#1. "RE: tips needed: blurry pics with a non-VR lens" In response to Reply # 0
Not an expert here, but have taken tons of photos with my d5000 under a variety of conditions and haven't had that many blurred shots unless there was low light/low shutter speed with movement. I've read a good rule of thumb is shutter speed matching level of zoom i.e., 200mm 1/200, 300MM=1/300, etc. If you are panning at 300mm snapping action shots that's even more difficult not to get blur.
Monopod would be helpful vs. full tripod and I'm looking at getting one now for indoor shots.
#2. "RE: tips needed: blurry pics with a non-VR lens" In response to Reply # 0
You have two methods without spending any money, and two more if you will spend money.
First, you can tun up the ISO. The base ISO is 200 (ie like 200 speed film), and on the D5000 you can certainly go to 800 with impunity and with some skill 1600 and even 3200 should be no problem. 6400 is definitely pushing it, although often an ISO 6400 shot can be made very useful. Higher ISO will allow you to get faster shutter speeds for the same wide open aperture that you're already using.
The next thing you can do is to start using the flash. The built-in is certainly capable of adding light, although it is, shall we say, not very subtle in its effect.
You can also combine the higher ISO and flash.
If you're willing to spend money, you can consider something like the SB-600 flash, which is vastly more capable than the built-in. Not only is it considerably more powerful, it can be used in a wide variety of bounce or diffuser configurations. Somewhat more sophisticated use of the SB-600 can make images illuminated with flash much more pleasant.
Finally, you can invest in "faster" lenses, such as the 35/f1.8 AFS ($200), 50/f1.4 AFS ($400) and a variety of others. This is, however, the most expensive option by a wide margin, especially if you go into the longer lenses. (A 300/f2.8 AFS VR runs about $4500, and likely you don't even want to know the price of the 400/f2.8.)
Naturally, the optimal combination is a fast lens with VR, with higher ISO and possibly with flash too. It all depends on how much time, effort, skill and money you want to invest.
Note that VR may or may not help anyway: it neutralizes motion of the camera, but if your subject is moving, it doesn't help. That's probably why it's not helping with the 18-55, which does have VR.
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#3. "RE: tips needed: blurry pics with a non-VR lens" In response to Reply # 2
blw has great suggestions about bumping up the ISO and using flash (although I think 1/200 is the fastest shutter with the built-in flash). Hand holding will be difficult at 300mm unless your outdoors in good light where you can get fast shutter speeds. Another thing to consider is maybe you need to pratice your shutter release technique. When I first used my D5000 (my first DSLR), I would jerk my hand when pushing the shutter button. Practice pushing the release button with the camera off so your not worring about framing an actual picture. All it takes is a gentle push of your finger tip.
#4. "RE: tips needed: blurry pics with a non-VR lens" In response to Reply # 0
Welcome to Nikonians! The Rule of Thumb regarding minimum shutter speed on a DX body to eliminate blur due to camera shake is: Minimum Shutter Speed = 1 / 1.5 x focal length At 300mm Min. Shutter Speed = 1/450th sec. If you round down 1/400th sec. If you round up 1/500th sec. Brian provided excellent advise on how to maintain a fast shutter speed in lower light conditions. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#5. "RE: tips needed: blurry pics with a non-VR lens" In response to Reply # 0
First, one must have a good handholding technique. The technique developed for 35 MM SLR cameras still applies to the Nikon Daloris. One needs a steady stance, breath control, and will braced hold on the camera, and a very gentle squeeze to release the shutter. The because of the design of the lenses any movement will be amplified and the higher the focal length, the greater amplification. One needs to practice this stance to learn how to achieve it quickly and control the camera. Have you read the Nikonian article DEVELOPING A PROPER HANDHOLDING TECHNIQUE?
#7. "RE: tips needed: blurry pics with a non-VR lens" In response to Reply # 0
You should seriously consider at least a monopod, if not a tripod, which is even better. It should provide the equivalent of about 2 stops of shutter speed, more or less, depending on your technique. The 1/FL rule of thumb was mentioned (1/450s on DX at 300mm)... but people are pickier today and I think double that speed is a more reasonable rule of thumb, especially if you crop. A monopod will get you there in more cases without extremely high ISO settings. We also have a monopod FAQ _________________________________ Neil Nikonians Team My Gallery