Nikon 70-200mm f/4G 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.

At 70mm, the new vibration reduction system is pretty amazing, offering at least four stops of hand-holding steadiness, and potentially more than that depending on how picky you are. Rob managed to get some keepers at the 1/2s and one second marks, which is pretty impressive.

Mouse over this chart to show results with IS activated.

At 200mm it's a different (and complicated) story. There is improvement when vibration reduction is enabled, it just doesn't seem to produce the same amazing difference as noted above. Rather, there is generalized improvement throughout the range (including one particularly great result at 1/8s). We're still reviewing the results at 200mm, so take it with a grain of salt for now.

Mouse over this chart to show results with IS activated.

Image Stabilization 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 than we measured here. You can read more about our IS test methodology here: SLRgear IS Test Methodology, v2.