Lack of VR in Nikon 300mm f4 - big deal or not?

Started Apr 22, 2013 | Discussions thread
PHXAZCRAIG Forum Pro • Posts: 15,058
Re: no

Well, to be on-topic...

I shoot with 300F4 and AF-S 80-400vr.   Sometimes with 1.4tc.

I know what to expect from the 300F4 - certain amount of shutter speed, especially handheld, and you're done.   Reasonably steady support, lower shutter speed, any ISO - great results more often than not.   Very good support, good technique, you can extend things to even lower shutter speeds.

With the 80-400, same thing applies.   The new one is usable wide open, unlike the old one, which certainly helps with shutter speeds.

Now turn on VR, and it's a crap shoot.   Most of my VR handheld shots are dissapointing compared to basically the same shot from a tripod with mirror up and remote release.  MOST.

I haven't found a single shutter speed yet where I think VR can give me the same results as mirror up and remote release on a tripod.   Like Thom's article suggests, even at shutter speeds above 1/500th, results seem (sometimes?) worse with VR on than off.

Clearly when shooting at low speeds (1/100-1/250th) I get better results handheld with VR than without it.   Almost certainly it helps when panning.    But there always seems to be a little bit of blur when I pixel peep that's not there with tripod use.

I can't say I've noticed that with my 70-200 vr II or my 105vr.  But shooting at 300-400mm is more demanding than shooting at shorter focal lengths.

So overall, I'm not thinking that VR missing on the 300F4 is a problem.  It may very well be to the advantage of the lens.  It's smaller and cheaper without VR.

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