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Thread: Vibration Reduction

  1. #1
    Digital's Avatar
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    Vibration Reduction

    I have a Nikkor 70-300mm VR lens. I am not sure on to use the VR part of it. I understand that the VR should be off when using higher shutter speeds (e.g. 1/500th).
    Do I need to use VR even if I am using a tripod or monopod?
    Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks, Digital

  2. #2
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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    It sounds silly but having VR on while on a tripod can fool the VR, resulting in shaky shots.

    Tripod = Yes
    VR = NO

    That's with this lens - with some slightly more exotic Telephoto Prime Nikkor lenses there is a VR mode for tripod use - not here though.

    It depends what you're shooting really, but over 1/500th I'd still be tempted for air shows etc. The VR engaged will help with tracking and focusing.

    I've got a copy and it's great value for money, with good image quality (even though the VR bit the dust on my copy a couple of years ago!)

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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    Hi Bruce,

    The Pro's who really know recon you can leave it on all the time. Sport Photography Pro's hate it and glue it in OFF.
    What Phil refers to above applies only to inferior VR lenses. VR only activates then movement is sensed. On a tripod no movement and no VR effect.

    Google VR lenses and read reports from different guru's and see what the truth is.

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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    Hi Bruce,

    The Pro's who really know recon you can leave it on all the time. Sport Photography Pro's hate it and glue it in OFF.
    What Phil refers to above applies only to inferior VR lenses. VR only activates then movement is sensed. On a tripod no movement and no VR effect.

    Google VR lenses and read reports from different guru's and see what the truth is.
    Hi Andre, I've always read that you should disable VR when using a tripod. Can you point me to articles that identify which type of lenses this does NOT apply to so that I can determine if VR should be off or on for the lenses that I am using?

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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    On Canon lenses whether you need to turn off the IS when tripod mounted totally depends on the generation of IS (Canon's version of VR) that is incorporated in your lens.

    However, with any generation IS, it is O.K. (and I recommend) to leave the IS on when shooting on a monopod. I would expect that this is the same with the Nikon VR.

    I use a Kirk MPA-1 monopod swivel head when shooting action and I usually leave the head fairly loose rather than tightened down. The IS compensates for any vibration or movement. I use the IS mode 2 when shooting action which allows panning.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    Hi Andre, I've always read that you should disable VR when using a tripod. Can you point me to articles that identify which type of lenses this does NOT apply to so that I can determine if VR should be off or on for the lenses that I am using?
    Read the manual that comes with the lens; the VR recommendations vary from lens to lens as Nikon is continuously tweaking the technology.

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    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    Quote Originally Posted by GrumpyDiver View Post
    Read the manual that comes with the lens; the VR recommendations vary from lens to lens as Nikon is continuously tweaking the technology.
    According to my Nikkor 55-300mm lens manual and Andre's comments, I have an inferior lens! Dang! Now that's a blow to my delicate ego! LOL!

  8. #8

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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    Quote Originally Posted by Digital View Post
    I have a Nikkor 70-300mm VR lens. I am not sure on to use the VR part of it. I understand that the VR should be off when using higher shutter speeds (e.g. 1/500th).
    Do I need to use VR even if I am using a tripod or monopod?
    Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks, Digital
    The 70-300mm is a VR II lens, so the VR works really well.

    When handholding, you can leave the VR on all the time. I believe that the advice that it should be turned off at high shutter speeds is a myth...probably an association with sports shooters who turn off the VR (and who are shooting, of course, at high shutter speeds.)

    As for sports shooting...you'll find "advice" like this...

    "Well, if you’re shooting with a VR (Vibration Reduction) lens, once your shutter speed gets above 1/500 of a second, you should turn VR off to avoid any shutter lag or slower frame advance rates caused by the VR trying to stabilize the lens."

    http://scottkelby.com/2008/quick-tip...orts-shooters/

    Someone needs to tell Scott Kelby two things. First, a focal plane shutter operates at the same speed whether it's 1/500s or 1/8000s. The time required for the shutter curtains to complete the transit from top to bottom is nearly the same for most high speeds. The first curtain requires about 1/360s to open completely...the second curtain is following, and will complete its transit from 1/500s to 1/8000s later. Second, the camera doesn't slow down for VR. It's not like focus priority, where you need a lock before the shutter will release...and the VR system is completely self-contained in the lens, so it's not slowing your camera's processor...like having noise-reduction turned on (which can reduce your FPS.)

