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Nikon D700, Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 @ 75mm 160 f/4 ISO 1600

   Back from Japan and sorting through just over 3,000 images. As a self funded trip I didn't have to worry about taking any product shot or anything of that sort, which was rather nice. The kayaking was as good but more varied than expected, and culture was exceptional. On the whole I give traveling to Japan two big thumbs up and can't wait to return. Canoe and Kayak has images from the trip up so far and will be exclusive through the end of the week.

    On every expedition I end up bringing different kits. Some thoughts on what I brought this time:

   Nikkor 70-300VR. Every time I put this lens to use it amazes me. For $510 it's a great performer and decently light. Of course it's slow, but that didn't really bother me too much with the high ISO ability of the D700

   Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8. I've tried to like this lens before. It has a great reputation on APS-C sized sensors. Sometimes it performs well, and too often it doesn't. With the aperture wider than  f/5.6 on a FX camera it just doesn't perform well towards the edges and corners, especially on the long end. A common complaint on third party lenses is centering issues, where the glass isn't perfectly centered resulting in weak resolution on one side, an attribute mine seems to suffer from with a soft corner even at f/8. The range is handy, and it's light and small, but has significant IQ problems, probably too much for me to use it again.

    Samyang aka Rokinon 14mm ED IF UMC  f/2.8: A new one for me on this trip. I am not generally a big user of wide lenses, I tend to like the natural look of 28mm. 14mm on an FX camera is very wide. I bought it for specific night shots where I wanted the stars frozen in the sky above tents. Super wide angles are nice for getting lots of sky in, and all my Nikkors have significant amounts of coma wide open. This lens has exceptional performance for coma, and on the whole was a big surprise in overall performance. Color temperture is certainly a bit warm compared to Nikkors, but easy to fix in post processing. It has lots of distortion but I don't shoot architecture. Fits a niche in my bag, and does it well.

   I brought quite a few other lenses, but used these three the vast majority of the time, the 28-75mm and 70-300mm splitting about 90% of the use.