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Thread: is VR or IS really so good

  1. #1

    Post is VR or IS really so good

    Hi,
    I am starting this thread to discuss VR(Vibration Reduction) or IS(Image Stabiliser) of DSLR lens. Just in short I call it VR from here on. And lets not mix the discussion of VR or its equivalent of compact camera so as to stay focus on the discussion.

    I have seen many people highlighting the advantage of VR lens. Not denying the VR advantage, no doubt about it, be it at long end, slow shutter speed, low light etc. Just wonder if it has been over emphasised that it is giving an impression that VR would solve slow shutter speed constraints.

    Now here is the discussion, assuming VR allow stepping down of, conservatively 2F stop(some may say 4 stop , I agree), does it mean that by having a VR, the image would definitely be sharp because of the VR function as compare to that of a non VR lens? assuming all else remain constant(meaning user, skills etc)?

    With my limited experience, even with VR, chances is 1 shot would turn out to be good out of a few, depending on skills and experience.

    Assuming all other factors remain constant. Considering price of a VR lens of typically about S$1k higher than that of a non VR, while VR is good, is VR so good?

    Do share some experience and thoughts. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: is VR or IS really so good

    Quote Originally Posted by CT 3833 View Post
    Hi,
    does it mean that by having a VR, the image would definitely be sharp because of the VR function as compare to that of a non VR lens? assuming all else remain constant(meaning user, skills etc)?
    You will not get definitely sharp shots all the while. It increases the chances of you getting a sharper shot.

    ( Assuming you do not shoot it at some ridiculous non handholdable shutter speeds and your subject is not contributing motion blur of sorts since VR does not help to freeze moving objects )

    Quote Originally Posted by CT 3833 View Post
    Considering price of a VR lens of typically about S$1k higher than that of a non VR, while VR is good, is VR so good?
    Whether VR is worth it or not is subjective
    At longer focal lengths i believe it is worth the penny

    Ryan
    Last edited by giantcanopy; 12th April 2008 at 09:51 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: is VR or IS really so good

    i have a 18-200 VR. VR definitely helps me increase my hit rate of getting shots that are acceptably sharp/in focus. however, hand-holding techniques must still be observed for best results, and sometimes shots taken with a vr lens come out blurry too. recently, i took a photo with the 18-200 vr handheld at 130mm focal length (200mm @ 35mm equivalent) at 1/2s which is about 6-7 stops less than the recommended shutter speed and it turned out pretty ok. of course you will get better results (and much longer exposures) with a tripod instead of the vr lens, so it really is up to personal preference and shooting style whether it is worth it to cough up that much more money for vr.

  4. #4

    Default Re: is VR or IS really so good

    i don't have vr lenses, but i suppose they are about the same as in-body stabilisation that is offered in many less popular dslr bodies today, i.e. sony, olympus, pentax.

    definitely useful, you might not use it all the time, but it does allow you to get useable shots in the rare occasion when you cannot use a tripod (i.e. on a boat, or you didn't bring along), and you want a longer exposure for whatever reason, or do not want to bump up the iso.

    it's not a MUST-HAVE, that's for sure, but it's a good-to-have. just like taking good photographs does not require a dslr, but having a dslr would actually give you more freedom to do what you want, and therefore, increase the chances of gettinga good photograph, if you have the know-how.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: is VR or IS really so good

    The shortest possible answer to your query would be: YES.

    Especially at the long end of zooms.

    It's not a magic pill. I've seen too many people test VR systems by shaking it like a box of Milo. It does however, extend the limit to what you can best do handheld, and that slight bit of help could make the difference between a good shot and a blur shot.

    Once you start appreciating its value, you'd never want to go back to non-stabilised systems again.

    Btw, I have made some shots handheld at up to 3.2 seconds before, something nobody even thinks of without a stabilised system.
    Sony Alpha system user. www.pbase.com/synapseman

  6. #6

    Default Re: is VR or IS really so good

    thanks all for your input.

    synapseman case is an extreme. 3.2sec handheld? I am not sure how much of the credit should go to the VR and how much was due to your sturdy hands. I can only say "impressive".

    So in summary so far, VR does not gurantee for sharp pictures, but would definitely help. It is not a must have.

    Thanks again.

  7. #7

    Default Re: is VR or IS really so good

    the only reason i can think of that the VR can help in sharpness is, that it reduces motion blur. as simple as that.

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    Default Re: is VR or IS really so good

    Quote Originally Posted by CT 3833 View Post
    thanks all for your input.

    synapseman case is an extreme. 3.2sec handheld? I am not sure how much of the credit should go to the VR and how much was due to your sturdy hands. I can only say "impressive".

    So in summary so far, VR does not gurantee for sharp pictures, but would definitely help. It is not a must have.

    Thanks again.
    I am not so steady. I am skinny and I've got matchstick arms. I did prop myself against the wall. Thing is, without IS/VR, I don't think I would've been able to have any sharp exposures at even 1s. Definitely not a must-have. Photographers have been surviving w/o for the past 100+ years. But I say again, once you've tried it and gotten used to it, I am quite sure you'd want more of it.
    Sony Alpha system user. www.pbase.com/synapseman

  9. #9

    Default Re: is VR or IS really so good

    for shorter focal lengths you wont notice much difference.

