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Thread started 16 Mar 2012 (Friday) 20:34
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IS w/ tripod Question

 
tandreasen
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Mar 16, 2012 20:34 |  #1

This has been bugging me, but saw on some site somewhere that you should never use IS when using a tripod. I understand that it is unnecessary to do so, but is it necessary to turn it off for tripod use? It doesn't make much sense to me, unless it could hurt something...


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sandpiper
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Mar 16, 2012 20:38 |  #2

tandreasen wrote in post #14100348 (external link)
This has been bugging me, but saw on some site somewhere that you should never use IS when using a tripod. I understand that it is unnecessary to do so, but is it necessary to turn it off for tripod use? It doesn't make much sense to me, unless it could hurt something...

Depends on the lens, more modern ones can detect the tripod and shut the IS down automatically. Older lenses on a tripod can go into a sort of feedback loop with the IS and it can shake whilst you are shooting, causing problems with the image.

You won't "hurt" anything, the gear will be fine, but the IQ could suffer.




  
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DreDaze
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Mar 16, 2012 20:45 |  #3

https://photography-on-the.net …hlight=ed+rader​+bridge+IS

if you're using a fast enough shutter speed you probably won't see any effects...but if you were using a fast enough shutter you probably wouldn't need the tripod either...so just turn it off...i've seen people that say they put little notes on their quick release/tripod plates that just says "IS off"


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tylerpaulphoto
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Mar 17, 2012 00:48 |  #4

I believe it is necessary to turn it off, The inner barrel of the lens "floats" apart from the outer shell to be very brief. So that inner barrel is floating trying to stabilize to eliminate camera shake, obviously. So technically the inner barrel will be trying to stabilize despite the fact that it is already stable. So that kinda makes the IS freak out. So this can damage the lens. This is a weird analogy but imagine riding your clutch in your car all the time, it won't kill your tranny today but in time it can screw things up. So with shorter IS lenses I would turn it off. I have heard of pro sports photogs using IS with 300mm+ lenses while on monopods because a mono pod isn't as stable as a tripod.

I hope this helps.


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Bananapie
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Mar 17, 2012 02:36 |  #5

The only time I keep it on with a tripod is when I use my 70-200II AND the 2xTC III...it helps with the micro vibrations, astonishingly enough. I discovered that while trying to shoot Venus and Jupiter over the past few nights.




  
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jc1350
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Mar 17, 2012 07:34 as a reply to  @ Bananapie's post |  #6

The manual for my 24-105 F/4L IS USM (my only IS lens) has one line concerning tripods and IS:

"When you use a tripod, the Image Stabilizer should be turned off to save battery power."

There are no other IS/tripod notices, warnings, etc in the manual.


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ejenner
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Mar 17, 2012 16:47 as a reply to  @ jc1350's post |  #7

For shutter speeds lower than about 1/15s or so yes, it is necessary to turn it off. Otherwise it may/will blur your shots. I found this out the hard way, several times and initially it took me a while to figure out what it was.

Allegedly you are supposed to be able to use some lenses with IS on on a tripod, but it doesn't work too well I my experience. Whatever the manual says you are risking getting a blurred shot. I asked Canon about the 24-105 and they said - but you should always switch off IS on a tripod. They checked the IS anyway, did something, but it still worked the same on a tripod. same with the 70-200 which is supposed to be an even newer IS.

Also, if you want to to HDR or blend, you need to switch it off otherwise the images won't exactly line up.

None of this applies if you are holding the camera while using it on a tripod and therefore giving it vibrations that require shutter speeds greater than 1/15s or so.


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cacawcacaw
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Mar 17, 2012 17:16 |  #8

I was testing tripods using with a 500mm lens. Even on a rigid tripod, 10X magnified Live View showed a noticeable vibration that disappeared when OS was turned on. Made me wonder about the differences between Sigma's OS and Canon's IS, whether OS's startup synchronizes properly with a remote release, and whether Canon's "feedback loop" tripod problem might be more of a theoretical than practical consideration. I've never seen an on/off photo comparison for tripod-mounted IS.


