2005-12-13 - VR Amazement

Oh my, another kangaroo shot... But wait, this is no ordinary photo! Some technical details: 340mm (510mm equivalent) focal length, F/4.8, 1/50s, hand held. These technical details may not mean a lot to everyone but in plain English, this is a crazily slow shutter speed to use for such a long focal length, without extra support like a tripod. It is a recipe for very blurry photos. The general rule of thumb is that shutter speed should be the reciprocal of the focal length in order to avoid blur caused by camera shake. For this shot, that's about 1/500s (maybe less if you're very steady).

So how was this shot taken? It was all thanks to the magic that is Nikon's VR (Vibration Reduction) technology and the 70-200mm F/2.8 AFS VR lens I was using (plus a 1.7x teleconverter). The lens detects camera movement and counteracts it, keeping the camera stable. I'd read about this lens for well over a year and I was in no doubt that the technology worked. However, there's nothing like first hand experience. In short, I'm really amazed how well this lens works and judging by the kangaroo's expression, so was he!

A big thank you goes to Trevor for lending me this amazing lens. I know what I'll be asking Santa for this Christmas... ;-)


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