Nikon VR On or Off? How to see in EXIF.

Sometimes you want to see if a photo was taken with VR On or Off. Usual image editing or viewing software don't show this.

This is how I do:

- Download Exiv2 from here:

- Windows version is here:

- Unzip in a root folder, I put it in C: because you will have to write a command line in Command window and will be easier.

- Copy your photo in that folder.

- Start - Run - Command to open the black Command window.

- Make sure at your cursor is C:> then type: cd exiv2

then type: exiv2.exe -g Exif.NikonVr.VibrationReduction Your_photo.jpg

(-g will display only VR related exif info).

A message like this: "Exif.NikonVr.VibrationReduction Byte 3 On" means that your VR was ON.

If not, you will see this message: "Exif.NikonVr.VibrationReduction Byte 2 Off"

A printscreen is available here:

Happy testing your results with VR on or off. Have a nice day and don't forget to click on Useful (top-right). It's easy. Thanks.

© Radub85 ( Help)

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August 29, 2012


Another way to do this is with the free Nikon ViewNX 2 software. From the browser window you can:
1. Right-click any image.
2. Choose "Copy File and Camera Information".
3. Open a text editor, e.g., Word, Notepad, and then paste the contents from the clipboard.

Included among the details listed, is "VR: ON" or "VR: OFF".

For a brief description of ViewNX 2 and a link where you can download it, see my blog post Top 5 Reasons People Don’t Shoot RAW.

August 22, 2012


Thanks for sharing! Good to know!

August 21, 2012


Thank you. VR off from now on.
Remember, only on telephoto :)

August 21, 2012


Thank you. VR off from now on.

August 20, 2012


thanks for sharing...

August 18, 2012


Hello Alvera, thanks for the info!

Up to now I always switched off VR with my 70-200 Nikkor if shutter speed was quick enough - without knowing the issue described in this blog. Obviously that was a good decision.

August 18, 2012


The article describes the experience with the 400mm lens. Are there similar results with the other Nikkor lenses?
I tested with 55-300 on DX (450 mm on FX) and I have shaked pictures at 1/2000 with vr on, handhelded very sturd or on tripod. Nikkor 55-300 mm is with VRII. I read that VRII "know" when is on a tripod.

August 18, 2012


The article describes the experience with the 400mm lens. Are there similar results with the other Nikkor lenses?

August 18, 2012


Rule #1: The first and most important rule of VR is this: never turn VR on unless it's actually needed.
Rule #2: VR should normally be off if your shutter speed is over 1/500.
more info here: vr-should-be-off-if-your-shutter-speed
Same for Canon (IS).

August 17, 2012


I allways use VR (I do not usually use tripod, it is very limiting). Why could VR be bad sometimes?

August 17, 2012


For Linux users (sorry, I'm a software engineer):

> exiftool _DSC1072.JPG | egrep -i "VR|Vib"
VR Info Version : 0100
Vibration Reduction : On
Lens Type : G VR
Lens ID : AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
Lens : 70-200mm f/2.8 G VR

The best way is to check before you make the photo. I prefer the "Normal" mode with my Nikkor lens. On a tripod I switch VR off as recommended in the user guide. I never used the "active" mode - it shall be good if you make photos from a helicopter.

Compared with the old 70-200 from my brother without any vibration reduction the VR II from my new 70-200 Nikkor lens helps a lot.

August 17, 2012


Not an engineer but I know a lot. As I shoot a lot outdoor - for hobby, not only for stock - I change often VR mode and, after time, I don't remember how it was. Knowing this help me to judge right in future situation. Beware, VR can really be bad in many cases.

August 17, 2012


Easy for you but virtually meaningless for me as it would takes hours to master and after that I would forget. Better just to check when you use the camera. Even unzipping causes conflicts on my computer.
Are you a software engineer ? David

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Photo credits: Radub85.