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IS questions (canon)
Is IS only available on Canon lenses? I never see IS on other brands on lenses. Also I will be doing most of my shooting hand held. I understand that IS helps with camera "shake". If I was to purchase a fast(er) lens instead of one with IS would this also help with camera shake? I am wondering this because as I understand it a faster lens will allow you to use a faster shutter speed. I am looking to buy a nice med zoom to replace my kit lens and I am getting totally confused ..

Comments (17)

BeerCan wrote:.

Is IS only available on Canon lenses? I never see IS on other brandson lenses..

Nikon lenses have VR (vibration reduction). It's a different name for the same concept. Some Olympus', all current Pentax's, and I believe Sony's have the stabilization in the camera body. I'm lead to believe in body stabilization is not quite as good as lens stabilization. One problem with making objective evaluations is the difficulty in performing repeatable testing in controlled conditions..

Also I will be doing most of my shooting hand held. Iunderstand that IS helps with camera "shake". If I was to purchase afast(er) lens instead of one with IS would this also help with camerashake?I am wondering this because as I understand it a faster lenswill allow you to use a faster shutter speed. I am looking to buy anice med zoom to replace my kit lens and I am getting totallyconfused .

If you use the larger aperature (f/2.0 is a larger aperature than f/5.6) to raise the shutter speed, yes. The rule of thumb is the shutter speed should be at least 1/ (the 35mm equivalent focal length). ex: Suppose you have a 200mm lens on a 1.5x crop body. The 35mm equivalent is 300mm. Your shutter speed should be no less than 1/300 s..

I also feel the physical length of the lens is a factor. A physically longer lens will be more likely to show camera shake than a shorter one. I haven't tested this. I read it in a product brochure when looking at a Canon 135mm fixed focal length lens. The advantage of this particular lens over the prior model Canon of the same specs was that the new one was physically shorter. It might be marketing speak, but it makes sense to me..

You might also want to consider a monopod or a tripod...

Comment #1

Mrxdimension wrote:.

BeerCan wrote:.

Is IS only available on Canon lenses? I never see IS on other brandson lenses..

Nikon lenses have VR (vibration reduction). It's a different namefor the same concept. Some Olympus', all current Pentax's, and Ibelieve Sony's have the stabilization in the camera body. I'm leadto believe in body stabilization is not quite as good as lensstabilization. One problem with making objective evaluations is thedifficulty in performing repeatable testing in controlled conditions..

Also I will be doing most of my shooting hand held. Iunderstand that IS helps with camera "shake". If I was to purchase afast(er) lens instead of one with IS would this also help with camerashake?I am wondering this because as I understand it a faster lenswill allow you to use a faster shutter speed. I am looking to buy anice med zoom to replace my kit lens and I am getting totallyconfused .

If you use the larger aperature (f/2.0 is a larger aperature thanf/5.6) to raise the shutter speed, yes. The rule of thumb is theshutter speed should be at least 1/ (the 35mm equivalent focallength). ex: Suppose you have a 200mm lens on a 1.5x crop body.The 35mm equivalent is 300mm. Your shutter speed should be no lessthan 1/300 s..

I also feel the physical length of the lens is a factor. Aphysically longer lens will be more likely to show camera shake thana shorter one. I haven't tested this. I read it in a productbrochure when looking at a Canon 135mm fixed focal length lens. Theadvantage of this particular lens over the prior model Canon of thesame specs was that the new one was physically shorter. It might bemarketing speak, but it makes sense to me..

You might also want to consider a monopod or a tripod..

Sorry, I misunderstood. You already have a Canon body and you're interested in third party lenses, not other Camera body brands. I can't help you with that question...

Comment #2

Mrxdimension wrote:.

BeerCan wrote:.

Is IS only available on Canon lenses? I never see IS on other brandson lenses..

Nikon lenses have VR (vibration reduction). It's a different namefor the same concept. Some Olympus', all current Pentax's, and Ibelieve Sony's have the stabilization in the camera body. I'm leadto believe in body stabilization is not quite as good as lensstabilization. One problem with making objective evaluations is thedifficulty in performing repeatable testing in controlled conditions..

SONY's SSS (Super Steady Shot) is indeed built into the sensor, allowing for virtually all lenses to be stabilized. But there is no evidence to support whether either in-lens or in-camera stabilization is superior to the other. I suggest the original poster go to a camera store and try out a handheld long lens from each of the major manufacturers. Then price the systems..