    IS/VR kicks in to up your chances of hitting a sharp one as you venture into the more telephoto range like maybe beyond 150mm


    well a placing the long lens (eg 500mm w/o IS) on and big sand/bean bags running the length of the lens together with cable release works too
    :devil:Flick Her

  10. #10

    Default Re: is VR or IS really so good

    Couple months ago, I went for some bird shooting with my friend at Changi point. I was with my KM5D, which has in body Anti-shake, and Minolta 75-300mm lens while my friend is with his D50, Sigma 400mm f4 prime lens. Most of my shots were at the 300mm f5.6 end. It turns out that most of my shots are sharper than his as most of his shots have hand shake problem. But my issue is most of my shots have a purple fringing issue (lens problem). Now he had moved on to the D300 but I am still deciding if I want the D300 or the A700. Opps, this part is OT.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: is VR or IS really so good

    imagine 2 ppl with proper handholding techniques blah blah.... the one with VR n IS will definitely have a higher percentage of keepers than the one without.

    VR and IS really really works, u must try it to believe why is it so important. folks may argue that old old grandfather days no vr, no IS but yet beautiful shots are taken. the missing part of the equation is that they took a lot trouble and time to stabilize using tripod, place properly etc... and not to mention they have high blur rates which is not publicised..

    vr and is make shooting more efficient and more effective, but of course dun try and push it till the limits la like shooting at 1 second, 1/2 second shutter speed... the more practical shutter speed to prove the usefulness would be around 1/60 or even 1/30.

  12. #12

    Default Re: is VR or IS really so good

    i support VR ... it makes quite significant difference.
    I rather pump in the extra $ for it, than without.
    D7100,SB910,17-50/2.8OS,105/2.8VR,85/1.8D,2xE-M1,O60/2.8,12-40/2.8,35-100/2.8,14-42,LX100

  13. #13

    Default Re: is VR or IS really so good

    If got the chance, try out a lens with IS/VR, and the one without it, you will see the necessarity.

    It's not only about allowing the extra 2 stop flexibility, even u shoot under bright lighting conditions with a fast shutter speed, you will still got camera shake nonetheless. With IS/VR, the result will simply be much more improved. Improved, not definitely perfect though!

  14. #14
    Senior Member geraldkhoo's Avatar
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    Default Re: is VR or IS really so good

    VR/IS is not a miracle... but does help. It is liken to having a tripod or monopod while shooting. VR/IS will compensate for you handshake, but it would not help if your subject moves while your shutter is open. So, sometimes if you use VR/IS and you get a blur photo, it is because your subject has moved and not because of your VR/IS.

    I do not own any VR/IS lenses, but have tried them and it does help in compensating my hand-shake movements and I get more clear shots than without VR/IS. So... it is good to have but not a must, as I can carry a monopod with me... a bit more cumbersome, but serves its purpose.
    A picture tells a thousand words... make yours speak a million!
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  15. #15

    Default Re: is VR or IS really so good

    With VR lens you can compose your shoots easier as the VR works through the lens and sends composed image view to the view finder. You can then choose when to press the shutter. With IS in the cam body usually you don't unless your cam has life view. Cons are that with the additional mechanism in the VR lens thens to make it heavier.

    I wonder if IS cam body and VR lens can work together to have dual image stabilization?

  16. #16
    Senior Member SilverPine's Avatar
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    Default Re: is VR or IS really so good

    If you are taking picture of sport and in-door performance, for example football, basket ball, dancing and etc, depend on subject movement speed, to stop the movement blur you might need 1/125 sec and above to do it. VR/IS will help if the object is not moving in a fast speed, a fast lens or high ISO will help. For football/basket ball, it will required a speed of 1/500 sec or faster to stop the movement blur.
    Canon 5D II, 20-35 f/2.8L, 28-80 f/2.8L, 70-200 f/4L IS, 100-300 f/5.6L, 100 f/2.8 Macro

  17. #17
    Senior Member giantcanopy's Avatar
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    Default Re: is VR or IS really so good

    Quote Originally Posted by liarliar View Post
    I wonder if IS cam body and VR lens can work together to have dual image stabilization?
    I imagine that will be pretty complicated, the in body stabilisation having to know what the lens corrected, lots of communication between the two

    See wat Nikon and Canon will do in the long term.
    Meanwhile their VR/IS and more than sufficient for me

    Ryan

  18. #18

    Default Re: is VR or IS really so good

    I believe all the lenses with some additional functions and capabilities are there so that consumers and professionals can choose them where applications require. For example the 70~300mm VR lens can be a walk around lens at the zoo. When you see a leopard dashing from point A to B and wants to capture a moment of the cat sprinting VR won't help. Under bright sunlight you zoomed your lens to the maximum (here a lens that zooms and focuses faster helps) and probably at anything less than f2.8 you trapped the beast in your sensor. If it was almost dusk and lighting is low a faster f2.8 telephoto lens might be better to capture a brighter image.

    However if you see the beast resting under shade and has got to the best location where you can shoot stretching your 70-300mm lens to the maximum you still experience cam shake. With VR it make a difference now if you are able to have that few stop compensation. Of course if you set up a tripod or have a tripod attached to your lens/ cam its another story. At hand held you can snap the shot faster and with ease.

    That's when VR/ IS comes into play. So you would rather have it in your cam or lens when you need it for the moment than not? The choice is still yours to contemplate and make.

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