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Help using the 55-200mm VR

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by kgill, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. kgill


    Jul 25, 2007

    I have posted some pics on a previous thread using the 55-200mm VR, but I am not satisfied with the pictures I am taking. I am certain it is due to my lack of understanding of how the camera works, but here's the problem I am hoping you can help me with:

    When I use the lens on manual, I get ridiculously slow shutter speeds, no matter what I do. If there is a LOT of light out, of course, this isn't so bad. But as soon as there is even the SLIGHTEST bit of shade, the lens slows down so much that I have either EXTREMELY dark pictures, or such a slow shutter speed that the pictures are blurry.

    On the D200, the only way to set the shutter speed in manual is with the subcommand dial on the back (controlling the exposure level)? Otherwise I have to use shutter-priority? What can I do to increase shutter speed???

    Is the fact here that it is a slow lens and not at all good for low light or even lesser than bright light? I will post some pictures below that were taken only in modest shade, but the shutter speed was 1/6 (which is what it typically is). What I end up getting is weird out of focus areas in the pictures do to shake. (Does VR work in Manual?). From the pictures it looks like there was TREMENDOUS shade, but there wasn't...at all.

    Lady collecting wood: SS 1/8 F/5.6 at 200mm ISO 100
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Moon Boot: SS 1/125 F/4.8 at 120mm ISO 100
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Men talking: SS 1/6 F/16 at 145mm ISO 100
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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2007
  2. Use higher ISO

    Up the ISO until you get shutter speeds around at least 1/30 for 55mm and 1/60 with 200mm. The VR can work slower than this but you will not get all keepers. Get out of manual mode and use A or S. In A set aperture as low as it will go. In S set the shutter speed to say 1/100. You should be able to get at least 1/60 at f5.6 in shade during the daytime. Also if your subject is moving the shutter speed may need to be as high as 1/500. You can be limited by the small minimum aperture of the 55-200. 1/6 really is too much to ask for. Also those shots look pretty sharp. The woman looks like she has some blur, which requires much higher shutter speeds to eliminate.
  3. senna


    Jan 6, 2007
    San Jose Ca.
    Your photos are stripped of exif. (the digital fingerprint of all the info contained in the photo i.e. SS,f stop,iso,etc)this info goes a long way to help diagnose an isue. If you could at the very least include ss,f stop and iso. Your lens is not a fast lens like say 2.8 or faster but should be able to get some decent shots, especialy with the aid of VR. Provide more info and I bet you get some excelent advise. There is a rule of thumb that says the ss should be eaqual the the focal length. so at 55mm your min ss would be 1/60 of a second and at 200 mm as much as 1/250. You can go closer to 1/200 if you have your camera set for 1/3 stop increments.
  4. kgill


    Jul 25, 2007
    The woman has movement blur. It's the wood and the wall behind the wood which is very blurry when viewed larger.

    OK, I have added more info to the pics (on the top of each pic). When I have tried using the lens on Auto, I get some shots, and sometimes I can't even make any-- the shutter just doesn't work. I tried using it this morning at high ISO (1600) and widest aperture inside. In the daytime in a room with natural northern light, the shutter speed was still incredibly slow, hovering about 1/6, getting up to 1/30 at the most, unless I pointed the camera at something outdoors, then I could get much higher shutter speeds. The only time I could take a shot in those conditions that came out perfectly clear was to set the camera on a table and shoot. I just don't get it.

    Maybe I should go to a shop and have someone show me how to use the damned thing. I do *not* have this problem at all with the 50mm f/1.8, which I understand is a much faster lens, but I shouldn't have to work THIS hard at f/4 with Vibration Reduction in NORMAL LIGHT...

    That picture of the cat came out like that who knows why, I never even noticed that there was that "spotlight". It seemed like a normal shade condition, not dark at all. Most of my pictures with this either come out oppressively dark or if I'm outside in sunlight they come out normally.

    AR G HGHGHGHGHRHAGH. I KNOW this is all *my* fault, I just don't know what to do. I'm going to go try VOLKeith's suggestions. (Hi Keith, I'm from Nashville!!!!! but not a Vol fan because the Lady Vols always beat up on my Lady Cardinal (my alma mater) in NCAA Basketball....

  5. they tend to beat up on everyone

    Your pictures are very well composed and artistic, almost feel like someone is pulling my leg.

    The shot of the woman was with the correct aperture but wrong ISO value, and this was a dark sceen. If the D200 has an auto ISO function set it to on. When setting auto ISO you can also chose a shutter speed that the function will start working (start with 1/60) experiment with different shutter speeds. Also especially when using a telephoto, depth of field can be pretty small. It is quite possible that it would not have been possible to get the woman and wall in focus at f5.6.

    Settings are OK with cat picture. Picture looks sharp to me. The area behind the cat should appear out of focus due to depth of field.

    For the men talking f5.6 and ISO 200 would have been better. You will rarely need to shoot at f16.

    You have been spoiled by the large aperture 50mm very early on. It really is hard to go back to slower lenses after using a fast lens. It takes more light than you think.

    Basically I would recommend you set the camera to Aperture priority mode and set this to the smallest number value and turn Auto ISO on.

    You just need to experiment with different settings, look at your display and zoom in on the last picture you took to check for sharpness so you can learn from shot to shot.
  6. when you are shooting in the shade you might consider setting the iso to 200 and the lens wide open. The trio on the liars bench looks pretty good for 1/6 second shutter speed hand held. One thing is for certain, the VR is working. In that shot had you set the Aperture to f5.6 at iso200 the shutter speed would have been 1/100 second, even at iso 100 the shutter speed would have been 1/50 sec. At 145 mm with VR that would be a gimme. Just remember VR will not reduce motion blur. BTW the blur in the first one works for me. Actually, I like them all, even the cat.
  7. Nuteshack

    Nuteshack Guest

    i like these kg...;-))
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