Vibration Reduction (VR) Lenses for the Nikon D7100

Some Nikon lenses offer Vibration Reduction. This feature, indicated by the initials VR in the lens name, attempts to compensate for small amounts of camera shake that are common when photographers handhold their cameras and use a slow shutter speed, a lens with a long focal length, or both. That camera movement during the exposure can produce blurry images.

Although Vibration Reduction can’t work miracles, it enables most people to capture sharper handheld shots in many situations than they otherwise could. On the 18–105mm lens, you enable and disable Vibration Reduction via the VR switch, labeled here.

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Here's what you need to know about this feature:

  • For handheld shooting, turn on Vibration Reduction. Vibration Reduction engages when you press the shutter button halfway and after you press the button all the way to take the picture. The image in the viewfinder may appear a little blurry right after you take the picture. That’s normal and doesn’t indicate a problem with your camera or focus.

  • With the 18–105mm kit lens, turn off Vibration Reduction when you mount the camera on a tripod. When you use a tripod, Vibration Reduction can have detrimental effects because the system may try to adjust for movement that isn’t occurring. This recommendation assumes that the tripod is “locked down” so that the camera is immovable.

    You don’t need to disable Vibration Reduction when you want to create motion effects by panning the camera, however. (Panning means to move the camera horizontally or vertically as you take the shot, a technique that blurs the background while keeping the subject sharply focused, creating a heightened sense of motion.) The Vibration Reduction system is smart enough to ignore panning movement and compensate only for movement in other directions.

  • For other lenses, check the lens manual to find out whether your lens offers a similar feature. On non-Nikon lenses, Vibration Reduction may go by another name: image stabilization, optical stabilization, anti-shake, vibration compensation, and so on. In some cases, the manufacturers may recommend that you leave the system turned on or select a special setting when you use a tripod or pan the camera.

Additionally, some lenses enable you to engage different types of stabilization (the settings may be called Active/Normal or something similar); again, refer to the lens manual for specifics.

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