New Jersey

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Value-priced Super-Zoom: Sigma 18-250mm OS Lens Review and Field Test

sp_usopen2011_0057Since its introduction the Nikon 18-200 has been one of the most sought after “super-zoom” lenses. Used not only by amateurs but by many pros for its convenience and high quality images the lens was and is best suited as an “all in one” lens especially for travel. But with time the price has continued to creep up so that the current VR II version is now $800 (and out of stock at many retailers), so it is certainly not a bargain anymore.

So for those with limits to their pocketbooks or without the time to wait until the Nikon version returns to the shelves I wanted to field test a couple of the less expensive alternatives. I’d already seen the images from the Tamron 18-270 that my clients Jim were using in Africa and was impressed by its small size and reasonable image quality. So for this comparison I borrowed a Sigma 18-250mm OS HSM lens. This new version not only has stabilization (OS) but also built-in focusing motors (HSM) although like all the other similar lenses it is designed for use only with APS-C (Nikon DX) format cameras as it vignettes substantially when used full frame—in Sigma parlance it is called a DC lens. [Full frame users can opt for the larger and more expensive Nikon 28-300mm lens as an alternate]

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Hurricane Irene—Two Weeks Later

We had a chance to spend some time in central New Jersey this week, an area which has suffered heavy flooding due to repeated storms topped off by Hurricane Irene. There were plenty of downed trees still being removed and lots of flood damaged properties but everywhere we went most businesses had been able to re-open. The very high water made for some interesting photographs. This one is the historic Princeton Mill building located on the bank of the Millstone River.

Thomas Edison—An Industrialist for Everyman

_adc2941The history of America is rife with rags to riches stories, often including the protagonist becoming a wealthy robber-baron, traveling around the world on a yacht directing his empire by remote control and late in life giving away incalculable sums of money to help leave a positive legacy. Read more »