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Jul 14, 2016

Review: Tamron SP 15-30MM F/2.8 Di VC USD

Nikon D700, 15mm, f/11, ISO 400, 1/100 sec
I had the pleasure of spending a total of four weeks, over the last year, traveling with Tamron's new SP 15-30mm f/2.8 Di VC USD lens. The lens, which was officially announced in February of 2015, was immediately received with excitement because, like the SP 24-70mm f/2.8 that came out before it, the SP 15-30mm was the first lens in its class to incorporate image stabilization into a fast f/2.8 aperture. The lens is


  • Mount Type: Nikon F-Bayonet
  • Maximum Aperture: f/2.8
  • Minimum Aperture: f/22
  • Format: FX (Full Frame)
  • Max Angle of View: 110°
  • Min Angle of View: 49°
  • Lens Elements: 18
  • Lens Groups: 13
  • Diaphragm Blades: 9
  • Min Focus Distance: 11in. (0.28m)
  • Filter Size: N/A
  • Approx. Dimensions DxL: 3.9in x 5.6in
  • Approx. Weight: 38.8 oz. (1,100 g)
  • Price: $1,199.00

Our Thoughts: Construction

Prior to my first two-week trip with the SP 15-30mm I had never had the opportunity to use any of Tamron's line of lenses and I was not sure what to expect. I quickly found the images I had seen online, which made the lens look cheap, were a far cry from reality. I found the lens to be very well made, even rivaling the build quality of Nikon's 14-24mm f/2.8. Both the zoom and focus rings seemed to operate more smoothly than the 14-24mm lenses I have used over the years.

Oct 1, 2015

Review: FujiFilm X-T1

I recently had the opportunity to rent the FujiFilm X-T1 to take with me to my sister's wedding. Not wanting, or needing, to travel with my complete camera kit I chose the X-T1 and a single 35mm F1.4 XF R lens for the combo's compact size and the stunning images being produced by the combination on the internet.

I am not going to bore you with all of the camera's specifications but these were the ones that drove my interest in testing the camera:
  • Image Sensor: 16.3 effective million pixel X-Trans CMOS II with primary color filter
  • Movie File Format: MOV
  • Movie Video Compression: H.264
  • WiFi Connectivity: Yes
  • Price: $1,299.95
My thoughts:
I must be honest, I have always been a fan of FujiFilm. We have owned a couple of their point and shoot cameras over the years and I loved how easy they were to use. After I made the jump to DSLR cameras I continued to pack around our FujiFilm P&S on family trips. There is something about how their sensors and processors render colors that cannot be matched by the other camera companies. Fuji cameras just produce beautiful images. I was pleased to find the X-T1 I rented to have stayed true to what I have come to love about the brand. The controls were intuitive and the sensor, combined with the 35mm F1.4 lens, produced images and video with beautiful colors.

Sep 3, 2015

Review: Promote GPS

  • Provides latitude, longitude, elevation and date/time information
  • Dependable 20 channel GPS receiver powered by SiRF Star III chip
  • Supports WAAS / EGNOS / MSAS
  • No batteries required - powered directly from camera
  • Low power consumption for longer shooting sessions
  • Automatically powered on/off along with camera exposure meter
  • Satellite almanac is automatically memorized for quick hot start
  • Made in USA
  • Price: $149.95

Beau's Thoughts:
Geo-tagging images is a great way to help organize your portfolio and is something I have been doing after Lightroom introduced the 'Map' module in version 4. The ability to add GPS data to images has been a big help on both personal and work projects. In the past I would sync the time between my camera and Garmin eTrex hand-held GPS, set the device on the dash of my vehicle, and then sync the tracking data with the images in Lightroom.