VR Shutter Speeds, BBAF Tip, Adobe Or sRGB? and Tripod vs Monopod

In this episode we continue our conversation from Episode 3 about VR use – this time discussing which shutter speeds work best and which ones to avoid.

From there, it’s off to the Q&A section where we tackle a common technique question with Back Button AF, decide if you should set your camera to sRGB or Adobe RGB, and finally talk about when to use a tripod vs a monopod. 

TOC

00.01 – Intro and tip – stabilization / VR and shutter speeds
11.00 – BBAF – When to press, when to release
14.23 – sRGB or Adobe RGB?
17.59 – When to use a tripod vs monopod

The podcast is available below, on iTunes (search Backcountry Gallery), Google Podcasts (click here), and on Spotify (once they update their feed – search Backcountry Gallery). (Please note, Podcasts are an audio-only format)

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Show Notes

M + Auto ISO Video – Click Here

RGB updates. John Shaw wrote and mentioned a couple additional (and very insightful) notes about using sRGB I wanted to pass along. 

1.    If the LCD on the camera has a color gamut at all, it’s probably sRGB as I doubt that Nikon or Canon or Sony are using color corrected LCDs. 

2.    But more important for me is that Nikon changes where an underscore falls in the file name depending on the color space selected.  I want my file names to be easy to read.  sRGB positions the underscore after the camera name, just before the four-digit file number while Adobe RGB puts an underscore before the camera name.  Each of my cameras have a unique name, such as JSP (John Shaw Photography) or NIK or D5N etc.  Pretty basic, but this lets me easily identify which camera was used.  I rename files as I download via Lightroom, adding YYMMDD_ to the filename created by the camera.  sRGB means a file might be named 191025_D5N_1234 while Adobe RGB would result in 191025_D5N1234.  Perhaps it’s just me, but I find the first is easier to read.

As an added update, one of our commenters below reminded us that the embedded Jpeg will also use whatever picture profile you have selected too. I should have mentioned that one in the podcast, but it slipped my mind. 

PS – If you enjoyed this post, I think you’ll REALLY like my e-books and video workshops! Thousands of pages and hours of videos filled with tips, tricks, and techniques – all my best content! Check ’em out – click here (hey, it’s free to look).

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Dale Elliott
Dale Elliott
2 years ago

Thanks you Steve as always great information. you are absolutely right about tripod, i have been practicing it has make a great difference. thanks again !!

Frios
Frios
2 years ago

Why use podcasts.. When you can make a YouTube video n make some money..
🙂

Winston Shaw
2 years ago

Great tips! One additional point I’d like to add regarding the hand holding of large lenses…or for that matter even medium sized ones given the weights of today’s camera bodies…is the risk of repetitive motion injuries. I shoot hand held with a D700 and a 70-300 mm tele and last year I developed a severe case of what’s normal called tennis elbow. My doctor told me that the weight of my camera gear combined with repetitive up and down motion caused the injury. It’s been more than a year of treatment and the severe pain is pretty much gone but… Read more »

Bob
Bob
2 years ago

Did you ever use just one leg of a tripod as a monopod? That eliminates the need to carry one more piece of equipment.

Anandhu
Anandhu
2 years ago

hey Steve great podcast
sorry this is unrelated to the podcast but which camera do you think has the better high iso performance out of the d4 and the d500
thanks in advance

Anandhu
Anandhu
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

thanks man really appreciate it

tom skala
tom skala
2 years ago

Steve, Your discussion of VR…or no VR above 500 was very interesting and I’m trying that out. I guess my silly question is…If it’s better to not use VR above 1/500, and many/most action shots are usually taken at 1/1000 or higher (at least for flying birds, etc.), then why does Nikon even bother having a “sports” mode for VR on a Nikon lens if we’re better off not using VR??

Thanks,
Tom

Colin Barnett
2 years ago

Excellent podcast. When talking about the potential problems with VR at high shutter speeds, you mention “loss of acuity”. Is this the same as loss of sharpness? In other words, does acuity = sharpness?

Colin Barnett
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

Some day, I’d like to see some 1:1 images that illustrate the difference between lack of sharpness vs sharp but lacking fine detail. By the way, I enjoy the technical aspects of your podcasts and videos, and I am not bored no matter how minutely you describe technical issues. For example, I thought that your list of factors that can contribute to problems with VR was excellent and I would not have minded a further discussion of each one of them. And I love your sense of humor. You could do “photo standup”.

