Does VR degrade image quality?

Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
edited January 2014 in General Discussions
Bringing back a topic that was discussed on the old forum due the following topic i read tonight:

Proof that Vibration Reduction Should First be Stabilized.

What are your thoughts on this subject matter.
Post edited by Golf007sd on
D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
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Comments

  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    To me, the ranking goes: Solid tripod with solid head and mirror up or shutter speed shorter than 1/1000 - VR - only handhold and shutter times longer than 1/500. Of course, VR with all it's mechanical parts will cost a bit of IQ - but much much less, than handhold pictures with 200mm at 1/15 would show. The VR of the newer lenses is very convincing, Nikon did a good job on them. I'd say, it's not a full replacement of a decent tripod down to 1/15 (longer times the tripod wins hands down). But contemporary VR is working on the same level as a good tripod for traveling. How much, depends on the tripod and the skills of photographers.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    edited August 2013
    #1 Rule - VR is NOT equal on every lens. VR is adjusted and it's parameters are different for every lens. You can not paint VR operation with a broad brush! If you give suggestions/examples of what you experienced - SAY THE LENS.

    70-300vr - Any shot over 1/500th (FX) (1/750th - DX) is sharper with the VR turned off. When on a tripod where there is no movement turn off, but if there is some movement leave on.

    105vr - Any shot over 1/500th (FX & DX) is sharper with the VR turned off. Always turned off on a tripod where there is no movement as any time I leave it on the shot is not as sharp. Shakey tripod (or i'm holding the camera while on a tripod) I find it sharper with the VR on.

    24-120VR (ver 1) - never seen any difference at any speed or tripod - (lens isn't that super sharp in any regard.)

    I have used many others, but don't own any of them now or ever did much testing with them. I just followed what...next Line :)

    2nd Rule - Each Nikon VR lens clearly states in the manual how it is designed to be used for and when (and what setting) it is to be used for. Read the Manual!

    The Nyquest frequency is 1/500th. It states (paraphrasing) that at or above 1/500 the shutter is so fast that shake can not exist. In practice I know that is not true - but does hold true at or above 1/1000th.

    I have read on Nikon's site that most VR lenses, VR should be turned off when on a tripod. That said, I know that on the big lenses the VR is designed to but used on a tripod. The 300mm MANSUROV tested might be the cut-off where that on down VR should be turned off and the 400 on up should be left on. Maybe if MsMoto jumps on she can take a look at the 400mm manual to see what it says.

    What MANSUROV's results were seems in line what I see with my 70-300vr informal tests. It would be interesting to see the 105vr tested in this way. I'm not sure if I have seen a real difference. I do see a real difference more at the above 1/500th shutter speed with the VR on - the images are considerably less sharp and the VR does actually introduce "camera shake" looking results.
    Post edited by TaoTeJared on
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited August 2013
    #1 Rule - VR is NOT equal on every lens. .
    +1
    The VR on the new 80-400 is amazing

    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,006Member
    I agree with @TaoTeJared Not all VR is equal. Example, with the VR on the 16-35mm VR you can shoot handheld at 1/5s no problem.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    VR on the 80-400mm is indeed amazing, and in comparison I never have used in on the 105mm.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    I certainly agree the release should be pressed halfway, a moment or so before the actual shutter is fired. But, this is almost a natural if one is used to squeezing the release slowly in shooting slow shutter speeds. With action shots, the focusing mechanism also needs activation before firing the shutter. And, in handholding some of the longer lenses, they are just too heavy to do this with no support, especially for folks who may not have the muscle strength or endurance. I am wondering as well if there is a difference between single servo focus and continuos servo in the way the VR works.

    Mmmm...

    Msmoto, mod
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member

    The Nyquest frequency is 1/500th. It states (paraphrasing) that at or above 1/500 the shutter is so fast that shake can not exist. In practice I know that is not true - but does hold true at or above 1/1000th.
    That's not at all what it means.

    The 1/500 came from Thom Hogan's Rule #1 and Rule #2 below:

    http://www.bythom.com/nikon-vr.htm

    Thom was making an educated guess about the limitations of Nikon VR pre-2010 (when the article was written). Since Nikon VR operated at a sampling rate of 1000 Hz, he proposed that VR was not effective above 1/500 (half rate, due to Nyquist). This is not the speed where "shake can not exist", but a limitation of the 1000 Hz Nikon VR implementation at the time.

