VR for long lenses

Joined
Aug 11, 2005
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Your guess is as good as anyone's ...

Andy Bright, one of the better bird photogs, tossed in the towel after waiting 5 years and switched to Canon last year so that he could get an image stablized 600 f4.
http://www.digiscopingukbirds.homestead.com/Dslrphotography.html

I will wait until early fall this year and if they haven't released VR on the long teles by then, I will add a 600 f4 USM IS and a 1DsMkIII to my current Nikon gear. Actually this will not be that much more $$$ than the $9000+ that Nikon wants for the current non VR 600 f4 ASF EDIF.

Heck, I am hitting 64 this year and not sure that I have the time to wait for Nikon to make up their mind ... :biggrin:
 
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
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The VR issue for long lenses goes like this. The sports group doesn't care and they seem to be the ones Nikon is listening to. The nature group, who really wants VR doesn't seem to have Nikon ear. Since Nikon doesn't the regularly schedule lens overhaul like Canon, I don't see VR in 400mm and up happening unless the competition can make superior improvements in glass that would force Nikon to change. The other posibility would be for all the A-list nature photograhers to boycott Nikon. When Nikon starts seeing nature publications with only Canon lenses in use then you will see quicker progress.
 
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Yeah, but if the top nature guys toas their Nikon gear for Canon, they are not about to toss the Canon a year or so later just to return to Nikon - that would be a double financial hit. Some may do it, but if someone gets sufficiently PO'ed to switch, they prolly won't switch back....
 
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William Beem
I'm stunned by all the discussions on this forum about people tossing their Nikon gear for Canon due to some technical tidbit that didn't exist a few years ago.

How did people ever get nature magazine covers published without VR? Good thing I only read Playboy.
 
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I'm stunned by all the discussions on this forum about people tossing their Nikon gear for Canon due to some technical tidbit that didn't exist a few years ago.

How did people ever get nature magazine covers published without VR? Good thing I only read Playboy.
I think that if you read the Andy Bright site above, and his comments, and then ask some of the folks who do this for a living, you just might hear that prior to VR/IS, the competiitive playing field was pretty equal and even. But with the advent of IS in Canon long tele's, the Canon shooters are now able to more easily to accomplish things than their Nikon counterparts, and this can easily equate to more image sales. I was speaking with another D2X Nature shooter just the other day who was talking about the difference between 5FPS with the D2X and 10 with the MkIII. The comment that was made was missing critical shots in a sequence, the apex of a leap, wings up vs. wings down, which now become competitive disadvantage.

You can call it a "tidbit", but when it is money on the table, the tidbit becomes pretty compelling.
 
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Considering the cost of replacing (rather than supplementing) professional gear, but better be a LOT of money to make the swap. Even then, I think some folks may find that the grass isn't always greener. Improve upon this, lose out on that.

My comment on this topic has nothing to do with brand loyalty, though. I just wonder if the technology tidbits are simply there for impatient people. I love my VR lens because I get handheld shots that I wouldn't otherwise get without it...unless I took some time and used a tripod. VR (or IS) gets turned off with a tripod, right?

Well, how many of you guys are hand holding a 600mm lens to publish a nature shot? I'm sure it could happen, but is it worth several thousand dollars to replace otherwise excellent gear that doesn't have a feature you may use for a very small percentage of your shooting time?

I'm still learning and I don't make my money with photography. However, I do know the smell of gadget fever.
 
Joined
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Hong Kong, China
How useful is VR or IS when the camera is mounted on a Gimbal with a good tripod? I can't handheld my 400 f2.8 for more than a few seconds so its always on tripod. VR is quite useful with my 80-400VR, but I usually tun it off if I am using a tripod.

I think pros using monopods with their teles would probably benefit from VR.

I think it would make sense for people to switch because Canon has a lot more choices for teles and they are available. Nikon seems to have a limited supply for anything longer than 200mm!
 
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I went through costing out a complete system switch, and I was very surprised that the cost was only a touch more, if any at all, versus what I would expect to be paying for the "if and when it shows up" D3H. I expected it to be far worse, just another one of those "common knowledge" tidbits that is not necessarily true. Totalled out to about a $3,000 difference, mainly due to "less costly" lenses in the Long Lens categories. Given that I expect the next D3H to be around the same price point as the MkIII, about $4,000, if I sell a D200, it would be about a wash. For someone making a living doing this, they might be looking at an ROI of 1 to 2 years perhaps. And as I have stated in many threads, I don't think it is so much "grass is greener" anymore, but that it just happens to be a different hue, perhaps with a different saturation as well :wink:

I regularly handhold my 200-400 f4 AFS VR. With the VR-II on the 200-400, use on the tripod as well as handheld is quite fine, I would expect this would be the same system that Nikon may eventually put into the longer lenses as well, versus the VR that is in the 70-200.

Again, I refer you to the Andy Bright link for direct information on why someone who does this at the "next level" would do the switch. If I decide to make the switch, still very much up in the air, this would be a secondary issue for me, as my primary issue is shooting youth sports at night, but the rationale is the same.

You can call it "tidbits" or "gadget fever", but that simply ignores the fact that sometimes people are in a competitive situation, where features existing in "something else" do make a difference. Exactly the same arguments were made when AF first made an appearance and you can find the same discussions in every field that uses technology at any level.

I have sold handheld shots from my 400 f2.8 as well as from my 500 f4.5 Sigma. I sure don't handhold the 400 f2.8 for nearly as long as I can the 200-400, but I sure can see how the VR in the 200-400 helps out when I am handholding.

Considering the cost of replacing (rather than supplementing) professional gear, but better be a LOT of money to make the swap. Even then, I think some folks may find that the grass isn't always greener. Improve upon this, lose out on that.

My comment on this topic has nothing to do with brand loyalty, though. I just wonder if the technology tidbits are simply there for impatient people. I love my VR lens because I get handheld shots that I wouldn't otherwise get without it...unless I took some time and used a tripod. VR (or IS) gets turned off with a tripod, right?

Well, how many of you guys are hand holding a 600mm lens to publish a nature shot? I'm sure it could happen, but is it worth several thousand dollars to replace otherwise excellent gear that doesn't have a feature you may use for a very small percentage of your shooting time?

I'm still learning and I don't make my money with photography. However, I do know the smell of gadget fever.
 
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