Replacing my Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24mm, Canon 17-55mm, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4, and 150-500mm with a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000. I still have the 17-55 and the 30 available for sale.

  
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Unregistered.Coward
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Mar 17, 2012 18:00 |  #9

tylerpaulphoto wrote in post #14101285 (external link)
I believe it is necessary to turn it off, The inner barrel of the lens "floats" apart from the outer shell to be very brief. So that inner barrel is floating trying to stabilize to eliminate camera shake, obviously. So technically the inner barrel will be trying to stabilize despite the fact that it is already stable.

The stabilization motion happens regardless of the lenses mounting. Using your logic, I'm doing just as much damage to the unit shooting hand-held.


....the best camera is the one you have on you at the time.

  
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Polarized
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Mar 21, 2012 03:57 |  #10
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on my 498rc2 / 055xprob tripod, I had the 55-250 and everytime I'd hit the shutter/focus button to autofocus, the center AF pointer would droop a few mm... irked me for so long but then I realized it was the IS doing it.




  
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John ­ from ­ PA
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Mar 21, 2012 06:45 |  #11

See the 1st Q&A at http://digitaljournali​st.org/issue0807/tech-tips.html (external link), the column hosted by Chuck Westfall.




  
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mike_311
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Mar 21, 2012 07:43 |  #12

if you have a piece of crap tripod, leave it on, if you have a good solid stable tripod, turn it off.


Canon 5d mkii | Canon 17-40/4L | Tamron 24-70/2.8 | Canon 85/1.8 | Canon 135/2L
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paparios
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Mar 21, 2012 08:02 |  #13

tandreasen wrote in post #14100348 (external link)
This has been bugging me, but saw on some site somewhere that you should never use IS when using a tripod. I understand that it is unnecessary to do so, but is it necessary to turn it off for tripod use? It doesn't make much sense to me, unless it could hurt something...

I think the general rule for a tripod is to turn the IS off. However, there are some special cases when this is not necessary.

a) If you are using a monopod and a heavy lens (such as my Sigma 150-500 at 500mm), leaving the IS on helps a lot.

b) When shooting video, with a large lens (again this is my experience with the Sigma at 500mm), the IS on makes a difference. Note that in that case, while the lens is on the tripod, the lens is free to move since I want to follow a moving target. Without IS, the jerkiness on the resulting video is quite apparent. With IS, the results are better. Note that your camera battery will run out sooner, because the IS is working continuously.

Miguel


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amfoto1
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Mar 21, 2012 08:52 |  #14

With many of the IS lenses it's not necessary to turn off IS manually when you are using the lens on a tripod... The IS senses lack of movement and turns itself off when it's not needed. The lenses that do this include: 24-105, all 70-200s with IS, 200/2, 300/2.8, 400/4, 400/2.8, 500/4, 600/4 and 800/5.6.

There are also some Canon lenses that use a simpler form of IS and should to be turned off when locked down on a solid tripod, to prevent the IS from going into sort of a feedback loop where the IS is actually causing movement that will show up as blurring in the image. You can see this effect happening in the viewfinder, so the lens will remind you if you forget! The lens and it's IS system will not be damaged in any way, but the movement induced by IS in these lenses in this situation can effect images. Lenses in this category include: 28-135 IS, 70-300 IS, 300/4 IS, 100-400 IS. I am certain there are more, but don't know of a complete list. I would assume that most relatively inexpensive lenses with IS would have this type of IS (probably the 18-55 IS and 18-135 IS kit lenses, for example, though I've never seen them listed anywhere).

If you are using the tripod "loose", panning with it and/or using a gimbal head, leave the IS on.

If you are using a monopod, it's usually best to leave the IS on.

IS can be effective even when using shutter speeds such as 1/500, 1/640, 1/800, so I'd leave it on.

