An Eye on Architecture (Story by Tamron)

 Derek Rath captures the form and function of Southern California landmarks with the Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 VC Wide-Angle lens

Story Contributed by Tamron

When he was growing up as a boy in England, Derek Rath learned the ins and out of three-dimensional drawing from his father, a civil engineer. “He was in charge of housing and streets and all kinds of related things, and he showed me how to work up 3D plans,” Derek says. “It fascinated me even back then.”

Derek eventually made his way to the US to produce a music album, and he soon settled down in Southern California, which he has called home for more than three decades. It’s proven the ideal locale for a person who has since parlayed his childhood interest in the lines and forms of civil engineering into a career as one of the region’s top architectural photographers. “Southern California is such an interesting place for architecture, because you can find 20 different styles along just one block,” he says. “Builders aren’t afraid to do things here and take chances.”

For architectural photographers, a wide-angle lens that allows for work in tight spaces is a must. Derek recently started shooting with the Tamron SP 15-30mm F/2.8 VC Wide-Angle lens, and he’s been impressed with the results. “First, I can handhold at shutter speeds I never thought possible,” he says. “And of course I appreciate the extra reach on the 15mm end that allows me to capture photos in spaces I wasn’t able to before. Plus, its sharpness is stellar. On many wide-angle lenses, the sharpness tends to drop off in the corners, but that’s not a problem with this lens.”

Derek’s approach when he’s capturing local architecture involves putting the building or structure in context with its surroundings, depending on what he’s been commissioned to turn in. “That comes down to finding an angle, something that illustrates a strength of concept of the design,” he explains. “Other times, I may be looking at textures or how a particular aspect of the building works in relation to the rest of it, or how the entire building works in context with its environment. It very often doesn’t unfold until you’re actually looking at the scene in front of you. And I like to shoot in natural light, or use available light that’s been incorporated into the design of the building.”

One thing Derek does when on a shoot with a client: Bring his laptop. “If they see my images right out of the camera, they may get upset because they’re not seeing what they expect to see,” he says. “And that initial photo is not what I’m going to give them in the end. Ansel Adams is very famous for his prints, not his negatives—he made his magic in the darkroom by pulling all the information out of the negative. Digital is the same for me. I take the photo, then finagle the information, then present the final result to my clients.” 

A recent test-drive with the 15-30 allowed Derek to try it out on some of his favorite LA haunts. For a photo inside one of the city’s most prominent government buildings, Derek was faced with less-than-ideal lighting. “It was almost dungeon dark, as this was fairly early in the morning,” he says. “I was on the third floor of the rotunda, the most elaborately designed of all of the floors. It’s a wonderful period piece of architecture. My goal was to focus on the filigree of the light and show how the light fell so beautifully down onto the Los Angeles plaque below.” 

© Derek Rath
15mm, F/9, 0.4 sec., ISO 640
Derek had previously surveyed this same scene through an iPhone, compact camera, and using a different wide-angle lens, but it wasn’t until he used

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Bergen County Hazardous Waste Days 2018

Hazardous Waste Days open to Bergen County, NJ Residents Only

Most photo chemicals are considered hazardous waste so this is a great opportunity to safely dispose of what you are no longer using. This event is open to Bergen County, New Jersey residents only with ID. The following items are no accepted so please do not bring computers, electronics, batteries (only car and rechargeable accepted), or tires to these collections. If you have questions please call the Bergen County Hazardous Waste Hotline 201-807-5825. Information for other New Jersey Counties can be found at the NJ Hazardous Waste Co-ordinators website. Businesses must pre-register before the collection day by calling 201-807-8696 to make arrangements.

View the Bergen County Utility Authorities Hazardous Waste Day Flyer

Campgaw Mountain Reservation 9 a – 3 p

200 Campgaw Rd., Mahwah

Saturday, May 12, 2018
Saturday, July 21, 2018
Saturday, September 8, 2018

Bergen Community College 9 a – 3 p

400 Paramus Road, Paramus, NJ

Bergen Community College, 400 Paramus Rd., Paramus

(entry via Paramus Road Only)
Sunday, April 15, 2018
Sunday, June 24, 2018
Sunday, October 14, 2018

Bergen County Utilities Authority 9 a – 3 p

Foot of Empire Boulevard, Moonachie, NJ

Saturday, March 10, 2018
Saturday, November 17, 2018

Free Saturday Focus Sessions – March Schedule

Focus sessions are Free and take place in our store from 9:30 am – 10:15 am. Focus Sessions are mini classes and discussions and classes about photography. All sessions will allow for questions and answers. Please bring your camera and any images along that you have questions about. Please share your thoughts for future focus sessions in the comment box below.

No RSVP necessary – Free for everyone – Please bring a friend!

Hit the “Like Button” to let your friends know. Have suggestions for future focus sessions? Feel free to leave a comment.

Here’s our upcoming Focus Sessions:

March 3rd –  Indoor Sports with Paul and John

March 10th – Parade Photography

March 17th – Shooting Beer

March 24th – TBA


These are free events – bring a friend along if you’d like.

Share with your friends on Facebook – Click the Like button below.

Hope you can join us!

Press Release: Tamron’s New 28-75mm Lens

Tamron announces the development of a high-speed standard zoom lens for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras

28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A036)

February 22, 2018, Commack, New York – Tamron announces the development of a new high-speed standard zoom lens for Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras, the 28-75mm F/2.8 Di III RXD (Model A036). This signals Tamron’s plans to further expand and improve its lens lineup for full-frame mirrorless cameras, in addition to its lenses for DSLR and other mirrorless camera formats.

Model A036 delivers superb optical performance, including both outstanding image quality and beautiful background blur effects (bokeh). Photographers may enjoy dynamic wide-angle expressions like never before thanks to a minimum object distance of 7.5 in at the wideangle zoom setting. Usefulness and versatility are enhanced by its compact size and light weight, measuring only 4.6 in and weighing 19.4 oz. Model A036 incorporates an all-new high-speed and precise AF driving system. The RXD (Rapid eXtra-silent stepping Drive) stepping motor unit operates with remarkable quietness, making it perfect for video use. The lens also features Moisture-Resistant Construction that is helpful in outdoor photography, plus hydrophobic Fluorine Coating that is highly resistant to fingerprints and debris. In addition, A036 is compatible with the “Direct Manual Focus (DMF)” system feature of Sony cameras, enabling this new zoom to take full advantage of the advanced functions that ensure comfortable user experiences.


  1. Superb optical performance, including both outstanding image quality and beautiful background blur effects (bokeh), provided by fast F/2.8 aperture. 
  2. Comfortably light weight (19.4 oz.) and compact (4.6 in).
  3. Close-focusing; Minimum Object Distance: 7.5 in at wide-angle setting and 15.3 in at the telephoto position.
  4. All-new “RXD” stepping motor AF unit is extremely quiet and therefore perfect for video capture.
  5. Exciting next-generation design keeping the brand consistency that is ergonomically superb.
  6. Moisture-Resistant Construction and Fluorine Coating for weather protection.
  7. Compatible with the “Direct Manual Focus (DMF)” feature that enables Sony cameras to instantly switch between autofocus and manual focus.

* Specifications, appearance, functionality, etc. are subject to change without prior notice.

Press Release: Tamron’s New 70-210mm Lens

New F/4 telephoto zoom lens featuring superb optical performance and a lightweight and compact body for easy portability

70-210mm F/4 Di VC USD (Model A034)

February 22,2018, Commack, New York— Tamron announces the launch of the 70-210mm F/4 Di VC USD (Model A034), a compact telephoto zoom lens for full-frame DSLR cameras. Model A034 provides superb optical performance throughout the entire zoom range and features a maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.1, the highest in its class.* The design includes an internal zoom mechanism that provides solid mechanical construction and stable, reliable operation. Model A034 also employs a Dual MPU (Micro-Processing Unit) design, which enables high-speed and high-accuracy AF performance as well as powerful VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization for flexible and versatile use in various situations. For dependable outdoor use, the new telephoto zoom is equipped with Fluorine Coating and Moisture-Resistant Construction. The lens will be available in Canon and Nikon mounts in April at $799.00.