    As for shutter lag, I call myth on it, but it's harder to say. On my D90 I can't detect any lag when firing from a half-press or from a no-press, and the shutter fires the instant I want it to. Nikon uses a two-step system, where the VR operates in a "framing" mode while half-pressed, and upon full-press centers the VR element and operates in a "capture" mode. So technically, there is activity that the VR must complete before the camera can fire. However, from my testing it appears that the VR lens can accomplish its task in the time it take to raise the mirror. But, that's on a D90...a D3, with its mirror that's twice as fast, might be another story. But in absolute terms, it's only 0.1s faster...and that's for the entire shutter cycle. I would be very surprised if anyone is missing shots because of that tenth of a second.

    It's true that when your shutter speeds gets up to 1/1000s, you don't need VR to prevent blur from camera movement. However, the VR can still assist with framing and AF, so it's good to keep it on.

    As has been said, the lens manual will tell you if you need to turn it on or off when on a tripod. Nikon recommends turning the VR off when the 70-300mm is on a tripod. The reason is that VR is tuned to human motion. A tripod can develop vibration from wind, and the VR will respond...causing it to "creep".

  9. #9

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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    Hi Andre, I've always read that you should disable VR when using a tripod. Can you point me to articles that identify which type of lenses this does NOT apply to so that I can determine if VR should be off or on for the lenses that I am using?
    Maybe I should not have used the word “inferior”, it probably sounds a little rude. Let me rather use the words less advanced VR lenses. Sorry for that.

    I dig into a lot of opinions from Ken Rockwell and tend to believe most of what he has to say. There is a lot of common sense in what he says. After all, he holds a degree in Engineering and knows his cameras.
    Here is what he has to say about VR (Nikon) and IS (Canon).

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/image-stabilization.htm

    Tripods
    I usually turn off VR on a tripod; it's not needed. If I leave it on, I've never seen a problem either.
    Many VR systems are smart enough to figure out if you're on a sturdy tripod and deactivate themselves; but if you're in the wind or the tripod is otherwise unstable, VR and IS will help.

    There are many people out there believing that VR and IS should be turned off on a tripod, even Nikon recommends OFF if a cable or remote shutter release is used. This only makes sense, to me, if it is done for simple practical reasons, like Ken Rockwell says, “it is not needed” on a tripod. Turn it off and you forget it is off, whilst you are used to using VR/IS, and you have a good chance to get blurry pictures.

    In articles, written on VR/IS, I have read that the system “searches” for movement. If this is to be true the system could be searching in one direction while movement is in the opposite direction. This “searching” is used as reason to have VR/IS turned off if the camera is mounted on a tripod. The system will be “searching” for movement while mounted on a tripod and cause “blur”. Would that mean the system is moving about a lens element all the time in search of movement? I am sorry but I cannot believe this kind of technology, not in the age we live in. It is like making a statement that an aircrafts systems is “searching” for roll to counter act by adjusting the ailerons. That would result in quite a bit of a roller coaster ride.

    If the system is build to DETECT movement it would make sense that the system will compensate in the right direction if movement is detected. If on a tripod, and no movement is DETECTED, the system will not be compensating for any movement. How would the system compensate if there is no detection? A camera mounted on a tripod in windy conditions or any condition where any movement might be possible should be switched to VR/IS on, if available.

    If for any reason whatsoever VR/IS might be the cause of image deterioration it would simply not make sense to have VR/IS built into camera systems. In a world with as advanced technology as we have today, how can we not trust the technology?

    I am very sorry if my analysis is wrong. If Ken Rockwell recons he has never seen any problem in his pictures with VR/IS turned on, while mounted on a tripod, I simply have no reason to doubt it.

  10. #10
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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    Oh-oh!

    The world according to KR!

