VR effectiveness in high-frame rate shooting?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by michaelseto, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. Hi,

    I can't find an answer in the OM or on this forum.

    Shooting with a 70-200 VR, using a D2x or a D700 (w MB-D10) at a high-frame rate, say 8 frames per second.

    How effective is VR? Does it have time to stabilize the image with such a fast frame rate. Let's assume I'm in
    lighting conditions that require 1/60 or lower in shutter speed. If I'm shooting 1/500 or faster, I usually turn
    the VR off since I feel the shutter speed will nullify the need for VR. If you have comments on that theory, I'd
    be interested as well.

    I guess I worry about 'wearing out' some of those moving parts if I leave VR on all the time, especially when it
    is not required. Plus I don't have to worry about turning the camera off with the VR still on.

    So say under 1/60 with 8 FPS - is VR effective? And does it add any value if you're shooting at a fast shutter
    speed (1/500+)?

    Thanks for your thoughts on the matter.
     
  2. In no particular order...

    And does it add any value if you're shooting at a fast shutter speed (1/500+)?

    Not much, but I've been able to discern some improvement under some circumstances. Let's face it: you can still make visible camera motion blur appear at 200mm at 1/500th. You don't have to try very hard. Once you've got focus locked, the VR is working regardless of what the camera is otherwise doing. You can see the stabilization in the viewfinder, working as you compose and before and after you release the shutter. If what I can see through the finder is more stable, then it can't hurt the image's clarity, unless you miss your image because the VR wasn't done spooling up, first.

    So say under 1/60 with 8 FPS - is VR effective?

    Well, sure. But you're usually shooting 8FPS because you're tracking action. 1/60th doesn't help very often with freezing action. Just sayin'.

    Plus I don't have to worry about turning the camera off with the VR still on.

    Maybe I'm lucky. I use more than one VR lens, and have been, frankly, rather cavalier about turning the camera off and on with the VR switched on... hell, I'll leave the camera turned on while I swap lenses WITH the VR turned on on the lenses. I've never had a single problem. But then, I'm just a caveman. Maybe I AM having problems, and that finally explains the 3/3s on my images. Hmm! A breakthrough.

    The only time I turn off my 70-200's VR is when I'm up around or over 1/1000, or I'm locked down very solidly on a tripd. Otherwise, it always seems helpful.
     
  3. Maybe I'm lucky. I use more than one VR lens, and have been, frankly, rather cavalier about turning the camera off and on with the VR switched on... hell, I'll leave the camera turned on while I swap lenses WITH the VR turned on on the lenses. I've never had a single problem.
    I think he means with the VR engaged—i.e. not waiting for it to "clunk" off before switching the camera off.
     
  4. Rob: I realize that that's the likeliest risk, with the moveable element not parked... but some manuals talk about not even turning the camera off without deliberately switching the lens's VR mode switch to off, and the not even swapping lenses unless the camera is powered off. I'm sure that's all just CYA boilerplate, but where's their sense of adventure? :)
     
  5. Hi Michael, according to your question :
    How effective is VR? Does it have time to stabilize the image with such a fast frame rate. Let's assume I'm in lighting conditions that require 1/60 or lower in shutter speed. If I'm shooting 1/500 or faster, I usually turn the VR off since I feel the shutter speed will nullify the need for VR. If you have comments on that theory, I'd be interested as well.

    >>> Well, I am not a pro but I have been shooting VR for a few months and I like to shoot sports, wild, etc and I have a question for you : why you should turn off the VR even if you are shooting at higher camera speed ? I do not think it is related !! The VR is to fight camera movement for handshaking and the camera speed will stop the action. I will leave the VR on even if shooting at higher speeds because I don't think it will hurt but perhapas help. Now in poor light condition, that is another story. I will definitely use the VR or turn it off and use a tripod. And now that I mention this, if you are recommended by Nikon to turn VR off when using a tripod, is because the VR acts as a tripod, and we know that even using a tripod, we can use high speed shooting when necessary, so that is why I don't relate one to the other. Bottom line, I will use VR except when using a tripod regardless of the shooting speed chosen.
     
  6. Since you have a VR lens and those bodies, why not conduct your own test and draw your own conclusion? That's the best way to get an unbias answer, IMHO. For sports/fast moving situation, I have yet to find VR/IS a benefit when trying to stop motion of fast and unpredictable moving players since I had to shoot around 1/500 sec. anyway. IS/VR does come in handy when panning subject at slow shutter speed however.
     
  7. Michael,
    In continuous mode VR will help. Once VR is acquired it will remain stable for all the frames in continuous mode. Also if you are panning, VR in normal mode will realize this and will apply only vertically.
     
  8. Thanks for the answers everyone. I think Henry's comment is what I was looking for - that the VR will work for a
    few frames shot continuously in high FPS. I was just wondering if the fast frame rate prevented the VR from
    reacquiring in between shots.

    Mauricio, sorry, I phrased that a bit poorly. I meant ask two questions; does the VR work quick enough in
    between fast FPS shots at slower speeds like 1/60, and 2) does it add much value at 1/500 and faster.

    The latter question, I assume that if I'm shooting sports at 1/500-1/1000, enough to freeze that
    action...conventional wisdom suggests that all other things being equal (good hand holding technique) using the
    1/focal length - that the high shutter speed should nullify any instability, thus rendering VR less of an issue.
    So if you're shooting at 1/500+, do you need VR?

    I guess the bottom line is to go out and see for myself - but just wanted others' input.

    Thanks again.
     
  9. VR helped me even at 1/500 sec. or faster, especially when moving to keep pace with action. It minimized photographer-induced motion blur just enough to make a visible difference.
     

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