*Among 70-200mm F/4 class interchangeable lenses for full-frame DSLR cameras (as of January 2018: Tamron)



  1. High-performance telephoto zoom lens with a constant maximum aperture of F/4

Leveraging Tamron’s years of knowhow developing telephoto zoom lenses, Model A034 achieves superb optical performance with high contrast and resolution. The optical construction (20 elements in 14 groups) uses three LD (Low Dispersion) lens elements to effectively compensate for axial and transverse chromatic aberrations, thereby ensuring crisp and crystal-clear image quality across the entire frame. Furthermore, Model A034 features a constant maximum aperture of F/4 throughout the entire zoom range, thus providing superior control over depth-of-field and excellent bokeh. Compared to large aperture telephoto zoom lenses, the new A034 is lighter with a weight of just 30.3 oz. and is more compact with a total length of only 6.8 in. for excellent portability. The lighter weight and smaller size make this new lens easier to carry and instantly spring into action.


  1. Class-leading magnification ratio and MOD (Minimum Object Distance)

Model A034 boasts the highest-in-class maximum magnification ratio of 1:3.1 and the shortest-in-class* MOD of 37.4 in. The shorter working distance enables photographers to capture close-up images of small objects like flowers while using a telephoto zoom.

*Among 70-200mm F/4 class interchangeable lenses for full-frame DSLR cameras (as of January 2018: Tamron)


  1. Highly reliable internal zoom mechanism

Thanks to an internal zoom mechanism, the physical length of the A034 does not change during zooming, thereby minimizing changes in the center of gravity and providing more stable use and operation. In addition, it’s not necessary for the photographer to move backwards even when shooting space is limited, for instance, when photographing through a wire mesh fence at a zoo. So-called “zoom creep” is impossible because the overall length never extends. Furthermore, the design provides a very robust and sturdy feeling, and the non-rotating front element makes the use of polarizing filters much easier.


  1. High-speed Dual MPU (Micro-Processing Unit) control system delivers responsive autofocus performance plus outstanding VC (Vibration Compensation) image stabilization

The Dual MPU system includes two high-performance MPUs (micro-processor units) dedicated to VC processing and lens system control. Both MPUs have a DSP (Digital Signal Processing) block that provides high-speed digital signal processing, improving the computing power of the entire system. This new control system achieves high-speed and precise AF performance as well as assured VC effects.

Excellent autofocus performance

Model A034’s AF drive system uses a USD (Ultrasonic Silent Drive) ring-type ultrasonic motor for outstanding responsiveness and to ensure fast, precise focusing. Plus, the new zoom is equipped with a Full-time Manual Focus override mechanism that enables a photographer shooting with AF to instantly make fine manual focusing adjustments without switching the AF-MF mode switch.


Outstanding vibration compensation effects

The new A034 is equipped with Tamron’s proprietary VC system and achieves the CIPA image stabilization performance level of 4 stops.* Even in low light or with slow shutter speeds, photographers can enjoy shake-free handheld shooting with ease and comfort.

*CIPA Standard Compliant. For Canon: EOS-5D MKIII is used; for Nikon: D810 is used.


  1. Fluorine Coating

The surface of the front element is coated with a protective fluorine compound that has excellent water-and oil-repellant qualities. The front surface is easier to wipe clean and is less vulnerable to the damaging effects of dirt, dust, moisture or oily fingerprints, allowing for much easier maintenance. The coating also provides an enhanced level of durability, and will sustain its effectiveness for years.


  1. Moisture-Resistant Construction

Seals are located at the lens mount area and other critical locations to prevent infiltration of moisture and/or rain drops to provide Moisture-Resistant Construction. This feature affords an additional layer of protection when shooting outdoors under adverse weather conditions.


  1. Compatible with Tamron teleconverter

The new lens is also compatible with the TELECONVERTER 1.4x (Model TC-X14) and TELECONVERTER 2.0x (Model TC-X20), which increase the focal length of the lens to 1.4 times and 2 times the original, respectively. Both teleconverters are carefully designed and constructed to provide outstanding high image quality.

Note: For more detailed information about teleconverters, please refer to the Tamron website.


