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Good Company in Poland 2019

Not a trip report, not really, more of a summary, and a huge shout out and thank you to those I met on my travels, who I thoroughly enjoyed my 4 days with.

Flew into Katowice on Sunday morning and caught an Uber to Legendia, because I’m lazy (cost £18.40) got there shortly after park opening and was met by @JKM we promptly purchased tickets and entered the park. The park was much busier than I’d seen in any reports or vlogs, which to be honest was nice to see, and meant a more relaxed start to the trip. First ride was Diabelska Petla, backwards. It was not as rough as expected and the second loop is almost swcharzkopf intense due to being smaller. Us old fogies will remember this from its American Adventure days as Iron Wolf / Twin Looper / JCB Looper, where I personally rode it well over 1000 times, so it was good to be reunited with an old friend. Then of course we headed for a couple of rides on Lech, stunning coaster, for which I’ve done a seperate review. We also did the dark ride, not my thing really, wasn’t as good as I’d heard, but if you enjoy the chocolate mouse thing at Phantasialand you will probably like this, like a scaled down version.

We tried to get the other cred (I say other, as one is currently SBNO) but it was the longest queue of the day, and I’m a crap enthusiast, I’d rather enjoy a good ride than stand in a queue to ride a crappy Zyklon for creds. So back to Lech for a reride.

Me and JKM then sat down for 30 minutes with a drink just chewing the fat, and putting the world to rights. Fantastic company, was a pleasure to meet you Peter and hang out for the afternoon.

It was now 2:30 and I’d seen that Energylandia had extended opening hours presumably because it was busy. So I headed off there, as I wanted to see the park busy, and catch my first rides on things when they’d warmed up... Definitely NOT a mistake.

So 50 mins in an Uber and £35 lighter, I was at Energylandia. Went to buy my tickets, thinking I’d now need 3 days, and was advised to get an annual pass, as it would only be 29zl (£6) more than a 2 day and single day, and would last me until 22nd Sept 2020. Immediately thinking of Aqualantis, I agreed, a decision which would certainly pay off.

I entered the park, it was absoloutely packed, and my first impressions were up there with the best theme parks I’ve visited. Not sure if plants, trees and shrubs etc have matured since others have visited, but this was not the EL I was expecting, not the car park I thought it would be, it was beautiful, flowers, trees and just georgeous landscaping everywhere. Everything was themed too, I wasn’t expecting that. The theming is not to the highest order, but it’s there, and better than a lot of parks manage. It’s also a bit random in places, as in there are some parts where it’s just a themed ride randomly placed in a nicely landscaped area. But some highlights were the space theme around Hyperion, The viking themed area, the Racing themed area, in which there is a themed cafe where you can get geourgous views above the park while eating lunch, and of course the Dragon zone.

My intention for this first evening was to get some ‘warmed up’ rides on Hyperion and Zadra, so I headed to the back of the park first. Despite the park being packed, the queue for Zadra was only 20 - 30 mins, and the trains were flying out. I enjoyed 2 rides on Zadra (see seperate reviews) and then headed to Hyperion. The queue here was slightly longer, maybe 30 - 40 minutes, but I also enjoyed 2 rides on this.

One little rant about EL, is that the modern queue system they use, with the 4 gates counting people in for certain sections of the train, works extremely well when the park is busy, but not very well when it is quiet, as everyone queues for the front, and they won’t send trains until they’re full.

Anyway, after these initial rides I decided to just wander around the park and take it in, really liking what I saw. The atmosphere when this park is busy is outstanding.

Time to walk to my accomodation, 10 minutes up the road, (past a McDonalds) is Western Camp Resort. It’s a really nice resort, with glamping options and log cabins. There’s a lake, restaurant, outdoor cinema, private fire pits for hire and sports activities. My ‘chuck wagon’ was lovely inside, 3 power points, air con, heating, plenty of storage including a secure locakable chest and a huge and comfy bed. I couldn’t of asked for any more for the money, it was superb.

I am going to condense the next 3 days down a little, this is getting longer than planned already.

