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To IS Or Not IS That Is The Question  
User currently offlineMichlis From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 737 posts, RR: 2
Posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5252 times:

I've put my opinion of the utility of using IS all the time out there and figured that instead of hijacking another thread I would start one of my own.

Topic: My assertion is that IS need not be used all the time in all conditions and that it can in fact work against you in strong ambient light conditions. My personal practice is that I do not use IS unless I am shooting in low ambient light conditions (without a flash) and/or a Tv less than 1/100. Otherwise, I shoot hands free without it.

What say you?

[Edited 2009-04-21 04:17:28]


If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.
42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePtrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5241 times:

Something is missing from the hypothesis I think... How would it work against you?

Peter Smile



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineMichlis From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 737 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5235 times:



Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 1):
How would it work against you?

IS is essentially a gyroscope controlled by a microprocessor. Microprocessors have a tendency of thinking they know better than the camera operator and may try to overcompensate for stability when it really isn't needed. Take as analogy automatic functions on digital SLRs. There are a bevy of computer controls (especially in the basic modes) where the computer overrides or tries to override the wishes of the photographer for what it thinks are best given a shooting situation, which is why most photographers use the creative zones on the SLR to gain more control over the shot.



If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.
User currently offlineDazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2913 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 5235 times:

I would agree to a certain extent in that it makes no difference over shutter speeds of about 1/200 in my experience. I used to use an IS lens but I've mainly used non-IS over the last couple of years and have only missed it on rare occasions (I use a monopod when needed / practical). There are circumstances where it's invaluable though, ie on dull days and when you want to use slow shutters for motion blur and prop disks etc. I can't see how using it with faster shutter speeds it will work against you. I've never had that problem, but I agree that there's no point in using it with faster shutter speeds. All it's doing is using up battery power. Given the choice, I would still rather have the availability of IS than not.

Darren



Equipment: 2x Canon EOS 50D; Sigma 10-20 EX DC HSM, 50-500 EX APO DG, Canon 24-105 f/4 L, Speedlite 430EX
User currently offlinePtrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5224 times:



Quoting Michlis (Reply 2):

And overcompensation would mean that photos actually turn out blurrier than without IS, right?

OK, interesting. My personal opinion so far of the Nikon equivalent, VR, is that it works, but doesn't do wonders in most cases. Which might be because of this.

Peter Smile



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineMichlis From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 737 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5215 times:



Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 4):
And overcompensation would mean that photos actually turn out blurrier than without IS, right?

That's the basic gist of what I'm getting at.



If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.
User currently offlineWalter2222 From Belgium, joined Sep 2005, 1299 posts, RR: 28
Reply 6, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5214 times:



Quoting Michlis (Thread starter):
My assertion is that IS need not be used all the time in all conditions and that it can in fact work against you

I think this statement is correct, because the IS can only do what it is designed for (on Canon lenses, you can have Mode 1 (for stationary objects) and Mode 2 (for horizontal panning). The IS system is designed to counteract handheld motion. Stabilization also takes time (up to a second for older versions), so in some conditions it may indeed work against you...

PS: In another thread (don't remember which one), Willem Honders had pointed out that while doing A2A, the IS is also not working correctly, because the type of vibration (amplitude and frequency) in an aircraft is completely different than handheld motion (for which IS is designed).

Best regards,

Walter



canon 340d ;-) - EFS10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM - EFS18-55mm - EF28-105mm f3.5/4.5 - EF100-400mm f4.5-5.6l is usm - ...
User currently offlineTimdeGroot From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 3674 posts, RR: 64
Reply 7, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5210 times:
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Can we seen some test shots please.

Tim



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User currently offlineWalter2222 From Belgium, joined Sep 2005, 1299 posts, RR: 28
Reply 8, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5203 times:

A good read, with some examples:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/image-stabilization.htm

Best regards,

Walter



canon 340d ;-) - EFS10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM - EFS18-55mm - EF28-105mm f3.5/4.5 - EF100-400mm f4.5-5.6l is usm - ...
User currently offlineDvincent From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 1744 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 5188 times:
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I leave Steady Shot on all the time. I only turn it off when it's on a tripod. I haven't seen any adverse effects at very quick shutterspeeds.


