Posted by: David Vernon | December 8, 2008

Vibration Reduction Thoughts

Giant's Bathtub PanoI was always among the crowd that did not listen to instructions. When shooting (insert your camera’s brand of vibration reduction technology) vibration reduction with my Nikon lenses, I almost always left it on, even when sitting on a tripod. The rules say turn off VR when on the tripod, but I always figured it didn’t make a very big difference, other then wasting a little battery. Well – not for the first time – it looks like I was wrong. You were sitting down, right?

While this news came from someone testing Nikon’s VR, I’m gonna assume it is useful across the board. Turning VR off when on a tripod will enhance the sharpness of your image. NikonWatch has the results of a simple study here. The results are pretty convincing. At least convincing enough for me to try the same test (it’s penciled in for July of ’09).

What’s your experience been with VR? IS? Whatever you want to call it?

Update: Well I may have been a little premature in my VR on/off point from yesterday. A follow-up on Nikon Watch indicates that it literally varies lens to lens in the Nikon system. How many of you still have the manual for your lens? The best advice is to check it out there – and see what you should do.


  1. hmmm interesting. I don’t own any lenses with IS (Canon speak) so, don’t have any experiences to share. I thought Nikon had it built in to the body. If that is the case, it seems odd that it would vary by lens. Or, it could just be that I don’t understand how it works. 🙂

  2. Nikon is built into the lens – and very similar to Canon. Sony is the primary in body manufacturer – others are following suit.

  3. Thanks for the clarification!!

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