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Image Stabilization and Tripod
Although I'm not using a tripod, I often put my Canon SD800IS on a level surface and use the timer to allow myself to get into the picture. I usually don't take the trouble to go back into the menu's and turn IS off, which is what I hear suggested a lot. The photo's seem to be fine what evil lurks with me skipping that step?.

Mike..

Comments (20)

What is the reason for turning off IS? I am not aware of any downside to using the IS function...

Comment #1

The camera with IS on may use the fact that IS allows it to take a longer exposure to do that. This is particularly the case in low light situations. That is, in some situations IS is taken into account when making the exposure calculation. This may result in a longer exposure than you want. Turning IS off stops removes IS from the exposure calculation..

I think IS with a tripod is fine if you check or control the shutter speed yourself ( if you care ) so that you're happy with it. After all, a tripod or any surface can vibrate and IS is useful in reducing that..

StephenG.

Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #2

I don't have a definitive answer for you, all I can do is offer some general info/thoughts....

I don't know about a Canon compact such as yours, but for the Nikon SLR system the early VR (IS) lenses were supposed to have a (potential) problem when tripod mounted - the VR system was not able to cope with any shake introduced by the mirror slap or wind etc. The VRII system in later lenses is supposed to have fixed that..

What relevance does that have to your camera? None  Except to suggest that it depends (as I think it did for the Nikon VR system) on whether the IS/VR is active at all times, or only when the shutter button is depressed. If the VR system is active only when the button is depressed, then it may not have enough time to kick in properly when fired remotely - ie on a tripod..

Does your camera's manual refer to this subject?.

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Comment #3

Sjgcit wrote:.

The camera with IS on may use the fact that IS allows it to take alonger exposure to do that. This is particularly the case in lowlight situations. That is, in some situations IS is taken intoaccount when making the exposure calculation. This may result in alonger exposure than you want. Turning IS off stops removes IS fromthe exposure calculation..

Are you sure about that? It's certainly not the case with my camera (Nikon DSLR)..

I'd be interested to find out if other cameras do that because frankly it sounds like a dangerous "feature". It shouldn't be up to the camera to determine what shutter speed the photographer can handle..

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Comment #4

Mike__ wrote:.

Although I'm not using a tripod, I often put my Canon SD800IS on alevel surface and use the timer to allow myself to get into thepicture. I usually don't take the trouble to go back into the menu'sand turn IS off, which is what I hear suggested a lot. The photo'sseem to be fine what evil lurks with me skipping that step?.

I'm not familiar on how Canon implements the IS system for their P&S line, but on the DSLR lenses, the earlier IS system could *add* blur to the photo if it was used on a tripod. On the newer professional lenses with IS, the lens senses whether it is on a tripod and will compensate. See link for details..

Http://www.dlcphotography.net/TripodAndIS.htm.

If your manual tells you to turn off the IS, it is most likely using the older IS system which could add blur when on a steady tripod/surface...

Comment #5

Sjgcit wrote:.

The camera with IS on may use the fact that IS allows it to take alonger exposure to do that. This is particularly the case in lowlight situations. That is, in some situations IS is taken intoaccount when making the exposure calculation. This may result in alonger exposure than you want. Turning IS off stops removes IS fromthe exposure calculation..

I think IS with a tripod is fine if you check or control the shutterspeed yourself ( if you care ) so that you're happy with it. Afterall, a tripod or any surface can vibrate and IS is useful in reducingthat..

On the Canon DSLR cameras, the exposure modes behave the same whether or not a lens has IS or not. I doubt that Canon would do this on their P&S line, since it makes no sense. Would you care to give an example of a camera that has this feature (it doesn't even have to be a Canon camera)...

Comment #6

Allowing for the fact that it's about Canon (and therefore the specific terminology, models and timing) I think it's a good overview for other makes (e.g. Nikon) as well..

The thing about "tripod mode" interests me..

(a) Apparently the Nikon VRII system handles tripod use better than the original VR although I haven't done enough research to discover exactly why.(b) According to dpreviewhttp://www.dpreview.com/news/0708/07082310nikonsupertelelenses.aspin the new range of long Nikon lenses (400, 500, 600):.

