Nikon Lenses-To VR or Not to VR...What are your thoughts

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras and Capture' started by Robert Ley, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. Robert Ley

    Robert Ley Subscriber
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    A couple of years ago I started to transition to digital after 50+ years with analogue photography. My first camera is a Nikon D7100 and I got the 18-140 lens with VR (vibration reduction) I recently ordered and received the new AF-P 18-55 lens that I thought was VR, but turned out it was not. The 18-140 that I have has a switch where you can turn the VR off and on, but the newer AF-P lens is on all the time and can only turned off in camera menu.
    I guess that I would like to hear what other members with more knowledge of this feature have to say. Should I send this non-VR lens back and get the VR version or ignore it and move on. Other than the VR issue I really like this lens and the AF is very fast and quiet and according to Ken Rockwell, who loves VR, the lens is very sharp.
    Thanks to all who may chime in.
    Robert
     
  2. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber
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    VR is the only way to go. I sold all my Nikon FF digital gear and bought Panasonic m4/3rds gear. Their 5 axis IBIS + lens stabilzation is out of this world. Now that I am in my mid sixties it gives me an extra cushion of comfort. The Nikon VR is good stuff as well and eventually they will catch up to Panasonic, Olympus and Fuji.
     
  3. Theo Sulphate

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    If it meets your needs, get VR. You'll get sharper photos at longer focal lengths and you'll be able to use a slower shutter speed or smaller aperture combination for more depth.
     
  4. Sirius Glass

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    If you credit card is healthy then the VR is for you. Otherwise you wallet may have to do heavy lifting to add it to your camera bag.
     
  5. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Member

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    There are two versions of the 18-55 AF-P Nikkor. One of them has VR, and is clearly labeled as such on the body of the lens, and the other doesn't, and accordingly is missing the VR designation. Unlike the older or more expensive VR Nikkors, the VR version does not have an external switch. The feature can be switched on or off only via menu in the camera.

    These latest AF-P kit zooms have limited compatibility with older camera bodies such as yours. See Thom Hogan's explainer for details:

    http://www.dslrbodies.com/lenses/lens-articles/general-nikon-lens-info/understanding-the-af-p.html

    I have an older, pre-AF-P version of the 18-55 VR. Overall, I think it has been a great value in terms of optical quality and general utility per dollar at the price I paid (< $100). VR is a useful feature, but it's not without its quirks. Because the vibration control is achieved by moving some of the glass, in some circumstances the VR action can do unpleasant things to the rendering of out-of-focus foregrounds or backgrounds. With experience, you'll get to know whether and where this is a problem for you.

    EDIT: In case you end up looking for an older (non-P) 18-55 VR for full compatibility with your camera, I'll add that the VR II version that I use now is noticeably superior optically to the original VR version that came with my D3200.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  6. MattKing

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    I like this photo, but I believe that the weirdish highlight flares are due to the 5 axis stabilization that my OM-D micro 4/3 digital camera uses - that and the fact that I was bracing the camera on a bridge railing:

    upload_2018-12-6_18-37-14.png
     
  7. Sal Santamaura

    Sal Santamaura Member
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    The answer depends on how one photographs. All my cameras, from 11x14 Phillips Explorer to Nikon D810 with a set of Sigma Art lenses, are always used in conjunction with three-legged "VR" devices. Namely, tripods. If I ever handheld cameras, electromechanical VR might be useful. :smile:
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Robert Ley

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    Thanks to all who responded to my post. Photrio is truly an incredible source of information. Thanks to Oren for the info on my specific lens it was very helpful. Matt, I like your image too except for that highlight in the center and think you are probably correct in your assessment of the cause.
    For the past 20-25 years I have been using heavy cameras (RB-67, Pentax 6x7, Wista 4x5) and am used to using the three legged VR that Sal mentioned. I always keep a tripod close at hand especially when I'm involved with serious photography. All that being said, I think that I will keep the lens that I have. It was ridiculously cheap, $89 and if I find that I can't live w/o VR, I'll buy another but with VR.
    The only problem that I found with the lens that was somewhat disconcerting is that Nikon made the filter size 55mm and I have a shit load of 52mm filters. I ended up ordering a 55mm CPL with multi-coating, a Hoya evo for $15 from Samy's off Fleebay. So I think that I'm all set now.
    Thanks again to all who responded,
    Robert
     
  9. mshchem

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    I agree a Tripod is an amazing camera accessory. I have had two VR Nikon lenses. They work. But only for "minor jiggles" highly technical term. I find I can steady myself and get away with hand held shots at a 1/2 s with the newest 24-120 f4 . That's bracing myself, holding my breath and hoping that the subject doesn't move. I recently purchased a used D5. I am blown away by the "normal" range of ISO 100 to 100,000. If this trend continues VR will be much less important. I find myself shooting indoors with a couple lamps,125th @ f5.6 . Mind boggling.
     
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