I’ve been travelling with some extra weight on my back for a while now thanks to a cooperation with Swarovski OPTIK. I’ve been given a pair of the CL Companion binoculars for my travels. Especially for my mountain escapes. The cooperation got started when I visited the factory of Swarovski OPTIK out in Absam, which is a small town near Innsbruck. This is where the magic happens and the secret recipe is for producing binoculars is well kept. I got to go on a guided tour to get a rough idea what kind of development and knowledge, machines and minds are behind a simple pair of binoculars. Although, simple really isn’t the best word. Afterwards I felt like I haven’t been appreciating them enough and the lend binoculars gave me a chance to re-discover the joy of looking through them. Just like I used to to when I was little and my granddad would let me have a peek. Also, there is something about them, that gives you the instant coolness of a detective observing something important.
My first trip with the CL Companion took me to Osttirol – a region in Tirol, which borders with Italy and has some of the highest mountains in Austria. I stayed in an alpine hut for 10 days on my own in a hidden valley, the Gschlösstal. Word was out that two bearded vultures where nestling somewhere in the exact same valley. Soon as I heard that – I made it my mission to capture them on camera. Jep, on camera. Swarovski Optik also gave me a new adapter they’ve developed especially for people like me, who can’t resist taking pictures… all the time and everywhere. The adapter comes with an iphone (5/5s only for now) cover, which sits perfectly. You can use the cover as a protection. But since I like to have the back covered as well I kept switching the cases, but that worked perfectly for me.
Ever since the binoculars have been in my backpack on most hikes and walks. Not for the long or very exhausting ones. More so on the short or leisurely strolls around. For the more extreme hikes I’m just too lazy to carry them with me. Lucky for me in Osttirol my mountain guide had the exact same pair on his own and I got to look through it every now and then. It’s a great experience zooming in and out on the day’s goals in the far distance.
Another great thing to do is to take the binoculars on a city walk. There is a lot more to see than you’d usually look at, especially looking up on house walls and paintings. Or on the ceiling of old churches and cathedrals.
All the following shots where taken using my iphone during my stay in Osttirol. If you’re wondering about the black frame – this comes natural when you take the shot through the lens. You can of course cut it off. But I like it. It gives you a better impression on how the photo was taken and that it wasn’t just another lense but actually binoculars.
In case you’re missing the shot of the bearded vulture – so am I. Unfortunately we didn’t meet. Or I may also have just been to blind to spot them. Well, I guess it’s always good to have a reason to return some day, isn’t it?
To sum it up:
For a photo freak like myself the binoculars become -oh so much more – attractive with the iphone adapter. I’m just this kind of person, who can’t look at pretty things without getting my camera out. Hopefully they’ll also soon offer adapters for other smartphones.
On trips where every gram counts I probably won’t be carrying the binoculars in the future. But for shorter trips and hikes I’ve really gotten used to them and I can only recommend giving them a try. If you don’t want to buy some right away, why not go on a guided Nature Watch Tour? Per Pedes in Innsbruck also offers guided city tours with Swarovski Optik binoculars. Last spring I went on a privat tour with Monica Frenzel about architecture in Innsbruck and it was superb!
The CL Companion costs around 1.000 € in the Swarovski OPTIK online shop, the iphone adapter adds another 135€ on top. This is pretty expensive, but you can be ensured to then hold a piece of timeless beauty in your hands.
Further infos: Go to clpocketjournal.swarovskioptik.com to discover great spots in the world, where you should take your binoculars. Here you’ll also find my tipps from the last few months. Using the hashtag #swarovkskioptikviews you can now also enter a photo competition!