Changes in zoom range when used with 70-210 mm F/4 Di VC USD (Model A034)

  Mounted on 35mm full-frame DSLR camera Mounted on APS-C format DSLR camera
Without teleconverter 70-210mm Approx. 109-326mm
With 1.4x teleconverter*2 98-294mm Approx. 152-456mm
With 2.0x teleconverter*2 140-420mm Approx. 217-651mm



Changes in magnification ratio when used with 70-210mm F/4 Di VC USD (Model A034)

  Maximum Magnification Ratio
Without teleconverter 1:3.1
With 1.4x teleconverter 1:2.2
With 2.0x teleconverter 1:1.6


Available focusing mode when used with 70-210mm F/4 Di VC USD (Model A034)

  When using viewfinder When using live view mode F-number
With 1.4x teleconverter AF Possible AF** Possible F/5.6
With 2.0x teleconverter AF* Possible AF** Possible F/8


* Autofocus functions normally on any camera that offers F/8 autofocusing (see your camera’s instruction manual for your camera’s ability).

** Subjects with low contrast and/or luminosity values can sometimes result in out-of-focus images.


  1. Compatible with TAMRON TAP-in ConsoleTM, an optional accessory

The new A034 is compatible with the optional TAMRON TAP-in Console, an optional accessory product that provides a USB connection to a personal computer, enabling users to easily update a lens’s firmware as well as customize features including fine adjustments to the AF and VC.


  1. Optional tripod mount compatible with Arca-Swiss style quick release plates

For rapid attachment to a tripod, an Arca-Swiss style tripod mount is available as an optional accessory. Featuring a hinge-type ring section, connection is easy even when the lens is mounted on a camera. To maximize the advantages of the small and lightweight F/4 zoom lens, the tripod mount is made of lightweight, sturdy magnesium alloy.

  1. Electromagnetic diaphragm system now used also for Nikon-mount lenses

An electromagnetic diaphragm system, which has been a standard feature for Canon-mount lenses, is now employed in Nikon-mount lenses.* More precise diaphragm and aperture control is possible because the diaphragm blades are driven and controlled by a built-in motor through electronic pulse signals.

*Available only with cameras compatible with the electromagnetic diaphragm

 (D5, D4s, D4, D3X, Df, D850, D810, D810A ,D800, D800E, D750, D600, D610, D300S, D500, D7500, D7200, D7100, D7000, D5600, D5500, D5300, D5200, D5100, D5000, D3400, D3300, D3200, D3100).  (As of January 2018; Tamron)

Introducing the New Panasonic GX9 – Press Release

Panasonic is proud to introduce the LUMIX GX9, a sleek, compact new Digital Single Lens Mirrorless camera for everyone who wants to shoot vibrant, true-to-life, high quality images in their own creative way with excellent resolution, high contrast and impressive color reproduction.

The LUMIX GX9’s 20.3-megapixel Digital Live MOS Sensor without a low-pass filter and Venus Engine combine to drive maximum lens performance while rendering natural, high-precision images. The L.Monochrome D mode is newly added to Photo Style, making it easy to shoot detailed dynamic monochrome photos with emphasized highlights and shadows. Plus, Grain Effect can also be adjusted in all monochrome modes with Photo Style.

A 5-axis Dual I.S. (Image Stabilizer) in the LUMIX GX9 effectively suppresses blur. Combining an O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer, 2-axis) and a B.I.S. (Body Image Stabilizer, 5-axis), the Dual I.S. compensates for a wider range of movement to enable blur-free photo/video shooting from wide to tele, even in low-light conditions.

A new wide screen LVF (Live View Finder) in the LUMIX GX9 tilts up approx. 90 degrees. With its high, approx. 2760k-dot equivalent, resolution and 100% color reproduction, this 16:9 LVF provides approx. 1.39x / 0.7x (35mm camera equivalent.) magnification and 100% field of view. Plus, the camera’s large 3.0-in., approx. 1240k-dot high resolution static-type touch monitor provides nearly 100% of field of view tilts upapprox. 80 degrees and down 45-degrees to enable shooting in high or low angle even easier.

