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Thread: Nikon VR lenses - leave on or switch off?

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    Nikon VR lenses - leave on or switch off?

    Being new to all of this, I keep forgetting to switch on VR after switching on the camera (so much to learn, so much to remember!). Although I am still getting steady images most of the time, some of them would have benefited from vibration reduction. Do I need to switch off VR every time I switch off the camera or can I just leave it on? What do other people do?

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon VR lenses - leave on or switch off?

    Hi Ivor,

    I leave mine on almost all the time, for the reason you say.

    I try to remember to switch VR off on the lens (so it 'parks' the moveable elements properly) before then switching off the camera and changing the lens. I probably remember that only 10% of the time

    Remembering to switch VR on again after changing a lens is a bit easier to do though.

    They still seem to work,

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    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon VR lenses - leave on or switch off?

    I didn't realise we are meant to turn them off. Where does it tell you that? I'm a bloke so don't say the instruction manual!

    Personally, the only time I turn 'em off is when they're parked on the tripod. And even then I forget. With no adverse effects so far.

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    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon VR lenses - leave on or switch off?

    I quite often forget to turn it off as well. All the instruction manuals says is something like, "Turn VR off before you turn off your camera or you will hear it rattling when you shake the lens". I try to remember when as often as I can cos I don't really want to hear my (expensive) lenses rattle!

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    Re: Nikon VR lenses - leave on or switch off?

    I forget it - always. My excuse - I just got a dSLR a few weeks ago, and I'm still figuring out all the ins and outs of the Nikon D5000.
    So far I manged to take about 400 pics - with maybe 10 keepers.

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    Re: Nikon VR lenses - leave on or switch off?

    Please double check my info in the manual... I believe the warning is not to turn off the camera when the VR is engaged. It uses magnets to stabilize and if you switch off the camera while it is stabilizing the magnets can slam into the side of the lens. It does make sense to wait a second to turn off the camera right after taking a shot but I do not believe the VR must be turned off prior to turning off the camera. Switching lenses would seem to be the same thing. If the power is off the VR magnets are in the correct position and would not be affected by the switch. Of course now I have to go dig out my manual to be sure what I am saying is accurate.....

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    Re: Nikon VR lenses - leave on or switch off?

    I believe that Scott is correct in that you don't want to turn the camera off when the VR is actually operating. I leave mine on all of the time so I don't forget and only turn them off when on a tripod and then back on when I take it off the tripod.

    As far as tripod use, Nikon has a page buried in their website that tells you which lenses should (or can?) be used with the VR on while on a tripod. The general rule is to turn them off because their servo system is tuned to correct for relatively slow motions that we induce when hand-holding the camera. The vibrations from the mirror and shutter when on a tripod are much higher frequency and the VR can get totally lost and make the situation worse.

    John

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    Re: Nikon VR lenses - leave on or switch off?

    There is a page on Thom Hogan's site, where he argues that you don't always need VR turned on when photographing. I get his point.

    Having said that, I just always leave it on, unless I use a tripod. It's just easier then forgetting to turn it on when you do need it. There is no harm to leaving it on, but take care not to turn the camera off while the VR is still engaged (you have to be pretty fast for that anyway).

    From my 105 mm Macro VR manual:

    Do not turn the camera power OFF or remove the lens from the camera while the
    vibration reduction mode is in operation. (Otherwise, the lens may emit a chattering
    noise if the camera is shaken. This is not a malfunction. Turn the camera power ON
    again to correct this.)

    • When the lens is mounted on a tripod, set the vibration reduction ON/OFF switch #
    to [OFF]. However, set the switch to [ON] when using a tripod without securing the
    tripod head, or when using a monopod.

    Supposedly, on my macro, the VR only works when the distance to subject is >3 meters. I use it on all of my macro shots though (<5cm) and I have the impression (but can be wrong) that it even benefits me there.

    So, not to worry about this. If it really could be damaging to lens or camera Nikon would have made it a more prominent item in the manual.

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    Re: Nikon VR lenses - leave on or switch off?

    If you are talking about VR on a tele, I would suggest that you leave it on unless you are using a tripod. Most commonly, that's what you'd want. But the marketing types are taking over the world. VR on a standard or (Heaven forefend!) a wide angle is almost always somewhere between useless and counterproductive. In the cases where VR shouldn't have been put on the lens in the first place, leave it turned off except for those rare cases where it seems that it might provide some value.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon VR lenses - leave on or switch off?

    Quote Originally Posted by epmi314 View Post
    ~ It does make sense to wait a second to turn off the camera right after taking a shot but I do not believe the VR must be turned off prior to turning off the camera. ~
    For what it's worth, when out, the only time I switch off the camera is to change a lens - something you're unlikely to achieve within the few second VR operation after a picture is taken.

    I find there is no difference in battery drain between the camera being OFF on the switch or 'napping' between shots and since I have my D5000 to shake the sensor (for dust removal) on start up and shut down, I'd use more battery power switching on and off than I do just leaving it ON, not to mention the waiting time.

    If the same lens stays on all day, so does the camera, and I get several days shooting (and several hundred frames) out of one charge.

    I do switch it off for transit in a car, etc., where it (and the lens) may be subject to excessive or prolonged vibration - it must be better to have things 'locked down' for that.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Nikon VR lenses - leave on or switch off?

    Thanks for all your comments everybody. I obviously don't need to be VR paranoid!
    Last edited by Ivor; 4th August 2011 at 08:26 PM. Reason: not managing uploading my first photo yet

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