VR Test

“Vibration Reduction”; Nikon’s tradename for optical image stabilization. The camera and lens sense the degree of camera motion, and deflect elements in the lens to cause counter-vailing motions, resulting (if it all works right) in a sharper image. They claim about a 3-stop improvement (in terms of lower shutter speeds usable hand-held).

The rule of thumb is that you can safely hand-hold the camera down to a shutter speed of 1/(focal length).  This is a 35mm rule of thumb, and it’s the 35mm-equivalent focal length that matters here.  So for a 200mm lens on a full-frame DSLR, the safe shutter speed (by rule of thumb) is 1/200 sec. Or, with VR, about 1/30.

The following test photos are small crops from the center of the frame, containing the focus point. They were all shot hand-held, free-standing (I wasn’t leaning against anything).

1/15 VR on
1/15 VR on
1/15 VR on
1/15 VR on
1/15 VR on
1/15 VR on
1/20 VR on
1/20 VR on
1/15 VR on
1/15 VR on
1/15 VR on
1/15 VR on
1/15 VR on
1/15 VR on

I score that as 1 and 2 acceptably sharp, the rest not.

And now some examples shot with VR off.

1/15 VR off
1/15 VR off
1/15 VR off
1/15 VR off
1/13 VR off
1/13 VR off
1/13 VR off
1/13 VR off
1/13 VR off
1/13 VR off
1/20 VR off
1/20 VR off
1/15 VR off
1/15 VR off
1/20 VR off
1/20 VR off

None of the VR off examples are acceptably sharp.

So; the VR off case certainly works as expected, no hope. The VR case produced two acceptably sharp photos a full 4 stops below where it should have been okay by rule of thumb. And a lot of failures, but I was seriously pushing the limits here.

Next post will be another run, a bit more careful, with 10 shots of the same test subject for each series. But this is getting long enough and ugly enough as it is.

Tokina 12-24mm f/4

Officially it’s “AT-X 124 AF PRO DX”. Their first shot at a crop-factor DSLR lens, and quite a big success; lots of people on the net like it for example.

A previous round of test shots when I first got this lens is here.

And why am I testing this when I’m leaving DX and about to sell it? Well, I needed to test my old 28-70, and I decided I should include other lenses as sanity-checks, so I’m looking at more than one set of results.

 

 

 

 

12mm f/4

Tokina AT-X124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 12mm, f/4, center
Tokina AT-X124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 12mm, f/4, center
Tokina AT-X124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 12mm, f/4
Tokina AT-X124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 12mm, f/4
Tokina AT-X124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 12mm, f/4, corner
Tokina AT-X124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 12mm, f/4, corner

So not so shabby really, I don’t think.

 

 

 

 

12mm f/8

Tokina AT-X124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 12mm, f/8, corner
Tokina AT-X124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 12mm, f/8, corner
Tokina AT-X124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 12mm, f/8, center
Tokina AT-X124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 12mm, f/8, center
Tokina AT-X124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 12mm, f/8
Tokina AT-X124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 12mm, f/8

There really isn’t anything much wrong with this by f/8.

 

 

 

 

24mm f/4

Tokina AT-X 124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 24mm, f/4, corner
Tokina AT-X 124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 24mm, f/4, corner
Tokina AT-X 124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 24mm, f/4, center
Tokina AT-X 124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 24mm, f/4, center
Tokina AT-X 124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 24mm, f/4
Tokina AT-X 124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 24mm, f/4

The 24mm end is pretty fuzzy in the corner too, at f/4.

24mm f/8

Tokina AT-X 124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 24mm, f/4, corner
Tokina AT-X 124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 24mm, f/8, corner
Tokina AT-X 124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 24mm, f/4, center
Tokina AT-X 124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 24mm, f/8, center
Tokina AT-X 124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 24mm, f/4
Tokina AT-X 124 Pro DX 12-24mm F4 at 24mm, f/8

Pretty nice, especially in the center. Possibly better than the Nikkor at f/5.6, even.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nikkor 24mm f/2 AIS

Nikkor 24mm f/2 AIS corner at f/5.6
Nikkor 24mm f/2 AIS corner at f/5.6
Nikkor 24mm f/2 AIS center at 100%
Nikkor 24mm f/2 AIS center at f/5.6
Nikkor 24mm f/2 AIS full test image
Nikkor 24mm f/2 AIS full test image

I’ve had this since the Australia trip; is that 1983?  I’d gotten out to 28mm with the Vivitar Series 1 28-90 zoom, and was finding myself using the wide end of that a lot (I’d previously had a 28mm for my Miranda Sensorex, which I never liked and rarely used; I might have had one in the Pentax system too). It’s an old manual-focus lens, but it was thought to be very good at the time.  How will it stand up on modern digital?

These are somewhat cluttered — the wall wasn’t really wide enough (I guess I should have walked in closer really), so there’s stuff overlaying the bricks in the edge shot. Try to ignore the out-of-focus foliage!

And I clearly wasn’t considering this carefully, because I only shot an f/5.6 test of this one.

The results aren’t stellar; definitely soft, even at f/5.6, even in the center. Well, it’s only one test image, perhaps I focused badly or held unsteadily. Or not. On the mental list for consideration.

Cleaning the Glass on a Microtek Scanmaker 4

This will be of rather limited interest; but I failed to find the information on the web when I needed it, and when I figured it out myself (which turned out not to be hard) I made a note to perpetuate the information, as it were.

Continue reading Cleaning the Glass on a Microtek Scanmaker 4

Photosynth of Minnehaha Falls

My first try at shooting specifically for photosynth is not a total failure; parts of the main falls bowl, in particular, seem to have come out fairly well.

Looks like it has mis-identified some matches, and I’ve probably tried to cover too big an area.  I shot some more down at Carleton later today, will be interested to see how those come out.

Fascinating toy!