i´ve been using this lens since christmas. I tend to leave the VR
mode off during "normal" light conditions and on in low light.
Before i bought it i heard the picture would tend to be a bit out of focus if the VR
mode was used where not needed. I haven´t made that experience, all pictures come out fine if it´s left on, but usually i turn it off to safe some battery life.
But to be honest, i don´t know if that makes a significant difference.
This is what i read on the web somewhere:
Normal Mode primarily compensates for camera shake, and includes automatic panning detection as well as automatic tripod detection. VR
Active Mode effectively compensates for vibration in situations where it is more pronounced and more frequent, such as when shooting from a moving vehicle."
Since i mostly shoot out of moving things (planes...) i primarily use the active function.
It´s also working good when you´re just standing around not moving, so i give it advantage over normal mode.
Here is one result:
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Photo © Denis Roschlau
(sorry for that self plug...)
My 2 cents so far, hope it helps, though i´m no expert.....
That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college!