Wittmund (ETNT) - The situation in 2009

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Iwan Bogels
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Wittmund (ETNT) - The situation in 2009

Post by Iwan Bogels »

Hi everybody,

Last week I visited Wittmund for the first time after completion of the new fence. The new situation for photographers has changed considerably compared to the old situation, with several great vantage points lost forever.

The old fence has been moved backwards along 90% of the runway. On the western part the fence was put back to about 650 meters from the runway´s centerline, while on the eastern part it was just put back about 40 meters to roughly 170 meters from the runway´s centerline. And although 170 meters is still a perfect photographic distance from the runway, some old shrubs and other vegetation may get in the way as this was left in place when they removed the old fence.

Photospots 1, 2 and 3 (counted from the left on the map below) still require only a 70-200mm lens for a full frame side shot. Spots 4 and 5 are located on an embankment, elevated about 5 meters from ground level. This provides a great photo opportunity for line-up and landing shots when runway 26 is in use, or dragchute shots when landing from the other side.

The new fence is considerably higher than the old fence, and requires a small ladder if you want to use your camera. The actual fence is about 2.00 meters high with about 0.5 meters of barbed wire on top of that. Total hight of the fence is about 2.5 meters, which seems to be the standard hight of most new fences around NATO airbases these days. Airbase security seems to tolerate photography around the fence, but they don't like high ladders. I was asked to put away my M-ladder, which stands about 1.80 meters high when set up in reversed V-shape. There doesn't seem to be much of a problem when using small 2 or 3 step "kitchen ladders", but these won't help you to clear the upper barbed wire.

I hope this clarifies the new situation around Wittmund, and I wish we can all contribute to establish a good relation between airbase community and hobbyists. So try not to spoil it. After all Wittmund is still a great airbase with unique photo opportunities, well within range for a good and easy day out. Most likely the base will get a lot more attention after TLP has moved to from Florennes to Spain, and Phantoms are getting closer and closer to extinction in Western Europe.

Happy shooting,
Iwan Bögels

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Re: Wittmund (ETNT) - The situation in 2009

Post by Key »

Great post Iwan, thanks. All in all, things could have become much worse for us! I support your plea for responsible behaviour, obviously.

Erik
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Iwan Bogels
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Re: Wittmund (ETNT) - The situation in 2009

Post by Iwan Bogels »

Here's an impression of the possibilities and restrictions which I encountered at Wittmund last week.

This shot was taken from the fence at the eastern part, close to the middle of the runway. The old fence used to be located just beyond the vegetation, and just to the left of the bushes you can still see a part of it. Don't be fooled by the optical illusion of the wide angle shot, as the fence has only been moved about 40 meters back, and aircraft are still quite close.

In order to avoid high vegetation in your photos, you will need to find a smart spot without any bushes in view. There are a few of these spots available along the fence. If airbase security doesn't like high ladders along the fence, I would like to suggest that the bushes will be removed also, so people can just stay low on a small two-step ladder instead of a 5 or 6 step ladder.

This particular shot was taken from high up a 10-step ladder. The upper barbed wire is about 2,5 meters from ground level !

I hope this info helps out.

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Re: Wittmund (ETNT) - The situation in 2009

Post by R. Stalenhoef »

Good input Iwan and I am sure helpfull for lots of people! Thank you for your efforts! If we could always get along like this!... :roll:

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Re: Wittmund (ETNT) - The situation in 2009

Post by Raven 17 »

Further to Iwan`s great update,

Can anyone advise what sort of lens is adequate from the mound (Spots 3 / 4), for aircraft on the runway? I`m guessing 70-210mm maybe a bit short, even with a crop factor of about 1.5x.

I`m visiting here in early August and need to minimise my lens kit due to flight restrictions on weight. However I have a gut feeling, looking at the new fence position, that something up to 300mm would be more adequate?

If anyone has an recent experience here, I`d welcome their input.

Regards

John
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Re: Wittmund (ETNT) - The situation in 2009

Post by Hans Rolink »

Raven 17 wrote:Further to Iwan`s great update,

Can anyone advise what sort of lens is adequate from the mound (Spots 3 / 4), for aircraft on the runway? I`m guessing 70-210mm maybe a bit short, even with a crop factor of about 1.5x.

I`m visiting here in early August and need to minimise my lens kit due to flight restrictions on weight. However I have a gut feeling, looking at the new fence position, that something up to 300mm would be more adequate?

If anyone has an recent experience here, I`d welcome their input.

Regards

John
Hi John

250 to 300 mm will get you fast jet sized subjects filling the frame with a D300. This body has a 1,5 crop factor. For this, I stood on the mound approx. between Iwan's points on the map above. The date was 5 June this year, the morning of the photo call.

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Re: Wittmund (ETNT) - The situation in 2009

Post by Raven 17 »

Hans,

That`s very helpful. Thank you for replying.

Regards

John
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Re: Wittmund (ETNT) - The situation in 2009

Post by zeeuwric »

In August the following signs are attached to the fence parallel of the runway.

This states we can still make photo's :D

The bundeswehr (WACHE!!) patrols the fence regulary and if you are caught directly near the fence with a ladder they threathen to send the Polizei on your ass. Sitting on the hills or in the field is no problem.
Keep clear of the fence and youre ok.

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Greets Richard
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