I remember when I got my first 70-200 f/2.8 lens, it was the first version of the Nikkor, and it was a fantastic lens on the 12 Mpx cameras I had back then (D300s and D700). The feel, the look, the balance and about everything was perfect. I still really really like the look of a 70-200 f/2.8 lens on a DSLR, I think it looks simply amazing. Obviously with the increase of megapixels, the older lenses didn’t keep up and needed to be replaced. In the beginning of last year, I got the Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD G2.
I’ve always liked Tamron SP lenses as I think they give a lot for the money. SP, Super Performance, means they perform on a high level, more or less on the same level as first party lenses, without the same price tag. I’ve owned Tamron SP lenses for more than ten years and have been pretty happy about them, so when Tamron announced their updated version of the already very good 24-70 f/2.8 VC, I actually sold my Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 VR to get the new Tamron. I’m not saying that the Tamron is better than the Nikkor, but it freed up some money that I could use on something else without sacrificing much of the performance (if any).
Tamron announced their Tap-In Console about two years ago, and the two main functions is to be able to update firmware without sending the lens into service, and the second is to finetune focus at three different focus distances and several focal lengths (for primes just one focal length). There are also some other features you may do in the Tap-In utility, such as behavior of the Vibration Control, adjust the focus limiter, sensitivity of the focus ring and so on.
Reikan FoCal is not very known by DSLR users, so what is it all about? Copied from their info:
So what exactly is FoCal?
FoCal is computer software you install on a PC or Mac, and a special target you attach to a wall. You connect your camera to the PC with the standard USB cable and start the software.
FoCal guides you through the correct positioning of the camera and target, then you can run any of the tools at the touch of a button.
FoCal works with Canon and Nikon DSLR cameras that support AF Microadjustment/Fine Tune – see the Supported Cameras page for more details.
Historically it has been relatively easy to predict what will come out of Nikons production plants, but this has changed to be increasingly more and more difficult in the later years. A couple of reasons for that are the economy crises and the flooding of a Thailand plant in 2011. So I guess this could be the reason that it wasn’t an immediate replacement for the D300s and the D700 and by this messing up the time line a bit. Lately they’ve also struggled with reorganization and saving money because of shrinking market for compacts and DSLR’s.
If you are new to photography or even a bit experienced, I admit that there is a jungle out there that can confuse the most determent ones. If you look a little bit closer you will notice that there is actually some kind of system in the mess, and there is a form of standardization of screws and threads, and quick release plates.
As we do most travel photos, we need to start with what photo gear to bring. That includes more than cameras and lenses, we also need to think about storage. We need to bring more memory cards than we need and external hard drives with more than enough space (make sure that they are all working!). For the camera with only one card slot, we never delete photos from the full memory card used with that camera, but for the camera with dual card slots (which the second card slot is set up to backup), I delete one of them after all photos are copied over to the external hard drive.