Supplemental information: the VR uses quite a bit of battery. Probably as much as the flash at near full power. Also, the VR "sleep" behavior I demonstrate is true of all VR I've tested. I went to the store and tried 5 different VR lenses and they all went to sleep if you held the lens too still. This only happens when you brace yourself or rest your elbows on something. I doubt you could hold it still enough free-standing. "Normal" mode will attempt to actually lock on and hold that position where as "Active" mode simply dampens movements but does not attempt to out-right stop them. NOTE: be sure you turn off vr for any long exposure! The lens will "drift" causing any long tripod exposures to appear motion blurry. Kind of ironic.