    That's a blasphemous name on some forums

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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    Quote Originally Posted by dubaiphil View Post
    Oh-oh!

    The world according to KR!

    That's a blasphemous name on some forums
    Any reason why?? Please fill me in?

  12. #12
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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    You have to filter through a lot of deliberately controversial dross to find the occasional nugget of useful information.

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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    Vibration Reduction

    Why you should turn off VR with tripod and remote shutter release

  14. #14
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    Tamron VR - funky

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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    Any reason why?? Please fill me in?
    Mostly because Ken Rockwell says what he thinks, and that does not always agree with other people's views.

    I find that when he dicusses the technical details of something, he usually on the money. When he discusses a feature, based on his own workflow or shooting style, this is where I find myself disagreeing with him more often than not. A professional photographer is going to have a workflow that provides him / her with an end product that will please his or her customers, in as little time and effort as possible. I've known a number of pro photographers over the years and they all seem to have that attribute. An amateur is looking for something else, so the two shooting style could be completely different.

    Now onto the subject of VR, IS, etc. Nikon, Canon and all the others do not share how these systems work. There is far too much trade secrecy out there for no apparent reason. This has led to all kinds of speculation by the photographic writers out there as to how they work; and unfortuantely pretty well everything I have read about them is mostly off base. Anyone who has worked with control systems will recognize what is happening pretty quickly.

    The simplest control system that most of us are familiar with is the thermostat; if we heat or cool our homes, we have one. If we set it for, say 20º C / 68º F, does it hold exactly that temperature? No, of course not if it is heating, it might not kick in until the room temperature drops to 19º C / 66ºF and might overshoot the temperature we set and not shut of until we reach a temperature of 21º C / 70º F. The room temperature oscillates ± 1º C / 2º F. We get a similar issue with image stabilization; the floating element lens will oscillate just below and just above the set point, so when mounted on a perfectly still tripod, it will still move around a bit (there are some other factors in play, but I am oversimplifying what happens). Bottom line is, the VR circuitry needs to be told to shut down when sitting on a tripod to stop this movement. This is an additional cost, so the manufacturer may chose to not include it in less expensive lenses.

    Graystar - I think your explanation regardings sports shooters is pretty well bang on. The VR / IS systems operate totally autonomously from the rest of the camera and it will not slow down your shooting. Can it have a negative impact on the shot, potentially yes, much like the tripod situation, but it could also help.

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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    For my Nikkor 55-300mm lens, the manual states that it is vertical movement that is detected and compensated for with VR so that horizontal panning is not affected. The way a camera is typically held and used, that makes sense, particularly for a long lens.

    I'm also guessing that mirror flip-up, even on a tripod, can have some effect on stability which is why mirror lock-up is used to get the most stable images.

  17. #17
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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    Here's an idea:

    Place camera and lens on tripod
    Delayed Timer
    VR on
    take shot
    VR off
    take shot
    see if there's a difference

  18. #18
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    For my Nikkor 55-300mm lens, the manual states that it is vertical movement that is detected and compensated for with VR so that horizontal panning is not affected. The way a camera is typically held and used, that makes sense, particularly for a long lens.

    I'm also guessing that mirror flip-up, even on a tripod, can have some effect on stability which is why mirror lock-up is used to get the most stable images.
    On higher end lenses there is a switch for two stabilization mode. One is for both horizontal and vertical movement and the second handles vertical movement only and is mean for shooting while panning; following a bike going along a road, shooting out of a car window while driving, that kind of motion.

    The mirror flip up is there because there is a bit of shake from mirror slap as it gets out of the optical path and hits the stop position. Lock your mirror before the shot, and you eliminate that.

  19. #19
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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    Actually that abysmal shot, mirror was up

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    Re: Vibration Reduction

    Quote Originally Posted by rtbaum View Post
    Actually that abysmal shot, mirror was up
    It certainly looks like image stabilization was on as we see displacement of the moon on two different axes; horizontal and vertical. What I find interesting is the large amount of deflection in the shot, so that gives one an idea of how much relative camera shake can be corrected.

    Thanks for posting the image; very informative.

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