Switzerland and Thoughts on Travel Photography
This is a continuation of a series from here: Iceland Photos
If you found this page via a online forum, I recommend visiting the link above. It has some personal shots you might not have seen in my original post.
The second leg of my journey took me to Zurich. I knew going into Switzerland that it would be very picturesque. What I didn’t know was how delicate the political situation is in Switzerland as well as the somewhat interesting melting pot yet immigrant fearing culture. I was surprised to find out that there is a Canton (sort of like a US State) in Switzerland that didn’t grant women the right to vote in elections until 1988. Astoundingly some political groups founded by women even opposed it!
I highly recommend visiting the Swiss Alps. You will not be disappointment. Take the expensive train ($190 roundtrip in 2011) up the mountain Jungfrau. With the aurora borealis and some of the landscapes in Iceland, I thought I saw the most beautiful natural spectacles in the world. I was sorely mistaken as the Swiss Alps trumped anything I’ve ever seen. It’s really worth it.
The equipment I was carrying was the same as I listed before on the previous post about Iceland. I found a waterproof jacket, back pack, and a storm cover for the camera was also extremely useful. Don’t ignore the usefulness of comfortable shoes. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to use the expensive Lee filter 4×6 set I brought with me. In a pinch I used my Marumi gradient filter which was better than nothing. I recommend investing in a set for your best lenses. I’ve found the Marumi version to be much more resilient than the B&W version that isn’t multicoated. Another lesson I learned during the trip was the dust problem. No matter what kind of fancy anti dust system you might have in your camera, there will always be dust if you ever switch lenses or even if you never do and use a zoom lens (the pumping in and out exchanges air and dust into the camera). I brought a sensor pen with me but it was not nearly enough. About a third of my images had dust spots from the sensor and it required an extra 20 minutes an image to make sure to remove the spots in an acceptable manner. This has compelled me to order a kit to make sure dust is no longer a problem. A magnifier with LED light is the most important part of the kit for sure.
I’m also very glad I brought my Sony NEX-5N on the trip with me with the quite excellent adapted Contax G lenses. The 45mm F2 and 28mm F2.8 G are incredibly good lenses that give that incredible super sharp super contrasty Zeiss look. I find that these lenses look more “Zeiss like” than the current Zeiss line up available on Canon and Nikon as ZE/ZF lenses. This is true with the exception of the 21mm F2.8 and 100mm F2. When I had the 21mm F2.8 mounted on my full frame A850 it was also very useful to have the 5N available with a normalish G mount lens ready to go beside me. It was very light and unobtrusive and a powerful companion where I felt the image quality would never be an issue. The 5N’s weak AA filter lends itself well to the razor sharp attributes of the G lenses.
As always you can check out some of the work that I consider my highlights here:
A little bit chronologically off but I wanted to start strong with one of my favorites from the trip, please be sure to check the link at the bottom of the page for the Swiss Alps.
The following were taken with the 5N and the 28mm or 45mm Contax G lenses. They were taken in downtown Zurich.
Interestingly, this simple B&W was one of my favorite from the trip although I think other people might not find it notable.
The following panoramas were taken with a mix of A850 and 5N but always using a Zeiss lens.