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Image Stabilization When Photographing  
User currently offlineeskillawl From Sweden, joined Jan 2012, 96 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 7241 times:

Hi,

Im in the middle of buying a lens, and Im in the final of what's the best for me. I sure need a new lens, today I've got a 90-300mm, thats almost 6 years old and the photos are rather poor and unsharp and dusty.

I dont know that much about it, and wonder if it's actually important with Image stabilization when only photographing the airplanes, I never do any movies or so on. Is it worth spending a couple of hundred dollars on lens with IS than a lens without IS?

How good is the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens? Will I get good, sharp and clear photos with that one? And will it get even better because it got an IS?

So, can anyone help me, is it worth the hundred of dollars for the IS, when only photographing the airplanes, not making any movies? And will i get good and sharp (sharper than with Canon EF 90-300 from 2008, that doesn't has any IS)?

I know this post was confusing for you, but Im confused, so it matches.  

Regards, Eskil.


Photo equipment: Canon EOS 60D | Canon 70-200 F4L USM | Canon 18-55 3:5-5:6 |
16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2932 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 7228 times:

Quoting eskillawl (Thread starter):
Is it worth spending a couple of hundred dollars on lens with IS than a lens without IS?

It's a matter of personal preference and what you are going to be using the lens for. If you are going to be using the lens in good light with fast shutter speeds, then you'll not get any benefit from IS. If you are going to be using slow shutter speeds, anything under something like 1/250, then you'll get use from IS. My main aviation photography lens doesn't have IS and I can't say I miss it.

Quoting eskillawl (Thread starter):
How good is the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM lens? Will I get good, sharp and clear photos with that one? And will it get even better because it got an IS?

For the money, this is a pretty good lens. I used to use the previous model to this one (75-300 IS), and still use it for travelling as it's light and faily compact. Like the previous model though, it starts to get soft over about 220mm. It's still usable all the way up to 300mm, but it does get soft. You get what you pay for with lenses I'm afraid. I can't compare it with your 90-300 as I've never used one. Do you need 300mm? If you can get away with 200mm, you're better off investing a little more and going for the 70-200 F/4 L. This is an excelent piece of glass and you'll probably find you'll get better results using the 70-200 and cropping than using the 70-300 and not cropping.

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 onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10331 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 7212 times:

These days, neither of my main lenses has IS (17-40 F4L and 70-200 F4L). I do miss it sometimes, when shooting in low-light conditions with relatively slow shutter speeds. But it's certainly made me practice my panning technique, and I'm starting to get decent results with that.

Quoting dazbo5 (Reply 1):
it starts to get soft over about 220mm. It's still usable all the way up to 300mm, but it does get soft.

Mine was usable to about 260mm. Beyond that, generally too soft for airplane photography.

The 70-300 IS USM is a decent lens. It was my mainstay telephoto for about a year. With that said:

Quoting dazbo5 (Reply 1):
If you can get away with 200mm, you're better off investing a little more and going for the 70-200 F/4 L

      

The price difference is only a couple hundred bucks. The quality difference is worth more. I wish I hadn't ever bothered buying the 70-300 IS USM, though I don't regret it as such.



How can I be an admiral without my cap??!
User currently offlineDrChandra From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2008, 1 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7197 times:

I have a Sigma 120-400 and I find it far easier to track moving aircraft with stabilisation switched on. With stabilisation switched off, I find there is a greater tendency for the aircraft to wander around in the frame, especially when panning. Stabilisation helps me to keep my focus point where I want it.

My 70-200 2.8 isn't stabilised and I wish it was.



DrChandra
User currently offlineeskillawl From Sweden, joined Jan 2012, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 7170 times:

Thanks for the excelent answers. Do the photos get sharper with Image stabilizator?

Regards



Photo equipment: Canon EOS 60D | Canon 70-200 F4L USM | Canon 18-55 3:5-5:6 |
User currently offlinestevemchey From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 369 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 7160 times:

Quoting DrChandra (Reply 3):
I have a Sigma 120-400 and I find it far easier to track moving aircraft with stabilisation switched on. With stabilisation switched off, I find there is a greater tendency for the aircraft to wander around in the frame, especially when panning. Stabilisation helps me to keep my focus point where I want it.

