How important is image stablization?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by crowl31, Nov 2, 2007.

  1. crowl31

    crowl31 TPF Noob!

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    Should i buy a lens with IS or is it not that important?

    How much improvement do you get by having IS?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    IS...it's a great feature. If you can afford an IS lens, I highly recommend it.

    IS fights against camera shake. The rule of thumb is that to avoid camera shake blur, you should use a shutter speed that is 1/the focal length of the lens. So for a 200mm lens, you would want a 1/200 shutter speed. Many people also say that the crop factor of most DSLR cameras should be taken into account. So for a 200mm lens, you would want a 1/320 shutter speed.

    IS gives you the ability to shoot at slower speeds without the associated camera shake blur. Canon says that you can expect up to three or four stops with their newer IS technology. Realistically, it's more like two or three stops....but at three stops...you can get sharp shots with a 200mm lens at 1/40...maybe slower. That's pretty freaking good.

    Following this logic, IS is much more beneficial on longer lenses than it is on shorter lenses. I've used a 100-400mm lens with IS...and when you are looking through the viewfinder and you activate the IS...the difference is amazing.

    Now...all that being said, IS will not help to freeze subject movement. It's all well and good that you can get sharp shots at 1/40 or 1/15...but if your subject is moving...then you will still get blur. Only a faster shutter speed will freeze both camera shake blur and subject movement blur. So if your intention is to shoot sporting events or kids running around...IS will help but it won't be a miracle cure.

    Bottom line...if you can afford it, get it...you won't regret it.
     
  3. Groupcaptainbonzo

    Groupcaptainbonzo TPF Noob!

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    If you have a f1.0 30mm lens and live on the equator Image Stabilisation is NOT an issue.

    If you have an f8 500mm lens and live near a large northern city, then it is a REALLY BIG issue.

    For me (Mostly about f1.4 ish to f5.6ish. And from 17mm to 300mm Mid UK . YES BUY IT ......... N O W ! ! )
     
  4. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    There is an accessory that has been around for years that will beat built-in image stabilization to hear and gone. ;)
     
  5. Keagle

    Keagle TPF Noob!

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    Ooo! Lemme guess...I get 3 right? #1...Tripod! :p
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    #2... lean the camera against something solid like a wall or desk

    #3... lean your body against something solid (wall, tree, bench, etc...), and hold your elbows tight against your body and hold the camera firmly in your hands and press firmly (don't go nuts here... lol), against your face, press shutter upon the slow controled exhale after taking a nice deep breath.

    None of these issues will help much if you are trying to reduce motion shake due to sitting in a moving car. IS or VR help a lot in that situation.
     
  7. RacePhoto

    RacePhoto TPF Noob!

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    #4 I have one. A Bean Bag! :mrgreen:

    #5 Monopod?

    Just wanted to add to the obvious, a good tripod...

    IS works. IS consumes batteries faster, if you don't need it, turn it off.

    Ever shoot anything low light where you are forced to be hand held? Then yes, you want IS. Worth the price in saved shots.
     
  8. ThePup

    ThePup TPF Noob!

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    Erm... What does the equator have to do with it? Camera shake is caused by hand movements, not corillis or anything similar...
     
  9. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think he was referring to the light being strong at the equator ;)

    But there are still dusk and dawn, even there ...
     
  10. ThePup

    ThePup TPF Noob!

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    :blushing:

    See, there's why I take crap photos, I think technically, not artisticlly ;)
     
  11. patrickt

    patrickt TPF Noob!

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    I like image stabilization. In old churches and museums, where tripods aren't allowed, it's very useful. I'm not technically inclined, I just take pictures, so I can't say with any confidence how many stops it helps but it helps.

    I don't have any long zooms but even with a 200mm it helps.

    I like and use my tripod but it isn't practical in every situation. The same goes for my bean bag, although my 3-year old nephew loves the bean bag. I'm glad I spent years without image stabilization because I got pretty good at stabilizing the camera.

    There is no magic pill but it all helps.
     
  12. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    IS is a very nice feature to have... but it is what it is...

    Your first line of defense is basic old time tested photography techniques. IS will get you a little more on top.

    Big Mike summed it up.


    Personally.. IMHO... I have it on my two zooms.. I like it... but it is so freaken hyped up in sales.
     

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