VR... is it all it's made out to be ?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by davewales, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. davewales

    davewales

    474
    Feb 18, 2008
    Wales
    With such a big difference in price between a brand new end of stock 500mm or 600mm AF-S II vs the new VR version does VR make such a difference ? Both lenses will no doubt be tripod mounted most of the time so is it really necessary ?
    Is there any other difference between the two lens types ?
    I sometimes wonder if we fall for marketing hype too easily.
     
  2. mdruiz

    mdruiz

    491
    Feb 18, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    If there was any type of movement on the tripod..the VR would kick in...but they say do shut off VR when on a tripod...so you do have a point.
     
  3. bore dda Dave

    TaffyTim
     
  4. wgilles

    wgilles

    Apr 25, 2008
    NJ
    Is that some kind of lingo?...I don't understand.

    Anyway,
    I agree that you will most likely have it mounted on either a tripod or monopod. I think it helps out more on the monopod considering the old rule of focal length to shutter speed. I'm sure you can get sharp pictures at maybe 1/250 with VR, rather than needing say 1/500. I haven't seen too many sample pictures to compare.
    My view is on these specific lenses that you are talking about, is that if you can afford them in the first place, you can afford the VR versions.
     
  5. davewales

    davewales

    474
    Feb 18, 2008
    Wales

    Re the lingo...only spoken in Wales and Patagonia and of course by ex pats wherever they might be.Some people actually think Wales is in England, how ridiculous is that !!!!

    Anyway back to the lens, given that a 500mm AF-S II is £3800 and the VR version is £5500 there is a huge difference and one is certainly more affordable than the other !
    Hand held I would expect to get a sharp picture at 1/250.... VR or not, there again I wouldn't expect to hand hold a 500mm. Tripod mounted shouldn't you be able to get sharp results at half that speed, VR or otherwise ?
     
  6. I believe for the big guns, Nikon advises to keep the VR on even when on tripods. Most of the time, you can't use these without tripods any way. You switch to active VR when shooting from a car or something like that. Bottomline, VR works for me.
     
  7. vinman

    vinman

    Nov 15, 2006
    Upstate SC
    I don't imagine there are many people out there who can hand-hold a 500, 600, or even a 400 or 300 at 1/250 and get a sharp picture. 1/500 on a sturdy tripod sometimes doesn't even do the job with a 500mm.

    Nikon's suggestions regarding tripod use, with the longer lenses especially, are a little ambiguous. With the 70-200, for example, most people I've talked to have had to shut off VR to get sharp, tripod or monopod shots. With much heavier rigs, maybe the mass of the camera/lens absorbs some of it's own VR induced vibration when mounted? With a GOOD, PROPERLY SIZED tripod/head combo, and good technique, I don't know that VR is worth over $1000! My humble opinion...
     
  8. davewales

    davewales

    474
    Feb 18, 2008
    Wales

    I guess the question really is how do you know it works... how do you tell if it's doing something and how much extra value is it worth ? I guess I should try turning it off my 300mm and trying to spot the difference. When I tried using "active" I wasn't aware of any change from "normal vr"
    The older lenses like my 80-400 come with the instruction to turn VR off when tripod mounted. I never do and I've been happy with the results.
    My bottom line is do I grab a lower priced brand new 500mm AFS-II while they are still around or will I regret not saving longer and getting a VR version ?
     
  9. "How do you know if it works?"

    Well, if you are young and don't shake around a lot, you might have trouble telling the difference.............................but if you tend to be on the back-side of the calendar and are slightly shakey in the hand, VR not only helps but is real obvious in it's value.
     
  10. Too often I hear and see people relying so heavily on the marketing hype of 'getting 3 stops' from VR. To a certain extent that is true but as a general rule I do not fall back on that to save my shot and I still try to get my shutter speeds up regardless of VR. I think it's a mistake to have a 300mm lens and shoot at 1/30s or 1/40s. Yes, it can be done but it's not the best way to approach things and not a great technique. Additionally, when people use the 'rule of thumb' for shutter speeds many will forget to consider the crop factor of a body (assuming there is one) and the longer the lens, the less I believe there is merit to the rule of thumb.
     
  11. Frank207be

    Frank207be

    538
    Mar 11, 2006
    Belgium
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  12. Hi Frank,

    I'm sorry, I should have specified that I was talking about using a lens hand held. On a tripod it most certainly works as described. When handheld there are many other variables and that is why I was referring to camera technique, but I should have said 'hand held camera technique'.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  13. 68Bird

    68Bird Guest

    I owned a 300 2.8 VR for about a year, and literally never put it on a tripod or monopod. My "safe" shutter speed was 1/500th on a D200 with a 1.4 TC, but I could go to 1/250th fairly successfully. I've heard the VR is better in the newer lenses, and I've been trying to get my hands on a 500 VR for mostly handheld shooting. I just need to actually find one, and make sure I can keep all the pennies in my bank that long.
     
  14. cotdt

    cotdt

    Jul 14, 2007
    Bay Area, USA
    VR changed my photography life...
     
  15. PiotrC70

    PiotrC70

    123
    Sep 18, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    well...

    After hearing both sides of the story, being that when using a tripod, you SHOULD NOT use VR, and on the other hand SHOULD, I did my own experiment during some night time photography of Seattle. Same focal length, aperture, time, using a wired remote, I could not tell the difference between the few shots that I did.

    Handheld at longer focal lengths, I would say that I easily notice a difference.

    just my .01973894 cents
     
  16. Well, I could not come up with the 7800.00 for the VR version 500, so bought the AFSII version for $5000.00 from a friend. I have it on a bean bag or full wimberley all the time and just love it!! $2800.00 is a big amount of cash to me and the AFSII version is certainly worth considering. Now, for a handheld lens VR is REALLY worth it. That is just my 2 cents.

    Cheers
    Nancy
     
  17. It is worth it and I certainly didn't mean to imply it wasn't. I just think that counting on getting 3 stops out of it at times is asking a but much. I can always comfortably get 2 but not always 3.
     
  18. cotdt

    cotdt

    Jul 14, 2007
    Bay Area, USA
    I can get 6. I am special :)
     
  19. mdruiz

    mdruiz

    491
    Feb 18, 2008
    Orlando, FL

    Anyone notice Cotdt sig?
     
  20. Frank207be

    Frank207be

    538
    Mar 11, 2006
    Belgium
    I tried my 600VR handheld with no support at all, and despite the fact that I couldn't keep the lens steady, the pictures at 1/400s came out razor sharp :wink: