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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 03 Jan 2011 (Monday) 18:22
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Image Stabilization - great in the VF but how about IQ

 
nate42nd
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Jan 03, 2011 18:22 |  #1

I know some will have a knee-jerk reaction to this but recently I have been shooting with my 50mm (no IS) and also turning off my IS on my 55-250, 17-55, 24-105 and here are the results I am seeing. When I am looking through the VF is the worst part of not having IS. My images are fine without IS if I get the shutter speed up to double the focal length.

IS makes looking through the VF WAY better but it's not doing as much for my images as I thought it was. I know it depends on if you shoot action or lanscapes but I do a bit of both.....and everything in between.

I am thinking about buying a 70-200 F/2.8L (non IS) and wondering if I will regret it. I don't think I will.......having the 55-250 to practice has been a help and having 2-3 stops of light with the 2.8 will make it even better. I don't think I need IS most of the time. It's nice....but isn't helping the IQ much.

Is this accurate? I'm asking you experienced photographers. Can I get by without IS and save myself hundreds.....maybe get another lens. maybe a 35mm F/2 with the extra money? What's your opinion on IS and IQ?


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muskyhunter
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Jan 03, 2011 18:27 |  #2

the 70-200 2.8 weighs allot mroe than then the 55-250mm, might not be that easy to hand hold without IS. If you get the 70-200 2.8 use a tripod.



  
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hieu1004
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Jan 03, 2011 18:30 |  #3

I've had the 2.8 non-IS, f/4 non-IS, and the f/4 IS. I was like you in the beginning, thought I could go without IS. I purchased the 70-200 mainly for sports too - so I figured I'd always have a fast shutter anyway. It worked perfectly for awhile - then I fell in love with the lens and started to use it as a more general purpose lens. Started doing portraits, landscape, events, etc. When the lights dimmed, it was almost impossible to keep a balanced exposure with a fast enough shutter. My keeper rate in low light for still objects were horrible. When I switched to the IS, my keeper rate skyrocketed and I was able to get shots I wouldn't have been able to get otherwise @ 1/30 sec.

If you have steady hands and plan to keep the shutter up, the non-IS is fine - but to me the IS is worth it. The only reason not to get the IS is the money constraint.


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nate42nd
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Jan 03, 2011 18:32 |  #4

muskyhunter wrote in post #11566872 (external link)
the 70-200 2.8 weighs allot mroe than then the 55-250mm, might not be that easy to hand hold without IS. If you get the 70-200 2.8 use a tripod.

I am 6'2" and 250 lbs. I feel I can hand hold lenses others wouldn't. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't plan to use a tripod 80% of the time. It is a heavy lens. Maybe I should rent one. I have though about that, but it doesn't seem that big. haha I know it's a heavy one...you're probably right. I see a lot of great photographers using non IS lenses.


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hieu1004
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Jan 03, 2011 18:35 |  #5

nate42nd wrote in post #11566916 (external link)
I am 6'2" and 250 lbs. I feel I can hand hold lenses others wouldn't. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't plan to use a tripod 80% of the time. It is a heavy lens. Maybe I should rent one. I have though about that, but it doesn't seem that big. haha I know it's a heavy one...you're probably right. I see a lot of great photographers using non IS lenses.

It's fine - people use the 7-200 2.8 handheld all the time without a tripod. It's somewhat heavy for a lens - but it's not like you can't hand-hold the thing. As long as you maintain a fast shutter, you'll be able to handhold it. Now lugging it around all day is a different story.


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nate42nd
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Jan 03, 2011 18:35 |  #6

hieu1004 wrote in post #11566895 (external link)
I've had the 2.8 non-IS, f/4 non-IS, and the f/4 IS. I was like you in the beginning, thought I could go without IS. I purchased the 70-200 mainly for sports too - so I figured I'd always have a fast shutter anyway. It worked perfectly for awhile - then I fell in love with the lens and started to use it as a more general purpose lens. Started doing portraits, landscape, events, etc. When the lights dimmed, it was almost impossible to keep a balanced exposure with a fast enough shutter. My keeper rate in low light for still objects were horrible. When I switched to the IS, my keeper rate skyrocketed and I was able to get shots I wouldn't have been able to get otherwise @ 1/30 sec.

If you have steady hands and plan to keep the shutter up, the non-IS is fine - but to me the IS is worth it. The only reason not to get the IS is the money constraint.

Thanks for this. It's good advice. It's a hard decision. I may get it and think of it as "renting" the lens for 6-9 months for a small amount. It's only $700. That's what the guy will take for it. I just cannot decide.


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DreDaze
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Jan 03, 2011 18:36 |  #7

what are you going to use it to take shots of?....i don't think IS is really necessary on something in the range of 17-105mm...so i can easily see you not needing it there...if you're taking shots of moving objects though you'll need a fast shutter anyways so it'll counterbalance any need for stabilization...


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ni$mo350
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Jan 03, 2011 18:36 |  #8

Not everyone will need IS or use it to it's fullest potential. I never turned mine off because I would rather have it on if it's there. I'd choose the f/4IS over the 2.8IS and non any day of the week though as the IQ was just incredible. I had the f/4 IS and the only reason I got rid of it was for primes and I miss it but love primes to much to go back. Also keep in mind the f/4 Is has a 4 stop IS and the 55-250 IIRC doesn't.


