Going to Finland, need recommendations

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Ramsey, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. Ramsey

    Ramsey Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2013
    Zagreb, Croatia
    So I'm most likely going on a business trip to Finland in May. It lasts for 6 days, and as far as i know, we'll be spending a few days in Turku and Helsinki.

    It is a business trip, so not all the time will be allocated to photography but i think i'll be able to get a few opportunities for a photowalk.

    Anyone here can give some recommendations regarding:
    1. Things worth seeing/taking a shot of - i don't mind the usual tourist thingies, and i don't mind waking up a bit earlier to take a photo of something spectacular;
    2. Any fair/festival/other happenings in mid-late May;
    3. Any flea markets/shops worth checking out for a legacy lens;
    4. Good camera stores that are likely to have good prices - i've checked the Rajala and some others but the prices for the things i was looking (E-M5 ii, GX8, 12-40mm, 42,5 f1.7, tenba messenger mini, retrospective 5 etc) are a bit too much. Is Finland just not the place to have solid prices or am i looking in the wrong places?
    5. Any other recommendations on what to do, eat, see, drink, experience...

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

  2. kiwirobfinland

    kiwirobfinland Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 31, 2016
    Yes, Finland is not the best place for prices but Rajala is probably the worst.
    For new gear try Verkkokauppa.com or Topshot.fi both have stores in Helsinki.
    The only legacy lens shop i know of is kameratori.fi in Tampere.
    They have a English web page it could be worth sending them an email as they can be pretty helpful.
    But be warned they sometimes have WOW glass(wow i always wanted one of those or wow it costs how much).
    Helsinki in mainly churches, boats and old building photos a good windproof jacket, a hat and cloves are recommended. The wind off the baltic can be pretty cold.Try the bar on a tram (only in finland) if its running.
    I have not been to Turku much big castle churches, boats and old buildings all so on the baltic cost .
    I need to ask the same questions about Dubrovnik and Croatia for the end of September.
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  3. jaeae

    jaeae Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 14, 2014
    Well I have lived most of my life around Turku (and now in Tampere) and mostly I recommend people to go visit the Ruissalo island (Google Maps) - if you like nature. Should be easy to get to, with a bus etc. Also, check the university's botanical garden there - Kasvitieteellinen puutarha (Google Maps). The end of that island is called "kolkka", it was my personal favorite place to walk..

    Obviously Turku is about the river Aura, and if you want to walk along it you could start at Lönnrotinpuisto (Google Maps), walk the wooden sidewalk on the west bank and then across the bridge and continue at the east bank.

    Finland's economy is poor at the moment and people are depressed, even more than normal - so maybe one could shoot some street photos, doom and gloom? :)

    Just now I can't remember any :)

    As kiwi above said, www.kameratori.fi is nowadays "the" place for used stuff. Finland is so small, that there isn't much room for many sellers. In Helsinki, Rajala also sells used lenses and maybe FotoTapio too. Kameratori has them listed at Tuotteet - Kameratori.fi

    Verkkokauppa.com, Telefoto.fi (small shop but reasonable prices..)

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
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  4. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa

    Finland Finland Finland, the country where I quite want to be
    Pony Trecking or Camping, or just watching TV

    Finland was isolated quite a bit post war so legacy lenses are neither abundant nor cheap. perhaps a quick rail to St Petersberg would be worth it?

    All in all I'd say you'd be well served with something like:
    14mm f2.5 + GWC wide (giving you a nice wide aspect too)
    20mm f1.7 as a general lens to capture the interesting things
    and a telephoto like a 200 or a 300mm (I carry an FD because 1 its cheap 2 back then there was little other choice 3 its still cheap)

    May is sort of difficult as it can be slushy with the melt. Or it can be sleeting or it can be warm

    Ok ... some examples of things to see taken (mostly) with the above suggestions:

    At Lohja is a medieval church, that's not too far from Helsinki

    in my view ...: chruch of the magnificat (at Lohja)

    Then at Tampere (a town worth a walk around) you'll find an excellent and unusual Cathedral
    in my view ...: Cathedral at Tampere
    If you go there, check out the work of Hugo Symberg that features on the walls. MOST unusual works in a cathedral. Confronting for an American I may even say.

