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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 13 Mar 2016 (Sunday) 13:40
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Is IS overrated and worth the extra cost ?

 
sapearl
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Apr 15, 2016 20:08 |  #91

johnf3f wrote in post #17973214 (external link)
So here are 4 consecutive frames (2 in the previous post), rubbish images I know, but which two have the IS on and which two the IS off? The Exif data should be intact so you can see how the light was, if not let me know.
Remember these were shot with a lens that I find extremely difficult to hold steady, so difficult in fact that I am having to eat my words and actually use IS! No use for IS at 800mm but with the 100-400 Mk2 I am using IS mode 3 most of the time?!?
Don't get me wrong it's a lovely lens but the balance is horrible!
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I would say the first/top image is with IS ON. I can see the difference in the sharpness of the left cat tail. It's faint but I can see it. Btw, I just got the same lens and I am loving it; always have the IS turned on, using hand held.


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Apr 16, 2016 10:31 |  #92

I'd say #2 and #3 has IS turned on........


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BrodyBPhoto
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Apr 18, 2016 18:59 |  #93

IS is definitely a big help, but from what Ive seen its only really a necessity from 70-80mm and on


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LV ­ Moose
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Apr 18, 2016 19:03 |  #94

^ Depends on the hands holding the camera. I wish my 35 ART had it.


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Apr 18, 2016 19:39 |  #95

Further to my previous post the first two images were IS OFF and the second two were IS ON.

Remember I did have some elbow support which will obviously help a fair bit, but at a focal length of 560mm and 1/50 sec (call it 1/160 due to the elbow support) IS is of little benefit. Please note that this is the lens that I struggle to hold steady and actually use IS on!

IS is not overrated - when introduced it was a godsend for photographers - it is just that, these days, it is far less relevant and they way that it slows AF and tracking is more important than the marginal benefits that IS provides with modern cameras.
Just my 2p, try it for yourself and see which you prefer for your uses.


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BrodyBPhoto
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Apr 19, 2016 20:38 |  #96

IS is definitely not overrated. Just on telephoto. On my old 70-200 f4l I wish it had IS like 70% of the time


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Sibil
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Apr 20, 2016 07:14 |  #97

CyberDyneSystems wrote in post #17951389 (external link)
I know at least two 800mm shooters that can do it without IS hand held with good results.

That is very impressive.
With age creeping up on me, I consider having IS a blessing.




  
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Apr 20, 2016 16:21 |  #98

Sibil wrote in post #17978189 (external link)
That is very impressive.
....

To be fair, one of them is in fact legendary for this, (among other feats of strength and photography) so much so that Canon recruited him as an "Explorer of light" His forum name is aptly "LiquidStone"


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Apr 20, 2016 16:34 as a reply to  @ Sibil's post |  #99

Not really, I am 57 years old, have all the bad habits, Diabetes, arthritis and arms like matchsticks!
It is mainly down to practice and technique - and getting the shots off quick before you collapse:-)

Just for a giggle I was "Shooting the Moon" last night at 1/500, 200 or so ISO and F8 with my Canon 800mm and 7D2 - no IS or tripod as I was just too lazy to get all the gear set up ( I had had a couple or three drops of Rum). The images were not great but that was atmospherics - not camera shake. I am very far from a Super Hero and as for weight lifting I think the bar is quite heavy enough on it's own:oops:


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Apr 23, 2016 20:48 |  #100

Heya,

I was at the beach the other day, and was playing around with image stabilization, panning, etc.

Here's one that I shot at 1/13s, and IS really played a roll in keeping mama sharp as she was standing still, while everything else was moving.

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Apr 23, 2016 21:05 |  #101

MalVeauX wrote in post #17982632 (external link)
Heya,

I was at the beach the other day, and was playing around with image stabilization, panning, etc.

Here's one that I shot at 1/13s, and IS really played a roll in keeping mama sharp as she was standing still, while everything else was moving.

QUOTED IMAGE
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/G62H​1f  (external link) IMG_2617 (external link) by Martin Wise (external link), on Flickr

Very best,

Now THAT'S a really cool shot Martin - mom is almost like a statue with the world swirling around her.;-)a


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Apr 24, 2016 19:28 |  #102

definitely not overrated, both on short and long lenses

i've gotten a sharp image of a small bird at 1/50 shooting 600mm on my sigma 150-600 sport hand held

at events where venue is dark and flash not appropriate when shooting food (still life) having IS allows me to shoot at like 1/5 at 35mm while having aperture bit smaller (like 2.8-4) for DOF

hell even at 16mm having IS allows me to shoot at like 1/2 sec (i have done 1 whole sec before) hand held when shooting like cityscape at night having the ability to use lower ISO

to each their own i guess


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Post edited over 3 years ago by smorter. (2 edits in all)
     
Apr 27, 2016 00:47 |  #103

IS is as important to a lens as Electronic Stability Control (Traction Control) is to a Car.

Sure, it won't save you from every accident, but it will save you from many accidents.

My view is anyone who argues against the benefits of IS is a luddite - this is not a criticism nor an insult - just being factual.

The game has changed - iphones are now capable of 12MP resolution. To deliver work that stands out, you need every tool you can get your hand on.

IS is one of those tools.


