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Is VR essential with exotic telephotos?

Started May 27, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Is VR essential with exotic telephotos?
May 27, 2012

I'm looking for one of the exotic primes; 400/2.8, 500/4, or 600/4 and would like to save a little money with a used, but mint lens. I have found several af-s D lenses in each focal length, but without vibration reduction. Just how important is VR on such lenses considering I'll be using it for wildlife on a gimbal mount? I will be shooting both mammals and birds, but typically I shoot birds that are perched choosing to wait for the right moment to take the shot rather than in flight, so I'm not tracking these animals with the lens very much. Once in a while I may use this setu at an airshow though. Will I be disappointed in the lens without the VR feature?

Note that I do expect to use 1.4, 1.7, and 2.0 teleconverters occasionally and this is on a D800 camera body. Any additional thoughts on the af-s D versions of these prime lenses would be appreciated.
Capturing my world in the raw... 36 megapixels at a time.

Nikon D800
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