Exploring Switzerland with the Samyang 45mm

Reinold Aryee

Photographer from England


Exploring Switzerland with the Samyang 45mm

I love exploring the world, meeting new people and getting lost with my camera. My recent opportunity to do this was in Switzerland, visiting a friend. To top it all off, I had the pleasure of packing my backpack with Samyang’s latest Sony E-mount lens for my trip, the Samyang 45mm 1.8.

The first thing I noticed about the 45mm was its size. Pairing the lens with my Sony A7III camera body, I really felt the weight or lack of especially compared to my Samyang 35mm 1.4 FE. It was a delight to take the 45mm on the trip, as you can see from the size comparison’s the smaller size was really useful for packing a travel backpack full of camera gear, clothing and tech accessories.


Once you travel to Switzerland, you’ll find what a vibrant and diverse country it truly is. Like a kaleidoscope of many cultures intermingling with each other, Switzerland has four national languages, German, French, Italian and Romansh with German being the main language. It was amazing to travel through Switzerland and take in the differences geographically, culturally and visually.



I started my trip in the French-speaking city of Lausanne, just a 35-minute train ride for Geneva airport. Shortly after meeting my friend, we explored Lausanne where we came across interesting buildings which also made some great backdrops for portraits. For portraits, the autofocus was fast and accurate with the lens working well with eye-autofocus. 





I really enjoyed using the focal length of 45mm as I prefer to capture more of the environment with my go-to focal length being 35mm. I was able to still shoot with the environment in mind without as much distortion as 35mm and compared to the 50mm focal length, 45mm gives a perspective closer to the human eye. 

The next day, we went snowboarding in the Swiss Alps. Again, I needed to consider space when packing where having a compact lens such as the Samyang 45mm 1.8 made it easier to balance camera gear with snowboarding gear and essentials for the alps. The best camera is the one you have with you and a truly felt that throughout this trip.

About a 2-hour train ride from Lausanne, we arrived in Les Diablerets where we took a bus and a cable car to ascend up the mountain. Arriving at Glacier 3000, we took the peak walk to get a breathtaking 360-degree view of the Swiss Alps. We then had a cruise in the mountains for the rest of the day snowboarding. 






The scenery from Lausanne and Glacier 3000, certainly made me want to explore more of Switzerland particularly nature, as a different subject to the architecture and cityscapes I usually capture around London.

The following day we rented a car for a road trip across Switzerland travelling from Lausanne to Lavizzara, the journey had two routes where we took the southern route through Montreux, Sion and Domodossola. 

As we drove past snow-capped mountains, forests, cities and everything in between, I fell further in love with Switzerland. There was such diversity in the landscape and the drive felt like experiencing all the seasons in a single journey. Struggling to continue the journey with the constant temptation of exploring the locations on our route, we finally arrived at the Italian region of Switzerland. With time on our hands, we explored Lavertezzo.





Just over an hour from Lavertezzo was our main destination, a town called Lavizzara. We had a scenic drive to Lavizzara full waterfalls, trees and the wonderful nature Switzerland had to show us!



As we got closer to Lavizarra, there was a downpour of rain which by no means ruined the scenic views if anything it heightened it and showed how moody mother nature can get. As we drove further up the mountain we came across numerous hairpins turns, taking shots where we were lucky to have small windows of opportunity without rain. The following photos certainly reflect the moody atmosphere in the mountain.



The following shots are a timeline of the drive back to Lausanne. It was amazing to see how the diversity of Switzerland and how much the landscape changed in a single day.

Arriving back in sunny Lausanne we had a nice view of the mountains and Lake Geneva.  

All in all, the Samyang 45mm 1.8  is a compact sized lens that places itself very well as a travel lens. Along with the advantages of its compact size, the perspective of the focal length made it a great general purpose lens to capture a variety of different subjects. The autofocus capabilities along with the quality of the images from this lens certainly make it a great addition!

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Samyang’s Guide to Achieving the Optimal Angle of View

The perfect spacing and distance are always necessary when shooting all kinds of subjects, including people, to give them a proper relationship with the beautiful space around them. So, what’s the exact distance that helps you best appreciate a work of art, or a photo?

