Opteka 15mm f/4 vs Tamron 15-30mm

I picked up a Opteka 15mm lens online to use as a lightweight backup lens for Real Estate Photography and also landscapes.  Unfortunately the Opteka 15mm f/4 LD UNC AL 1:1 Macro Wide Angle Full Frame Lens comes nowhere near filling the shoes of my Tamron SP 15-30mm VC F/2.8 lens.  As such, I can’t rely on the Opteka for any serious work.

Comparison test images below.  All shots taken on my tripod mounted full-framed Sony A7R I (using the Fotodiox Pro Canon EF adapter).  2 second delay and manual focus techniques were employed for both shots.  Exposure information – ISO 400, F/16.  0.3 second shutter speed with the Tamron and 1/10th second shutter on the Opteka yielded a similar brightness to the frame.

The upper left corners of the Opteka 15mm lens are fairly soft.  The upper right corners of the Opteka 15mm are extremely soft.  Center sharpness is surprisingly not bad.

See below to reach your own conclusion:

Tamron 15-30mm + Sony A7R Landscape Photography

Tamron SP 15-30mm VC + Sony A7R

Opteka 15mm + Sony A7R Landscape Photography

Opteka 15mm F/4 + Sony A7R

 

Tamron Upper Left Crop

Tamron SP 15-30mm Upper Left Crop

Opteka Upper Left

Opteka 15mm Upper Left Crop

 

Tamron Lower Left Crop

Tamron SP 15-30mm VC Lower Left Crop

Opteka Lower Left Crop

Opteka 15mm F/4 Lower Left Crop

Tamron Upper Right Crop 15mm

Tamron SP 15-30mm Upper Right Crop

Opteka Upper Right Crop

Opteka 15mm Upper Right Crop

Tamron Lower Right Crop

Tamron Lower Left Crop

Opteka Lower Right Crop

Opteka Lower Left Crop

Tamron Focal Point Crop 15mm

Tamron Focal Point Crop

Opteka Focal Point Crop 15mm

Opteka Focal Point Crop

 

Do you need digital photography lenses, cameras, or accessories reviewed and tested?  Send me an email at daveblinderphotography@gmail.com to get started

 

Landscapes of New Jersey at Morris County Library

It is a genuine honor to have my exhibit in such a prestigious building so well set up for art. “Landscapes of New Jersey” on display now through the end of June.

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Featured Artist for the Month of June 2017 at Morris County Library

My newest finished piece, “Day’s End at Great Bay”, has just been matted and framed to 24″x36″ and is displayed nearest the front desk.

Dave Blinder's newest fine art landscape piece

Day’s End at Great Bay Boulevard

Morris County Library
30 East Hanover Ave
Whippany, NJ
(973) 285-6930

If you’ve gotten to see my exhibit I appreciate all constructive criticism – daveblinderphotography@gmail.com

 

New Jersey Fine Art Photography

Landscapes of New Jersey photo exhibit, looking right down hallway

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Dave Blinder’s artist bio on display

Dave Blinder Photography Exhibit

Landscapes of New Jersey, looking left down hallway

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On the topic of impossibility

A short anecdote from this afternoon:
 
I am preparing for an upcoming trip to Costa Rica and conceptualized a better way to support my small 360 camera (Samsung Gear 360). I thought that the lightweight camera might be secured for nature shoots by staking it into the ground in an upright manner.
 
I already purchased a selfie stick which easily mounts the Samsung Gear 360 and I also had some loose odds and ends such as tripod spikes (3/8″ thread) and camera thumbscrews. However, I had no hardware that could attach the tripod spike to the 1/4″ 20 thread below the selfie stick.
 
I decided to check out my local Home Depot in Parsippany NJ. A quick glance down the hardware aisle revealed no couplers that could pair my threadings together. I flagged down two Home Depot employees working near the loose hardware aisle and asked if they had a solution.
 
Employee #1 said “That’s impossible to do”. Employee #2 said “I used to run my own machine shop, let’s see what I can do”. He grabbed a few small items off of the shelf and left for an employee-only area that housed a drill press. 15 minutes later and after spending $2.00 at the checkout I had my solution in hand.
 
Moral of the story is very few things are impossible. Most tasks just require a “can do attitude” and a conceptual flow chart.
Selfie Stick Spike

A modified support stake for my selfie stick.  Thanks to The Home Depot in Parsippany NJ

Winter Solstice Hike by the Morris County Park Commission

Winter Solstice Hike. 12/21/2016 led by Morris County Park Commission‘s Senior Naturalist Douglas Vorolieff.

We met at the visitor center for Pyramid Mountain Natural Historic Area pre-dawn and ascended up Turkey Mountain to meet with a colorful sky on the official first day of Winter.

Thank you to everyone who attended, it was quite a fun outing and a great way to kick off the season.

Future Morris County Park Commission events can be found online here -http://m66.siteground.biz/~morrispa/index.php/calendar/

 

Bird Photography Program – Randolph NJ

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Bird Photography Program at Randolph Township Free Library presented by Dave Blinder

On March 8th 2017, I will be giving a short presentation on local bird photography at the Randolph Township Free Library in Morris County, New Jersey.
 
I look forward to reviewing bird photography camera settings and also some insight into my favorite local locations for wildlife observation.
 
Non-residents of Randolph may register one week before the event.
 
