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Thread: How important do you think IS is?

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    How important do you think IS is?

    When buying a lens, how highly do you value IS as a feature on your new lens?

    Up until recently, I thought IS did a great job on my lenses. Now that I adjust the shutter speed and keep it low with IS off, I don't notice a difference (using my 100mm 2.8 Macro on non-macro subjects).

    Thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fedgrub View Post
    When buying a lens, how highly do you value IS as a feature on your new lens?

    Up until recently, I thought IS did a great job on my lenses. Now that I adjust the shutter speed and keep it low with IS off, I don't notice a difference (using my 100mm 2.8 Macro on non-macro subjects).

    Thoughts?

    it really depends on what you are doing, if you are having a high enough shutter speed obviously IS wont matter at all then.

    but I am amazed at how many people have really bad shooting techniques ie. the way they hold a camera and control their breathing etc, so it would definitely help their keeper rates.

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    I notice that some of the longer focal lengths eg 100-300/400 that there are no IS on these lenses. I would have thought it would be needed on these more than any others... Don't know how those users do it!

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    I have a Nikon system, but the results are essentially the same as for Canon and therefore my comments would equally apply to Canon gear.

    For telephoto lenses VR can be indespensible. I have taken sharp as a tack photos with my 300mm f2.8 + 2x TC on my D7000 using VR (IS) as low as 1/20sec and using a monopod! The rule of thumb for a FF sensor is to use a shutter speed of 1/focal length to avoid camera shake and for an APS C sensored camera this is 1/focal length x 1.5 due to the crop factor of 1.5(or 1.6 as in the case of Canon APS C cameras). So, in my case, a 300mm lens x 2 (for the TC - teleconverter) x 1.5 for crop factor of the camera = 1/900sec is required to avoid camera shake. So, using 1/20sec, this equates to 5.5 stops of extra low light ability - 1/40sec (1 stop), 1/80sec (2 stops), 1/160sec (3 stops), 1/320sec (4 stops), 1/640sec (5 stops) to 1/900sec which is about 1/2 a stop and therefore 5.5stops total!!. Here is the offending image:



    I also use VR for some of my extreme wide angle shots for inside buildings, especially when I was in Europe for inside those dimly lit churches, cathedrals and castles etc. It means that you can shoot at a lower ISO or use a higher aperture number for bigger depth of field whether inside or outside depending on the light level. This one here was taken on my D700 (FF camera) uing my 16-35 f4 VR at 28mm and 1/3sec!!! Yes, that's 1/3rd sec HANDHELD! For 28mm on a FF camera, this should have been taken at 1/30sec, but @ 1/3sec it gave me 3.5 stops of extra handholdability.



    Interestingly, I rarely find I require the VR (IS) in closer to standard focal length range, ie around the 50mm area.

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    Great shots, Lance! Originally I had this thread written as IS/VR but changed it when I put it in the Canon section.

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    I guess the marketing is that you'll achieve the same stability at three stops lower handheld than not handheld (assuming - and this is the BIGGIE that the subject is still)

    so, I think it really does matter for appropriate subjects.
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    I consider IS to be desirable, and I have it in all the focal lengths I have from 70mm to 600mm.

    However, there are some scenarios in which IS is not useful.

    If you're shooting with a tripod, it's a feature best disabled.

    The other important point about IS is that it only counters hand/camera movement; it will NOT freeze motion. The only way to freeze motion is with a sufficiently fast shutter speed, and to achieve that, you need light -- in both cases, IS does nothing.

    My view is that if there's a choice between having IS and not having IS, I'll take IS every time.

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    Today may be the day, Or not ! Roosta's Avatar
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    Could be wrong, but in good lighting conditions, (Not long exposure low light or night time shooting) you'd normally have the shutter speed match the focal length and adjust ISO accordingly. 300mm at 1/300 sec and so fourth.

    But if you have IS and a good prime/zoom and use it in low/fading light and want to keep shutter speed up, it would be useful.

    Your main question is better aimed at specific task/type/style of shoot and or related to a specific lens.



    Is it aimed toward a lens your thinking of, as in like 100 mm F2.8 Macro IS or Non Is lens comparison?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roosta View Post
    Could be wrong, but in good lighting conditions, (Not long exposure low light or night time shooting) you'd normally have the shutter speed match the focal length and adjust ISO accordingly. 300mm at 1/300 sec and so fourth.

    But if you have IS and a good prime/zoom and use it in low/fading light and want to keep shutter speed up, it would be useful.

    Your main question is better aimed at specific task/type/style of shoot and or related to a specific lens.



    Is it aimed toward a lens your thinking of, as in like 100 mm F2.8 Macro IS or Non Is lens comparison?
    Not specifically, it just got me thinking since the 100mm is the first lens I've owned that didn't have it. So I thought it would be a challenge but it isn't that hard without IS. So just wanted to see what everyone else's experiences were with or without IS, especially since the 24-70mm is so popular.

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    Today may be the day, Or not ! Roosta's Avatar
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    Mate, Lance above makes a very valid point about long focal lengths and slow shutter speeds, on a long prime I would always have the IS if available. But if you ask on the Macro forum, you'll get mixed results. Long exposure and low/night shooting, you don't want it IMO.

