Vibration Reduction matters

I’ve just bought the cheap Nikkor 18-55mm VR lens for my Nikon D50. According to, this lens does the job very well. Actually I was looking for the amazing 18-200mm VR, but noted it’s too expensive for me. At least here in Brazil it costs 5x more than that 18-55mm.

The question is: once I already own a basic Nikkor 18-55mm which came with the camera, is that worth upgrading to another 18-55mm only because of this Vibration Reduction feature? Well… I was not sure really about that. I just trusted Ken Rockwell’s opinion and decided to give it a try. So, checking the result below you may guess whether I’m happy or not 🙂

These pictures were taken in f11, 55mm, 1/4 sec, no post-edition. I did my best to get them as much sharpness as possible. For a 100 shots sampling from Ken Rockwell look for the “Vibration Reduction at 55mm” table here.

Nikkor 18-55mm non-VR

Nikkor 18-55mm non-VR

Nikkor 18-55mm VR

Nikkor 18-55mm VR

Nikkor 18-55mm non-VR detail

Nikkor 18-55mm non-VR detail

Nikkor 18-55mm VR detail

Nikkor 18-55mm VR detail


  1. please
    Posted August 30, 2009 at 15:59 | Permalink

    good to know..

  2. Claudio
    Posted August 30, 2009 at 17:12 | Permalink

    Ken Rockwell is really the Chuck Norris of photography. He’s a joke (an arrogant one at that). If you want to get more serious reviews and insights for Nikon stuff, have a look at and (his short lens reviews are trusted in the Nikon world).

    Have fun,


    • Posted August 30, 2009 at 17:16 | Permalink

      Hey, Chuck Norris is THE guy!! Kidding, thanks for the references. Fortunately Ken’s review about VR made some real sense for me.

  3. Claudio
    Posted August 30, 2009 at 17:35 | Permalink


    KR is indeed right about this, as is anyone that has used Nikon VR lenses. VR does the job. Nobody using Nikon lenses at low shutter speeds will say that VR does not work against camera shake (withing limits, mostly of 2 to 4 stops). In your caseour VR lens will be a lot of fun to use and no harm was done.

    However, the problem with KR is that he mixes common sense (like the VR case) with a lot of nonsense specially hurting people new to photography (“digital killed the tripod”, “DX is all we need and I as a partly German-engineer-brain know about this when I worked in Hollywood, full frame is a random image size”, “the D40 is all everyone needs”, “VR instead of fast lenses”, “Shoot only basic Jpgs”, etc.). He also changes all the time what he writes claiming exactly the opposite with the same “I am the expert”-style and exaggerations.

    E.g., he was one of the first hyping the Nikon 18-200 lens without even having seen a copy – like usual (!). It’s a fine lens (I have one, next to the 70-200 f/2.8 and a lot of primes), but like most lenses it has its uses and also its shortcomings. Whatever lens he pushes (links to webshops), he sells like it’s the best lens ever.

    Just a warning from a fellow FOSS advocate and photographer (that why I bother writhing this). You’ll discover fast enough what works and what doesn’t for your photography.



  4. Posted September 16, 2009 at 10:16 | Permalink

    Zeca, I’ve found a 55-200 VR for about R$700 @ stand center here in Sao Paulo, but did’nt buy it because it was cash only, and i’m cutting some expenses.

    But the 18-55VR is very amazing too. I like it. 🙂

    Have a look at there are some shots using my 18-55VR, with some small postproc just to enhance saturation. Yes! I like saturated colors.

    See you!

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