That's actually the opposite of what generally happens. IS is built for stationary photos (where you do not move the camera). If you track a target you should always turn the IS off, because the IS is trying to counter-act any movement of the camera. As a result, the IS creates "jerking" motions that tend to blur your images.

IS is made to even out camera movement, not subject movement. Basically, here is how IS should be used (if you don't have fast enough shutter speeds already):
- Stationary camera & stationary target - use IS
- Stationary camera & moving target - use IS
- Moving camera (tracking, panning) & any type of target - do NOT use IS

There is one exception: If your lens has the option to change to a one dimensional IS (like IS mode 1 on Canon lenses), you can use it for panning. In that case, if you pan with an aircraft during take-off, the IS pretty much stops camera shake in the vertical direction, but doesn't counter-act the horizontal movement (avoiding the abovementioned jerking).


User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10331 posts, RR: 26
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7146 times:

Quoting stevemchey (Reply 5):
(like IS mode 1 on Canon lenses)

Mode 2 is the one-dimensional IS. Mode 1 is the standard two-dimensional IS.

In terms of panning, the vertical component isn't what hurts me. It's panning faster/slower than the aircraft, resulting in horizontal blur, that generally screws up my photos. IS is pretty useless for that.

And actually, I find it far easier to track an aircraft and keep it in frame when it's moving faster. Slow-moving airplanes (like taxiing ones) are the difficult ones for me. Just can't pan slowly very well.



How can I be an admiral without my cap??!
User currently offlinestevemchey From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 369 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7140 times:

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 6):
Mode 2 is the one-dimensional IS. Mode 1 is the standard two-dimensional IS.

D'uh... Of course.  
Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 6):
In terms of panning, the vertical component isn't what hurts me. It's panning faster/slower than the aircraft, resulting in horizontal blur, that generally screws up my photos. IS is pretty useless for that.

And actually, I find it far easier to track an aircraft and keep it in frame when it's moving faster. Slow-moving airplanes (like taxiing ones) are the difficult ones for me. Just can't pan slowly very well.

Agreed. I usually don't even bother with IS for panning, because I don't tend to shake vertically while moving horizontally. The problem, as you pointed out, is the fact that it is hard to pan smoothly at low speeds. For most of my panning attempts, I usually wait for the aircraft to accelerate a good 5 to 6 seconds before I take my first shot during a take-off roll.


User currently offlineeskillawl From Sweden, joined Jan 2012, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 7137 times:

So, after reading the last posts I dont understand your answers. I know that this is induvidual, but I ask you anyway.
For spotting, is it worth spending around 300 dollars more for a lens with IS than without IS? Yes or no?



Photo equipment: Canon EOS 60D | Canon 70-200 F4L USM | Canon 18-55 3:5-5:6 |
User currently onlinevikkyvik From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 10331 posts, RR: 26
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 7128 times:

Quoting eskillawl (Reply 8):
For spotting, is it worth spending around 300 dollars more for a lens with IS than without IS? Yes or no?

Maybe.

Sorry, that's the best I can do, because there are too many variables regarding what you shoot, where you shoot it, how you shoot it, when you shoot it, etc....

The only way to get a somewhat-definitive answer is to provide all that info.



How can I be an admiral without my cap??!
User currently offlinestevemchey From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 369 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 7116 times:

Quoting eskillawl (Reply 8):
For spotting, is it worth spending around 300 dollars more for a lens with IS than without IS? Yes or no?

Vik is absolutely right. As with so many things in photography, the best answer is: "It depends".

Have I used IS while shooting aircrafts? Yes (for static night shots, the abovementioned panning in IS mode 2, etc.)

Would I personally buy a lens with IS over one without, just for aircrafts photography? Based on how I shoot aircrafts, absolutely not.

Just my 2 cents.


User currently offlineNZ107 From New Zealand, joined Jul 2005, 6456 posts, RR: 38
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 7113 times:

Quoting eskillawl (Reply 8):

What do you plan on trying to shoot? It's useful for panning and still handheld shots during either cold weather or lower light conditions. If you plan to shoot in the sun all the time, it's doubtful whether you'll need it or not. I'd say your photos have a better chance of being sharper if you had IS in the above testing situations. But it won't help you if you're shooting 1/500th sec pics.

