|Nikon D3, 24-120mm, ISO 6400, 1/50, ƒ/5.6 (shot at 112 focal length)|
While the photo above is not terrible it isn't sharp. Look at the enlarged section here below.
No matter the camera you are shooting, the best thing to combat camera movement is a tripod. Your images will be the sharpest possible, that is if your subject is perfectly still during the exposure.
The second thing you can do is to increase the shutter speed. The rule-of-thumb is turn your focal length into a fraction. Put 1 over your focal length and then find the closest shutter speed on your camera faster than it and you are generally good to go.
In the photo above I was shooting at focal length of 112. I would convert this to a fraction of 1/112 and then shoot to the closest shutter speed, which for my camera would have been 1/125. Notice however I was at ISO 6400, ƒ/5.6 and 1/50. I needed to go up by more than 1 stop to do that for this photo.
For various reasons I couldn't raise the shutter speed. To raise it would have been to push the ISO to 12,800 and the D3 really didn't look all that good at 12,800. I was already wide open and so I couldn't open up the aperture any more. I couldn't shoot with a tripod in the hair salon because I would be in the way of customers.
Nikon to the rescue
If you ever go on a cruise the ships have similar devices called gyroscopes that help stabilize a ship in rough water. If you have ever been on a ship and you still felt the roll of the sea this is because there is a limit to how much they can compensate.
The compensation of the Nikon VR II lenses is about equal to four stops. What this means is if you were shooting hand held with a camera lens at 1/60 then you should get the same sharpness as if you were shooting at 1/1000. So you should be able to handhold a 1000mm lens at 1/60 based on this technology. But if you have ever handheld a 600mm lens you know that few can actually hold one up.
The VR system can also detect the use of a tripod, recognize panning―an instance in which you wouldn't want the lens to compensate for movement―and address the specific shake caused by the ongoing vibration patterns produced when shooting from a moving vehicle. From my personal experience you want to turn off the VR function when shooting from tripod.
|Nikon D4, AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, ISO 12,800, 1/80, ƒ/5.6 300mm|
I am hand holding this lens and just loving the results.
|This is cropped area of the photo above. Notice how sharp the eyelashes are in the photo.|
- Auto focus lenses
- Highest ISO I shot in 1982 was ISO 400 for color and today I regularly shoot ISO 12,800
- Vibration Reduction (letting me hand hold images four stops slower)
- In Camera White Balance today (Only Daylight, Tungsten and BW film in 1982)
|In 1982 Nikon had a 50-300mm that weighed 6lb 2.8oz|
The lenses were manual focus early in my career and weighed a lot more than today. They are not as sharp as today's lenses due to the ability of computers to help in the design today.
|Today this 28-30mm lens only weighs 28.2 oz and can focus faster than I could ever do with manual lens.|
My go to lens
The AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens might as well be bolted onto my camera. I do use other Nikon lenses, but this is always my first choice in majority of the situations I shoot. This lens with the Nikon D4 is one of the best combinations in camera gear today.