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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    .bc.ca
    Posts
    209

    When to turn off stabilization (VR/IS/VC/etc)

    Recently a coworker told me, it's actually best to turn stabilization (VR/IS) off all the time unless when we actually need it. He showed me this article that explains it: http://www.bythom.com/nikon-vr.htm

    I know that lens stabilization (VR/IS) is better turned off when using the tripod, but I never knew about the other cases before.

    I personally have not turned off the VR on my lenses (except for tripod use). It's not just for convenience, I'm afraid I will forget to turn it back on and ruined some pictures.

    I'm guessing the difference is too small for me to notice myself, so I'll probably just keep doing what I've been doing. It would be nice if someday we can set the settings in camera to only use the VR when shooting on certain shutter speed.

    What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    So Calif
    Posts
    3,226
    Turn it off when on a tripod, and some panning circumstances. Some cameras automatically turn it off when using the timer or other triggering methods.
    Pentax K20D/K5/15/21/40/70/10-17/12-24, Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5/150-500, Tamron 90 Macro/70-200 2.8, Canon SX20 IS/Elph 500HS
    (formerly Pentax 50 1.4/50-200/55-300/K100D, Sigma 18-50 2.8/70-300 APO, Tamron 28-75, Viv 800, Tele-Tokina 800, Canon S3 IS, Samsung L210)
    http://s133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,153
    I read some of the article (Long ass read)

    And it raises some interesting points, i am not sure if its true or not, i'd have to do my own tests but it does have some logical merits.

    Basically it says don't turn it on when you don't need it, because its one more factor that could affect your IQ.

    IMO, you should also turn it off just to prevent battery drain.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    So Calif
    Posts
    3,226
    Stabilization only happens for a second or two, so I can't imagine it putting much draining on a battery. Extra batteries are available in any event. With all the emphasis into making stabilized bodies/lenses (for years) I'd be surprised if there was any IQ loss that was not far exceeded by the use of filters.
    Pentax K20D/K5/15/21/40/70/10-17/12-24, Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5/150-500, Tamron 90 Macro/70-200 2.8, Canon SX20 IS/Elph 500HS
    (formerly Pentax 50 1.4/50-200/55-300/K100D, Sigma 18-50 2.8/70-300 APO, Tamron 28-75, Viv 800, Tele-Tokina 800, Canon S3 IS, Samsung L210)
    http://s133.photobucket.com/albums/q78/KylePix/

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    756
    I've seen some careful work with the Pentax stabilization system where it's demonstrated that the SR system is either helpful or harmless at any shutter speed (and actually useful at much faster speeds than people guessed). I haven't looked for other brands, but I doubt that that result is brand-specific.
    Looking to buy a Pentax flash? Check out my Definitive Guide to Pentax P-TTL Flash Options.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,931
    I rarely have VR turned on on my 70-200 for sports. When shooting at 1/500 sec or faster there is no need for it and it does make a noticeable difference in focus acquisition speeds. When I forget and have VR on I miss focus on way more shots than I do when it's off.

    As well as tripod use I also turn VR off when I'm using a monpod.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Terra Australis Incognita
    Posts
    3,877
    Also had photos stuffed by VR, mainly when deciding to intentionally pan a moving subject on short notice.

    At the zoo, waiting for the lions to yawn you can be holding the shutter half pressed for ages VR for that long is a significant energy drain with the 70-200.
    D800, D300, D90, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200VR f2.8, 300 F4, 105 micro, 16-85VR, 50mm 1.8, Tammy 90 macro, 70-300VR, SB900, 2xSB600, MB-D10, 055XPROB 322RC2. New computers to run photoshop faster. C&C always appreciated. PhotoGallery
    Pressing the shutter is the start of the process - Joe McNally ... Buying the body is the start of the process - Dread Pirate

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