Having checked out the results of the first test, I decided to run tests at a higher shutter speed, and with longer test series.
As before, these are 100% size crops out of the center, including the focus point. For this series, I had to go to ISO 800 to get the shutter speed I wanted.
VR off, 1/30:
Scarily, 1, 6, and 9 are sharp, hand-held free-standing at 1/30 sec. with a 200mm lens. That’s 3 out of 10, a 30% success rate. This is not supposed to happen.
What I see in the VR on group is a much higher percentage of not fully sharp images. Only two and three are fully sharp, about the same as without VR! But 5, 7, 9, and 10 are quite close to sharp.
This exactly matches my subjective impression—VR rarely produces a fully satisfactory image for me, but often helps to get a usable one. It’s certainly no substitute for a tripod!
Either that or the VR in my Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 isn’t working right.