From the Mind of Minolta
User currently offlineINNflight From Switzerland, joined Apr 2004, 3766 posts, RR: 59
Reply 10, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5173 times:

Also largely depends on what focal length you use.

While a 70mm shot probably won't need IS with 1/200th of a sec shutter speed a 400mm shot damn well likes IS at that speed  Smile

That being said I leave it on at all times, unless using a tripod. Never worked against me so far.



Jet Visuals
User currently offlineKlemmi85 From Germany, joined Mar 2009, 210 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 5148 times:

There is basically no need for an IS if you have sufficient light. Sufficient light means in general if you have 300mm focal length, 1/300s is the minimum you need to get the image without much visible shaking. For 50mm it would be fine from 1/50s upwards. This of course is just a general rule and actually depends on how still you can hold the camera.

The IS is good as soon as those minimum parameters can not be achieved. Depending on the IS it can help you getting images sharp at two to four stops less than required by the general rule. For example, if you need 1/100 @ 100mm you could be fine with 1/50 - 1/25 depending on how good your IS works.

However, the IS can be a disadvantage, too. If you're panning for example to catch a moving object as a car or a biker or stuff like that. The IS could try to compensate your horizontal movement which could make your image blurry as the IS doesn't know, that vertical stabilisation is fine but horizontal must not be applied in this situation.

It can be your friend, but it can also be your enemy. Same btw takes effect when using a tripod. Although your camera is perfectly still and steady on a tripod, minimal vibrations can confuse the IS and you get unsatisfying results.

So if you encounter low light situations an IS can help you to achieve better results that would not have been possible without because of your movement / shake. But there is no guarantee for that. BTW, low light doesn't nessecarily mean that it has to be dark outside. If you shoot on a bright and sunny day for example there is basically enough light but if you shoot at f22/400mm there won't be enough light to get at least 1/400s as long as you are not facing the sun.


User currently offlineUA935 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 610 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5085 times:

It depends how steady you hand is and also the lens you are shooting with.

It stays on 99.9% of the time on my 500 F4 regardless of shutter speed.



Live every second like you mean it
User currently offlineTimdeGroot From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 3674 posts, RR: 64
Reply 13, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5082 times:
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Quoting Walter2222 (Reply 8):
A good read, with some examples:

What i meant is I'd like to see some examples of pics with fast shutterspeeds that come out blurrier with IS than without it as indicated in the first post.

Quoting Klemmi85 (Reply 11):
It can be your friend, but it can also be your enemy. Same btw takes effect when using a tripod. Although your camera is perfectly still and steady on a tripod, minimal vibrations can confuse the IS and you get unsatisfying results.

AFAIK IS should always be turned off on a tripod unless you have a new generation IS with recognizes if the camera is on a tripod

Tim



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User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 9031 posts, RR: 75
Reply 14, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5075 times:
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Quoting TimdeGroot (Reply 13):
AFAIK IS should always be turned off on a tripod unless you have a new generation IS with recognizes if the camera is on a tripod

That's what I heard too. I usually leave the IS on, unless I do long exposures like 1 second or longer.

wilco737



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineAviopic From Netherlands, joined Mar 2004, 2681 posts, RR: 41
Reply 15, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5071 times:



Quoting Walter2222 (Reply 6):
PS: In another thread (don't remember which one), Willem Honders had pointed out that while doing A2A, the IS is also not working correctly, because the type of vibration (amplitude and frequency) in an aircraft is completely different than handheld motion (for which IS is designed).

Apart from that IS needs between 0.8 and 1 second to stabilize the frame(to spin up the gyro's).
So in burst mode it never has the time to work.
in this case it might work against you because the gyro's are still at a wobbly low speed.

In other words: use features for what they are designed to do.



The truth lives in one’s mind, it doesn’t really exist
User currently offline2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8955 posts, RR: 60
Reply 16, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5062 times:
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Has anyone ever performed a really thorough comparison and/or "shootout" between VR and IS (heck, and Tamron's VC), to examine the pros and cons of each specific system? I'd love to see each system disassembled, explained, and compared.

2H4



Intentionally Left Blank
User currently offlineKlemmi85 From Germany, joined Mar 2009, 210 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5062 times:



Quoting TimdeGroot (Reply 13):
AFAIK IS should always be turned off on a tripod unless you have a new generation IS with recognizes if the camera is on a tripod

That's why I said IS has trouble when being mounted on a tripod, it was a hint NOT to use it then. Sorry if it was written mistakeable.