The Contrast AF System in the LUMIX GX9 features DFD (Depth From Defocus) technology and excels in both speed and accuracy by exchanging digital signals between the camera and the lens at max. 240 fps*1, for ultra-fast auto focusing in approx. 0.07 sec*2. A range of extensive AF functions include Face/Eye Detection AF, Pinpoint AF, One-shot AF and advanced Low Light AF to enhance usability to comply with various shooting situations. Live View Boost makes it possible to check composition even in total darkness by boosting sensitivity just for live view.

The LUMIX GX9 records smooth, high-resolution 4K video in 3840×2160 at 30p or 24p in MP4. 4K PHOTO is easier to use in more creative ways with Auto Marking and Sequence Composition, two new additions to Post Focus, Focus Stacking, Light Composition and 4K Live Cropping.

*1 Contrast AF with DFD Technology works only with Panasonic Micro Four Thirds lenses.

*2 In AFS, at wide-end with H-FS14140 (CIPA).

Ultra HD 4K video and 4K PHOTO

With a high-speed sensor signal readout and engine processor, the LUMIX GX9 records smooth, high-resolution 4K videos in 3840×2160 resolution at 30p or 24p in addition to the Full-HD 1,920×1,080 60p videos with practical full-time AF. With this technology, LUMIX 4K PHOTO lets users capture perfect moments by extracting single frames from 4K burst files shot at 30 fps to save as 8-megapixel equivalent photos.

Choosing the best shots out of hundreds of 4K video frames is now easier with a newly added Auto Marking function. Auto Marking identifies the frame most different from others in the file to help minimize the time it takes to choose the best individual shot. A Sequence Composition function creates a stromotion image in-camera by synthesizing multiple images shot at fixed frame to produce a unique image of a subject’s motion without special retouching.

The LUMIX GX9 also includes Post Focus, a function selects an in-focus area even after shooting. Post Focus is helpful in situations such as macro shooting where strict focusing is required or for changing expressions by changing the focused subject. This capability combines high-speed, high-precision DFD (Depth From Defocus) auto focus technology and 4K technology. A Focus Stacking function adjusts depth of field after shooting by combining multiple images shot with Post Focus in the camera. Now users don’t need to focus strictly while shooting because they can create images with the defocus level they want or pan-focus simply by selecting the focus area after shooting — beneficial when shooting macro images of insects, small accessories and so on.

LUMIX GX9 also incorporates a Light Composition function, a new 4K PHOTO option. The camera synthesizes images by choosing and saving a brighter pixel to easily produce more dramatic images of fireworks or night scenery in-camera. What’s more, the LUMIX GX9 also enables 4K Live Cropping in video recording to realize stable panning or zooming. In panning shots, users just set the viewing angle to begin and end with for smooth panning imagery without using special equipment like a slider. And in zooming, users can set the after-zoomed viewing angle firs to ensure the subject is perfectly in the frame. The imagery of zooming is smooth because it does not move the zoom lens physically.

The LUMIX GX9 includes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi® connectivity for a more flexible shooting experience and instant image sharing with easy operation. Compatibility with Bluetooth 4.2 (Bluetooth Low Energy) enables consistent connection with a smartphone or tablet with minimum power consumption.

About motion picture recording / 4K Photo recording

  • – Use a card with SD Speed Class with “Class 4” or higher when recording motion pictures.
  • – Use a card with SD Speed Class with “UHS-I UHS Speed Class 3 (U3)” when recording motion pictures with [MP4] in [4K] or [4K PHOTO].
  • (SD speed class is the speed standard regarding continuous writing.)
  • – MP4 motion pictures with [MP4] in [FHD/30p] [FHD] [HD]: You can continue recording without interruption even if the file size exceeds 4 GB or 30 minutes in length, but the motion picture file will be divided and recorded/played back separately.
  • – MP4 motion pictures with [MP4] in [4K]:
  • – When using an SDHC memory card: You can continue recording without interruption even if the file size exceeds 4 GB, but the motion picture file will be divided and recorded/played back separately.
  • – When using an SDXC memory card: You can record a motion picture in a single file.
  • – When the ambient temperature is high or continuous recording is performed, the camera may stop the recording to protect itself. Wait until the camera cools down.

For [4K] video output, use an HDMI cable that has the HDMI logo on it, and that is described as “4K compatible.”