Spy Black said:
>>Perhaps "lazy" was a wrong word to use, but regardless it takes more than a high shutter speed to shoot smoothly. How you brace the camera, how you press the shutter, how you breathe, how you THINK when the shot is taken all add up to smooth shooting that will allow you to shoot with even a lower shutter speed. VR takes that kind of consciousness away from a photographer and almost gives a false sense of security.
Years back I shot a rock concert in Madison Square with Kodachrome 25. Handheld. I did it for the challenge. Sure, I got a lot of bad shots, but I was also able to get sharp images while shooting at 1/15 sec with a 300mm f/4.5 by applying the techniques outlined above, et al. I did it to sharpen my shooting skills, and it worked. Quite well. When I shot with 125 Ektachrome under the same conditions it felt effortless.
A small beanbag is also an handy tool to have in your arsenal, even with VR. It will give you a good 2 stops extra if you're smart in your shooting techniques.
Don't overlook tried and tested techniques for getting good images under unfavorable conditions, they have proven themselves over time, and even in the VR age are still quite useful and will always give you a shooting advantage.
AMEN! I used to shoot the Nikkor f/4.5 300mm on an F body at 1/15 sec without a tripod. But there are many telephone poles with my camera impression in them as I would do all sorts of contortions and use anything, small rocks, sticks, wallet, jamed in between so I could press firmly at the correct angle. And then it was the breathe out, and squeeeeeeeze the release gently. Two elbows on the chest, carefully, are also very helpful. These techniques when applied WITH VR, result in even better resolution.
The risk with VR is that at slow shutter speeds the subjects move... as I have found so often. And asking the subject to be still, great if you want the Matthew Brady look, but not very spontaneous.
So, as to the question at hand, VR or not VR..... I think VR is just another advance which helps us to move toward the goal some of us have, and that is to have a small format photos with the technical quality of large format.
And kudos to you Spy Black, those Kodachromes still have the color while the thousands of Ektachromes I shot, well, the color is "blowing in the wind".