How come blur before and not now...


TPF Noob!
May 2, 2007
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Okay before I was shooting with a Nikon D80 with 18-135mm lens and a SB600. I used M the shutter was 1/25th and aperture was set at 3.5. The picture I was taking was at an anniversary party, everyone was standing next to each other, no movement much.

Now, I upgraded to the D300 with 18-200mm VR with the same SB600. I shot quick moving pictures in P mode with auto ISO on. The max ISO I allowed is 1600. The min. shutter is 1/15th.

I may sound like a noob but can someone explain to me how come when I shoot with the D300 all pictures come out clear and not blury, where as the D80 settings I get blur in most pictures.

Also can someone explain to me how light metering works in M mode compare to A,S,P. Or if you can have a link I don't mind clicking and reading. Thank you.
Not only have you changed the body, you have also changed the lens. And its a VR lens too, so its probably the key. Put that lens on the D80 and see what happens.
Why in the world are you shooting people at ridiculously low shutter speeds with flash? I would expect "blurred" photos in both instances.

light metering works the same in all the modes no matter which you pick - the difference is how the settings are controled and assigned.

In full manual (M) you have to assign the settings yourself - you control them all and have to work out (for yourself) which is the key setting for any given scene and work from there.
In S or A mode either the shutter or the aperture is the main setting that you can set (along with the ISO) and the other setting ( aperture or shutter) is set by the camera to attain a correct exposure according to the camera meter (or you can use exposure compensation to under or overexpose the shot - so say you were in aperture mode and you needed to use a faster shutter speed, but didn't want to raise you ISO, you could choose ot underexpose the shot which would let the camera pick a faster shutter speed).

As for your confusion the camera is not making the difference - its the lens. The 18-135 you had before is a normal lens whilst the 18-200mm VR you have now has VR mode - that means vibration reduction which means its countering the shake from your hands (not movement from the subjects) which can be a major cause of blur in shots (1/60 is the ballpark slowest handholdable speed in general whilst there is also the rule that minimum shutter speed for a lens should be 1/focal length - so 1/200sec for you new lens if its extended all the way).
Still 1/15sec means that blur from the subjects is still possible, so I would assume that flash is helping freeze the motion from them in this case - still at 1/15sec youre really working way too slow. If indoor shooting is common to you I would strongly suggest looking at getting some faster lenses (that is lenses with wider max apertures (smaller fnumbers) which would let you let more light into the camera and shoot at a faster shutter speed when in low lighting. Something like a 50mm f1.8 is a very cheap (and yet optically good) option for such lighting. though a little long on a crop sensor camera its a good starting point to work from and won't break your bank - from there you have other options, but these lenses do cost more (especially for zooms)
Might make sense to post two examples that you are comparing, too... helps us to give you more info.

Regardless, you are definitely shooting too long of a shutter for the situations you described.

Generally, handheld the longest shutter you should have is 1/30th of a second, and in truth it should be a higher number than your focal length. So 200mm focal length=at most 1/200th of a second. (some will tell you 1.5x focal length... but the point is to make it faster the longer the focal length)

VR changes the rules on this a lot, but you should try to stick to the rules and allow yourself to cheat by a couple shutter speeds if you need to.
I think the D300 is defective send it to me right away
Thanks for all the inputs guys. To further explain the situation, the D80 w/ lens got blurred images from the slight movement of the people all lined up. The D300 with VR lens "froze" the shot, I had some people run around the room like mad as a test to see if it would have any blur, I was suprized it did not. I was stumped too at first to see even at 1/15th of a sec the subjects are all in focus, nice, clear, and sharp. I never had a VR lens so I was very suprized and was wondering is this what I've been missing out. Well, as many of you guys confirmed it, it really looks like VR made a big difference. Thank again.

Oh, someone on this forum told me a while back that M mode meters light different, thats why I ask that question. So just to confirm, all modes meter light the same way?
all modes will meter the light the same way provided that the light meter is set to be the same (there are different metering modes which in modes like manual, aperture and shutter priority you can change, but for the more auto modes I belive its a fixed kind).

As for your test I am partly confused as well - the VR only works on your handshake - it won't stop subject motion blur so the people running round and being frozen I can only assume, is due to some difference in the flash output when you were shooting.
If you use a flash (even with a slow shutter... within reason) the flash will effectively freeze the action. That's part of the mystery.

Again, though... best to post examples for us to see. This is kind of like asking us to solve a crime but barring us from the crime scene. :)
VR is for camera shake or lens shake while handholding at low shutter speeds has nothing to do with motion of the subject. Rule of thumbs was 1/focal length (eg 50mm 1/50 or 300mm 1/300) for sharp pics VR allows 2 -3 stops less in shutter speed with the same sharpness in handholding. Vr is no help at faster shutter speeds or on a tripod.

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