The Current Issue
Nikon Owner Issue 16
VIBRATION REDUCTION by Simon Stafford
Do you have the jitters about the judders? Simon Stafford discusses the various merits of Nikon’s Vibration Reduction system.
Judging by the number of questions I am asked concerning Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) system there must be many Nikon Owner readers who are unsure as to its value and proper use, so I thought it would be helpful to distil the relevant information in to a single article.
Let me put VR into perspective before I go any further – it is a useful feature for when there is no alternative to shooting with a hand-held camera. However, it is not a substitute for a solid tripod and a well-disciplined camera technique. If you think otherwise and rely on VR for all your photography you are only fooling yourself, as such folly will undermine the ability of your lenses and be reflected by the less than consistent pin-sharp results you will produce!
Currently there are six Nikkor lenses that feature VR; the first, the AF VR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D was released during late 2000 and now represents something of an anomaly in the range as its two VR modes, known as Mode I and Mode II, differ significantly in their operation compared with the rest of the more recent lenses. Of the other five VR lenses, four, comprising the AF-S VR 70-200mm f/2.8G, AF-S VR 200mm f/2, AF-S VR 300mm f/2.8, and AF-S VR 200-400mm f/4G, have two VR modes, known as Normal and Active. The remaining lens, the AF-S VR 24-120mm f/4.5-5.6G, has a single VR mode, Normal, that is either on or off; there is no Active mode. I will discuss all these modes in more detail later on.