Ask Jason

Per­plexed by your cam­era kit? Fret no longer, Jason is here to ban­ish those Nikon nig­gles…

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Our res­i­dent Nikon ex­pert Jason Par­nell-Brookes answers your ques­tions and solves your prob­lems. If you’d like Jason to come to the res­cue re­gard­ing your Nikon-re­lated ques­tion, email it to mail@npho­tomag.com. Please note that we re­serve the right to edit queries for clar­ity or brevity.

I’m think­ing of buy­ing the Nikon 70-300mm VR that won your re­cent Big Test of bud­get tele­photo zoom lenses. Does its VR sys­tem work for pan­ning shots? Ed Bar­ton, via email

Jason says... The Nikon AF-S 70300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR (£430/$500) was a wor­thy win­ner of our Big Test, back in is­sue 67. Its VR (Vi­bra­tion Re­duc­tion) sys­tem fea­tures auto-de­tec­tion for pan­ning, so only ap­plies cor­rec­tion in the axis that’s per­pen­dic­u­lar to any pan­ning move­ment. How­ever, this is only avail­able in ‘Nor­mal’ VR mode, so you need to check that the ‘Ac­tive’ mode is not se­lected.

Sigma lenses with an OS (Op­ti­cal Sta­bi­lizer) of­ten fea­ture dual modes for static and pan­ning shots, se­lected man­u­ally via a switch on the lens bar­rel. Most Tam­ron VC (Vi­bra­tion Com­pen­sa­tion) lenses don’t have a pan­ning mode and, in our tests, their pro­pri­etary sta­bi­liza­tion sys­tems are rather less ef­fec­tive when pan­ning.

With Nikon’s 70-300mm VR, when hor­i­zon­tal pan­ning is de­tected, sta­bi­liza­tion is only ap­plied in the ver­ti­cal axis

The newer AF-S 70-300mm adds Vi­bra­tion Re­duc­tion as well as a ring-type ul­tra­sonic aut­o­fo­cus sys­tem

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