VR Lens Needed

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Indydenny, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. Indydenny macrumors 6502

    Indydenny

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    Midwest
    #1
    I just purchased my first DSLR, a Nikon D40. I am about to buy a basic lens (18-55mm f3.5-5.6G/AFS DX). Should I get the VR on this lens or doesn't it make that much difference?

    I plan to buy the Nikon 18-200mm VR at a later date for travel.

    Thanks

    Sorry, there's supposed to be a question mark in the title "VR Lens Needed?"
     
  2. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
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    #2
    VR helps immensely if you expect to be shooting indoors much. When the light is dim, VR is a huge boon, since it allows you to get longer exposures handheld.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    For a 55mm lens VR does not help so much. The rule of thumb is that you can hand hold a shoot (without VR) with a shutter speed no slower than 1/(focal length) So ask your self if you plan to hand hold the camera with the shutter slower then 1/60th. Likely not as subject motion blur becomes an issue and mostly you wil be shooting wider than 55mm so yo can hand hold with even slower shutter sheeds without VR. VR can't help you with subjection. It only address camera shake

    The VR version of the lens has more elements and reviewers claim lowered contrast and some flair. So the VR is not free and comes with trade offs. I'd get it only if you are into hand held low light photography of subject hat don't move around fast.

    A FAR batter way to do low light photography is simply to buy a faster lens. Get an f/2.8 zoom or even better an f/1.4 prime
     
  4. Indydenny thread starter macrumors 6502

    Indydenny

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    Midwest
    #4
    Thank you. That's very helpful.

    One more question: if you had just one lens, would you prefer to have the 18-55mm or the 18-135mm. Is the second one too large to use all of the time?
     
  5. nopassn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2009
    Location:
    Kansas City
    #5
    I couldn't agree more. Bottom line for low light is, get the fastest lens you can. The 50mm 1.4 is an excellent low light lens.
     
  6. TenPoundMonkey macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2007
    Location:
    VA
    #6
    The OP didn't specifically mention indoor photography... just "travel".

    For general use, I think the 18-200 VR would be great for you- wide enough for most shots, with a lot of reach for tourist sites/landmarks/etc... the VR should help a good deal the more you zoom too.

    For an excellent low light deal, the 50mm 1.8 is only $100, but you'll have to use manual focus.

    I have the 18-135 lens with my D80 and it doesn't seem too big to carry around. It is noticeably bigger/heavier than the 18-55 though.
     
  7. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    #7
    If you can get it - get the 18-200 mm as soon as you can. If you plan to use the camera for travel shots, VR is useful for saving a few shutter stops in hand held situations. It has its limits though and real low light shooting would probably require a tripod anyway. In other words, don't expect VR to be the miracle capture all in low light instrument that it is sometimes advertised at...
     
  8. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    Feb 24, 2008
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    Over there------->
    #8
    Except that on a cropped body you have to multiply, assuming that you're going to be that much farther away from your subject. So on a 55mm lens, you really ought to be at about 1/80 as a rule of thumb. It really depends on how far you are from the subject.

    If you're shooting handheld in large indoor spaces like cathedrals or palaces (as many tourists do), you won't care about how fast things are moving...the architectural details and frescoed ceilings aren't going anywhere. Likewise with objects in museums. In these cases, it's not uncommon to want to be using exposures as long as 1/4, in which case VR is essential.

    For shooting moving people, then VR makes no difference. In this case you'll want a fast lens (wide aperture) not only because it can arrest subject movement, but also because it can provide you with a nice subject/background separation (blurry backgrounds).
     
  9. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #9
    I would agree with all the posters who suggest just going for the 18-200 VR. It is an excellent lense for the price. I have it on my D90 and it fits most of my needs. My brother has the kit 18-55 and the 55-200 on a D40x and while they are good and he is happy with them my opinion is the 18-200 is much better and you only have to carry one lense.
     
  10. Indydenny thread starter macrumors 6502

    Indydenny

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2002
    Location:
    Midwest
    #10
    Thanks for the feedback. Went to the Camera Shop last evening and exchanged the D40 for a D90 and an 18-105mm VR lens. I had traded in a D70 and the salesman convinced me that the D90 was the way to go (a better "step up.")

    The VR lens was part of the kit so thought it was a better way to go. I think it is all I need. So far, just been playing with it but I like what I see. Anxious to really use it.

    Thanks again.
     
  11. Apple Ink macrumors 68000

    Apple Ink

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    #11
    Forget the 1/focal length rule... forget the aperture! Even on a 20mm f2.8 you should consider getting a VR/IS.....
    You wouldnt regret the sharpness....

    But ultimately.... and unfortunately.. you cant forget the above mentioned 'stuff' as in low light photography.... VR is useful with limitations... moving subject will be unrecognizable! And even with the heavyweights like the Canon 600mm... VR is useful only to provide that extra stability on a tripod!

    SO get the VR... besides on the 18-55 its dirt cheap as compared to the non VR version!
     

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