A visit to BMW

My wife and I recently visited the Munich BMW Museum for my birthday.. yes, I know, a brave wife but we did go shopping in Munich afterwards! I took the opportunity to take some photos along the way. If you are interested in cars at all, you shouldn’t miss a visit to BMW Welt and the BMW Museum.

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BMW 2002, BMW Museum Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E

It is also possible to take a factory tour, however on this occasion we didn’t have time for that. Photography is allowed in all parts of the museum. In the BMW Museum part, you cannot bring in backpacks, which have to be put in lockers in the dressing room. I decided to go for an abstract style of photos to try and match the modern technological feel that BMW gives. I therefore used my 45mm f2.8 TS-E lens for most of my photos. This tilt shift lens can be a challenge to use when shooting from the hip in a fast paced environment like the BMW Welt, but I like the results. There is good light in most parts of the museum.

Location

BMW WELT

BMW of course make some excellent sports cars today, and all the current models can be seen and touched at the BMW Welt (BMW World). The Welt building is remarkable, modern German design, and is a treat in itself. It was opened in 2007 and apart from showcasing the vehicles on display the building is also used for conferences, meetings and promotional events. In Munich, this is where buyers take delivery of their new BMW. In addition to all the BMW cars on display, they also have BMW bikes, the Mini, Rolls Royce and technological innovation on display. If you are looking for a souvenir, BMW has that covered too with a large gift shop. There are also a couple of very nice Cafes where you can sit sipping good coffee while enjoying the view!

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BMW Welt Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E

The BMW Welt scores 4.7 out of 5 on Google reviews, and is well worth visiting. Parking is provided under the museum for a reasonable fee. The BMW Welt itself is free of charge.

Official information in English can be found here: http://www.bmw-welt.com/en/

 

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Lonely i8 charging near the car pick up area, BMW Welt, Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E

BMW MUSEUM

Some 200m from the BMW Welt is the Museum. BMW has a long and interesting history in motorcycles, aircraft engines, cars and race cars. I really enjoyed this excellent exhibition. It is well organized, and the classic exhibits contrast well with the fast paced BMW Welt. Again, the building is very impressive, and there are many special treasures in store, such as early motorcycles from the 1920s, their first cars, a very nice selection of famous race cars, an M-Power room, and much else!

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BMW Motorcycle from 1925, BMW Museum Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E

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A room full of great cars! BMW Museum Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E

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BMW 003 Jet engine, BMW Museum Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E

Also interesting is the exhibits from BMW in the 1940s, when they were roped into the war effort. One of the worlds first jet engines can be seen here, originally intended for the worlds first jet fighter, the ME262. Another interesting war time engine produced by BMW is the BMW 801, a powerful 14 cylinder radial aircraft engine built in large numbers for aircraft such as the Focke Wulf FW190 and Junkers Ju88.

One of the things which impressed me the most was BMW’s commitment to racing. Every car nut knows how successful the 1990s BMW M3 was in racing, but that’s not the whole story. The museum shows a long line of famous race cars, right from the early days to the present day. There are many famous engines on display as well, such as the 1980s turbo monsters, a 1.5 liter engine producing some 1200hp.

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People admiring an early BMW race car. BMW Museum Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E

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A classic 1970s BMW race car, BMW Museum Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E

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A modern equivalent, the BMW M4 GTR. BMW Welt Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E

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Many famous race engines on display. BMW Museum Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E

Back to the Future!

Finally, I also really enjoyed the glimpse into the future the museum provides. There are a few prototypes, and current models which lead the way in technical development, such as the impressive i8 and i3.

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A 2009 BMW prototype… BMW Museum Munich, 5D Mark III with 45mm 2.8 TS-E

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…And the car is spawned, the amazing BMW i8. BMW Welt Munich, 5D Mark III with 16-35mm 2.8L II

 

Some Quick Tips!

All in all a great experience. Here are a few tips for photographers if you are thinking of visiting;

  1. The BMW Welt can be very busy. Everyone wants to sit in all the fancy cars. So if you want good photos you should arrive early, on a week day. If this fails, going for detail shots can save a frustrating situation, where you can’t get a clean photo.
  2. Be prepared to surrender your camera bag at the Museum section. Choose your lens wisely, bring a spare memory card etc etc. I used a 45mm lens (on full-frame) for most of my photos.
  3. Light is generally very good, especially in the Welt section. I used iso 400 – 1600, but generally 1000 was fine depending on the aperture.
  4. Photography is allowed in all the exhibits, but don’t forget to take a few shots of the buildings themselves!
  5. Using a polariser can help reduce reflections in windows etc.

I hope you enjoyed this little write up. If you did, be sure to follow my blog!

Finally, here is a gallery of photos from the day!

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