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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Shooting Video, VR Lens or Non-VR Lens
Kevin Johnston, Photographer
Oden | MI | USA | Posted: 10:40 AM on 08.16.13
->> Shooting sports usually requires higher shutter speeds so I never really worried to much about having any VR lens'. With video now becoming a more marketable part of the industry though I was wondering if the VR on the newer lens' is more worth having.

Any experienced video shooters care to share their thoughts on VR vs. Non-VR lens'?
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Nic Coury, Photographer
Monterey | CA | | Posted: 12:36 PM on 08.16.13
->> I've shot DSLR video on my D600 and a D300s with the 16-35mm f/4 VR and the 70-200mm f/4 VR, both work like a charm for stable video, even more so in the 70-200.

They both work great for video. Everything I've shot is really stable.

I can't comment on the longer glass, but I'm presume it works well too for video.
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Perrone Ford, Photographer
Tallahassee | FL | US | Posted: 1:42 PM on 08.16.13
->> Well,

I'll put it this way... there is not a cinema lens on earth that has VR. So for every major motion picture made from the beginning of time until today, VR has not been used. And neither has autofocus.

If you're doing it right, VR will not be a factor. If you're doing it.. differently, then VR may be crucial to your success.
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Guy Rhodes, Photographer
East Chicago | IN | USA | Posted: 4:32 PM on 08.16.13
->> While what Perrone says is indeed true, I don't think this should stop us from using new tools at our disposal just because some old way of "doing it right" didn't include them.

While shooting on tripods, I almost never use the stabilizer built into my dedicated video camera (Panasonic HMC150). However, a couple of weeks ago, I was shooting on a press riser over 100' from the podium where the speakers were located. Through the entire shoot, other photographers kept walking on and off the riser, causing an earthquake to rattle my telephoto image. Turning on the stabilizer (again, something I almost never do on tripod) actually helped the image dramatically.

When shooting handheld with the HMC150, I have the stabilizer on all of the time.

If you're on a tripod with a telephoto lens, and need to smooth things out, I say give it a try. I'm not sure VR / IS on a 35mm telephoto lens would work too well for handheld or moving shots. On my Canon IS lenses, the stabilizer can be very aggressive when it kicks in. Fine for stills, not for video.
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 5:01 PM on 08.16.13
->> "...there is not a cinema lens on earth that has VR. So for every major motion picture made from the beginning of time until today, VR has not been used. And neither has autofocus."

With that logic films would still be made with a hand cranked camera and B&W nitrate film stock. I'm sure that there are "films" that have been produced using autofocus, and stabilization systems, like the Stedicam, have been around for 35+ years.

If a VR lens helps you do what you need to do then use it.
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Perrone Ford, Photographer
Tallahassee | FL | US | Posted: 2:47 AM on 08.17.13
->> Please don't misunderstand... I am all for innovation.. that helps. And there are a GREAT many times that you won't be able to "do it right". Also known as following cinematic guidelines for shooting. And when you cannot do that, then other tools and aids are helpful. Heck the tripod is a stabilization aid as well.

Not all "innovation" is progress though, and I think that is probably more to my point. VR can be helpful in some situations. However, it can be very problematic in others. And I Think as pro stills shooters, we all know that.

I just hate sending people down a rabbit hole...

"Oh I don't need that $1500 tripod. I can get this $200 one because I have VR lenses." Recipe for trouble and failure.
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Jon Wright, Photographer
Wayzata | MN | USA | Posted: 11:21 AM on 08.17.13
->> The only reason I keep my 18-105 VR "kit" lens is for shooting video. Remember though, when mounted on a tripod the VR will not work well, as it "resists" it.
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Guy Rhodes, Photographer
East Chicago | IN | USA | Posted: 1:32 AM on 08.19.13
->> True, VR / IS has a hard time with *moving* shots on a tripod. But, for a locked-off shot (as with my 100' away podium fiasco), it helps out quite a bit.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 6:32 PM on 08.19.13
->> Perrone,

Cinema rigs don't use VR lenses because they use super-expensive external stabilization systems to get smooth footage on hand-held shots. Stabilized video via VR lenses is a Godsend for those who don't have massive budgets.

--Mark
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Doug Murray, Photographer
West Palm Beach | FL | USA | Posted: 4:24 AM on 08.24.13
->> I never use VR for stills but it works fantastic for video and find it an invaluable tool.
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Thread Title: Shooting Video, VR Lens or Non-VR Lens
Thread Started By: Kevin Johnston
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