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VR or not to VR - image softness ??

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by daveR1, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. daveR1

    daveR1

    809
    Feb 29, 2008
    salt lake city
    This may have been discussed before, but when I searched for it on the forum, I couldn't find anything.

    From time to time, I'll shoot some photos that come out a bit soft. Not sure if they're a bit out of focus or if I'm just too shaky. I notice it with both my 16-85 and my 70-300 on my D300. I tend to associate it with times when I have VR normal turned on. Even with shutter speeds over 1/200. I see it rarely when either the camera is on a tripod, VR off or shooting action sports at 1/320 min., VR off. I'm starting to wonder if the VR function is "jiggling" things around and is causing some minor blurriness. What to you folks think - does VR cause these kinds of problems?

    Here's an example from last week in the mountains (handheld, VR normal, 1/400 @ F8, 300mm, ISO 400):

    [​IMG]
     
  2. It can be subject motion too Dave... VR can't do anything for that!
     
  3. daveR1

    daveR1

    809
    Feb 29, 2008
    salt lake city
    You're right, Rich. The image I posted was probably not the best example. I should have picked something that was static, this image was handy cause I shot it just a few days ago. I have noticed the softness with stationary subjects, too so I'd like to hear some feedback from you Cafers' out there.
     
  4. Whenever possible, I use a tripod and turn VR off. With a cable release and locking up the mirror, I'm giving myself the best chance of getting the sharpest possible image.

    However, I don't hesitate to use VR for handheld shots. The only exception is when I'm shooting fast moving subject (i.e., sports). I find that VR slows down the autofocus acquisition in these situations. So, I turn VR off in those situations.

    Glenn
     
  5. Varmint

    Varmint

    Apr 21, 2009
    Boston, MA
    I'm not sure the 70-300 gets much sharper than that at 300mm.

    Nice shot by the way.
     
  6. daveR1

    daveR1

    809
    Feb 29, 2008
    salt lake city
    Glen - I do the same thing with sports and turn the VR off to speed up the focus. I think what made me wonder about the VR is that my images of motorcycle racing, handheld, VR off, shutter @ 1/320 were often sharper than my handheld shots of landscape stuff with VR on similar shutter speeds.

    Varmint - Thanks, I agree about the limits @ 300, but as I mentioned above it seems like I often get sharper images with VR shooting moto races, even when I'm shooting at less than 300.

    Dave
     
  7. VR takes a second or two to "settle in" are you giving it the time?

    also i was told anything over 1/500 VR should be off as a "general" rule
     
  8. Stephen

    Stephen

    166
    May 17, 2009
    Cyberspace
    I thought the newer VR II lenses will automatically detect when the lens is on the tripod? Is it then OK to leave VR on then?
     
  9. The flower, in the picture you posted, looks pretty sharp to me. In my case, when I want a sharp picture, I use my tripod.
    VR is very convenient when the camera is hand held but as Glen pointed out to you, there are limitations. VR does not help with subject motion.
    A good rule to follow is always use a shutter speed equal or higher than the focal length of the lens in use to control motion.
    Tripods are not accessories, they are a necessity.

    William Rodriguez
    Miami, Florida.
     
  10. daveR1

    daveR1

    809
    Feb 29, 2008
    salt lake city
    Thanks for the comments, guys.

    Andrew - I was waiting for the VR to settle in, but thanks for the reminder.

    William - I think the water below the flower looks sharper that the center of the flower itself which is what I was focusing on. I agree in that I always use a tripod whenever possible and have typically tried to follow the rule of thumb re: focal = shutter.

    Stephen - I'm not aware of VRII detecting the tripod. I've alway manually turned VR off when I use a tripod.

    Dave
     
  11. I have one lens with the newer VRII. It seems to detect the tripod--so I usually don't turn VR off with that lens.

    Glenn
     
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