DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4

Started Sep 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
Barry Pearson
Barry Pearson Veteran Member • Posts: 8,475
Re: DA 55-300 vs DA* 300 f4

jamesm007 wrote:

When I was shooting with a tripod I was shooting in 7fps mode with SR on. Carefully looking at my pics from the DA55-300mm I could see motion blur even though I had the tripod locked down I was pushing the shutter button causing some movement in the tripod (and live-view on). So I did a test without SR and still pushing the shutter button. The results where (and I did it more than once) is the pics with SR off had that tack sharp look, the pics with SR on had that slight motion blur (need to pixel peep). As soon as you touched the K5 you could hear the SR system really working (with the tripod locked down). I can only conclude the algorithms are not designed to compensate motion with the camera used as such. Now I use the remote with high frame rate setting. I suppose in any case it could still be me causing the movement. The tripod alone is pretty good if there are no strong winds.

I've just run some tests. I used my K-5IIs plus Sigma 500mm f/4.5 on a sturdy tripod with a joystick head, focused on a house at the end of the street.

I used 7 fps and AF-C, and 1/90th second to push things to the extremes. (Aperture f/5.6, ISO 100). I shot both using Live View and using the viewfinder. I examined all the images in Lightroom with no sharpening at 1:1.

Using Live View, whether SR was on or off didn't appear to make much difference. With SR on, the sharpness started very good then degraded slightly. With SR off, the sharpness started degraded then became very good.

Using the viewfinder, (which I used to see if mirror slap made much difference), neither was consistent. But with SR off the results were more variable - some were very good, some were very bad.

I think what is happening is that SR was still working while on the tripod, but running the test with the slow shutter speed was simply too much for it. It couldn't achieve consistently very good results, and may even have degraded some cases, but at least it avoided the worst. With SR off, it became a matter of chance whether the camera shook during the shot.

I don't know what this proves, except that I saw no compelling reason not to use SR on a tripod. And of course a lesson is "don't use 1/90th second with a 500mm lens and expect perfect results, even on a tripod"! (Normally on a tripod with a joystick head I'm shooting single shots and likely to be using 2-second delay, which switches off SR automatically).

When I use a camera with a long lens on a gimbal head I am typically using a higher shutter speed, 1/500th or faster, with SR on. (The tripod is mainly to support the weight, not to keep things steady). I get very sharp results.

One final observation: at no point did I hear anything that sounded like SR working, even with my ear next to the camera listening hard. The only noise I sometimes heard was auto-focus working.

 Barry Pearson's gear list:Barry Pearson's gear list
Panasonic LX100 Pentax K-3 II Pentax K-1 II Pentax smc DA* 300mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM Pentax smc D-FA 100mm F2.8 Macro WR +22 more
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