Nikon 300mm f/4E PF ED VR AF-S Nikkor

Lens Reviews / Nikon Lenses i Lab tested

Most people tend to think of image stabilization as being mainly for telephoto lenses. While it's true that their longer focal lengths tend to magnify the effects of camera shake, image stabilization can provde a very useful assist at wider angle focal lengths as well; anyone who's ever tried to blur the image of a waterfall, while keeping the surrounding landsape tack-sharp knows exactly what I'm talking about.

For the 300mm f/4 PF, we see, frankly, amazing performance. With VR deactivated, we see Rob is able to get 100% sharp shots at 1/250s shutter speed, which holds true to the "one over shutter speed" rule of thumb. With VR activated, he's able to get 100% sharp shots as slow as 1/15s, and even 80% sharp at 1/8s. To get to the 1/15s level is four stops of hand-holding improvement.

Mouse over this chart to show results with IS activated.

IS systems tend to provide more benefit to less-stable shooters than very steady ones, so most users will see the same or greater amounts of shake reduction as we measured here. You can read more about our IS test methodology here: SLRgear IS Test Methodology, v2.