The correct answer is the diagonal length of the full frame of a subject.

표준화각 자료 이미지
표준화각 자료 이미지

The best standpoint from which to appreciate the full view of a subject is the distance of the diagonal length of the subject frame. This wider angle is superior to standing closer at a 50 degree angle to get a more detailed view. This notion of an ideal distance or view point is also applicable in the world of photography.

For still images, keeping a distance equal to the diagonal length of the full image surface is recommended. The full frame sensor of a digital camera is 36 x 24mm and the diagonal length is 43.26mm so any distance close to this number is nearer to the ideal than the currently accepted industry standard of 50mm.

Back when film cameras were common, 45mm was the industry standard and this continued as reflex cameras needed extra space to fit a mirror. However, as mirrorless cameras become more popular again, there has been a need to return to this industry standard…which is the impetus for the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE. With less distortion than a 35mm lens and wider angles than a 55mm lens, the Samyang AF 45mm F1.8 FE is a perfect lens for portraits, landscapes, architecture photography, and pictures of pets.

What is Preset Aperture Control Function?

On the Preset Aperture Control function, the aperture blade operates smoothly like a "De-clicked lens", which is advantageous for video recording.
Fujifilm cameras are engineered to control the aperture according to the minimum exposure value(F-stop), so when the camera controls the aperture, it blinks momentarily to set the proper exposure.

AF 75mm F1.8 X intentionally disconnects the communication with the camera body and the lens itself on the Preset Aperture Control function, so it is possible to smoothly adjust the exposure without flickering. ISO and shutter speed are adjusted according to the changed exposure by controlling the aperture, so the exposure value can be changed even with the 1/2 F-stop.

What is Recommended Settings for Preset Aperture Control Function?

The Preset Aperture Control function operates only when shooting video(Movie mode) and the focusing mode of the camera is set to AF mode. Please set the aperture at f/1.8 before switching the "Custom Switch" to "Mode 2. It is recommended to set the "Exposure mode" as A mode (Aperture Priority AE) or M mode (Manual Exposure).

* How to use the “Preset Aperture Control” function?

1) Camera Body Setting
      AF Mode → Video Mode ('A' or 'M' mode) → Set the Aperture @F1.8
(2) Lens Setting
      Switch your "Custom Switch” to “Mode 2(M2)"
(3) Now, you're ready to use the Preset Aperture Control function with your focus ring

[What is Dolly Shot? How to shoot easily]

[What is Dolly shot?]

A dolly shot, also referred to as a tracking shot or trucking shot, is a camera movement technique used by cinematographers to track and follow a subject in motion. To achieve this, the camera is mounted on a device called a "dolly," which facilitates smooth tracking movement. The dolly can move in front of, behind, or alongside the subject, which can be a person, a location, a product, or any other object of focus in the frame. Through this, you can control the emotional distance between the subject and the viewer by highlighting the audiovisual and dramatic effects.

[How to take a Dolly Shot simply by handheld]

Tip. If the moving distance is long, the camera may shake, so please shoot at a focal length between 35 and 100mm.
1. Stand at a distance of about 1.5 to 2 meters away from the subject.
2. Set the custom switch to MF and Mode 3 and adjust the focal length to about 100mm.
3. After focusing on the subject, set the aperture to F8~16.
4. Slowly turn the zoom ring to the left (towards the wide-angle end) while using your upper body and arms to move the camera toward your subject.
5. Dolly Shot complete!
※ When shooting from a farther distance from the subject, use a cart or gimbal for more stable shooting.

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1Ds Mark Ⅲ
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800D (Kiss X9i / Rebel T7i)
700D (Kiss X9i / Rebel T7i)
100D (Kiss X7 / Rebel SL1)
650D (Kiss X6i / Rebel T4i)
600D (Kiss X5 / Rebel T3i)
550D (Kiss X4 / Rebel T2i)
500D (Kiss X3 / Rebel T1i)
1000D (Kiss F / Rebel XS)
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* Cameras released within 5 years from 2019 are tested.

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