Joshua Horner
Joshua Horner
2 years ago

Thank you, Steve. I learn something from you every time. I am new to photography and have purchased two of your e-Books. I recently had the opportunity to use a RRS monopod with my Nikon D500 with battery grip + Nikon 200-500 mm lense. I have always kept VR on as that gets to be quite the weightlifting set when combined with my Leica 12 x 50 binoculars. I can definitely appreciate an improvement in my photographs on the recent trip to Colombia as compared with some of my earlier attempts. Each trip, I try to challenge myself to do… Read more »

Paul
Paul
2 years ago

Hi Steve, this is a very helpful podcast. I am about to leave for a safari in Masai Mara. I plan to rely mostly on myD500 with a 300PF and have a question about teleconverters. Would a 250-500 shutter speed range still be the sweet spot for VR when using the TC-14E III?

Shanti
Shanti
2 years ago

Hi NIce podcast again:) I leave sport VR on all the tim eon my PF300(+1.4) & 500PF ,only use normal if slow shutter speeds . Can’t see any minus in keeping it on. Many of my shots are 1/2000 or faster as alot of BIF. Actually this was on you recc. from a few years ago. When you say VR from 125-500 on the 300PF, is that normal or sport mode. On my 150-500 VR did cause focus issues on high shutter speeds, but after I got it serviced & AF motor changed, it seems OK with VR left on… Read more »

Shanti
Shanti
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

But isn’t sport safer to keep on,as less active than normal VR? as many times I’m at 1/500 sec for sitting birds, then have to be quick to change speed as it flies, & no time to move VR switch

Shanti
Shanti
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

Yes agree, and sometimes I get stressed trying to get the shot I want, so most misses are my error I think 😉 if only birds would behave more 🙂 PS Love your work ,very inspiring

Ziggy
Ziggy
2 years ago

Re VR, there are of course multiple modes to complicate matters, and the third has changed in Nikon with labels that need unpacking to boot.
I used the D500 & 200-500 a lot and confess I couldn’t see consistent differences from modes.
With Sony some users report that shot 2 in a fast shutter burst will be soft with OSS on.
Maybe the logic is this: can the sensor and lens compensation moves happen fast enough to complete between shots? That might mean in less than a tenth or even a 20th of a second.

Harold FEIERTAG
Harold FEIERTAG
2 years ago

Good job, Steve.

Andy Work
Andy Work
2 years ago

That was the best explanation of how high ISO noise reduction works on the entire interweb!

Ralph Bruno
Ralph Bruno
2 years ago

Hi Steve,

I know that shooting in raw is the way to go but instead I have been shooting in both raw and jpeg. I am not experienced in using post processing and I notice on initial import the jpegs actual look better to me. Could you comment on my observations. I use Luminary’s 4.0.

PS. Your books are great and I have them all.

Dave Berry
Dave Berry
2 years ago

Hi Steve,
Which camera profile do you use?

Dave Berry
Dave Berry
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

Thanks, Steve, but do you mean Adobe Standard or Camera Standard?

Dave Berry
Dave Berry
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

My fault. I’m a (relative) beginner and to be honest only really discovered the picture controls on my camera (now a D500) and the profiles in Lightroom quite recently. I need to educate myself as to how and when to use them. Don’t suppose you’d consider a podcast or a YouTube on the subject…? 🙂

Dave Berry
Dave Berry
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

That’s excellent news!

Winston Shaw
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

Great news RE a Lightroom course!!! I’ve been hoping you would do one for some time!

Gary
Gary
2 years ago

Hi Steve great podcast, as always! #1 Re the VR, As you are aware, Nikon lenses now have more VR settings than a space shuttle control panel 🙂 for example, my 70-200 2.8E has VR Off/Normal/Sport ( I believe there is also an active in some lenses) Ive had many different answers in a forum, Is SPORT for unstable platforms like a chopper/boat? and, If I’m shooting a high SS from a boat, like 1/2000sec will it still help set to sport? I travel to far north Queensland every year May/September and am finding access for shooting birds from my… Read more »

Albert Mok
Albert Mok
2 years ago

Do you have a sweet spot (s) for the Nikon 500 mm PF?
Do your sweet spots on the Nikon 300 mm PF apply to the Nikon 80-400 mm at the 300-400 mm range

Albert Mok
Albert Mok
2 years ago

Do you have a sweet spot(s) on using the Nikon 500 mm PF lens? Do your sweet spots on the 300 mm PF apply to the Nikon 80-400 mm at the 300-400 mm range?

Wayne
Wayne
2 years ago

Awesome episode Steve.

Susan Beausang
Susan Beausang
2 years ago

Very Interesting. Question – when using BB focus on Continuous (nikon) do you set focus to “focus” Focus and release” or Release Please please settle this for me.

Helen Mitchell
Helen Mitchell
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

I’m confused by the way you answered. First you said “focus” and then said you had used it on “release” forever. Is it focus or release?

Judy
Judy
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

Steve,
I have the sony A7Rii, what about the three? AF, Release, or Balanced Emphasis ?

