How good is VR?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Craddosk, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. Craddosk

    Craddosk TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Messages:
    89
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    South of the Artic Circle
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I'm currently looking at purchasing a Nikon D40x, with the Kit lens 18-55mm. I've noticed there is two kits that each containing a second lens, 55-200mm. The sole difference between these two lenses is that one has VR.

    Now for the questions, is VR worth the extra cash for it? Could someone show me comparison pictures between a VR lens and a non-VR lens?

    Thanks.
     
  2. jedithebomber

    jedithebomber TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Messages:
    153
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cottonwood, AZ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
  3. yeti

    yeti TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2008
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I am using The Dark Side of the Force (Canon), and on this side VR is called Image Stabilization (IS). Ultimately both IS and VR is a gyroscope spinning within the lens attached to a floating lens group within the lens. A spinning object has the property to resist any changes to its plane of rotation. This in turn allows the floating lens group to compensate for any movement (in 2 dimensions only) by deliberately decentering itself with respect to the rest of the lens in the opposite direction.

    Long story short, all VR and IS do is compensate for unstable hands allowing you to take photos in conditions a little darker than what you would be able to take pictures in otherwise without a tripod. How much darker? Well you know the rule that you can't handhold the camera if your shutter speed is slower than 1 over the focal distance (x1.5, your crop factor). IS and VR will come advertising that they will allow you to deviate 1, 2, 3 or even 4 stops from that rule. It still depends on your hands, though, so right after that you read "your results may vary".

    What IS and VR do is compensate for YOUR shake and only up to a point, they do NOT compensate for subject's movement, so you still need a tripod for some types of shots, but for many others they relieve you from the need to carry one.

    Whether it makes sense for you or not largely depends on whether your hands shake a lot, what type of pictures you take and whether the extra 2-3 stops is worth the extra money for you. :)

    As for pictures: I don't have examples ready, but imagine one picture that is slightly blurry one one side of your screen and another that is less blurry on another, both taken with long exposure at night.
     
  4. kobayashi

    kobayashi TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cacak, Serbia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I guess you meant to say that IS/VR does not help also in some other situations (e.g. 5s exposures etc.) except when there is subject's movement, and that tripod is needed then, but the sentence could be understood wrongly, that you meant to say that tripod is going to help with subject's movement.

    __________________________
    The one very useful situation is when one lays camera/lens on some fence or some tree trying to get longer exposure (e.g. 2 or 3s), then IS/VR will be very useful to compensate for small movements which still exist, thus helping to obtain much sharper photo without tripod in situations that even IS/VR does not help with hend-held camera.

    Also, image stabilization in lens usually have two modes: normal one, and the one for tracking moving object, so-called panning. The first one stabilize lens along both axis, while the second one does it only along one (usually vertical).


    Direct comparison is not that easy to make, if you shoot with minimal recommended shutter speed, but VR enables you to go 3 or 4 stops below that, meaning you can shoot at 1/30s with 200mm focal lenght (e.g. with latest Canon 70-200 f4 which enables additional 4 stops).

    you can see canon's example photos here:
    http://web.canon.jp/imaging/lens/expression/index.html
    Bear in mind that neither of these photos would be that sharp without IS. Also, in some lens IS degrades picture quality, but usually very slightly, so there's no worry except if you use it for normal shutter speeds that do not requier IS/VR (where you can obtain slightly better sharpness with IS/VR set to off).
     

Share This Page