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Difference Between Nikon VR and VR II


Nikon VR vs VR II

VR means Vibration Reduction and Nikon already has two lens released with this vital technology, the VR and VR II. The original VR and VR II share Nikon’s latest image-stabilization technology with few yet distinct differences.

Nikon is constantly improving its lens whether in its mechanical attributes or design and engineering to produce a more versatile lens with produces an enhanced image quality. Although, VR II may not improve its sharpness from the original VR but the overall image quality has definitely improved.

Some would swear that the stabilization that you will get from the VR II lens is noticeably greater than its predecessor. VR II claims 4 stops benefit; the reason for this is because VR II’s shifting elements have a greater degree of movement possible. The older VR, on the other hand, seems to provide only 3 stops compensation. Examples of first VR-based lenses are the 80-400/4.5-5.6VR and the 70-200/2.8VR.

The Nikon VR II’s main difference is its new zooming mechanism. The original Nikon VR’s mechanical zooming creeps when positioned vertically. This is found to be very annoying by many photographers particularly when shooting upwards. The new VR, the Nikon VR II, has a lock that prevents this zoom creeping, which is adored by many VR fans. Examples of VR II lenses are the 70-300/4.5-5.6VR and the 18-200/3.5-5.6VR.

The earlier VR is also a bit louder when it is in operation compared to the VR II. Not surprisingly, VR II will command a higher price yet, many VR lens owners will tend to upgrade to the VR II due to its few but rather useful benefits. Many would find that the improved mechanisms and better image quality that the VR II provide is worth the extra bucks.

Summary:

1. The Nikon VR zooming mechanism “creeps” while the VR II had improved on this. The Nikon VR II does not get out of zooming position easily by creeping.

2. The Nikon VR has 3 stops compensation while the VR II has 4 stops.

3. VR is the earlier implementation of Nikon’s vibration reduction technology and it is later improved by the release of VR II.

4. The VR II has better image quality than the earlier Nikon VR.

5. VR II is naturally more expensive than the VR.

6. Image stabilization is better and greater in VR II than in the original VR.


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3 Comments

  1. The nomenclature “VR vs. “VR II” has nothing to do with Vibration Reduction version and only indicates that the lens has VR and in the case of “II” is an updated lens version, overall, from the previous lens. The Red Gold thing is inconsistent. The only way to tell if it is version one VR (3 stops better capability) vs VR version two (4 stops) is to look at the Nikon description on their site and do lens production history research.

  2. I find no optical difference between the VR and the VR II, and therefore no reason for a better quality photo. I found the VR introduces mis-framing and its own vibration. When I asked Nikon, it took several weeks and many inquiries to get an answer, I even sent my new lens back for service and it was worse than before. Finally Nikon said VR is only for handheld shots. Shoot alright, I use a tripod or I up the ISO. I have never used the VR since because at its best it is still nowhere as good as a steady tripod. Plus when I frame something, I want what I see, where I see it. I stack low light photos but with VR, found the images shift between frames.

    VR and VR II can be told apart by the zoom lock button on the latter. I have found some marked “VRII” , GII or for most just II. In fact most do just have a red or gold “VR” and if VRII the lone “II.” I suspect Nikon is so intent on cheating USA and messes up its brandings as they draw identically made parts from different addresses to put USA on the item and get twice as much.

  3. Eh I don’t know that this is accurate…. The Nikon site says “AF-S lenses with a “II” designation weigh less and are generally smaller than their equivalent predecessors ” and all the lenses with the “II” that I can see are AF-S lenses. Just because the “II” comes at the end of the name and after the “VR” doesn’t mean it is saying “VR II”.

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