Dispelling the handheld blur myth.... D800 + 105 VR

Started May 27, 2012 | Discussions
russbarnes
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Dispelling the handheld blur myth.... D800 + 105 VR
May 27, 2012

The more I shoot with the D800, the less I am buying into the notion that increased image blur applies. I just don't see how the same technique that I've used to fabulous success with a camera like the D700 suddenly became impossible to use when the D800 was launched. Of course it hasn't.

And I'm guessing there are plenty of others who agree with me too. I just don't understand some of the comment I've seen about how this is so hard with the D800 with ridiculous comment like "you can only shoot with a tripod", or "you now need ten times the focal length to achieve sharpness". Sloppy technique is sloppy technique - it shows up on any camera, even at 12MP.

Here's an example from today - handheld, PDAF auto-focus, VR on, nice sunny day but only ISO200. This isn't a fluke shot, I'm shooting handheld at least half the time even for subject matter like this... Take a look at the full size image here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/russellbarnes/7280110782/in/photostream

I'm posting this because I'm tired of reading the FUD from people who haven't come near this camera - if your shutter speed is moderate, incredible sharpness is achievable on anything.

Check out the bokeh and sharpness from the Nikon 105 too, I still say it has got to be one of THE lenses to buy for the D800, and it's a bargain by modern day pricing too.

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kennebunk larry
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Re: Dispelling the handheld blur myth.... D800 + 105 VR
In reply to russbarnes, May 27, 2012

I am glad you said this! I have been equally annoyed with all the "know it all's" on this forum who spoke with "authority" on how the D800 would perform before ever laying their hands on the camera. I am so thrilled with my D800. I am getting incredibly detailed and sharp shots handholding my camera using the unstabilized 14-24mm and 24-70mm. The camera makes me feel like a spy when I can continually zoom in on my image and see picture elements that are not evident on a 52" high def lcd television. I am also having a blast using the video capabilities of this camera.

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stany buyle
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Re: Dispelling the handheld blur myth.... D800 + 105 VR
In reply to russbarnes, May 27, 2012

russbarnes wrote:

I'm posting this because I'm tired of reading the FUD...

Me too, very tired of reading all the nonsense that has been written here about D800...

Related to your subject shooting handhold and getting high sharpness is indeed absolutely no problem with D800.
One close up sample with my antique 28-105, handhold...

And a 67% crop..

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Stany Buyle
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I like better one good picture in a day than 10 bad ones in a second..

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PhotoTechBlog
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Re: Dispelling the handheld blur myth.... D800 + 105 VR
In reply to russbarnes, May 27, 2012

I agree, I don't see any reason the D800 is worse for hand holding than any other camera. I love the 105VR/D800 combo. Here are some of my sample photos, all hand held, from a recent walk with my dogs. http://mike.heller.ca/2012/05/a-walk-on-wreck-beach-vancouver-bc/

Very happy with the cam so far.

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Scott Oberle
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Re: Dispelling the handheld blur myth.... D800 + 105 VR
In reply to kennebunk larry, May 27, 2012

Interesting and useful opinions. I have not had the opportunity to do many shots hand-held, so I am glad to hear this. Have you made any different shutter speed adjustments than you would do with a "normal" camera? Like double the recommended speed for the lens in use. And are you using a larger aperture than you normally would to compensate for the rumored lens refraction issue? Glad to see the 105VR is so sharp. It is one of my favorite and most useful lenses but I was concerned when I saw it on a not recommended for the D800 list...

As this camera sees more and more use, I look forward to having all of the early performance rumors thoroughly squashed! It is a wonderful piece of equipment and has really broken some seemingly unbreakable barriers. Ten years from now the D00/e will be viewed as a real milestone in photography.
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russbarnes
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Re: Dispelling the handheld blur myth.... D800 + 105 VR
In reply to Scott Oberle, May 27, 2012

Scott Oberle wrote:

Interesting and useful opinions. I have not had the opportunity to do many shots hand-held, so I am glad to hear this. Have you made any different shutter speed adjustments than you would do with a "normal" camera? Like double the recommended speed for the lens in use.

