Is image stabiliztion truly necessary?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by mindsi, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. mindsi

    mindsi TPF Noob!

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    I am looking to purchase the 70-200 f2.8 L for college at The University of Houston and I am up in arms about spending nearly $2000.00 for this lens to have the L series optics and the usm motor, WITH image stabilization. Without the lens brand new is only $1200 or $1300.00 straight from Canon. Can any professionals answer the question of whether they feel I will truly need it or not? At least for college.



    equipment
    Olympus E-500
    45-150mm Zuiko ed lens

    Soon to be
    Canon 30d
    70-200mm F2.8 USM IS/NO IS L
    35mm F4 USM IS L
    Prime 1.8 mark IV L
     
  2. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    No, it is not absolutely essential to have a stabilized 70-200 lens. There is an entire universe of non-stabilized lenses out there, and millions of successful photos have been made without IS. Also, a number of reviews seem to indicate that the non-IS 70-200-L might be a little bit better optically than the IS version.

    Canon's 70-200 f/2.8 L-IS is now nine years old,and Canon has just last week announced that they will be updating the lens, so within six months, there will probably be a large supply of the first-generation IS models on the used market.

    When I was in college, the Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 was an AiS lens that was just a little bit smaller than a 2-liter soda bottle (seriously--95mm front filter!),and for the most part there were no 80-200 f/2.8 lenses in actual use among the vast majority of photographers: then, an f/4 80-200 or 70-200 or 70-210 lens was considered fast,and ISO 400 was also fast and 1600 ISO in B&W was the top realistically attainable E.I. or Exposure Index. Today, 1600 is easily done in color, as is 3,200 and even 6,400 and up...so you will be able to survive with a non-IS 70-200 f/2.8 Canon zoom lens, just fine.
     
  3. Phranquey

    Phranquey TPF Noob!

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    Derrel is right. The VR (Nikon's IS) is very nice to have in some situations, but is in no way absolutely necessary. I had an 80-200 f/2.8 non-VR for a few years, and it took some outstanding photos.

    Plus, most Canon & Nikon brand lenses hold their value pretty good. If you buy an "L" series, and decide you really need (or want) IS later, you will likely be able to sell off your lens without too much loss. Many off brand lenses are good, but nothing holds value like OEM.
     
  4. Joves

    Joves No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For me 200mm and below are easily used without IS/VR. Which it seems every lens is coming with VR/IS anymore. Hell I have shot with 300mm and not needed it. You just need to use proper holding techniques, which actually goes for any lens.
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Lets put it this way. Photography was not invented during the turn of the millenium. People have been taking quality photos without IS/VR for many years and will continue to for many years.

    It's a nice to have, but definitely not a necessity.
     
  6. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yup... agreed ^^

    Even with IS, I am far more effective with a monopod/tripod. If you don't like supports (easiest way to improve on the quality of your photo), then IS/VR or whatever it is called is really nice to have.

    A long long time ago, photographers used to laugh at others attempting to use a long telephoto handheld. All the money invested in the equipment and yet the loss of quality from even the smallest of hand motion is acceptable? Really didn't make any sense. Kinda like spending a few thousand on a suite but shoes from Payless.
     
  7. skieur

    skieur TPF Noob!

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    To take a different perspective, I find that if you are shooting full frame, it becomes very much like 35mm film shooting and therefore not necessary in most situations. If you are shooting on a crop body, then I find that image stabilization is more helpful and more necessary.

    skieur
     
  8. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It is nice feature to have. But is it worth extra $500, it's up to you.

    If you need to use the lens in that range most of the time, and often you cannot use tripod in those situation, IS maybe worth the extra $500. (Especially if those situations are money generating situations)
     
  9. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    If it is for field sports it is of no use
     
  10. patrickt

    patrickt TPF Noob!

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    Having more than one ISO in a digital camera isn't necessary. Having options for white balance isn't necessary. Millions of wonderful photographs were taken without either. Having color isn't necessary. Using a tripod isn't necessary.

    Image stabilization is a worthwhile feature. If you have a Canon or Nikon, which most people do, you have to choose. If you have any other DSLR, you don't. For me, if I were shooting with a Nikon, I would need VR in the lens. Others might not.
     
  11. brianT

    brianT TPF Noob!

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    It depends on under what lighting conditions you'll be shooting. I've shot in dark areas under dense trees. The lighting is very dim. With Vibration Reduction I've shot at 1/30 in the 70-150mm range with success. Sure without VR I could bump the ISO but I'd rather not. And of course there are situations where I will need to use high ISO and a low shutter speed, so the VR is REALLY going to help. Obviously a tripod solves these problems with more success, but realistically I don't carry a tripod with me all the time. So for me, Nikon's VR has proved very valuable.
     
  12. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I have no lens with IS. Would it be nice? Sure. Is it necessary, absolutely not.
     

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