If you need the 300mm range, go for it, though with the knowledge that the quality isn't so good beyond 250mm. My 70-300mm IS USM picked up a blur patch somewhere in the lens and that's when I bought my 100-400mm. If you don't need 300mm and shoot in the sun all the time, take the 70-200 f/4 USM.



It's all about the destination AND the journey.
User currently offlineeskillawl From Sweden, joined Jan 2012, 96 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 7049 times:

Thanks for the help!

No, as I live in Sweden, there's not that much sun all the time..  
What do you say if i question this: Canon 55-250 IS vs Canon 70-300mm IS? I don't think there is any harder in life than buying new lens and/or camera  

Greetings



Photo equipment: Canon EOS 60D | Canon 70-200 F4L USM | Canon 18-55 3:5-5:6 |
User currently offlinedazbo5 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 2932 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 7041 times:

Quoting eskillawl (Reply 4):
Do the photos get sharper with Image stabilizator?

Refer to my original post. If you are using a fast shutter speed, it doesn't make a lot of difference. If you are using a slow shutter speed, then it can aid in you getting a sharp photo for the given light. It's not a magic fix though, you still need good paning technique. Even with IS, if you don't use the equipment correctly, it'll not help you. It's an aid, nothing more.

Quoting eskillawl (Reply 8):
For spotting, is it worth spending around 300 dollars more for a lens with IS than without IS? Yes or no?

Again, refer to my original post. It's personal preference and depends what you are wanting to use the lens for as others have said. If you are shooting mainly with slow shutters, it may help you. Personally, I wouldn't pay all that extra just for IS. I'd use it for better glass in the lens.

Quoting eskillawl (Reply 12):
Canon 55-250 IS vs Canon 70-300mm IS?

The 70-300 IS is better optically from what I have seen, but then they are different focal ranges so you need to ask yourself what you are wanting. When it comes it lenses, before you consider anything, you need to agree with yourself what it is you're looking for in terms of focal length, quality and budget, then take it from there. If you want ultimate image quality and performance, the 70-200 F/4 L is the one to go for, but it might be over your budget and not the focal lengths you want. It lacks IS (unless you pay a lot more for the IS version), but then in the right hands, it doesn't need it. If you want a mid-range lens that will devliver pretty good quality for most of it's range with the added benefit of IS when it's needed, the 70-300 IS is a good choice. If 70mm is too long at the short end, the 55-250 IS is worth considering but as with the 70-300 IS, it gets soft towards the long end. If you need over 200mm regularly, it might not be the lens for you. Have you had a look at these lenses in the shop yet? You may want to get hold of them and try them before making a decision.

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 offlinestealthz From Australia, joined Feb 2005, 5743 posts, RR: 44
Reply 14, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 7007 times:
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Quoting DrChandra (Reply 3):
especially when panning. Stabilisation helps me to keep my focus point where I want it.

Not quite sure how that works.. IS has nothing to do with the composition or framing of an image

Quoting DrChandra (Reply 3):
especially when panning. Stabilisation helps me to keep my focus point where I want it.

How does that work?

Maybe I am just a luddite, never fail to be surprised about how folk use the technology availablle to them.

Spent today at a motor race meeting outside Sydney and for the 2nd time this year** I saw someone with Canon Dxx with humongous white lense on it , firmly mounted on a tripod and pointed towards a corner on the race track, they sat back in a folding chair and took their "unforgettable images" with a cable release. I am sure they are happy with their results, don't think I would be though!

** pretty sure they were not the same person. Differerent types of races different parts of the country



If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!
User currently offlineckw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 767 posts, RR: 16
Reply 15, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 6961 times:

Quoting stealthz (Reply 14):
Not quite sure how that works.. IS has nothing to do with the composition or framing of an image

I get what he means - in lens IS reduces visible shake in the viewfinder, one of the advantages of in lens IS over in body IS. Though I would suggest if the image is that shaky, some more practice on technique might be worthwhile - IS helps, but it's not magic!

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlinejspitfire From Canada, joined Feb 2005, 308 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (2 years 3 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 6787 times:

I find IS extremely useful in a lot of my photography. Taking photos in Canada's arctic, I am constantly shooting in low light. (Except for the short summer months!) It allows me to push the limits of my photos further, and I've been able to take some great photos in almost complete darkness, at speeds anywhere from 1/50 down to 1/25.

-- Also helps with my shivering hands when I'm standing beside the runway at -40 degrees!


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