"The VR II system features a new mode designed to specifically compensate for camera shake when using vibration reduction at slow shutter speeds on a tripod.".

Now, it seems to me that VRII is VRII - I have a VRII lens (18-200) and it has no "tripod" mode and not am I aware of any ability for the lens to detect that it's mounted on a tripod..

I suspect that this so-called "tripod detection" is actually a VR mode that the photographer must select themselves, it's not some automatic thing..

And if it is a selectable mode then my question is - if it's a VRII thing, then presumably that is ther "Active" mode on my lens? But somehow I doubt that because Active mode is designed to compensate for wide and slow movement - not what you get on a tripod. On the other hand, I have read that VRII is OK for a tripod.....

I'm just voicing the questions out loud to see if other posters may have better info. Meantime I will do some more research.....

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Comment #7

The Nikon web site says of the new 600mm VR lens:.

"The newly added Tripod mode reduces vibration that may occur at shutter release when shooting with a super-telephoto lens attached to a tripod.".

That sounds to me like(a) the lens has to be told it's on a tripod (as you'd expect) and(b) it is an extra feature not available on other lenses such as the 18-200.

- Sorry, this is a bit of a hijack of the opening poster's thread, but while we're discussing VR and tripods.....

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Comment #8

Arrowman wrote:[snip].

(b) According to dpreviewhttp://www.dpreview.com/news/0708/07082310nikonsupertelelenses.aspin the new range of long Nikon lenses (400, 500, 600):"The VR II system features a new mode designed to specificallycompensate for camera shake when using vibration reduction at slowshutter speeds on a tripod.".

They are probably doing that to compete head to head with Canon, since those are the IS (VR) lenses which Canon has tripod detection. In fact these Canon lenses, according to Chuck Westfall (Canon), even compensate for mirror slap at slow..

"The EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens shuts off it's stabilizer automatically when the degree of motion falls below a certain threshold, as would be the case under most circumstances when using a tripod. This is a better arrangement than the early IS lenses like the EF75-300mm f/4-5.6 of 1995 or the EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS, where the IS system would actually increase blur when using a tripod. But it is not as sophisticated as the IS system in our super-telephoto lenses like the EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM, which can detect and compensate for mirror slap at slow shutter speeds even when the lens is mounted on a tripod."http://www.digitaljournalist.org/issue0604/westfall.html.

Now, it seems to me that VRII is VRII - I have a VRII lens (18-200)and it has no "tripod" mode and not am I aware of any ability for thelens to detect that it's mounted on a tripod..

I suspect that this so-called "tripod detection" is actually a VRmode that the photographer must select themselves, it's not someautomatic thing..

And if it is a selectable mode then my question is - if it's a VRIIthing, then presumably that is ther "Active" mode on my lens? Butsomehow I doubt that because Active mode is designed to compensatefor wide and slow movement - not what you get on a tripod. On theother hand, I have read that VRII is OK for a tripod.....

I'm not sure about Nikon, but on the Canon system, there is no switch. The lens automatically detects the tripod. I would imagine that Nikon would do the same..

As for your 18-200 VR lens, I would guess that it does not have tripod detection if it does not say so. If that is the case, you may get a feedback loop where the lens corrects for movement (but for which there is no movement). This is what causes the added blur...

Comment #9

Dave_s93 wrote:.

They are probably doing that to compete head to head with Canon,since those are the IS (VR) lenses which Canon has tripod detection.In fact these Canon lenses, according to Chuck Westfall (Canon), evencompensate for mirror slap at slow..

You're probably right on that. The limited research that I've done on this indicates that Canon has had IS lenses that can handle tripods for some time before Nikon..

"...the IS system in our super-telephoto lenses like theEF300mm f/2.8L IS USM, which can detect and compensate for mirrorslap at slow shutter speeds even when the lens is mounted on atripod.".

I'm not sure about Nikon, but on the Canon system, there is noswitch. The lens automatically detects the tripod. I would imaginethat Nikon would do the same..