User currently offlineTimdeGroot From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 3674 posts, RR: 64
Reply 18, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5062 times:
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Quoting Aviopic (Reply 15):

Apart from that IS needs between 0.8 and 1 second to stabilize the frame(to spin up the gyro's).
So in burst mode it never has the time to work.

That only applies before taking a shot though, when you activate it before pressing the shutter and then shoot some frames it works continuously

Tim



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User currently offlinePaulinbna From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 1114 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 4963 times:
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Quoting TimdeGroot (Reply 18):
That only applies before taking a shot though, when you activate it before pressing the shutter and then shoot some frames it works continuously

This is exactly what I was going to say, Tim. I use IS 99% of the time and have never had a problem with it not producing sharp pictures.



Canon 50D user; 100-400 MM L IS 10-22 MM, 60MM Macro
User currently offlineWalter2222 From Belgium, joined Sep 2005, 1299 posts, RR: 28
Reply 20, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 4961 times:



Quoting TimdeGroot (Reply 18):
That only applies before taking a shot though, when you activate it before pressing the shutter and then shoot some frames it works continuously

The gyro's will work continuously, but this does not mean that your optics are stabilized continuously. Every time you cause a shaky movement with your hands (while panning), the IS-system will try to counteract this by moving the optics and this has always a time delay (I am not sure how big this is...). So, during a long burst with high shutter speeds, the IS is working continuously, but only some frames during the long burst will have the optics stabilized. From that long burst, some will be keepers and some will be for the bin, but since we have a lot of parameters it is difficult to determine when a shot is sharp it is due to the IS or due to the high enough shutter speed...

Best regards,

Walter



canon 340d ;-) - EFS10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM - EFS18-55mm - EF28-105mm f3.5/4.5 - EF100-400mm f4.5-5.6l is usm - ...
User currently offlineTimdeGroot From Netherlands, joined Apr 2002, 3674 posts, RR: 64
Reply 21, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4948 times:
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Quoting Walter2222 (Reply 20):
The gyro's will work continuously, but this does not mean that your optics are stabilized continuously. Every time you cause a shaky movement with your hands (while panning), the IS-system will try to counteract this by moving the optics and this has always a time delay (I am not sure how big this is...). So, during a long burst with high shutter speeds, the IS is working continuously, but only some frames during the long burst will have the optics stabilized. From that long burst, some will be keepers and some will be for the bin, but since we have a lot of parameters it is difficult to determine when a shot is sharp it is due to the IS or due to the high enough shutter speed...

Could be but then we are not talking 1 second like Willem mentioned but something far smaller.



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User currently offlineBrianw999 From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 312 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4936 times:

I'm a Nikon VR user and am VERY happy with it. I most of the time use ISO100 and aperture priority set at f8 so unless the sun is REALLY shining I frequently get slower shutter speeds, often slower than the focal length in use. That, added to the panning, makes VR lenses a sensible choice and I've certainly noted an improvement since I started using them.

What VR doesn't like is a stable camera, especially on a tripod. It's almost like its looking for movement that isn't there ! It also gets a little confused if you point the camera up at a steep angle, it can't seem to get on too well with horizontal AND vertical movement.

To summarise ?
I use it every time when panning, even if the pan speed is slow.
If the camera is being held steady on a static shot or on a tripod then I turn it off.


User currently onlineSilver1SWA From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 4811 posts, RR: 25
Reply 23, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4928 times:
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Quoting Ptrjong (Reply 4):
And overcompensation would mean that photos actually turn out blurrier than without IS, right?



Quoting Michlis (Reply 5):
That's the basic gist of what I'm getting at.

I'm confused as to how this is possible. If IS can allow for a sharp photo in low light at a slower shutter speed, how does a faster shutter speed in sufficient light result in a blurrier image because of IS? Shouldn't the stabilization effect be applied the same way at all shutter speeds and offer the same possible sharpness at all speeds? Now, if one argued that you could get a sharper image in sufficient light without IS because IS peaks in regards to the benefit to sharpness, I could see that as maybe making some sense. In other words, having IS turned on in suffiecient light wont hurt your image, but your image could benefit a little more without it when lighting is sufficient. If that is the case, then I would see that as an indication that an image taken with IS at any shutter speed in any lighting condition will never equal in sharpness to the maximum sharpness possible when taken with fast shutter speeds in bright light without IS. The benefit of IS of course, comes from still being able to get a decently sharp photo in conditions otherwise near impossible when shooting hand-held without...which I believe is it's purpose.