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Intro to Landscape Photography Course- Visual Arts Center of NJ

I am very excited to be offering a 5 week course, Introduction to Landscape Photography, this fall on Thursday nights at the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey in Summit, New Jersey.

We will take a look at all of the building blocks in making a successful landscape image as well as the best camera settings and accessories. Given enough time, we will also broach on classic landscape compositions and modern digital landscape photography techniques. The goal is for participants to make consistently impactful photos and of course a greater appreciation for the arts.

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Landscape Photography (16F-1109)
Instructor: David Blinder
Experience Level: All Levels
Thursdays, 6:30 PM – 9:00 PM
5 sessions: Oct 20, 2016 – Nov 17, 2016
Members: $ 160.00 – Non-Members: 190.00
Lab Fee: $ 35.00

Registration info in link below:

http://public.artcenternj.org/public/AdultClasses.faces?medium=photography+%26+digital+media

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Landscapes of New Jersey artist’s reception

Details for my artist reception this coming Sunday

When:
Sunday, 9/25/2016, 2PM

Where:
New Jersey Audubon’s Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary
11 Hardscrabble Rd, Bernardsville, NJ 07924

 

schermanhoffman

“Landscapes of New Jersey” fine art photo exhibit by Dave Blinder

Details:
My “Landscapes of New Jersey” photo exhibit is being displayed in the Wayrick Gallery on the 2nd floor. Please feel welcome to drop by and also visit the terrific nature trails and bookstore. Refreshments will be served. Cost – free and open to the public.

For more visitor info on the Scherman-Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary click here –

http://www.njaudubon.org/SectionCenters/SectionScherman/AboutSchermanHoffman.aspx

 

hepner

Fog on Muriel Hepner Pond.  A featured piece from my “Landscapes of New Jersey” collection.

Firefly Photography Workshop at Duke Farms

On July 1st, I will be leading a photography workshop at Duke Farms where we will be capturing the luminescence of fireflies.

Each participant will hang their best image in the Duke Gallery for the annual Firefly Festival that attracts over 3000 visitors annually.  I think this will be a great challenge for all participants, a way to create very unique nature art, and also a great excuse to chase glowing insects around at night.

Firefly Festival

A DSLR or camera with manual controls will be necessary, and don’t forget to bring your tripod.

Payment and registration info for the Firefly Photography Workshop at Duke Farms is in the link below.

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/firefly-photography-tickets-24807047547

Sony A7R for Wildlife Video

As Spring warms up our Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, wildlife activity in general does pick up.  I am mostly resuming where I left off last year with local wildlife videography in attempts to challenge myself, and also to entertain viewers.  My “new used” Sony A7R has been my primary camera of late, and for wildlife jaunts, I have my trusty Canon EF mount Tamron SP 150-600mm VC lens paired using a Fotodio Pro adapter.

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Below are three recent wildlife shorts that I have filmed and edited in various natural areas in New Jersey.

 

March Waterfowl at the Manasquan Reservoir

 

Wood Duck at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge

 

Tree Swallows at the New Jersey Meadowlands

 

More recent wildlife photography and videography is viewable on Dave Blinder Nature Photography on Facebook

Tamron SP 15-30mm lens, first impressions

It has only been a couple of weeks now since I purchased the new Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 Di VC  wide angle lens for full frame.  I bought the lens to further invest in my real estate / architectural photography work, but naturally I will still give the SP 15-30mm a workout with my outdoor shooting.  I am pairing the lens to both my Canon 6D and also my Sony A7R (via Fotodiox Pro adaptor).

As expected the lens was ready to go as soon as I opened the packaging.  The frontmost element is bulbous, which is just a fact of the matter when using such an extremely wide POV with a fast F/2.8 aperture.  The finely crafted incorporated lens hood and also the slide-on lens cap do well to protect the front element.  There is also no threading for filters on the SP 15-30mm, although after market adapters seem to be springing up.  I have not tried any filters with the lens yet.

So what do I really think of the SP 15-30mm VC?

It is wide on full-frame, very wide.  When effectively composing a landscape photo at the lens’s broadest field of view we get a grandiose amount of scenery captured in a single frame. Knowing how to use an ultra wide lens to its full potential will be a challenge to new comers.

The SP 15-30mm VC is also extremely sharp.  Fine detail is recorded throughout the entire frame.  I am confident that my landscape photography will come to life in large prints after reviewing my camera raws. Expectedly, there is an acceptable level of distortion in the corner of the frames. I actually enjoy the slight “cathedral-effect” on my nature photographs but distortion is easily corrected in all camera raw converters.

Tamron’s SP 15-30mm VC is a sleek and attractive full frame lens capable of creating sleek and attractive photos.  I look forward to using the lens for future low-light and night sky shooting.  With the current retail price-point near $1200 Tamron has provided a great deal of value at a nice price point.

To view my most recent uploads:

Flickr or Instagram

For Fine Art prints or updates on my upcoming gallery showings contact me at daveblinderphotography@gmail.com

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Tamron SP 15-30mm VC + Sony A7R.  1/15th F/14 ISO 80.  Buttermilk Falls in New Jersey

 

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Tamron SP 15-30mm VC + Canon 6D. 1/50th F/11 ISO 320.  Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey

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Tamron SP 15-30mm VC + Sony A7R. 15mm F/14 ISO 50. Black River Park in New Jersey

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Tamron SP 15-30mm VC + Canon 6D. 15mm F/14 ISO 100. Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in New Jersey.