Well this is a bit of a semantic quibble, but I think there's a difference between the three possibilities here:.

1. "automatically detects that it's on a tripod and adjusts it's behaviour accordingly".

- I don't see how any lens can automatically know that it's tripod mounted (except for maybe a sensor in the tripod collar to show when it's in use?).

2. "Is capable of handling the movements typically experienced on a tripod as part of it's normal operation".

- Which the Nikon 18-200 almost certainly does not, but perhaps the Canon lenses do.3. "Has a special Tripod setting".

- which is my literal reading of the Nikon material I quoted before, but maybe it's really option 2. Same difference anyway..

As for your 18-200 VR lens, I would guess that it does not havetripod detection if it does not say so.If that is the case, you mayget a feedback loop where the lens corrects for movement (but forwhich there is no movement). This is what causes the added blur..

Yes, I think conventional wisdom is to turn the VR off when the 18-200 is tripod mounted. With VR on you are not guaranteed to get bad results, it's just risking bad results. It seems to me that the whole point of putting the lens on a tripod is for stability, but that you may get wind etc movement, the lens can't necessarily handle that so you just turn the VR off in the belief that that will give you the best chance of a good result..

Thanks for the input, it has prompted me to learn more..

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Comment #10

Arrowman wrote:.

I'd be interested to find out if other cameras do that becausefrankly it sounds like a dangerous "feature". It shouldn't be up tothe camera to determine what shutter speed the photographer canhandle..

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Pretty much all the "auto" modes allow the camera to select shutter speeds, right?..

Comment #11

Craig Gillette wrote:.

Pretty much all the "auto" modes allow the camera to select shutterspeeds, right?.

Of course. But the poster was suggesting that with an IS (VR) lens installed the camera / meter would "know" this and select or allow a lower shutter speed..

So for example, if the conditions are such that the auto setting would select, say, 1/30 second at maximum aperture then if the IS/VR is turned on, the camera says "great, we've got VR" and offer you 1/15 sec and one stop down..

That, IMHO, is simply not true..

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Comment #12

There is nothing inherently wrong with allowing the camera to decide shutter speeds. Whether it makes the changes because it "senses" a tripod or whether the user selected a particular "mode." If the photographer wants or needs a particular set of exposure considerations, they are free to select a mode that supports that. It's a photographer issue, not a camera system problem if it moves any exposure element into an area that doesn't support the photographer..

It's hard to blame the camera if on Aperture priority, the shooter selects an aperture then the camera selects "too slow" a shutter speed...

Comment #13

Arrowman wrote:.

- I don't see how any lens can automatically know that it's tripodmounted (except for maybe a sensor in the tripod collar to show whenit's in use?).

Simple, really. IS lenses detect movement and respond to it. Program the lens that if the movement is below a certain threshold that the camera isn't likely handheld so go into "tripod" mode..

Seen in a fortune cookie:Fear is the darkroom where negatives are developed..

Comment #14

Arrowman wrote:.

Well this is a bit of a semantic quibble, but I think there's adifference between the three possibilities here:1. "automatically detects that it's on a tripod and adjusts itsbehaviour accordingly"- I don't see how any lens can automatically know that it's tripodmounted (except for maybe a sensor in the tripod collar to show whenit's in use?).

Well, if you notice on the quote from Chuck Westfall (shown again below), he notes that the lens detects a tripod by determining the degree of motion. If it is below a certain level, it assumes that it is on a tripod..

"The EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens shuts off it's stabilizer automatically when the degree of motion falls below a certain threshold, as would be the case under most circumstances when using a tripod. This is a better arrangement than the early IS lenses like the EF75-300mm f/4-5.6 of 1995 or the EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS, where the IS system would actually increase blur when using a tripod. But it is not as sophisticated as the IS system in our super-telephoto lenses like the EF300mm f/2.8L IS USM, which can detect and compensate for mirror slap at slow shutter speeds even when the lens is mounted on a tripod.".

Again, I don't presume to know how Nikon implements this, but with Canon, the lens automatically determines if it is on a tripod (or something just as stable)...

