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Old Jun 29, 2010, 2:34 PM   #1
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Default Newbie with D5000 - to VR or not to VR?

Greetings... I have spent the last hour searching threads with various words attempting to get my answers, but either I'm just that blind, or a situation close enough just isn't out there. So, I apologize now if this has been answered already (because I know "which lens is better" is all OVER the place!), but I'm going to go ahead & ask...

My brother & his wife are wanting to purchase a D5000 for their first dSLR. They are very new to SLR, and are making decisions based on things like "the flip down lens is cool", and "it's lighter than that one". They are simply tired of the horrible blurred photos from her "pocket point & shoot" & wanted to get something that will actually take pictures. So there are 3 "packages" available:
$749.00 Nikon D5000 w 18-55 lens. (I believe this is a non-VR lens)
$799.00 Nikon D5000 w 18-55VR lens and 55-200 non-VR lens
$849.00 Nikon D5000 w 18-55VR lens and 55-200VR lens

Here's the thing... I have a D80 with a VR lens, but haven't really found it to be overly beneficial over the non-VR I had for so many years on my D70. However, I also have 2 little kids & tend to use the "auto" function ALL.THE.TIME - it's just easier (plus, I haven't exactly learned all the ins & outs of how the other "stuff" works yet). My brother & his wife will also probably keep it on "auto" for 99% of their photos. Are the VR lenses worth the extra money?? Would they be better served to put the $100 towards an extra battery, or would it be dumb for them to not just go ahead & get the VR lenses now while they can get the package pricing - whether they really need them, or not??

Most of their photos will be of their 7 yr old playing soccer/softball, dance recitals, family holidays, fun pictures on their boat, etc.

Thanks for any input you have!!

Cathy
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 2:58 PM   #2
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With your d80 do you use a fast prime like a 50mm 1.8 for your indoor shooting. If so that lens will not auto focus on the d5000. Just one big difference between with the d5000 and no inbody AF motor.

With your shots that you do not see or notice the beneficial advantage of VR. What are the shutter speeds when you check out the exif data. You will really not notice it working if you have shutter speeds greater 1/60. Also VR is helpful on the long end of the zoom, where a little motion can be more noticeable.

But given the choice, I would go with a VR lens. You get the option of turning it off. Without it you do not have the option of turn it on.
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 3:36 PM   #3
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I have a somewhat different take than Shoturtle. VR is important in two contexts to my way of thinking -- hand-held macro photography and telephoto shooting where you are not trying to stop fast action. Otherwise, you will be paying for something for which you have no use. I wouldn't pay to have VR on my car keys, even though I could turn it off if I wanted to. It has to serve a reasonable function in order to jusify the added cost. The same is true, to my mind, of VR on e.g. the Nikon 35mm f/1.8 lens -- it doesn't do macro and is too short a focal length to benefit much from VR. Leaving VR off that lens was the proper engineering decision AFAICS.
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Old Jun 29, 2010, 4:00 PM   #4
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VR (Vibration Reduction) is Nikon's name for the optical image stabilization in some of their lenses. All by itself, VR doesn't necessarily make a lens better. What it does do is let you use longer shutter speeds without getting motion blur in the photos because the camera was shaking. In every other respect, neither the 18-55 VR nor the 55-200 VR lens is better than its non-stabilized predecessor.

Either lens will do ok for what they want, except for the dance recitals. Those typically happen in poor light, and neither of those lenses is fast enough to use low enough ISO settings to avoid image noise.
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 2:33 PM   #5
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Default I don't use vr.

I have a nikon d50 with an 18-55mm kit lens (non VR version).

This Photo goes to show that shooting at 1/40 simply doesn't work great. I was laying down trying to stable it as much as possible but 1/40 is too long and you can see his feet are blurred.
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 3:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoFlashPhotography View Post
I have a nikon d50 with an 18-55mm kit lens (non VR version).

This Photo goes to show that shooting at 1/40 simply doesn't work great. I was laying down trying to stable it as much as possible but 1/40 is too long and you can see his feet are blurred.
Actually, the subject is blurred because he was moving. VR can't help with that. But the house in the background shows no sign of motion blur due to camera shake.
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Old Jun 30, 2010, 4:34 PM   #7
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Thank you all very much for your input!! I will send it all back to my brother... hopefully it will aid in their decision making.

tclune & TCav - your replies were the "dummy proof" explainations I needed!! Shoturtle - while I really appreciate your comments, they're still light years over my head, at this point. LOL! When I say I use the auto-function, I mean that in every sense. I haven't had an opportunity to learn the wonderful world of shutter speeds & f-stops. It's on my list of stuff to-do when my toddlers don't have my head spinning 24/7. :-D

Thanks again!!
Cathy
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