    (sorry about the Clergical focus here)

    As the snow is melting, the Swans are returning
    in my view ...: swan dive

    Porvoo has interesting dock sides (also not far from Helsinki)

    Finland is surprisingly big on the arts to, so even doing a spiral out around the Town Square will reveal much ... The National Library is great and the Cathedrals (one Lutheran the other Russian Orthodox)

    are good viewing too.



    Frozen rivers (will now be thawing)

    Back Blocks of town down alleys

    That set of lenses was used for these

    lastly on what to see and experience, well that's tough. To me as an Australian Finland took a while to grok, its easy after coming from Tokyo or Seoul or Beijing to feel its unrepresented in foods or drink.

    Get some good Karelian Piiraka and some of their smoked pork / bacon. Also try the local breads, they are different and delicious.

    LantuKukko (bread with turnip baked inside, also available with pork and salmon)

    Red berries called Lingon berries
    (quite sour and add to the oily tastes in the fish)
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
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  5. jaeae

    jaeae Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 14, 2014
    I found some pictures that I've taken in May.. the first one is from that Ruissalo, foggy May evening. It's essentially spring time in here. The second one is from the botanical garden (OM-10 and Kodak Ektachrome).

    BTW, one interesting place.. Google Maps . The big ships going to Sweden go past that beach.. it's a very narrow water so it may be fun to watch the ships go by very close.

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  6. Ramsey

    Ramsey Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2013
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Forgot to specifically say, thanks to everyone for the recommendations and pointers, it's greatly appreciated.

    Dubrovnik is nice, but i'm not such a big fan. Apart from the fact the prices are equivalent of a highway robbery, I think there are far more interesting places on the Croatian coast. Split, Šibenik, Zadar are cities that have more to offer than "just" a walk on the walls surrounding the inner part of city. National park Krka, Plitvice lakes (a bit further away) are beautiful and are highly recommended if you have the time. If you're a fan of islands, many islands can be reached with a ferry from the above mentioned three cities. All cities have regular one day boat cruises on surrounding islands. Makarska is a part of the coast not far from Dubrovnik that is often quoted as the best part of the Croatian coast. Montenegro (not that far away from Dubrovnik, much cheaper) and the famous St Stefan (luxury resort) are nice, as is Budva.

    Istra is the northern part of Croatian coast, that is also great. More of a wine/olives kind of tourism, similar to Italy in a way. It is quite distant from Dubrovnik if you're taking a car/bus.

    If just in Dubrovnik:
    Dubrovnik is famous for a lot of monestaries, churches, fountains and forts. If that's your thing, go nuts :)
    From what i can find with a quick google search, a music festival called "Dubrovnik in Late summer", starts 26th August to 22nd September.
    Island of Lokrum is also recommended, if you're a fan of nature.
    There is a really spectacular view on the hill on top of Dubrovnik called Srđ.

    Basically it depends on how much time you have and if you're renting a car or taking a bus/plane.

    Have fun, September is great because there is not that many people there, and the weather is (generally) nice without it being too hot.
  7. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I have been to Helsinki for a few days a few years ago. There's some nice Art Noveau architecture, harbor with some ships, cool island fortress Suomenlina with old Russian cannons/fortifications, great open air museum with traditional wooden houses brought over from elsewhere.
    Try the reindeer meat, but avoid the organ meats like liver :shakehead:

    Here are my photos from there - Finland :)
  8. kiwirobfinland

    kiwirobfinland Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 31, 2016
    Hi thanks its a extended family trip. I will mostly be dealing with kids
    but hope to get some photos along the way.
    There is talk of renting a car and going to some islands. I will keep an eye open for the places you mentioned.