VR clunk

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by lloevner, May 17, 2021.

  1. I own one DX AF/VR lens. I just purchased a 70-300 AF-P FX (f 4.5~5.6). A very nice performing lens, not even considering its recent sale price. I think I have been fortunate to receive a good example.

    However, whenever the VR mechanism unlocks/locks when the camera focuses/stops focusing, there is a distinct mild "clunk." The noise is not present when VR is disabled, confirming that this is the source. Focusing is extremely quiet. Image quality is very good. (My DX lens does not make the "clunk" noise.)

    Is this noise characteristic of this particular lens or of FX VR lenses in general (perhaps due to larger lens elements), or do I have a bad sample?

    Many thanks for the feedback,

  2. I wouldn't describe the noise mine makes as a 'clunk' more of a 'tick' but there is a noise. Did you drop yours in a rock pool and not notice for 20 seconds?
    I did, but after a trip to the airing cupboard, it came back to life and has worked flawlessly ever since!
  3. I think it is indeed a characteristic of this particular lens. Mine is noisy too.
    Could be that the lightweight plastic lens body resonates easier than the body of other lenses.
    Despite the noise, the lens performs quite well.
  4. My 300mm 2.8 VR makes a heck of a clunk as it stops and starts. I think it's the prisms locking and unlocking.

    While running, it humms gently....:)
  5. I have this lens on a D7100. It makes an audible clunk (almost less than a clunk, but not quite just a tick) when it changes focal point, whether or not AF is engaged, and almost always when actually operating the AF. It's definitely the VR because with VR off the focus is silent. It clunks more often when I turn it off than on, and I suspect it's parking. I've noticed no problems.
  6. My 105 f/2.8 makes an audible clunk, always has. It also rattles when it's standing up straight and not attached to the camera. You can just about feel it when VR kicks in. But that's the old VR I tech. The newer tech, on the 70-200 VRII is quite silent, but once it's engaged, you can hear some electrons running around if it's real quiet.
  7. Does it humm? (or does it know the words!)

    My VRii kinda felt active, like a soft vibration, but of very low magnitude i guess??
    Last edited: May 23, 2021
  8. It doesn't know the words, so it hums, with a brief flutter here and there.
  9. A head scratcher - mine makes the clunk with my D7200, but not my Z6. (yes, VR is on.)
  10. Is it possible the Z6 keeps the VR motor running all the time the camera is awake? Instead of turning it on only when you half-press the shutter release or press AF-ON? I remember my Nikon 1 V2 kept VR constantly on, at least for adapted lenses.
  11. The Z6 does appear to keep VR on all the time. However, when one powers the camera on/off, the clunk is absent. Speculation: there is something in the firmware or camera hardware for the VR which is different in the D7200 vs the Z6. I do not have any other Nikon DSLR bodies available to me for additional testing. Perhaps those with newer bodies can provide insight.

    I did have the opportunity to compare it to the DX version - there is no clunk on either body.
  12. I have the Tamron 18-270 DX format zoom, which makes a noticeable noise that might be a clunk.

    My thought is that there is an element that moves around when VR is active, but held in place
    by a magnet when it isn't. So the noise is when it hits the magnet. It sounds about like a magnet
    sticking to the refrigerator.
  13. I think all lenses with VR are active, unless cancelled, when the Z body is powered up.

    My old 300mm 2.8 VR humms when the camera is ON, unless i turn the VR ON/OFF rotary ring to OFF.

    I haven't checked whether IBIS is OFF aswell then. Not sure how to tell.
  14. On the Z series, I think that the VR switch on the lens also controls the body VR. When a lens with a switch is mounted, the body menu VR option is greyed out.
    mike_halliwell likes this.
  15. So, eg. on an AIS lens, is IBIS on continually?
  16. A lot depends on the motive method/power of the VR. I have been trying out lots of early AF/stabilized lenses, and many of them have a tendency to "clunk" on initial engagement.
  17. @mike_haliwell - It appears that when VR is enabled, it is always running. My AI/AIS lenses always appear stabilised. I am very pleased with the VR and find the focusing aids to be even more valuable. I will not use the D7200 for manual focus lenses any longer.

    @JDMvW - Do your lenses make the sound on a Z series body? Do any of your lenses make the sound when VR disengages (parks)? My lens consistently makes the noise when VR engages and disengages (D7200), but no such sounds on the Z6.
  18. No Z camera for me, and I was not just speaking of Nikon products, but also Canon and others...
    In my cases the clunk is in the lens, not the body, anyhow
  19. My clunk is only in the lens as well, but only on the D7200. I own 2 AF/VR lenses (10-20mm AF-P, no noises) (70-300 AF-P, the subject of this post). I do not own any other digital cameras from other makers.

    At this point, I am satisfied that I do not have a defective lens. It is said "It's not a bug, it's a feature!"
  20. That last post got me thinking so I tried the other ones I have (all on D7100)

    16-80: a little audible buzz for both AF and VR, both sound about the same.
    16-85: a bit louder, AF buzz, VR click;
    18-55 (1st gen VR) AF more audible than above, little or no VR sound;
    10-20: very faint AF whine, no VR sound at all;
    200-500 : Audible AF, VR click/clunk similar to 70-300;
    80-400 D: screwdriver focus is very loud, no VR sound.

    I don't know what that all adds up to, but whatever they're doing, they all do it well.

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