(VR for Nikon) and image stabilisation (IS for Canon)

Many Nikon, Canon and other lenses now come with Vibration Reduction (Nikon) and Image Stabalisation (Canon) options that you can either switch on or off.

However, many photographers make the mistake of leaving the Vibration setting turned on all the time.

This causes two issues:

1/. You will be unnecessarily draining your battery
2/. You will place unnecessary wear and tear on your lens,


When should you use these settings?

The advantages of VR and IS, is that you can achieve sharper photographs when hand holding your camera, especially in darker lighting or photographing in rough terrain.

It can also be very useful for times when it’s not feasible to use a tripod.

For example, sporting events, museums or photographing moving animals like birds or fish.

Those who have tried to photograph a flying bird while their camera sits on a tripod will understand the frustration.

This is when you’ll want to turn on vibration reduction and image stabilisation, then hand hold your digital SLR camera.



Vibration reduction


Here’s How It Works

Rather than trying to stop the movement of a hand-held camera, the setting introduces an opposing movement within the lens. The aim is to keep the image static on the sensor or film, despite the movement of the camera.

Its solution is a group of elements inside the lens that moves perpendicular to the lens axis. The movement of this special lens group is controlled by an on-board microcomputer and counteracts the shaking of the camera.



  • The Image Stabiliser cannot correct subject blur (if the subject moves).
  • For bulb exposures, set the IS switch to <OFF>. If <ON> is set, Image Stabiliser misoperation may occur.
  • When you shoot images on a bouncing vehicle, a rocking boat, etc., the Image Stabiliser effect may not be enough to correct camera shake.


    • The Image Stabiliser is effective whether the lens focus mode switch is set to <AF> or <MF>.
    • The Image Stabiliser is also effective for shooting with a tripod. Depending on the type of lens or the shooting conditions, in most situations it is better to turn <OFF> the Image Stabiliser function.


    • Again, you can reduce battery power consumption and wear on your lens by setting the Stabiliser switch to <OFF> For mor details, please see the instruction manual for your specific lens.