Nope, not me...

And are you using a larger aperture than you normally would to compensate for the rumored lens refraction issue?

Nope, not me...

Glad to see the 105VR is so sharp. It is one of my favorite and most useful lenses but I was concerned when I saw it on a not recommended for the D800 list...

Can't imagine why it's not on there, it nails focus, spectacularly sharp and broken is beautiful. It must be a mistake...

As this camera sees more and more use, I look forward to having all of the early performance rumors thoroughly squashed! It is a wonderful piece of equipment and has really broken some seemingly unbreakable barriers. Ten years from now the D00/e will be viewed as a real milestone in photography.

Ten years from now? How about today! Only medium format cameras are comparable with its performance, it's revolutionary today...

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russbarnes
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Re: Dispelling the handheld blur myth.... D800 + 105 VR
In reply to stany buyle, May 27, 2012

Ha! Awesome crop!

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russbarnes
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Re: Dispelling the handheld blur myth.... D800 + 105 VR
In reply to PhotoTechBlog, May 27, 2012

Another great set proving the point entirely! Nice work...

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Raul
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It is a myth indeed.
In reply to russbarnes, May 27, 2012

any one that has shot large knows that technique is important, just a little care.
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"The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young."
O.Wilde

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GAP IMAGES
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Re: Dispelling the handheld blur myth.... D800 + 105 VR
In reply to russbarnes, May 27, 2012

Russ,

Great images with the D700 and the D800!

Nice shots with the Zeiss 21mm ... how are you liking that lens with the D800?

GAP

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htiek
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Re: Dispelling the handheld blur myth.... D800 + 105 VR
In reply to russbarnes, May 27, 2012

It is a matter of math.

A certain amount of camera shake will impart a given lateral displacement and angular displacement to any sensor, D700 or D800.

The displacement can be small enough that a 36MP FF sensor can record it but a 12MP sensor can't.

Therefore, people are correct that the D800 must be held more steadily than a D700 to get everything possible out of the D800 sensor.

However, a given amount of camera shake will not degrade a D800 image to a point that it is more blurred than a D700 image with the same shake (all else being equal, e.g., ignoring any minor effects from the difference in ergonomics of the camera body).

The D800 is relatively more sensitive to camera shake only because its greater pixel density enables it to record smaller amounts of shake. But it is not more sensitive on a absolute scale.

It is really not an opinion or empirical thing. It is simply the math and physics of camera shake and sensor resolution.

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russbarnes
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Re: Dispelling the handheld blur myth.... D800 + 105 VR
In reply to GAP IMAGES, May 27, 2012

I'm very happy with it indeed. It got a mention on my website here: http://russbarnes.co.uk/glass

GAP IMAGES wrote:

Russ,

Great images with the D700 and the D800!

Nice shots with the Zeiss 21mm ... how are you liking that lens with the D800?

GAP

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3LX
3LX
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Nikon 105mm VR is on the recommended list
In reply to russbarnes, May 27, 2012

Scott Oberle wrote:

Glad to see the 105VR is so sharp. It is one of my favorite and most useful lenses but I was concerned when I saw it on a not recommended for the D800 list...

Page 16 of the technical guide it's the last one on the list.

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fjpyyy
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Re: Dispelling the handheld blur myth.... D800 + 105 VR
In reply to russbarnes, May 27, 2012

Your point may very well be valid, but your example doesn't really support it. Shooting a 105mm lens at 1/500 sec with VR is hardly a convincing way of demonstrating the camera's handheld-ability IMHO. It also contradicts with your reply in an earlier post, where you stated "not me" to a question that if you double the recommended speed. I would say shooting a 105mm VR lens at 1/500 sec more than "doubling the recommended speed", don't you agree?
Do you have some better examples to support your point?

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russbarnes
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Re: lol. Unbelievable.
In reply to fjpyyy, May 27, 2012

fjpyyy wrote:

Your point may very well be valid, but your example doesn't really support it. Shooting a 105mm lens at 1/500 sec with VR is hardly a convincing way of demonstrating the camera's handheld-ability IMHO. It also contradicts with your reply in an earlier post, where you stated "not me" to a question that if you double the recommended speed.

