Using VR Lenses on a Tripod

vr

Vibration Reduction (VR) On or Off

Vibration Reduction (VR) is one of the standard questions that comes up in seminars I do. Can I use Nikon’s VR lenses on a Tripod? And the answer is… Maybe!

Here is what Nikon says:

There are two techniques when using a camera/lens mounted on a tripod; keeping the pan/tilt head loose or fluid (when panning or moving with a subject) and keeping the pan/tilt head locked down and rigid while using a cable release (time exposures or for the new HDR techniques).

With the following lenses/cameras VR should be “Off” when the camera is mounted on a tripod and the pan/tilt head is locked down and using a cable release:

  • 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro Nikkor
  • 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom-Nikkor
  • 24-120mm f3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor
  • 70-200mm f2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor
  • 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED VR AF Zoom-Nikkor
  • 70-300mm f4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor
  • Coolpix 8800

With the following lenses/cameras VR should be “On” when the camera is mounted on a tripod and the pan/tilt head is loose (fluid) while using the cameras shutter release button:

  • 105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Micro Nikkor
  • 18-200mm f3.5-5.6 ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom-Nikkor
  • 24-120mm f3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor
  • 70-200mm f2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor
  • 80-400mm f4.5-5.6D ED VR AF Zoom-Nikkor
  • 70-300mm f4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor
  • Coolpix 8800

Tripod Detection Mode

A feature of select NIKKOR VR (Vibration Reduction) lenses, Tripod Detection Mode automatically reduces vibration due to shutter release when the camera is mounted on a tripod.

It is often thought that using a tripod can fully prevent image blur caused by camera movement. But in fact, a tripod can minutely vibrate due to mirror and/or shutter movement at the time of exposure. This can result in slight blurring of the image. Nikon’s VR function automatically differentiates the frequency of this vibration from that of hand movement, and changes the algorithm to correct the image blur caused by this tripod movement. This feature is installed in some VR lenses, particularly super-telephoto lenses that are often used with a tripod. The following lenses employ an exclusive “Tripod mode” with which you can set this function at will.

  • 200-400mm f4G ED-IF AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor
  • 200mm f2G ED-IF AF-S VR Nikkor
  • 300mm f2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Nikkor
  • 400mm f/2.8G ED AF-S VR Nikkor
  • 500mm f/4G ED AF-S VR Nikkor
  • 600mm f/4G ED AF-S VR Nikkor

For all lenses VR should be “On” when the camera/lens is used on a monopod.

The Bottom Line

So what do I do? When using my VR lens on a tripod that is locked down into position. I will turn VR off and then if I remember that I am using a lens with Tripod Detection Mode I will turn it on. Anytime I am using a Tripod that is not locked down, or using a Monopod I will turn VR on.

 



  • My Blog
  • Email Me!
  • Twitter
  • Tumblr
  • Facebook
  • Google+
  • LinkedIn
  • Vimeo
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Paper.li
  • Pinterest
  • 500px