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Apr 27, 2016 20:21 as a reply to  @ smorter's post |  #104

You have a "LIKE" from a very happy Luddite who is getting more keepers these days! It's all down to your personal needs and uses - but if your subjects are moving (especially if they are moving fast) then I have found IS gets in the way. My ideas on IS are far from definitive - but the last time I went shooting Motorsports (Rallycross) 6 out of 2807 frames were soft. Ah well back to the drawing board!
Just trying to share the joy.:-)


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amfoto1
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Post edited over 3 years ago by amfoto1. (2 edits in all)
     
Apr 28, 2016 11:20 |  #105

frayne wrote in post #17933949 (external link)
I've noticed that when I turn off the IS on my 70-200 and 100-44 L lenses I seem to get many more shots that are in focus. Of course this is in good light and faster shutter speeds usually above 1/500 sec. Just wonder what others might think or have experienced. In the future I don't think I am going to be paying for the additional IS feature.

If you are getting a better "keeper" rate with IS turned off, you are doing something wrong.

I've been using a bunch of different IS lenses for 15 years... All Canon (no Tamron VR or Sigma OS).

I virtually never turn IS off on any lens and have made 100s of thousands of images with it.

There are a few IS lenses that require it be turned off, when the lens is solidly locked down on a tripod, so that there is no movement what-so-ever. In this situation, a few IS lenses can go into sort of a feedback loop where IS actually causes "image shake", rather than preventing it. The Canon lenses that I know for certain do this are 24-105L, 28-135, 75-300 (IS version discontinued years ago), 300/4L and the original 100-400L.

Most other IS lenses will turn off IS automatically when there is no movement. This includes all the 70-200s with IS, as well as all 200/2, 300/2.8, 400/4, 400/2.8, 500/4, 600/4, 800/5.6, 200-400, 100-400 II and more with IS.

All the IS lens manuals recommend turning it off on a tripod. However, according to Canon USA tech guru Chuck Westfall, for the large part this merely simply to save a little battery power, since some is needed to run IS. (However, I have to say I see little difference using identical cameras alongside each other... one with an IS lens and the other with a non-IS. IMO, IS actually uses very little power. Especially lenses that turn it off automatically when not needed.) Chuck also provided the list of IS lenses above, that need IS turned off on a tripod.

I use two of the lenses on that list a lot (28-135 and 300/4). However, both these I most commonly use handheld, occasionally on a monopod, almost never on a tripod. So I can't recall the last time I turned off IS even on those.

Canon has added IS to a lot of lenses in recent years, including many really affordable ones.... Some of these newer lenses might also need manually turned off, if locked down so that there is no camera shake movement what-so-ever. You'll know quickly if IS needs to be turned off... because you'll see the IS causing rapid, jumpy movements in the viewfinder. This won't do any harm to camera or lens, so you can simply turn it off then. (Don't confuse this with a slower "image drift", which is common with IS lenses. This doesn't effect image sharpness at all.)

I completely disagree that Canon IS "slows down" autofocus. In fact, personally I think Canon IS helps AF perform faster and more accurately. If you think about it, it makes sense that a stabilized object would be easier for the AF system to lock onto and track. (Note: I hear a lot of Nikon shooters say that they think VC slows AF on their cameras... and there may be some evidence to support that. But I also wonder if some of that is residual "sour grapes", because Nikon was very slow to adopt stabilization, many years behind Canon.)

IS also can be helpful when tracking moving subjects, because it helps stabilize the image you see in the viewfinder. This is much like IS on binoculars and can be helpful at times. This is only true of systems that use in-lens stabilization (Canon and Nikon, and a few Sony lenses). DSLR system that instead use in-camera stabilization do not enjoy this added benefit (Olympus, Pentax, most Sony... except for a few DSLRs with electronic viewfinders).

To me, IS is generally worth the extra cost on any lens 70mm or longer. It is especially valuable on telephotos. It's also nice to have (can't hurt!) on shorter focal lenghts, but IMO less necessary since they're relatively easy to handhold even without it. Still, I'd always rather have a lens with IS, than one without it. I certainly wouldn't turn down a shorter focal length that has it... but am more likely to pay extra for a telephoto with IS.

One lens I haven't bothered to upgrade to IS is my Canon 100/2.8 USM macro. That's because IS on macro lenses is of limited assistance at higher magnifications. The 100L probably has the best IS on any macro lens, it's a special hybrid version developed just for the macro lens... However even it only gives about one stop of assistance at the lens' highest 1:1 magnification. (This is better than some other brand stabilized lenses that give almost no assistance at 1:1). I don't really need IS on a macro, anyway, since it I'm more often using them on a tripod or monopod, or using flash (which also freezes movement). Someone who uses a macro lens more often for lower-magnification close-ups or non-macro purposes as a short or moderate telephoto, might find IS more useful than me.

But I really appreciate IS on a bunch of other lenses.... and rarely turn it off. In fact it was one of the top reasons I switched to the Canon system in 2001.

I have not used Sigma OS, Tamron VC or Nikon VR enough to compare. All the above pertains only to Canon IS. Those other manufacturers' systems are likely to differ from Canon and each other in some ways, because they all have to avoid patent infringements and no doubt each has engineered their own methods of stabilization.


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