

    Photography is explicitly permitted in the Москва metro, it's St Petersburg that prohibits it.
     
  12. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    You lucky bastard.
     
  13. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    Good that it is allowed. Some local friends usually tell me that it is prohibited. Maybe it was earlier.

    Mayakovskaja is a beautiful station, on the green line.

    Enjoy your stay!
     
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  15. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Saw Маяковская today as well as a few others; I plan to do a bit of an outing again tonight once the heavy traffic slows. Kicking myself for not shooting on Sunday night with the really light crowds.

    The only photographic restriction in the metro is against tripods (not to mention I just go to the next station if told not to use the tripod) but the guards are really friendly & polite, with none of the power-tripping BS, imagined prohibitions or photo-hysteria we get in the west. In fact, Москва is remarkable for its friendliness and lack of the fear that has been constructed in the west over the last decade; people here start with the assumption that a stranger will help them.

    Went to экта-ф, bought 27 rolls of film. It's a tiny apartment-sized store that's better stocked for film than anything in Adelaide and about 1/3 of the price. Couldn't find an Iskra and the second-hand stuff I have seen was about 3x KEH pricing.
     
  16. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    In good weather you should go for dinner at the restaurant on the top of this improbable building:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Academy_of_Sciences
    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...Reviews-Sky_Lounge-Moscow_Central_Russia.html
    The restaurant is a little posh, which is very "Moscovian" (don't know how to write such an adjective in English). The panorama over the city is impressive.

    I'll be going myself to Moscow in a few weeks, by the way. I never get enough of this city. Your observation is right on spot, people are friendly.

    Traffic never slows. It really doesn't. :smile:
     
  17. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Hah; I had Теремок for dinner :wink:

    Just passing through Омск now.
     
  18. stavrosk

    stavrosk Member

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    So jealous!
    Looking forward to your photographs!
     
  19. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I got to Wukesong today and it truly is Santa's warehouse :smile: However I only bought a lenscap and 20 rolls; the prices on LF gear were not reasonable.

    It was nice to come face-to-face with shelves full of brand (as-)new Linhof & Wista bodies plus shelves loaded with new shrink-wrapped Rodenstock glass. Very little used gear in LF tho and 3x pricier (more than I thought I could haggle them down by) than KEH so I skipped out. Lots and lots of 35mm gear and I saw a shop full of old MF gear (TLRs and RBs, mostly) too.

    Finally got an email from a Russian vendor about an Iskra but am no longer in-country so it looks like no (photo) capital acquisitions for me on this trip, probably just as well considering I bought a Raketa Polar watch...
     
  20. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    Are you going to Prague?
    I will be there (again, again) in a weeks time...
     
  21. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I was in Prague 2-5/9. China now and back home in about a week :sad:
     
  22. gandolfi

    gandolfi Member

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    Aah - ok.
    Did you enjoy Prague?
     
  23. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    Yeah it was beautiful but absolutely stuffed with English tourists getting drunk. I'd like to spend a little more time there but it's not real high on the list of priorities as Asia is much more accessible from AU (and cheaper!) and has so much that is more-different from my usual life.

    Next time back to Europe will probably be Pripyat if they open it again.
     
  24. polyglot

    polyglot Member

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    I made it home, with a bit of a haul:
    [​IMG]
    I think there's about 95 there plus 3 more in the backs with a couple frames left on each. As I get through the processing and scanning I'll be putting up a website with the better ones on it and I'll post a link for that later. Probably a week or two before there's much substantive there.
     
  25. Erik Petersson

    Erik Petersson Subscriber

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    Impressive! I would be interested in your Moscow subway pictures. Is that all 120 film?
     
  26. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Must be almost a 1000 photos there. I was going to say you'll be busy this winter but then saw you're in Australia so maybe you'll have no tan this summer!