I also wouldn't call it "unnecessary" on a tripod by any means. There are many things that can cause minor vibrations within the camera... before IS we used to go to great lengths to stabilize long telephotos and high magnification macro shots. Pressing the shutter release, the slap of the mirror within the camera, even a slight breeze and many more things can cause loss of sharpness in images due to slight movement and blur.

If you are making particularly long exposures (over, say, 2 or 4 seconds), you probably should turn IS off, just to be certain it doesn't "jump" during the exposure, though I really think there's little risk of this occuring.

I don't shoot video with DSLRs, so really can't say how IS effects video. But I suspect it would be effective, since it was originally a feature of video cameras, before Canon started implementing in still camera lenses too. My only concern with video would be noise that IS generates being picked up on the soundtrack.

When using the super telephotos with IS - 200/2, 300/2.8, 400/4, 400/2.8, 500/4, 600/4, 800/5.6 - with exposures between 2 seconds and 1/15, IS can be effective reducing "mirror slap" vibrations in the camera and I'd leave it on. (With longer exposures any shutter slap vibration is an insignificant portion of the overall exposure, so it might be turned off if one wishes, but that would only possibly serve to save a little battery power.)

Frankly, it works out that the lenses that I use predominently handheld are the type that have the simpler IS and the lenses I virtually always put on a tripod are the type that auto sense when there's no movement and turn off IS themselves. So, ten + years using various IS lenses now, I very infrequently bother to turn it off. Only on rare occasion have I seen a lens get into the feedback loop, which immediately reminded me to turn off IS manually. IS really doesn't draw very much battery power, either, so there's little saved by turning it off.

Oh, and if panning with IS on, where you are using a slower shutter speed to deliberately blur down the background, many lenses have a Mode 2 setting that turns off IS in the horizontal axis, but leaves it on and effective in the vertical axis. The orientation of the camera and lens (landscape or portrait) doesn't matter... the lens senses what orientation it's in and only turns off the actual horizontal axis, in either orientation. AFAIK, there is no setting that would turn off IS only on the vertical axis, leaving it on for the horizontal axis. But I really can't think of any reason for doing so either... can't imagine ever doing "vertical panning" for any reason.

IS can be effective in many situations, so IMO it's best to just leave it on, except when locking the lens down quite solidly on a tripod (and I'd make a point of leaving it on even then, if using any of the "super telephotos" mentioned above).

I have no idea about Sigma OS or Tamron VC systems, how they work or if they need to be turned off in certain situations. In general, though, I wouldn't worry too much. Both OS and VC are much more recently developed than some of the Canon IS lenses (within the past 3 to5 years vs some Canon lenses that saw IS implemented around 15 years ago) so bset guess is that the third party lenses with it probably have fairly advanced forms of stabilization.


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cacawcacaw
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Mar 21, 2012 09:59 as a reply to  @ amfoto1's post |  #15

As mentioned before, it's easy to see small camera vibrations when using 10X Live View with a long lens.

It would seem easy enough to show all of the phenomena we're talking about by simply taking a video of the Live View screen (or enlarging a video taken by the test camera) and running through all of the various scenarios. I searched but couldn't find a video like that but there must be at least one out there. (Using 10X Live View with a long lens also seems like the best way to test tripods/heads for creep, vibration transmission, vibration dampening, etc. because any small movement is magnified to the point that it is obvious.)

My long lens is Sigma and I've never been able to create the "feedback loop" but I have seen the image jump a bit when OS goes on or off. I'd love to see a video of a Canon telephoto going into the wild feedback loop that everyone talks about.

(Alan, yours is the most sensible and reasoned post I've ever seen on this topic. Thanks.)


Replacing my Canon 7D, Tokina 12-24mm, Canon 17-55mm, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, 85mm f/1.4, and 150-500mm with a Panasonic Lumix FZ1000. I still have the 17-55 and the 30 available for sale.

  
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IS w/ tripod Question
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