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Old Mar 26, 2011, 7:39 AM   #11
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See page 18 of the AF-S VR 70-300_f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED Instruction Manual.
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Old Mar 26, 2011, 12:54 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by umdaman1 View Post
rj, how do I adjust the VR?
There is a switch on the barrel of the lens...slide it from "normal" to "active"
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Old Mar 26, 2011, 1:13 PM   #13
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And, while panning, you'll want to make sure VR is in "active" mode, not "normal". This disables the horizontal "VR"...otherwise, the lens will try to correct for the side to side motion and create problems.
According to Nikon, VR lenses detect panning automatically, and react accordingly without any action from the photographer. The "Active" setting is for when the photographer himself is on a moving vehicle or in an unstable position.

http://imaging.nikon.com/products/im...vr/img/ct4.swf
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Old Mar 26, 2011, 1:14 PM   #14
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For all those who haven't bothered to look it up.
It says the Normal mode can differenciate between panning and normal shake and that Active mode is for using out of moving vehicles.
My 18-200mmVR is the same,from my manual quote: When taking panning shots be sure to set the VR switch to Normal. If you move the camera in a wide arc when panning, vibration in the direction of that movement is not affected. For example if you pan the camera horizontally only vibration in the vertical direction is reduced,making smooth pans much easier.
Turn the VR off when using a tripod but On when using a Monopod or unsecured swivel heads.:unquote. The 70-300mm manual says the same but in less words.
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Old Mar 26, 2011, 1:48 PM   #15
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For all those who haven't bothered to look it up...
I did

Hereís one of a series of yes-vr-is-just-fine-at-fast-shutter-speeds shots I had previously taken to prove VR works as advertised. The truck was moving around 60 MPH, you can see the blur in the concrete barrier from the panning. The important thing about this shot was that a full shutter press was initiated while panning. The meter was already active (as I had just taken a pic) but there was no stop at the half-press. That means that the VR turn on, centered for the shot, detected panning, and adjusted for it (and with no noticeable delay.) As I said, I took a bunch of shots...they were all sharp.

Nikon D90 with a 70-300mm f/4.5-f/5.6 VR at 300mm, f/11, 1/500s, VR is on, in Normal. 100% view. Screen cap. of ViewNX.
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Old Mar 27, 2011, 2:42 AM   #16
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Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely try all of your tips. I guess maybe I'll practice with regular traffic and other moving objects untill I actually go to the next race (May 14). I'm expecting my new 70-300vr to arrive sometime this week.
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Old Mar 27, 2011, 3:27 AM   #17
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Thanks for the advice. I'll definitely try all of your tips. I guess maybe I'll practice with regular traffic and other moving objects untill I actually go to the next race (May 14). I'm expecting my new 70-300vr to arrive sometime this week.
Thereís one aspect of shooting action that I rarely see anyone speak of...grip and stance. When using long lenses you must provide a stable platform for your camera. There are things you can do to minimize movement.

First, hold the camera with a tight grip on the right hand. View through the viewfinder with your right eye. If you currently view with your left eye, then switch. The short time it takes to switch is worth it. I know...I went through it. When viewing with your right eye, turn your head to the left and put your cheek against the camera. Press the camera into your cheek. Keep your upper arms pressed against your body. With my left hand, I personally prefer an overhand grip on the lens barrel. I can use my grip on the lens to press the camera into my cheek. Aperture isnít controlled by a ring anymore, so thereís no need for the underhand grip. All the lens controls are designed to be reached with the thumb from an underhand grip, but frankly, thereís nothing there that I need to get to that quickly. With an overhand grip I find I can control the flash exposure compensation very easily, and thatís more important to me, so thatís what I use.

With a tight grip on the right hand, camera pressed against the cheek, an overhand grip on the lens, and upper arms pressed against the body, the stability of the camera is improved tremendously. Next you have to stand properly. Have your feet shoulder-width apart, and have a break in your knees. You donít have to bend your knees...just donít keep them locked back. Try to stand straight up...donít hunch your shoulders or drop your head.

Finally, you have to learn how to press the shutter. Practice pressing the shutter smoothly so that you donít disturb the camera. People try to time their shots and press the shutter at just the right moment...but not only is that extremely difficult to get right (few do) but they end up jerking the camera and imparting a tiny rotation that blurs the image. There is a reason why continuous shooting is used so much in sports photography. You have to train yourself to start shooting right before the action occurs, and continue shooting through the action. This is also the reason why pro cameras have much larger memory buffers...to allow for several seconds worth of continuous shooting.

These are the same techniques used by target shooters. The target shooter needs a stable platform for his gun, and he needs to press the trigger smoothly without disturbing his alignment. Even so, there is a small amount of movement in his arm that the target shooter can never get rid of...itís called the minimum arc of movement. And even a seasoned target shooter cannot time the trigger press to coincide with the moment that the gun is right on the bullseye. Trying to do so typically results in a miss (common beginners mistake.) Good shooters will wait for their minimum arc of movement, and then press the trigger as smoothly as possible without worrying about where the gun is actually pointing. That usually results in a good shot.

So practice being a stable platform for your camera, and practice smooth shutter presses and shooting through the action. That will help you far more than any particular setting on your camera or lens.
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Old Mar 27, 2011, 6:24 AM   #18
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Just a small point for anyone not familiar with these lenses.
Both the 18-200mmVr and the 70-300mmVR share this (I dont know about other Nikkor lenses) they have a switch to go between Manual focus and Manual/Auto focus, fair enough the M setting is obvious but with the M/A setting it acts as a auto focus/manual focus overide and on the 18-200 it is very easy to accidently move the manual focusing ring while holding the lens.
You have to watch this if you ask someone to take a pic of you, very often if you dont point it out you will get a blurred shot as they move the manual focus ring, sometimes they think it is the zoom ring as well.
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Old Mar 27, 2011, 11:07 AM   #19
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To me, multi-point focusing is just a marketing gimmick.
I'm going to disagree. It's a tool. And you have to understand strengths and limitations of the tool and what jobs the tool is useful for. For example, my canon camera has 45 points - 19 of which are selectable. When I shoot sports I enable a single point - though almost never the center point. The key here being, all 19 selectable points on my camera have the same accuracy. Not the case with all cameras where sometimes the center point is more accurate. Additionally, I have assist points enabled. these points are packed tightly around my chosen point. If the camera can focus using my chosen point it will, otherwise it will use the assist points. That's a bit different than every point having the same priority and the camera potentially switching subjects.
Now, talk to a birder trying to photograph small birds in flight - there is where having all points active can really be beneficial. Trying to track a very small bird with a single point is going to be frustrating. BUT, the concept works much better on cameras with a lot of points. With only 9 points or such the bird can still slip between points.

Now, when I'm doing parties or events I'll often start with all points active - great for group shots because I know the camera is locking on several points so I know it's getting good contrast and I don't have to adjust my framing to fit a focus point. With individual, shallow DOF shots I'll select a single point so I can focus on the eyes, but all points works great for standard event / party work.

Now, it's also worth noting that using a lot of points takes more processing power. That's where the D7000, d700, d300 and canon 7d fall short of their pro brethren - the pro bodies have more processing power so they do a better job working with all the points.
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