But I don't "double the speed". This shot is as ISO200 and f/5.6. The light was good, so what?

I would say shooting a 105mm VR lens at 1/500 sec more than "doubling the recommended speed", don't you agree? Do you have some better examples to support your point?

This forum never ceases to amaze me. Can you understand the size of the object being photographed here? Do you understand that 105mm under macro distances is just about as difficult as it gets to focus let alone avoid motion blur of any kind? Did you have a look at the full size full res image? Did you count the hairs on it's legs? If this isn't a perfect example of what's possible hand held I don't know what is. Most people wouldn't even undertake a macro shot using the viewfinder to focus and shooting without a tripod. Unbelievable. You'd best not buy the D800, it's clearly not for you...

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fjpyyy
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Re: lol. Unbelievable.
In reply to russbarnes, May 27, 2012

But I don't "double the speed". This shot is as ISO200 and f/5.6. The light was good, so what?

No need to get all worked up here :). You could have easily used ISO100, since it's the native of D800 and gives better IQ, and used a slower shutter speed to better illustrate your point.

You'd best not buy the D800, it's clearly not for you...

It's none of your business, I am afraid. As it happens, I have a D800 on order and will get it soon.

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joebester
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Re: Dispelling the handheld blur myth.... D800 + 105 VR
In reply to fjpyyy, May 27, 2012

I only use tripod and ISO 200 for shooting still falling water.

http://joebester.zenfolio.com/p697597646/h1842cfe5#h1842cfe5 is handheld in a very dark corner of our home (sorry it's just another cat). The image was shot hand held with the Nikon 24 - 120 VR lens at f/4, shutter 1/5 sec., and ISO 6400. Other than cropping, very little post processing. Park mouse pointer in upper right corner of image to view Meta Data.

The proof is in the print not the digital image. The 8 x 10 print was even sharper than the monitor.

JoeBe

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InTheMist
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Re: Dispelling the handheld blur myth.... D800 + 105 VR
In reply to joebester, May 27, 2012

joebester wrote:

I only use tripod and ISO 200 for shooting still falling water.

Native ISO of the D800 is 100.

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Ridicule is not C&C nor is it being helpful nor "stating your opinion"
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NRG
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Re: Dispelling the handheld blur myth.... D800 + 105 VR
In reply to russbarnes, May 27, 2012

russbarnes, I think you're becoming a tad too defensive towards fjpyyy. I tend to agree with both of you to a certain extent. While I too have managed to shoot the D800 handheld and got some pretty good sharp shots, with enough available light (thus fast enough shutter speeds), you certainly can get sharp enough images handheld with half decent shooting techniques (and shooting with a lens using VR on certainly helps to be sure).

But here's the key.. you need enough light to make it happen (as is the case with all other cameras obviously). As we all know, excluding indoor controlled studio light, light itself is a moving target so to speak...if the light levels fall low enough, at a certain point, shooting with the D800 will require better (read: steadier) hand held shooting techniques than shooting under the same conditions with the same settings on say a D700 for example - as we are talking about a 36 megapixels vs 12 in this case). As htiek mentioned, it boils down to mathematics.

Therefore, it's unfair to make a claim that handheld blur is a myth regarding the D800. It isn't. It's just that under certain lighting conditions, camera shake won't be an issue.

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If a boat were sinking and you could save the passengers or photograph the disaster, what lens would you use?

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RBFresno
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Myth? What myth?
In reply to russbarnes, May 27, 2012

Hi!

Maybe I'm not getting this, but what credible source said that the D800 and 105VR couldn't take a decent picture unless a tripod was used or "ten times the focal length speed" was used?

I never thought that a picture like yours (taken at 105 mm, ISO 200, 1/500 sec, f5.6 with the D800 and 105VR) would be suboptimal hand held..

BTW, there are some really wonderful long exposure landscapes on your Flickr site!

Those who haven't bothered taking a look should do so!

Best Regards,

RB

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