    Also, read Thom Hogan's Rule #8 about reading the manual.
  • blandbland Posts: 811Member
    My question is where VR should be used? I've tried it a 100 times and every time the VR ruined the shot.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    I miss VR in my lenses that don't have it. I have blurry pictures all the time because I don't have VR. Never noticed anything while having it on. I don't think I have ever turned it off on my 105 and certainly didn't on my 18-200. I don't even have an example to prove otherwise because I just leave it on all the time.

    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,006Member
    My question is where VR should be used? I've tried it a 100 times and every time the VR ruined the shot.
    Not sure how that is even possible. What are you trying to do, replace your tripod with VR for long exposures? Using with super short shutter speeds?
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @bland: Which lens are you referring to and with body did you use it on?
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • KillerbobKillerbob Posts: 732Member
    I guess VR can ruin your shoot if you are capturing action shoots. The VR slows the whole feeling down a bit, and if it is fast paced action, that could be enough to miss the moment.
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    @Killerbob: When shooting with my 70-200 handheld, I've had the VR on and it's performance has always been fantastic when shooting action shots. But as PitchBlack has so eloquently pointed out, keep your shutter speed above the maximum focal length of the lens being used, (if you use a TC don't forget adjust) VR should not be needed. Moreover, if on a monopod, tripod with some sort of gimbal head...I would personally not use VR for any action shot (up the ISO to get proper shutter speed).
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,268Member
    Yeah, I read Hogan's article on VR quite a while back, but I keep forgetting about it. I should have tried it with the shots I posted of the Cubs game at Wrigley Field. Would have made for an interesting test.

    Just keep pounding this stuff into my head people. I'm slow, but I just might (eventually) pick it up.
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    It is my experience that VR is especially helpful in shooting motorsports when one wants the background blurred in a pan shot. Shooting 400mm to 800mm at 1/250th second, subject moving about 80 mph in a rough line from side to side...these are not only difficult for me to follow precisely, as they tend to nearly fill the frame, but the relative speed changes as they approach and recede.

    At higher shutter speeds, 1/800 and up I turn it off or sometimes forget to do this. I have not seen any particular loss of sharpness, however.
    Msmoto, mod
  • blandbland Posts: 811Member
    I guess VR can ruin your shoot if you are capturing action shoots. The VR slows the whole feeling down a bit, and if it is fast paced action, that could be enough to miss the moment.
    That's one reason and another is when shooting action most of the time you're panning or the subject is moving, and the VR is not user friendly in those conditions. It leaves the picture looking clammy, like someone wiped 10 layers of sweat on it.

    I had an NBA photographer tell me the best thing to do with VR is to get some duct tape and tape over the VR switch so you can't accidentally turn it on.

    I'm sure it work greats in some venues, just not the ones I shoot. I will say my 2.8 lenes does a little better with VR but not as good as not using it. I've tried the whole gamet with it and have found the duck tape works the best for me.

  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    #1 Rule - VR is NOT equal on every lens. VR is adjusted and it's parameters are different for every lens. You can not paint VR operation with a broad brush! If you give suggestions/examples of what you experienced - SAY THE LENS.
    Nobody said VR is equal on every lens, since all the VR units are developed and designed for just that lens. Something that can't be said about tripods, for instance. And since the VR is not interchangeable, this goes as well for photographers, what makes it difficult to compare VR. Maybe I shake more than you because my body tremor is different or I'm just holding the whole unit in a less stable way, I usually will get different results than you out of my camera.

    But the ranking stays the same:
    Fast shutter speeds or solid tripod
    VR
    Handheld without any anti shake measurement.

    As I was saying on another post, my 70-200/4 I can handhold down to 1/15 with still usable results (I know the difference between usable and tack sharp ;) ). While my colleague's 70-200/2.8 VR II used by me was not as good at the same shutter speed. But I was not used to it. Somebody who developed a good posture with this heavy lens or has different body proportions will get different results.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    edited August 2013
    /shrug I bet if I posted a group of pictures there is no way you could tell me which ones I used and didn't use VR. Even with the camera and lens on a tripod. I just don't see it or maybe I don't care that much.

    These are a variety of lenses and some don't have VR, but still
    On with tripod
    DSC_0356-1
    On handheld
    DSC_0128
    Off handheld
    DSC_0050
    On handheld
    DSC_0092
    On handheld
    DSC_0173-1
    On handheld
    DSC_0078-1


    I just think there are so many factors that it should be hard for one to judge it being the VR. And it has saved me far more then I can tell hurt me. Leaving it on hasn't ever ruined a picture, but not having it on has. And what is the real rule for VR? Is VR really making my picture less sharp if I keep it on at fast shutter speeds? It shouldn't really make a difference should it? And at slow shutter speeds it can only help. Even with a tripod I haven't ever been disappointed by it. If anything my focus being off is my main reason for unsharp pictures. I could be blind in one eye and have glaucoma in the other though (sorry inside joke).
    Post edited by tcole1983 on
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    So, tell me how VR messed this image up.....