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macroimage
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Jan 03, 2011 18:47 |  #9

I also don't find IS to be that important for the most part. I often use my Sigma 50-500mm or my Canon 80-200mm f/2.8 L both of which have no IS however I almost always use a monopod when I don't have a tripod. Practicing with the monopod has allowed me to do very well with long focal lengths and no IS. IS on a monpod works even better of course. I am too shaky generally for freehand photography without a flash.

I do use my 70-300 IS USM a fair bit and can do OK freehand with it if IS is on but I still prefer it with a monopod. At high shutter speeds with that lens I seem to get sharper pictures with IS turned off. When the IS is active, I get some haloing or strange blur sometimes that is different in character from normal shake or misfocus but the problem seems to be specific to that lens.

My other IS lenses don't seem to be worse with IS unless the exposure is longer than 1/8s where the IS tends to drift and cause more blur.

I think if you really don't want to use a camera support of some sort, then IS is probably worth the money but otherwise the money saved might be better put toward something else that you would enjoy. The difference between a 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM II and a used copy of the non-IS version could fund a budget trip to somewhere interesting to take pictures or buy another lens with money left over for a nice monopod.


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bobbyz
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Jan 03, 2011 19:02 |  #10

Depends on what you shoot. If you need to shoot your 70-200mm f2.8 at 200mm end f2.8 but at 1/30 sec and still get sharp shots you will love the IS. Without that I personally need something like 1/200 or even higher. Most new IS lenses are sharper than their previous non IS counter parts so don't buy that IS isn't sharp myth (due to more elements).


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Mark-B
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Jan 03, 2011 19:16 |  #11

nate42nd wrote in post #11566845 (external link)
My images are fine without IS if I get the shutter speed up to double the focal length.

I'm asking you experienced photographers. Can I get by without IS and save myself hundreds.....maybe get another lens. maybe a 35mm F/2 with the extra money? What's your opinion on IS and IQ?

If you need your shutter speed to be double the focal length for good pictures on wider lenses, then you might not have much luck with a telephoto lens. I personally can get good pictures with the shutter speed at or slightly below focal length on any of my lenses. Naturally, the wider the focal length, the bigger of a gap I can have between focal length and shutter speed.

I only have one lens with IS, but I love it and have taken hand held shots that otherwise would have been impossible without a tripod.

1.3 seconds hand held at 17mm, f/10

IMAGE: http://www.msbphoto.com/img/s2/v1/p236842838-4.jpg

1 second hand held at 17mm, f/3.5
IMAGE: http://www.msbphoto.com/img/s9/v0/p105004309-4.jpg



I haven't used a telephoto like the 70-200 f/4 IS, but from what I read, someone with a steady hand can hand hold 1/60 at 200mm and still get a sharp picture. If that's the case, then you could probably get down to 1/10 at 70mm. That's pretty useful if you ask me!

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nate42nd
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Jan 03, 2011 19:35 |  #12

Mark-B wrote in post #11567254 (external link)
If you need your shutter speed to be double the focal length for good pictures on wider lenses, then you might not have much luck with a telephoto lens. I personally can get good pictures with the shutter speed at or slightly below focal length on any of my lenses. Naturally, the wider the focal length, the bigger of a gap I can have between focal length and shutter speed.!

This is true. Double the focal length is an experiment I have been doing. I can shoot at focal length and be fine....even lower. Much lower sometimes. I am thinking at 100-200 I might have to use a higher shutter speed than.....say my 17-55. I can get amazingly good shots with it with the is off. I normally leave it on, but I have tried not to use it for a week. As you know the wider the shot the les you need IS. I know what you're saying though.


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hieu1004
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Jan 03, 2011 19:40 |  #13

It's not hard to handhold lenses in the shorter range. The telephoto ranges is where things get difficult due to magnification. Best bet is just to rent one before you commit.


-Hieu
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nate42nd
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Jan 03, 2011 19:45 |  #14

hieu1004 wrote in post #11567425 (external link)
It's not hard to handhold lenses in the shorter range. The telephoto ranges is where things get difficult due to magnification. Best bet is just to rent one before you commit.

It's a good idea. That's why I have been using the 55-250 with IS off, but as we all know the 70-200 is substantially heavier than the 55-250. Thanks to everyone.

I do know that for years people took great images with no IS, but now we have it, I guess the only reason no to have it is money. I may just get it as an experiment. Since I would buy used for very inexpensive, I may be able to use it for free for a few months and find out.


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TripleG
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Jan 03, 2011 20:03 as a reply to  @ nate42nd's post |  #15

Whether IS makes a difference or not is completely up to the photographer and their hand holding
skills. I went from the non IS to the IS II and was surprised how much of a difference it made for
general photography. Won't make much of a difference if you are shooting action unless you are
looking for some sort of panning effect. I typically go for 1/500 as a minimum for sports and that
usually prevents any shake.

No regrets getting the IS II. Great zoom. Hoping the 24-70 gets it sometime.



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