Comment #15

Of course you are right in everything you say. My only point was that the poster seems to be implying that the camera's meter will offer a greater range of shutter speeds if the IR is turned on. Either the poster is wrong, or they didn't express themselves clearly enough..

Sorry to be so hot on this, I'm a demon for misinformation .

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Comment #16

Dave_s93 wrote:.

Well, if you notice on the quote from Chuck Westfall (shown againbelow), he notes that the lens detects a tripod by determining thedegree of motion. If it is below a certain level, it assumes that itis on a tripod..

"The EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens shuts off it's stabilizer automaticallywhen the degree of motion falls below a certain threshold, as wouldbe the case under most circumstances when using a tripod. This is abetter arrangement than the early IS lenses like the EF75-300mmf/4-5.6 of 1995 or the EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS, where the IS systemwould actually increase blur when using a tripod. But it is not assophisticated as the IS system in our super-telephoto lenses like theEF300mm f/2.8L IS USM, which can detect and compensate for mirrorslap at slow shutter speeds even when the lens is mounted on atripod.".

Right you are, then. Thanks for the info..

Again, I don't presume to know how Nikon implements this, but withCanon, the lens automatically determines if it is on a tripod (orsomething just as stable)..

The Nikon literature that I have read about the new long telephotos refers, I think to a "tripod mode". Not clear if that's specifid mode, or just a clumsy reference to the same capability that Canon offers..

Either way, I'm not going to be able to buy one of those lenses in the near future so it's all academic  Thanks again..

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Comment #17

Hi, it's just me again..

Appreciate all the input. I read it all (including the links) carefully and I'm not sure any of it applies to my little ELPH.  .

I have not yet found any reference to this in the manual, and only pursue it because I have seen SO MANY references to this in the many camera fora. Perhaps the be-sure-to-turn-off-IS-if-using-tripod caveats are simply sort of urban myths that linger.....

Mike..

Comment #18

Mike__ wrote:.

Hi, it's just me again..

Appreciate all the input..

No worries..

I read it all (including the links)carefully and I'm not sure any of it applies to my little ELPH.  .

Probably not  but it's a heck of an interesting subject!.

I have not yet found any reference to this in the manual, and onlypursue it because I have seen SO MANY references to this in the manycamera fora..

Possibly not a surprise for a compact. SLR lenses usually come with advice about tripod use..

My guess is - and this is ONLY a guess - that using the IS/VR on a tripod is not likely to make any difference - improvement, or making things worse. So you should probably leave it off. But that is just speculation on my part. The key thing is - will it make things worse? And the only way to confirm that would be to conduct your own tests. I would suggest you do this both indoors on a stable surface (to make sure there is no tripod movement) and outdoors (where there may be some tripod movement due to wind etc, but possibly not enough to cause the IS/VR to kick in)..

Bottom line, if you can't see any difference in your photos, then there isn't any difference. .

Perhaps the be-sure-to-turn-off-IS-if-using-tripodcaveats are simply sort of urban myths that linger.....

They're not urban myths, there is some truth to it - for SLR lenses, anyway. My problem is that I can find no definitive answer to the question - does IS/VR make no difference when used on a tripod, or does it actually make things worse?.

I've tried to find answers to this in the thread below. It's about Nikon SLRs, not Canon compacts, so the relevance to you is, shall we say, dubious  but if you're interested in the subject in general you may find it a worthwhile read:.

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1030&message=25222953.

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Comment #19

Mike__ wrote:.

Appreciate all the input. I read it all (including the links)carefully and I'm not sure any of it applies to my little ELPH.  .

Hard to tell if it applies to compact P&S. The safest bet is to turn of IS. Of course, it won't damage the camera, just the picture..

I have not yet found any reference to this in the manual, and onlypursue it because I have seen SO MANY references to this in the manycamera fora. Perhaps the be-sure-to-turn-off-IS-if-using-tripodcaveats are simply sort of urban myths that linger.....

No, this is not a myth. See the following link to see this effect..

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1031&message=17471847.

Hopefully that confirms that IS can *add* blur when using a tripod...

Comment #20

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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