With D90 why not leave VR on all of the time?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by owen_farmer, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. My primary lens with my D90 is the Nikon 16-85mm VR. Is there any reason to not leave VR on all of the time? Thanks.
  2. Maybe the battery will last longer. And if you are doing still life with a tripod, you won't need VR. I don't know if this is true, but one blogger said that autofocusing is faster without VR.
  3. Tests have shown that VR will slightly degrade image quality at shutter speeds that normally should not need VR (such as 1/125, etc). I never use VR unless I'm shooting below 1/60th.
  4. I've never read that it affects autofocus or image quality, but it does use battery power. I use it all the time since I don't see a serious downside to using it. The exception is that you should not use it on a tripod.
  5. Also if you have your camera on a tripod. The motion of the VR motor can cause a very slight movement. So turn VR off if you are using your camera on a tripod. Also as Mark has pointed out it does use extra power to operate. However the batteries on a D90 are good for 800 + shots with VR turned on.
  6. Only shut mine off when on a tripod. Which is like. Rare. Can't think of a reason not too otherwise. I've experienced image degradation when using vr at high shutter speeds but that's on longer lenses (70-300vr, 70-200vr), and not always.
    Oh, make sure you leave VR at "normal" mode, "active" vr does shake up the image slightly on regular shooting conditions, particularly observable on longer lenses as well :)
  7. Read this.
    You don't need it much of the time.
  8. [edit] Peter beat me on that link... so just my €0,02 on the article then:[/edit]
    It makes sense to me (physics wise), though I'm certainly no expert on opticals.
    And yes, VR eats up quite some battery so turning it off when not needed can be beneficial for that too.
  9. VR eats battery life..and significantly.
    100% agreement with the link..If you don't need it, shut it off.
  10. As Nikon said that VR effect differs by photographers. You'd better try and figure out yourself which cases you will benefit from VR and which cases you don't (no one else can tell you that). And in the cases that it doesn't do any better, turning it off can save battery too
  11. We've done well without VR for many years (us old schoolers). And holding the camera steady was once a skill :)
  12. The byThom article is 100% correct. Don't turn VR on unless you NEED it. I shoot with a 70-200 f/2.8 VR (1st gen) and I use VR about .01% of the time I'm shooting with it. I shoot sports with it and in order to stop action I tend to shoot at a MINIMUM of 1/250th.
    For weddings, when I need to shoot slower than 1/250th, I'm on a tripod/monopod 99% of the time. If, for reasons out of my control, I need to shoot hand held at slow shutter speeds, I will turn VR on.
    None of my other lenses have VR.
  13. "We've done well without VR for many years (us old schoolers). And holding the camera steady was once a skill :)"​
    Old schooler here. And "was once a skill" is more true now than you might realize. I used to be able to handhold steadily enough to get sharp photos down to 1/15th sec and usable photos (for newspaper reproduction or casual use) as slow as 1 second. But arthritis doesn't have any respect for my old school skills. I can seldom handhold steadily now below 1/125th. VR or some other form of image stabilization is now a must for me. I probably won't buy another new lens or camera body without it. Ditto good high ISO performance - I shoot at high ISOs more than ever now to get faster shutter speeds.
    Dumbest photography-oriented mistake I've made in the past 10 years was selling my 24-120/3.5-5.6 VR. I normally left VR on for everything, including shutter speeds above 1/500th. I'm looking forward to seeing some thorough tests for the new 24-120/4 VR. I liked that focal range, even on a DX format dSLR. It'll probably replace most of my other zooms and primes for handheld photography.
  14. I leave it on except when on a tripod. I generally use my 70-200 VR I/II for stage photos. With a Leica, I could easily go done to 1/15 or 1/8 handheld. No more. VR has become my security blanket. When I have turned it off for tripod use, I often forget to turn it back on. And I am only 53!

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