    VSCDA at Road America-12
    Msmoto, mod
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    edited August 2013
    So, tell me how VR messed this image up.....
    Ha. I think there might be a point somewhere that VR is not favorable, but it seems like there is a fuzzy line and it takes more to know where it is then it is worth.

    I know some have mentioned shutter speeds. If the shutter speed is high...then VR should be negated as it isn't reacting fast enough to make a difference. On the other hand at slow shutter speeds it can only help. So is there somewhere between that isn't optimal? I can possibly see the tripod thing and it trying to engage VR when it isn't shaking, but I really have never encountered this either and wonder if someone actually has.

    And not to mean you can't take sharp pictures without it on. Now with my 300 F4 I don't have a choice and it takes sharp pictures.
    Post edited by tcole1983 on
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    Here is one with the old 18-200 VRI with VR on and handheld panning.
    DSC_0020-12_7

    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    I guess VR can ruin your shoot if you are capturing action shoots. The VR slows the whole feeling down a bit, and if it is fast paced action, that could be enough to miss the moment.
    That's one reason and another is when shooting action most of the time you're panning or the subject is moving, and the VR is not user friendly in those conditions. It leaves the picture looking clammy, like someone wiped 10 layers of sweat on it.

    I had an NBA photographer tell me the best thing to do with VR is to get some duct tape and tape over the VR switch so you can't accidentally turn it on.

    I'm sure it work greats in some venues, just not the ones I shoot. I will say my 2.8 lenes does a little better with VR but not as good as not using it. I've tried the whole gamet with it and have found the duck tape works the best for me.
    I inherited the good ol' shakes & never been able to hold anything absolutely still - good thing I never wanted to be a surgeon.
    I tend to turn off VR when I'm my shutter speed is 1.3x over the focal length. Depending on the situation and how I shoot (A & M mostly and 50% with auto ISO and 50% without,) my shutter speed may roll up and down as I zoom in and out to the point my shutter will go to 1/50 when I zoom out to 200mm (70-200vr) so I leave it on. I can say with that lens the VR helps get more shots than I miss. Now if I'm over 1/400th and I know my ISO will not go above 500, I just turn the VR off. The little wildlife stuff I shoot I can tell that VR at fast shutter speeds invoke "Phantom shake" into the image.

    With my 105vr at macro shooting, I really can tell that the VR creates "Phantom shake" in images where my shutter is over the focal length. On portraits though, not so much. Much of that has to do with how much detail is captured and the D800 is unforgiving at 400% zoom.

    Nikon has written about all of this extensively - this was just a quick search on their site and what i found.

    https://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/7676
    Micro-Site all about VR
    http://www.nikonusa.com/en_US/IMG/Images/Micro-Sites/VR/in_lens_vr/optimization/
    http://www.nikonusa.com/en_US/IMG/Images/Micro-Sites/VR/experience/tips/normal_and_active/index.htm
    http://www.nikonusa.com/en_US/IMG/Images/Micro-Sites/VR/technology/normal/
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • blandbland Posts: 811Member
    @Msmoto ..... nice shot using the VR. I can't answer why mine come out differently. Maybe the 800 ISO is the difference.

    @TaoTeJared ....... Thanks for that info. I'm an old man as you know so my hand shakes quite a bit after shooting for a while. Once that happens I crank up the speed I'm shooting at. What you said about the ISO may be my problem. I always try to keep my ISO as close to 100 as I can. Maybe less aperture and a higher ISO will allow me to use the VR affectedly.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    I have lost more shots due to my reluctance to raise ISO than not. I have been setting my Auto ISO to rise to 640 for a "standard" set-up. For my D800 I can't print a seeable difference until it goes above 800 but the color is a tad better at 640 than 800 so I stop it there. That is really splitting hairs though and given the situation I let it go to 3200 without much worry. I do a lot of B&W work so the noise and color saturation is not a huge concern.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • blandbland Posts: 811Member
    @TaoTeJared ...... thanks for that info. I've got a vintage car show outdoors to shoot in a couple of weeks and I'll resetting my auto iso at 1/640.
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