3 day family trip to Venice part I (16-70/4 tags along)

Venise2013-83Aahhh, Venice. Its Grand Canal green waters, its timeless and colorful buildings…

As promised, here’s the photo report of our 3 day family trip to the Serenissima. Last year I’d used the fixed lens, small sensor Fuji X10 for all zoom shots, and the NEX7 with SEL35/1.8 for shallow DOF close-ups and night stuff. This time two NEX came along : the 5R with 35/1.8 for low light, and the 7 with Zeiss 16-70/4 for everything else. It was not my first go at the Zeiss walk-around zoom. I already knew it’s superbly versatile and has excellent IQ. This time I wanted to see how it’d perform as a sole travel lens. Last year I also took every possible vista and typical shots, so this time I just wanted personal, family shots, that would make undying memories of my daughter’s first time in the eternal city, and hopefully not my mother’s last.

Venise14-06It’s them alright, walking out the Marco Polo international airport (which is pretty much a tiny, easy to navigate and reasonably friendly affair)

Venise14-04Of course it all started in CDG, which is huge, a nightmare to navigate, and has repeatedly won the “Worst Passenger Experience” award of any airport in the world. Well deserved, too. But I worked in Charles de Gaulle for 8 years (and might again soon, hopefully), so I know my way around its terminals well enough that we avoided the highest level of stress, and had an eventless trip

Venise14-05Once in Venice Marco Polo, various transfer choices arise. My husband decided to treat the family to a costly private boat spin. That was mad fun

Venise14-07Trust me, you wouldn’t want to see that picture without the watercolor Photoshop filter. But I think it takes care of a badly screwed up shot pretty elegantly, and actually fits the subject just fine. Just don’t overdo it (you hear me Tracy !?)

Venise14-08There’s a saying in Venice, that all taxi boat drivers are millionaires. Juding by the price of the 20″ crossing , that might very well be true šŸ˜‰

Venise14-11However, that was money well spent

Venise14-12My mom in law basked in the prestige

Venise14-09Marla just loves speeding in a boat. Has since she first tried it at 9 months in Southern France

Venise14-10And my folks simply enjoyed the comfort, convenience and faster transfer time

Venise14-13We zipped around at full speed

Venise14-15My mom hadn’t been in Venice for years, she that used to go every spring


Venise14-18As we approached the island


Venise14-17My husband is *always* happy on a boat. His sailor’s genes, I suppose…

Venise14-21Getting closer

Venise14-20Let the picture taking frenzy begin !


Venise14-23When the weather is good, it’s hard to take a bad picture in Venice

Venise14-24My step-dad reuniting with the long time no seen city

Venise14-25I had been there just under a year ago, but the magic still worked as new

Venise14-26It was my mom in law’s first time in Venise, and she had a blast


Venise14-28Here’s exactly what I’m expecting from the Zeiss 16-70/4 : punchy colors and sufficient subject isolation with good sharpness and detail

Venise14-30And its versatility and usefulness are first rate

Venise14-31My mom, who can’t walk to well, had a hell of a time getting out of the taxi boat, so did my mom in law who has a severe case of fear of heights. Both made it safe and sound though, and forgot all worries the moment they found themselves lost in the neverending Venetian buzzing life

Venise14-32It was so sweet to see my folks walking hand in hand in their favorite city, as if years had never gone by

Venise14-35And a treat as well as Marla immediately blended in the city atmosphere

Venise14-33Another typical sample of 16-70 output


Venise14-37The hotel was only a couple of narrow streets away from the boat stop

Venise14-39And Venice colors are still as beautifully intoxicating as ever

Venise14-38Le Isole hotel****Ā  is situated on a quiet small canal about 5″ from San Marco


Venise14-41Situation is optimum, interiors are lovely, the staff is amazingly friendly and helfpul

Venise14-42Venice is a city of great contrast, literally speaking, and the native DR of Sony cameras is a necessary blessing. This shot would have made many a DSLR cringe, but the NEX just pulled it out nicely and effortlessly

Venise14-45Marla discovering her kingdom for the next three days

Venise14-43Marla and her dad peeking out the humongous window (than ran along the whole length of the large room)

Venise14-46Peek a boo

Venise14-44I too, went to Venice with my dad when I was four, to be christianed there

Venise14-47After just enough time to set the suitcases down, we hopped back on the street and starting roaming the neighborhood

Venise14-48Venise is hardly short on shopping opportunities !

Venise14-49My step-dad and husband having a guys’ talk

Venise14-51Maybe they discussed their next shoe purchase ? šŸ˜‰

Venise14-50How sweet does life get ?

Venise14-53Very sweet

Venise14-54A slightly more distant than usual view of the (in)famous Bridge of Sighs

Venise14-55My mom and daughter, those two make a pair

Venise14-56If you like glass work you’re in Heaven, and if you think you don’t like it… you’ll learn to

Venise14-30I haven’t checked how many shots I made, but I know it counts in hundreds. Let me put my editing ball and chain back on, and be right back. Stay tuned !



About marla2008

Shutterbug. Shallow DOF nut. Mother of Child. Student of the Horse.
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3 Responses to 3 day family trip to Venice part I (16-70/4 tags along)

  1. Evy says:

    Very nice report!
    We fell hapiness and complicity in a lovely city!

  2. MJWC1 says:

    Ah, Claire, it is as I both expected and feared.
    As I expected, a wonderful set of images – so many gorgeous family moments to treasure. The early one of Marla looking down at you on the boat is one that really sticks with me, but there are many fantastic images.
    As I feared, I am filled with envy – for your good fortune in being able to walk the streets of Venice and for the sheer quality of the images coming out of your gear. You are right about the dynamic range (seriously impressive) and the 16-70 is clearly one heck of a lens.
    Looking forward to the results of your next stint at the editing desk!

    • marla2008 says:

      Thank you Matthew for the kind words. It was indeed an epic tric, quite emotional with three generations mixed in the vibe of that timeless city !! In Venise at all times you’d expect 16th century gentlemen to stride in, and nothing is surprising or extravagant there. It is truly a life changing experience. Regarding the gear, it makes me feel truly stupid to even read another photographic website or check any recent release (let alone having an A6000 on order ), as the output of the NEX bodies I have at hand, paired with the 16-70/4 and 35/1.8 doesn’t give much to complain about ! I’ll bitch one one aspect of the Zeiss though, as capable as it is, I find it a tad too large for comfort. Mounted on a N7 the combo is smaller than a DSLR, but not by a lot. Still more portable, and will still run circles around any 18-55 CaNikon kit zoom though….

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