The next morning I entered the park and headed straight for Zadra, whilst queuing I’d noticed the 2 next to me were speaking English and thought nothing of it. As I sat on the back row a young lad infront turned and asked me a question, turns out it was Fin, @pvnks’ little brother. We were supposed to meet up the next day, but fate had decided we were just going to have to spend the whole of the next 3 days together. And what a great 3 days they would be. We basically spent most of the time riding Zadra and Hyperion. With a few rides on Speed, Formula and Mayan thrown in for good measure. Of course we rode all of the family creds, and I split off for an hour or so on the third day to get the kiddie creds. The rapids weren’t as bad as expected, the 267 drop cycle on the drop / gently lower tower was abysmal, and we got far wetter than planned on the shoot the chute.

Pvnks and Fin were great company, we had some good laughs and they really made my trip special, I was originally planning and happy to do this trip alone, but I am so thankful that we met up, it really wouldn’t have been the same without them. Fin is extremely passionate about coasters and remarkably knowledgable for his age, really surprised he isn’t already on the forums.

On the 4th day, I was supposed to leave around lunchtime for a late afternoon flight, but I had a browse in the morning and found a later flight I could switch to. I decided that my day would be lost travelling anyway by the time I got home to the midlands in the evening, so I might aswell stay the whole day and get home late night. So a quick message to Pvnks to blag a lift to the airport, saving me Uber fare to put towards the flight change costs and all was arranged, I would stay the whole of the 4th day!!! That annual pass really did pay off. At Breakfast that morning I heard a couple speaking English, so I casully went over and said “you’re Enghlish right” 😂 to which they answered “yes.” Suspecting I already knew the answer I asked what bought them to Poland, of course the answer was Energylandia and another new friendship was born after Katie excitedly said to Liam “look a liseberg tshirt.” Turns out they’re visiting Liseberg in a few weeks. They’re not on the forums but hopefully we’ve persuaded them to sign up.

So that morning, the 5 of us met up at the gates and headed to.... Zadra 😂😂😂

To Summarise, a great 4 days in Poland, with some great people who I would definitely love to spend time with again, riding some great rides, Poland is lucky to have such a beautiful park that is only going to get better.

Zadra or Hyperion... I am still not fully decided!!!
 
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Hixee

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Hey, don't knock yourself, there are some good ones in there!
 
Hey, don't knock yourself, there are some good ones in there!
Thanks Hixee. I just wish I’d taken a lens with a longer focal length. I havn’t been photographing rides long, and certainly haven’t had many opportunities to snap such massive rides. I hadn’t quite appreciated the distances involved with rides like Zadra. Such a shame as I had plenty of opportunities to capture on ride photos of Jack and Fin. I was really annoyed with myself, as I snapped some great angles of them enjoying Zadra, but they were just too far away to maintain any kind of quality when cropping.
 

Hixee

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Gotta strike that balance between getting the shot and lugging around half a dozen lenses. Two (zoom + wide) is about my limit... :p
 
Gotta strike that balance between getting the shot and lugging around half a dozen lenses. Two (zoom + wide) is about my limit... :p
@Hixee can you give any advice on a single lens, at a low budget price, that has a decent focal range, something like 18-200 so I could get away with carrying just one. Must have IS so that I can shoot hand held. I have a canon, and was looking at this one, but being a total noob, I don’t want to buy something that’s not fit for the purpose I’m buying it. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Tamron-18-200-DiII-Zoom-Canon/dp/B013HXY1OC/ref=sr_1_1?fst=as:off&qid=1569843859&refinements=p_n_feature_three_browse-bin:182667031,p_n_feature_two_browse-bin:182680031,p_n_feature_browse-bin:182659031&rnid=182657031&s=electronics&sr=1-1
 

Hixee

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What have you got now? I'm a Nikon man, but focal lengths are focal lengths, so...

I currently have the 18-140mm Nikon kit lens (although until about 12 months ago had the 'old' 18-105mm kit lens on an older body - most of my archive content on CF was from that lens), and a 10-20mm Sigma lens. The zoom lens is by far the most commonly used, but shooting at 10mm gives such a great perspective in the right situation I can't help but carry it with me most of the time!

