>OK, I'm sure the new Nikkor 70-200mm f/4 lens with the >lastest VR systems is a wonderful lens, but I'm finding it >difficult to believe the claim of 5 stops performance for the >VR. > >http://www.nikon.com/news/2012/1024_lens_03.htm >"Built-in vibration reduction (VR) offering camera >shake compensation equivalent to a five-step increase in >shutter speed for effective hand-held shooting in a variety of >situations." > >Does anyone else think that Nikon's marketing department might >have gone just a little too far with the hyperbole this time >around? What has this thing got? External gyroscopic stabliser >arms and militiary precision GPS monitored laser leveling >system? > >I'm all for Nikon shouting from the rafters when they have a >product that is really outstanding..... but 5 stops? Really? >I'm sure I can detect the strong whiff of a nearby Rattus >Norvegicus.
Nikon are being careful not to offer VR equivalent to a five stop increase in shutter speed - they are offering "with up to 5 stops of image stabilization" - I quote from their product overview. In their specification, they specify vibration reduction as "Yes" - no figure is quoted. Those two little words "up to" are very important. How often have you seen a store advertising a sale with "up to" 70% discounts only to find that most items are reduced by 20% or 30%?
But this is not surprising, Nikon know that the level of vibration reduction achievable is highly dependent on many factors and varies considerably from shot to shot. Their marketing department is no different from that in any other company - it has engineering report the highest level achieved during product testing and then quote that figure in their product literature and advertisements using the "up to " qualifier. I would like to know the lowest and typical levels achieved during testing but I'm not holding my breath.
All we can hope is that third generation VR is better than second generation and that second was better than first. Don't read too much into 3, 4 and 5 stops - these apply under specific conditions to which only Nikon is privy.