David Schultz
2 years ago

I run several tours a year during the winter in Yellowstone. Always appreciate the info, both here, eBooks and YouTube, that you pass along and gladly share your contact info often.

I’ll be heading back to Yellowstone for 10 days in a week and will rent a Nikkor 180-400mm before I possibly purchase one. I won’t have time to fine tune this on my D850 or D500. I’ve seen your comment before about “try before your buy” and wondered if you bother fine tuning in a situation like this?
Thanks much for your time!

David Schultz
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

Thanks much for taking the time to reply! Happy shooting and sharp pics always!

Larry
Larry
2 years ago

On my Nikon D5500 in BBAF I have found that I am set to “Image Review on” , which rarely use, focus is disabled while the image is displayed

Phil
Phil
2 years ago

Helpful podcast Steve, thanks. With regards to the question about setting color space in camera. Some may not realize that even if shooting strictly RAW any selected camera picture profiles/film simulation etc are applied to the camera’s LCD screen used when chimping images because the camera LCD display image is a camera generated JPG.

Douglas Good
2 years ago

Hi Steve,
I have the same setup as does Neil T – D500 and Tamron 150-600mm G2. I had been going by your general guidance on pp. 156-159 of your ebook Secrets to Stunning Wildlife Photography to not lose sleep over VR on or off, so mine is always on. I haven’t been having problems with acuity, but now might do some testing just to be sure. Thanks! And keep up the good work!

Douglas Good
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

Hi Steve, Just to give folks who might be reading this an update. I had an opportunity to test my configuration (above) photographing birds in flight at a nearby wildlife refuge this week. I turned VR off, and after a close examination of my photos on my computer, could not see any difference in acuity with VR on or off. I sure saw a difference in my viewfinder while tracking birds with VR off! So I am returning with confidence to keeping VR always on. Thanks for encouraging me to test. I agree it’s the only way to know for… Read more »

Gary Haigh
Gary Haigh
2 years ago

My 200-500 has VR on all the time, unless on a tripod, but, I will now turn it off at 500th and beyond just to see if mine acts like yours does Steve?

Gary Haigh
Gary Haigh
2 years ago
Reply to  Steve Perry

I will let you know how I get on Steve, will shoot some with VR and some without under exacting conditions.
Stay well and regards as always from England.

dennis larrisey
dennis larrisey
2 years ago

Hi Steve ,I can hear your voice but I cannot see your video?

Jones Tom
Jones Tom
2 years ago

Informative as always Steve. Here is a potential topic for you to address: On the Nikon D500, D850 (and maybe others I’m not familiar with) there is a Custom Control Assignment allowing one to assign various functions to various buttons on the camera. I have experimented with different settings over the last few years and finally settled on these custom control settings (again on the D500 and D850): Pv: AEL Hold Pv + Command dial: OFF Fn1: Spot metering Fn1 + Command dial: OFF Fn2: My Menu Af-On: AF-ON Sub-selector: Focus point selection Sub-selector center: AF-area mode + AF-ON (with… Read more »

Harold FEIERTAG
Harold FEIERTAG
2 years ago

Good job, Steve. Keep up the wonderful work.

David Sneddon
David Sneddon
2 years ago

Heh Steve love the podcasts. The VR tip “when you don’t need it is inspired” cheers. David, Scotland but in the Canaries now.

Steve
Steve
2 years ago

You mentioned SONY. Are you a convert?

David Linn
David Linn
2 years ago

Do you comments about when to turn on or off Lens VR apply to Nikon Z IBIS?

Andrea
Andrea
2 years ago

Thank you Steve, your podcast are always interesting and usefull.
With my Sigma 24-105, I have to turn off VR during long time exposure ( more than 1 second), but I think it always recommended with such type of long exposures (landscape photography) using tripod, indipendently from the peculiar lens.

Ps: Would it be possibile to set the listening speed at a rate between 0.5X and 1X to help those people who are not English mather tongue to better understand ?

Rodney Hartsfield
Rodney Hartsfield
2 years ago

Really enjoying these Steve! Keep them coming brother!!

Neil T
2 years ago

Excellent podcast! Thank you!
I do all my shooting handheld in natural light with my Nikon D500 and Tamron 150-600mm; never occurred to me to turn off the VR. I’ll try it for higher shutter speeds.

BTW, you probably want to update your copyright at the bottom of your website page (and in your cameras) to 2020; you’re still at 2019. (but everybody forgets this because it only happens once a year)

Prasad Palaniyandi
Prasad Palaniyandi
2 years ago

Thanks Steve… Great session with tips from real time experience… Keep shooting and keep doing this podcast Steve…:)

Susan Scharenberg
Susan Scharenberg
2 years ago

Thanks Steve for all the helpful info! Appreciate the table of contents too.