Why are you "afraid" of this? VR is not activated when you press the AF button, but it IS activated when you depress the shutter button. Since it's hard to take a picture without pressing the shutter (or remote release), VR works just fine in conjunction with the AF button. De-couple AF from the shutter release (I forget what menu item this actually is) and use the AF button to focus. Frame the shot the way you want it, half-press the shutter, then wait a short beat or two for the VR to "settle in" before you actually take the picture.
"One should photograph objects not only for what they are but for what else they are." -- Minor White
Thank you for the clarification. The other thread led me to believe that if I used the AF ON only selection in menu A5, which I have now grown to like using, that the VR wouldn't activate at all. If it will activate when the shutter is released then it isn't a problem. I took a couple of handheld images yesterday with a 70-200 VRII at a shutterspeed of 1/350, I think, and, they were soft. I must not have been holding the camera as steadily as I thought.
The shutter button always controls VR. No matter how you have the camera setup, pressing the shutter down halfway always activates VR if you have a VR lens and VR is in set to on on the lens. The AF-ON button will always initiate autofocus unless the camera or lens is set to manual focus.
None of this changes if you have the camera setup to use "AF-ON only" or not.
The important thing is never to stop questioning. -Albert Einstein
It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry. -Thomas Paine
>> I took a couple of handheld images yesterday with a 70-200 VRII at a shutterspeed of 1/350, I think, and, they were soft.
It takes a second or two for VR to properly engage after pressing or half pressing the shutter button. You may not have given it time to engage.
Having used AF-ON for many years, I know it is very easy to quickly press the shutter button after acquiring focus with the AF-On button. I have to remind myself to keep the shutter button half pressed until I hear VR engaging and see the scene "lock" in the viewfinder. This is particularly true for me because only a small minority of my shots are taken with VR engaged, the other majority of shots not requiring that half press. Old habits die hard but they need to die when VR is engaged
Yes, Neil. After reading your very helpful comments yesterday, I took some test shots both with and without the VR turned on. I hadn't noticed before but when the VR activates you can actually hear it engage.
Thank you again for clearing it up for me. I'm learning something new everyday about the wonderful D700.
"I took a couple of handheld images yesterday with a 70-200 VRII at a shutterspeed of 1/350, I think, and, they were soft." ----------------- Were you within AF range of the 70-200? Was your focus control (either on the camera or the lens) set to M?
Yes, that's what struck me as odd. I took several pictures at 200mm and 2.8 handheld in broad daylight with the VR on. The first several were tack sharp. Then I took two pictures that were both out of focus. All of the next multiple images were sharp, as well. I must have just not held the camera steadily enough for those two. Everything else is working fine.
You may not have given the VR system sufficient time to settle before releasing the shutter. If you just press the shutter release in one smooth motion, that's probably the case. In such a circumstance, the VR element is actually still moving, which creates exactly the problem you're trying to avoid!
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!