    I try to always stick to the rule of thumb on the focal length to shutter speed, 1/30 of a sec is the slowest speed that the human hand can hold a camera still enough to get a clear shot (Hand Held that is), but the 24-70 being F2.8 is a fast lens/glass and you can/should always use ISO and AP to get desired results, adjust shutter speed last of all. If you go here http://thedigitalpicture.com/Reviews...ns-Review.aspx and mouse over the 'IS on - IS off' section.

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    Excellent, great link. Thanks for the info, Roosta!

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    I've never, ever needed IS on the 24-70mm. Even in low light it just isn't neccessary unless you've got some serious hand shakes, especially if you utilise the full f2.8.

    IS is however very useful on my 120-400mm Sigma, which I tend to shoot handheld, despite having a monopod.
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    Today may be the day, Or not ! Roosta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fedgrub View Post
    Excellent, great link. Thanks for the info, Roosta!
    Too easy,

    Suck what you can from his site, very helpful. He'll answer more direct emails as well if you need more direct advice on something he's written about.

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    Drifter, Racer and Picture Taker
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    As far a s macro lenses go, if you're using it on a tripod, certainly there is no need for IS, but if you are chasing bugs, it does help.

    My Sigma 150mm has OS and I find it very useful when chasing moving insects.

    At anything around 100mm or more, if ther eis a choice between a lens with IS or without, I'll take the one with IS everytime, even if it does cost more.
    Almost like choosing between a lens with AF and one without.
    You may not need AF all the time, but it sure comes in handy when you do need it.
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    Try handholding a D3 + 400/2.8VR + 2xTC. Essentially for anything more than a brief second on a still subject, looking through the viewfinder it is very hard to keep a single focus point on the subject in one spot. On a moving target, even harder, so for long focal length, low shutter speed/low light, I find it is very important when hand holding or using a mono.

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    I love it. I try to keep on or below ISO400 so it comes in very handy.

    If you shoot on Program mode the camera automatically sets shutter speed fast enough not to need IS, so you would find yourself wondering why it is there, but if you shoot on M or T you can really give it a workout.

    I especially like the way the viewfinder image stops wiggling when I touch the shutter button!

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    Selecting Program Mode is NOT the saviour for camera shake and does NOT imply that IS should be deactivated.

    When the Camera (Nikon - I believe; and Canon - certainly), is set to Program Mode, because the P Mode is (usually) biased towards a faster shutter speed, the Camera attempts to make the shutter speed acceptable to alleviate camera shake when hand holding: but it will not always succeed.

    Other factors influencing the Shutter Speed Selection when the Camera is in P Mode are: the maximum aperture of the lens; and also the EV of the scene; and in some cases the ISO chosen, if there is not an Auto ISO function and/or if that is not selected; if a Flash is detected; and also the steadiness of the Photographer will determine if the shutter speed will arrest shake. There is (usually) a chart showing the graph of the functionality of Program Mode, in the Camera's Handbook and usually that chart takes a 50mm lens as typical, but all lenses are not 50mm and for other focal lengths field testing is required/suggested to firstly assess if FL data is factored into the algorithm – unless there are comprehensive charts, which have so far eluded.

    Program Mode appears to be the most misunderstood and misrepresented of the three modern Automatic Camera Modes, being: Av Tv and P: and it also appears to be the least used and least utilized.



    WW
    Last edited by William W; 13-12-2011 at 7:09am.

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    For the benefit of WW, I will correct the fine detail of my previous post, thusly:
    "If you shoot on Canon Program mode the camera automatically tries to set shutter speed fast enough not to need IS, so you would often find yourself wondering why it is there,...."


    And some camera experts advise that using IS at fast shutter speeds can actually have a negative effect on sharpness, so if you accept this advice then using a lens with IS requires some vigilance:
    • is the shutter speed too slow? - use a tripod and turn IS off;
    • is the shutter speed too fast? - turn IS off;
    • is the shutter speed just right Goldilocks? - leave IS turned on.



    My point that I love IS still stands. Not sure what WW's advice is to the OP on the need for IS when choosing a lens (post #1) though....

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    Advice to the OP regarding IS and lenses and answering the general question posted in #1: was to not assume that IS is NOT needed, when using P Mode. That was clearly stated in the first sentence.


    The added information apropos the functionality of P Mode, was for general interest and to promote better understanding of P Mode.

    As there was misunderstanding of P Mode posted above, the added information was specifically for the interest and assistance of that author: nothing more, nothing less.

    "Forum" is where we discuss and share information - no?

    WW


    PS - I sought none: nor do I gain any benefit from the corrections of details in previous posts, but thank you anyway, but it was un-necessary.

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    Probably get my head bitten off for this , But I don't think it's (IS/OS) that important if you use a high enough shutter speed , Maybe if you have the shakes bad and are'nt holding the camera and breathing the correct way it will benefit , Back in the old days we did'nt have such luxuries , But I'm old school and that is my opinion, I've been using a Sigma 120-400 DG lately and have the OS (On Sigma) Switched off , Hey, I works for me
    Last edited by William; 13-12-2011 at 12:12pm.
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