To VR or not to VR...

PJM

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This is for the wildlife photographers tracking birds and other wildlife with their long lenses. I'm shooting with a Nikon D500 attached to their 200-500 zoom lens. When shooting raptors I typically shoot at 1/2000 sec with VR on and back button continuous autofocus. The VR helps in tracking the subject. But, when the shutter fires the image jumps and then restabilizes. This jump makes it harder to track the subject when taking multiple shots or using burst mode. I'm going to experiment with turning VR off given the high shutter speed and seeing which way works out best. But, it has me wondering if others have experienced this issue and how you handle it.

Pete
 
This is for the wildlife photographers tracking birds and other wildlife with their long lenses. I'm shooting with a Nikon D500 attached to their 200-500 zoom lens. When shooting raptors I typically shoot at 1/2000 sec with VR on and back button continuous autofocus. The VR helps in tracking the subject. But, when the shutter fires the image jumps and then restabilizes. This jump makes it harder to track the subject when taking multiple shots or using burst mode. I'm going to experiment with turning VR off given the high shutter speed and seeing which way works out best. But, it has me wondering if others have experienced this issue and how you handle it.

Pete
I believe what you're experiencing is normal - 1/2000 second is defeating the purpose of Vibration Reduction.
Edit: Try 1/125 second or so. That lens' VR ought to be good for 4 stops.
 
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I use VR on my 70-200 when shooting field sports (football, soccer, lacrosse) for the same reason, VR makes it a LOT easier to track the moving subject. But I have not had that image jump that you have. It should not do that.
I suggest sending the lens to Nikon for servicing.
 
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I have the same setup and use BBF, manual, auto ISO. The 200-500mm has 3 VR modes: 1) Off, best used on a tripod or at higher shutter speeds; 2) On Sport, best used when panning as it compensates for vertical jitter, but not horizontal movement; 3) On Normal, best used when shooting more stationary subjects handheld. What shutter speed to turn VR off? You can use the 1/focal length rule to start with. So at 500mm, think about turning it off above 1/500 sec if you have fairly good technique, i.e., are pretty steady and roll the shutter button. You certainly should be able to turn it off at 1/2000 sec handheld. You might want to download the Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 user manual, which you can find on nikonusa.com. Just search for the lens, go to support then downloads.
 
I believe what you're experiencing is normal - 1/2000 second is defeating the purpose of Vibration Reduction.
Edit: Try 1/125 second or so. That lens' VR ought to be good for 4 stops.
I do shoot lower speeds with stationary targets. I was referring to birds in flight. I should have made that clearer.
 
I use VR on my 70-200 when shooting field sports (football, soccer, lacrosse) for the same reason, VR makes it a LOT easier to track the moving subject. But I have not had that image jump that you have. It should not do that.
I suggest sending the lens to Nikon for servicing.
I will investigate that but I have heard that this is not unexpected. Let you know what I learn.
 
I have the same setup and use BBF, manual, auto ISO. The 200-500mm has 3 VR modes: 1) Off, best used on a tripod or at higher shutter speeds; 2) On Sport, best used when panning as it compensates for vertical jitter, but not horizontal movement; 3) On Normal, best used when shooting more stationary subjects handheld. What shutter speed to turn VR off? You can use the 1/focal length rule to start with. So at 500mm, think about turning it off above 1/500 sec if you have fairly good technique, i.e., are pretty steady and roll the shutter button. You certainly should be able to turn it off at 1/2000 sec handheld. You might want to download the Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 user manual, which you can find on nikonusa.com. Just search for the lens, go to support then downloads.
Thanks. I will read through that again.
 
I've never used VR with faster than 1/500 shutter. I don't think it contributes with such fast shutter speeds. OTOH, my longest lens is my 70-300, so what do I know about a 500? :uncomfortableness: Anyway, sounds like that VR mode 2 could be your answer.
 
I've never used VR with faster than 1/500 shutter. I don't think it contributes with such fast shutter speeds. OTOH, my longest lens is my 70-300, so what do I know about a 500? :uncomfortableness: Anyway, sounds like that VR mode 2 could be your answer.

The contribution is stabilizing the image in the viewfinder, so I am able to hold the AF point on the subject, and not have the AF point bounce all around.
This is just with a 70-200 on a D7200, so not a LOT of magnification.
When I shoot field sports (football, soccer and lacrosse), this helps a LOT.
 
The VR isn't even on until I pre-press the shutter for focus, so I don't use it in that manner at all, for tracking in the viewfinder.
 
I've never used VR with faster than 1/500 shutter. I don't think it contributes with such fast shutter speeds. OTOH, my longest lens is my 70-300, so what do I know about a 500? :uncomfortableness: Anyway, sounds like that VR mode 2 could be your answer.

The contribution is stabilizing the image in the viewfinder, so I am able to hold the AF point on the subject, and not have the AF point bounce all around.
This is just with a 70-200 on a D7200, so not a LOT of magnification.
When I shoot field sports (football, soccer and lacrosse), this helps a LOT.

The VR isn't even on until I pre-press the shutter for focus, so I don't use it in that manner at all, for tracking in the viewfinder.
I use back button focusing so the VR is engaged before I press the shutter button. And as @ac12 says it helps a lot in keeping the focus point on the target.
 
Turn the VR off for panning and shooting, unless it's in the panning mode. IS and VR are for shakes and jumps, and stabilizing the image at slower speeds. And the panning is designed for side to side, not randon angles up or down.

You are correct, there's a jump and by the way, your focus will be slower as well, which the cameras tries to understand what's going on. You don't gain anything, you only lose.

There are various opinions on the subject but in the end, at 1/500th, VR isn't going to reduce camera shake. And I don't know if at that speed there is shake? I shoot with it off and I'm doing sports.

 
Turn the VR off for panning and shooting, unless it's in the panning mode. IS and VR are for shakes and jumps, and stabilizing the image at slower speeds. And the panning is designed for side to side, not randon angles up or down.

You are correct, there's a jump and by the way, your focus will be slower as well, which the cameras tries to understand what's going on. You don't gain anything, you only lose.

There are various opinions on the subject but in the end, at 1/500th, VR isn't going to reduce camera shake. And I don't know if at that speed there is shake? I shoot with it off and I'm doing sports.

Thanks for the input. I'm experimenting more and more with VR off and I think it now comes down to practice.
 
I think there's some opinion, mixed in with facts and it's going to be a personal preference. If someone is using the back button, maybe that will help. I don't so I don't know. All I can say is, when I'm shooting motorsports and panning, I'd rather have the IS turned off. I don't think it aids in any way. (I might be wrong?) If it slows down the focus, that's enough for me.

is-error-rain.jpg


When I first shot this, I thought it was the focus jumping. I read more and I believe it's the IS shifting while the shutter is open. Double exposure is pretty impossible, as it's a Canon 10-D with a 70-200 IS-USM F 2.8
 
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The car in the background is in a different part of the frame, as it would be while you panned with the subject, so I would go with double exposure if asked, and given no other information. Don't really know how it would do that to you, though.

The two exposures of the subject are reasonably sharp, no motion blur except what was intended for the wheels, and there's no blur between the two positions, so although I don't know how quickly the IS system adjusts its elements, it would have to be DANG quick to achieve that!
 
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