Did that make any sense? If not, all I have to say is please excuse me...It's 5am here and I've been up for almost 24 hours...  tired 



ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
User currently offlineKlemmi85 From Germany, joined Mar 2009, 210 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 years 4 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4926 times:



Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 23):
Did that make any sense?

Shutter speed ain't the problem. The only problem with IS is, that you must not use it in certain conditions because it was not designed that way.

IS is designed to compensate the shake of your hand and that works pretty good normally. BUT it CAN mess up your image if you handhold your camera and start to pan. Then IS would try to compensate a movement it shouldn't compensate. With panning I mean that you are following a moving object as a plane for example getting the object sharp and a blurry speed background.

If your IS can be switched to vertical stab only you don't have that possible problem. As I said, this CAN happen, it does NOT have to, all depends on individual situation.

However, on a tripod IS must not be used either because it ain't designed to compensate vibrations when mounted to a steady stand as they differ a lot from those of your hands. The IS can become confused then and mess up the picture.

However, when handheld it's barely impossible that IS makes your image any worse. And yes, you benefit most from it when you encounter low-light conditions but it doesn't hurt to keep it switched on all the time except when using it on a tripod, stand or other steady mount or panning.

For the panning thing, that is just try and error, normally everything is fine even with IS switched on but as stated, the intended motion can confuse IS, it doesn't have to.


25 Walter2222 : From Canon's CPN website: Image Stabilisation: The following sequence of events takes place when the camera shutter release button is partially depres
26 Aviopic : Engine vibrations ok(although I can't see how a radial engine running at +2000rpm generates a vibrations between 10 and 20Hz other then a harmonic)bu
27 Post contains links and images Aviopic : An example of what G-load does with IS(24-104/4 L) http://www.honders.net/tmp/_MG_9937.jpg Same angle and load with IS off View Large View MediumPhoto
28 Klemmi85 : 5D Mark II ?
29 Silver1SWA : But according to the OP's original hypothesis shutter speed would have something to do with it since the claim is that in bright conditions where shu
30 2H4 : Out of curiosity, what is the slowest shutter speed you all would attempt a panning shot without the aid of VR/IS? 2H4
31 Aviopic : Depends on focal length and weight of the lens used. Currently I have a Sigma 300/2.8 on loan. Although this 2 kg lumb is a piece of quality glass at
32 Klemmi85 : 1/focal length seconds.
33 Aviopic : Both taken with a 20D
34 Klemmi85 : But it's the same lens as bundled with the 5D Mark II, isnt it? The 24-105 F4 L, right? If so, are you satisfied with it?
35 Aviopic : That's up to you I suppose. You must be new around here haha No I am not satisfied with the 24-105/4 L but then again I've never been a fan of the Ca
36 Walter2222 : I completely agree with you, Willem (I also do remember your posts ) I was just quoting this text from the Canon CPN website, clearly stating where t
37 Post contains links Aviopic : Don't think it can be achieved with built in stabilizers anyway. There are special stabilized mounts for this purpose though but expensive. http://ww
38 Walter2222 : That's what I was thinking as well. " target=_blank>http://www.motionpicturemarine.com/ Thanks for the link, interesting read! I thought you were alr
39 Post contains links and images Dehowie : Mate you can easily with panning practice get it down to about 10-15% focal length. This was taken with the 300/2.8IS and i took this with the 50D so
40 Cpd : You can do 1/60sec on 300mm without IS/VR. I don't have any VR type lens available - so I have to learn to make do without it. If you have a very fas
41 2H4 : Thanks very much for the info on panning, guys. Good stuff. Darren, that shot is beautiful. Now, if you were choosing a lens somewhere between 200mm a
42 DeHowie : G'day 2H4 Ok in that instance id normally get the IS lens. I would only get the non IS 2.8 or faster for a specific use like needing the Bokeh in port
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