I have looked into the longer zoom lenses in the past (18-200/18-300), but haven't ever quite been able to justify the purchase to myself. I have then thought that a 200-400 type lens would maybe be a better purchase. The problem is (as you will be well aware) that you end up buying a lens for the two photos a year you need it. :p

It used to be the case that the 'jack-of-all-trades' lenses compromised a lot on quality (focus, sharpness, colour, etc), but I think these days the majority of the them are actually pretty good. I keep thinking I might rent one for a trip first, that might be the way to decide if they're worth it...
 
I personally only own the bog standard Canon 18mm-55mm 3.5 - 5.6 that came in the kit. Missus owns a similar 18-55mm and a 20 or 24mm, I think. So something in the region of 18-140mm is good then? Will have another look, as these longer ones apparentlystruggle in lower light above that anyway (wasn’t a major concern, as it would mostly be used in daylight)
 

Hixee

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I did used to have an 18-55 (kit lens on the D60 way back when), but have been using the 18-105 for about six years (and now the 18-140) and wouldn't go back.

There will always be compromise, especially if you're not willing to spend £1000+ on glass (I'm not!). That said, I've found that newer DLSRs shoot very well at high(er) ISO meaning you can get away with the ISO-2000 handheld low light shots much better than you used to be able to. As you say though, 90% of my photography is daytime, so not a huge issue.
 

davidm

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I personally only own the bog standard Canon 18mm-55mm 3.5 - 5.6 that came in the kit.
I used the "bog-standard kit" zoom lens (55-250*) that comes with entry-level Canons for quite a while - it was fine, pretty light and only about £100** I seem to recall (??).
(* - so if you buy the DSLR kit with 2 lenses, that would be the other one you'd get alongside the 18-55)

** - EDIT : fibbing, checking an email was nearer £200 but that was ages ago, suspect you can get it cheaper these days.

These were taken with that lens on a 450D body;

 
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I did used to have an 18-55 (kit lens on the D60 way back when), but have been using the 18-105 for about six years (and now the 18-140) and wouldn't go back.

There will always be compromise, especially if you're not willing to spend £1000+ on glass (I'm not!). That said, I've found that newer DLSRs shoot very well at high(er) ISO meaning you can get away with the ISO-2000 handheld low light shots much better than you used to be able to. As you say though, 90% of my photography is daytime, so not a huge issue.
I am not willing to spend more than a couple hundred on what is essentially my first ‘none kit’ lens, I am the newest of beginners, so I better make sure I stick at this and contnue to enjoy it and learn before spending money on serious kit.

I used the "bog-standard kit" zoom lens (55-250*) that comes with entry-level Canons for quite a while - it was fine, pretty light and only about £100** I seem to recall (??).
(* - so if you buy the DSLR kit with 2 lenses, that would be the other one you'd get alongside the 18-55)

** - EDIT : fibbing, checking an email was nearer £200 but that was ages ago, suspect you can get it cheaper these days.

These were taken with that lens on a 450D body;

Thanks, so something like this would be great https://www.hdewcameras.co.uk/canon-ef-s-55-250mm-f4-56-is-stm-2434-p.asp?gclid=Cj0KCQjwz8bsBRC6ARIsAEyNnvp3wZwko4darRoVesyf6XhQFwPgVz7r2xTZ_B3a8WG4yRrzdJtHjB0aAm3pEALw_wcB but would mean carrying 2 lenses, not a big issue for that kind of cost saving :)

BTW I love the Maverick shot, reminds me of my favourite Helix shots I got in April.

6AD219D7-9015-4391-97A4-57CE1C4047B0.jpeg

65732021-97AC-403E-AC2B-705260BD0A4D.jpeg
 

SilverArrow

Active Member
Trouble with lenses is no single one does the job for everything. The kit lens will get you decently far as a beginner for sure. I'd maybe recommend a fixed lens prime (such as 50 or 85, f1.8) as a good second lens as you can shoot in low light (unlike the kit lens or zoom linked), they come cheap (compared to other lenses) and are minimal fuss but depends what you want to do. Photography is a bit of a rabbit hole once you fall down it! I've shot film as much as digital recently!
 
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