Why would one want to turn off Vibration Reduction?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by hartz, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. hartz
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    hartz New Member

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    Hello Gurus

    I always wonder when something is given as an option about the purpose of being able to turn it off. In many cases it is obvious - for example enabling a certain post processing feature can incur processing overhead, so you might prefer or need to have it off.

    Other options seems less obvious about the benefit of being able to turn them off. In this case I'm wondering about the Nikon lens' built-in VR feature.

    The [Nikon D3000] manual states that if power is lost the lens might "rattle", that VR functioning is reduced while the flash is charging, and that the image in the Viewfinder may be blurred when VR is active, but that this is normal.

    Does these "artifacts" of having VR active hint at why one may want to disable it? Or is there another reason for wanting to be able to turn it off at times?

    The manual further states, and I quote: "Turn vibration reduction off when the camera is securely mounted on a tripod"

    The above you will notice is worded as an instruction, but does not include the words Must or Should or Could or May which adds severity to the guide. Can anybody give more info on why is meant here or the benefits of turning the feature off?

    Thanx,
    _hartz
  2. cardinals1970
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    cardinals1970 New Member

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    I believe turning off VR while the camera is on a tripod is because from what I have read is that the VR is searching for vibration while on the tripod and may actually cause motion by doing so. Not sure if I said that fully correct but i think that is close to the reason.
  3. mrmacedonian
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    mrmacedonian New Member

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    The mechanism that compensates for vibrations may in-fact introduce vibrations if none are present. When you secure the camera on a tripod and use either a timed release or shutter release cable you are eliminating any significant vibration and the mechanism, expecting a vibration will produce one while it is attempting to compensate for a vibration that is non-existent.

    The basic rule is to disable it when using a tripod.
  4. Robin Usagani
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    Robin Usagani Well-Known Member

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    It will save you battery power too
  5. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    Yes, you will want to turn it off while shooting on a tripod. However, I think I've read that the more modern lenses can tell when they're not moving and actually disable the stabilization automatically.

    Yes, saving battery power is another reason.

    Yet another reason is wear & tear on the mechanism. I know of one lens that has IS (Canon) and it prone to having the IS wear out when it's been used heavily (by pro wedding shooters). By only turning it on when it's actually needed, these photographers have been able to extend the life of the IS significantly.
  6. benlonghair
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    benlonghair New Member

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    New Nikon long lenses (I think 400mm+) now have a third setting for tripod. So now you have, as I understand it, normal, active (only removing one direction of vibration) and tripod.
  7. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    VR doesn't compensate for all kinds of motion. It is designed to compensate for regular, periodic motion.

    Basically, don't turn it on unless it's needed:

    Nikon VR explained
  8. jeph
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    jeph New Member

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    Also it can cause "busy bokeh" if it is on at higher shutter speeds.
  9. hartz
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    hartz New Member

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    OK WHAT exactly is "busy bokeh"

    I've googled and searched. Bokeh is related to soft or blury or out-of-focus artifacts... particularly in background highlights?

    By the way, is soft and blury and out-of-focus the same thing, or is there some sublte difference / definition somewhere?
  10. benlonghair
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    benlonghair New Member

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    Really? Is that why the bokeh with my 70-300 sucks so bad sometimes?

    Here's an example. (300mm, f/6.3, 1.250, ISO 200)
  11. gsgary
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    gsgary Well-Known Member

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    Turn it off to shoot sports because the only time it may be needed is for panning but you don't need it for that when you get the hang of it
  12. Josh66
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    Josh66 Well-Known Member

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    As you found out in your search, bokeh just refers to the out of focus areas in the picture.

    'Busy Bokeh' just means that those areas look 'busy'... That probably doesn't help... 'Busy' just means there's a lot going on, basically - it looks bad.

    Soft, blurry, and out of focus can be the same thing, or they can be very different things... It depends on the context they're used in.

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