Should I get IS lenses? Crystal-ball gazers needed.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Mihai, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. Mihai

    Mihai TPF Noob!

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    I'm a noob (even before that - I don't even have an SLR yet) so the question may seem stupid: do you think that Canon IS is a temporary stop-gap or is here to stay.

    It's not that the technology is not useful - from what I read (and it all makes sense) it's a very useful technology. I just question its implementation and the future of this implementation: it makes more sense to me to implement it in the body, not in the lens. In other words, it should shake the sensor, not the lens. I understand that this is feasible as other manufacturers (Minolta?) already do that, effectively transforming any ordinary lens into an IS lens.

    Since the average serious photographer owns more lenses than bodies (at least I think so), it would make sense to implement this in the body, not in the lens.

    If this is the case, I'd rather invest in high quality lenses without IS (say the 70-200 L) rather than on regular lenses with IS (say the 70-300 IS) and enjoy them on the new IS-enabled bodies.

    Again, I'm a noob, so it may be total bull what I'm saying, so don't be harsh.

    Thanks,
    Mihai
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    Good question. I'm not sure anybody but the executives at Canon really know. I'd bet they are wishing that they had started putting IS into the bodies rather than the lenses...or at least we wish they did.

    I say...go ahead and get the IS lenses. From the looks of things, Canon is incorporating IS into a lot more lenses so it seems they are committed to the technology. Even if they do put IS into their camera one day...there will still be a market for IS lenses because there are tons and tons of EOS bodies in circulation.
     
  3. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    First, as a KM owner, i have found that the anti shake technology is DEFIANTLY worth it. As a KM owner, I also have the advantage of putting on any lens from any company as long as I have an adapter.

    Second as Big Mike says, only Canon knows what Canon will do. But keep this in mind. IS tech is good for many things if left in the lenses. mainly making cannon alot more money. The trick is to understand that IS (anti-shake) only really works when a shake is present. If mounted on a tripod, it is actually counterproductive to run the IS because the system is designed to work with movement, not without it.
     
  4. Unimaxium

    Unimaxium TPF Noob!

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    Well, I don't think that IS is going to die any time in the near future, considering that Canon just released a brand new IS lens yesterday (the 70-200 f4L IS USM). Man I'd love one so bad :drool:
     
  5. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    think about this from the manufacturer's PoV:

    The manufacturer's think of that EXACT Statement when deciding where to put the IS. THe manufacturers however word it more like this:

    Since the average serious photographer owns more lenses than bodies (at least I think so), it would make sense to implement this in the lens, not in the body.

    The reason for this is that they buy more lenses and the manufacturer makes more money. Simple econimics. Put the features that cost into the item people buy the most of and you make more money.
     
  6. mkalcevic

    mkalcevic TPF Noob!

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    IMHO, if you need it now, get it. it's worth it. Canon and Nikon, probably, won't be implimenting it into the body in the next year or two. They make more money off the lenses that way. In any case, the IS lenses that you get now will most likely work on any future IS bodies. In that sense, maybe you would have double the effect.
     
  7. Mihai

    Mihai TPF Noob!

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    Oh, well, in this case, if some other major company... say Nikon decides to make their bodies with IS, Canon will lose all its customers (at least the ones with comon sense). Perhaps at that point they will reconsider. Perhaps it would be too late.

    I am curious if there is *any* advantage in putting the IS in the lens. Is it there anything than can be done with IS in the lens that cannot be done with IS in the body?

    I really doubt that IS in the lens and IS in the body is double the effect. Most likely will have to turn off one or the other.

    Thanks,
    Mihai
     
  8. fotogenik

    fotogenik TPF Noob!

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    Don't know about any advantage or disadvantage when it comes to where to place the IS but, Nikon has already made it's choice and has followed suit with Canon by putting VR in the lens as their answer to canon's IS.

    Another theory in this is that they are putting VR/IS in the lens in order to offer it to people who do not want to upgrade bodies just to get IS/VR.

    I can see arugments for both ways, however if it were not about money then the new bodies should have IS/VR incorporated into them, and they don't.
     
  9. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    From a sales point of view, its easier to sell an IS lens than IS in the body. Why you ask? Because in-body cameras that float the sensor cannot demonstrate the benefits of IS as easily to the typical consumer.. The person looking through the prism finder cannot see the in-sensor IS in action.


    If you can afford it and the lens itself fits your needs, go ahead... life is short.. enjoy.
     
  10. With all due respect... Canon is a serious company that has developed a lot of this technology. This is not a "me-too" feature required by the marketers. There are other (better) reasons why they implemented it in the lens and not the body than simply being able to charge more for it. First of all, their solution is partly mechanical so that the lenses can also work on FILM cameras. In-camera IS is only for digital cameras. Secondly, Canon probably puts it in the lens because it simply better to have it there. I don't say that because I'm some blue-eyed naif out of the woods, but every lens requires slightly different compensation. Canon (at the pro-level) has different kinds of IS, so it's not a simple add-on. If you consider that IS was always introduced at the HIGH END of the market, not at the full-on noob consumer level, you should have some confidence in the technology, as well as Canon's reasons for putting it there.

    If you buy IS lenses, you need to know how it works, otherwise you will not get full value out of them. It's not just a simple on-off feature (uhhh... although it does just have an on-off button.) Once you understand how it works you will also see that it is a pretty serious technology, and not just something that will be replaced by the next best thing.

    Buy IS lenses, it's a pretty good technology.
     
  11. Mihai

    Mihai TPF Noob!

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    I agree that it's a useful technology. Perhaps a great technology! I do agree with you that it would likely be hard to do this with film. However, in the (near) future, film cameras will go the way of the medium size (i.e., with dedicated followers but with a tiny overall percentage of the market). Given this, and the fact that it's likely just as easy to do IS in the camera as in the lens (contradict me here if I'm wrong), I wonder if IS-bodies are the way of the future or not.

    For what is worth I decided that at least for the telephoto I'll get the IS (namely I decided on the 70-300 USM IS DO), but I cannot help asking myself what the future holds.

    M.
     
  12. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I sort of entered this discussion too late to really participate. However, just in case anyone still reads, some more technology arguments to support what Iron Flatline wrote:

    If you implement IS in the camera, this sounds like a great solution for saving money. And it would certainly work great for some lenses. However, if IS is achieved by by sensor motion that compensates the motion of the camera, then the degree of tilt needed wil STRONGLY depend on the lens attached.
    In particlular the focal length plays a role here since for a given amplitude of camera shake the required sensor tilt will immensly larger for a 600mm tele than for a 14mm fisheye. OK, I know mostly you do not need IS at the very short focal length, partly true, but at say 20mm at least for me it makes sense sometimes.
    In other words,
    -the lens has to give very exact data regarding its current focal length to the camera (can be a problem with third party lenses or older lenses, that would be good in terms of return on investment for Canon though ;)).
    -the IS has to be capable of precise and fast motion of both very large amplitude and very tiny amplitude if you use tele and normal to wide angle. Not sure how it is done, but if it is piezo elements, then I think it is hard to optimise for both ends of the scale.
    - also, if it is the sensor tilting, I can imagine in some situations there could be issues with the focal plane, maybe negligible though, since the tilting on that scale in all cases is tiny.

    From my experience Canon is donig a good job in optimising IS, that is for a given lens with its parameters! However, I am not sure IS quality would be on the same level if it was implemented in the camera body.

    And one last comment on Canon, its marketing and all. Of course having IS in the lenses is good for them in terms of profit, no doubt. But if any other company decides to place it in the camera body, they also do it to some extend for profit! ;)
     

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