Also I will be doing most of my shooting hand held. Iunderstand that IS helps with camera "shake". If I was to purchase afast(er) lens instead of one with IS would this also help with camerashake?I am wondering this because as I understand it a faster lenswill allow you to use a faster shutter speed. I am looking to buy anice med zoom to replace my kit lens and I am getting totallyconfused .

If you use the larger aperature (f/2.0 is a larger aperature thanf/5.6) to raise the shutter speed, yes. The rule of thumb is theshutter speed should be at least 1/ (the 35mm equivalent focallength). ex: Suppose you have a 200mm lens on a 1.5x crop body.The 35mm equivalent is 300mm. Your shutter speed should be no lessthan 1/300 s..

The larger aperture (f/2.8 for instance) also narrows the depth of focus, sometimes to as little as a fraction of an inch. Anything outside that narrow DoF will appear soft and fuzzy. So even a fast lens has it's limitations for situations where camera shake may be an issue..

I also feel the physical length of the lens is a factor. Aphysically longer lens will be more likely to show camera shake thana shorter one. I haven't tested this. I read it in a productbrochure when looking at a Canon 135mm fixed focal length lens. Theadvantage of this particular lens over the prior model Canon of thesame specs was that the new one was physically shorter. It might bemarketing speak, but it makes sense to me..

You might also want to consider a monopod or a tripod..

That's good advice, but pods have their limits. Can't use them in museums. Slow to set up. Added burden to carry off-trail. It's still nice to have the added flexibility of camera shake stabilization..

To answer the poster's basic question, a fast zoom (e.g. f/2.8) will be very expensive, and using the fast zoom's largest light gathering aperture (f/2.8) will narrow the depth of what's in focus to sometimes unacceptable fractions of an inch..

So even with a fast lens you may choose a slower f/stop in exchange for more of the image being within the field of focus...

Comment #3

Mrxdimension Thanks for the reply. Re - IS on lenses I probably should have formed my question better. I have a Canon body (rebel series) and was wondering if IS for the canon mount is only available on canon lenses and not sigma et. al...

If I read your second part correctly you are saying that a faster lens will help combat shake. That is until the point where the physical size of the lens over comes the strength of my hand. Something in the 17-55 range should be less of an issue right? A mono or tripod is really not a solution for me..

I am looking for a replacement for my very old "kit" lens that I can use as a "walk around" lens. The canon 17-55 IS is very appealing but a little outside my ~500 dollar budget. I tend to have shaky hands which I compound by drinking to much coffee  ..

Comment #4

Thanks Dennis..

So what your saying is that comparing IS and lens speed is like comparing apples to oranges. To combat the shake I would have to have the lens at such a fast setting I may not get the shot I want..

Slowly this will sink in  ..

Comment #5

BeerCan wrote:.

Thanks for the reply. Re - IS on lenses I probably should haveformed my question better. I have a Canon body (rebel series) andwas wondering if IS for the canon mount is only available on canonlenses and not sigma et. al...

If I read your second part correctly you are saying that a fasterlens will help combat shake. That is until the point where thephysical size of the lens over comes the strength of my hand.Something in the 17-55 range should be less of an issue right? Amono or tripod is really not a solution for me..

I feel this is correct. I have no evidence but it makes sense. Then again who would have thought Aristotle was wrong about how quick two falling objects of different weight would reach the ground .

I understand that monopods are not always a solution. Just offering an option..

I am looking for a replacement for my very old "kit" lens that I canuse as a "walk around" lens. The canon 17-55 IS is very appealingbut a little outside my ~500 dollar budget. I tend to have shakyhands which I compound by drinking to much coffee  .

Lol! I gave up coffee for that reason. I have in-body stabilization but handholding for a 100mm macro shot with stabilization still benefits from steady hands and a good technique..

I thought I read that Canon recently brought out a new kit lens that is stabilized. If so I doubt it's the 17-55 IS at $500. $500 would be way too much for a kit lens. My Canon knowledge is way out of date since I only have film gear by them..

If third party lens makers don't offer IS maybe you can search for a new kit lens with IS...

Comment #6

BeerCan:.

The new Canon 18-55 IS lens sells for just $183 from Amazon. It has received very good reviews (I have not used it). It is the new kit lens, so it probably is not made especially well, but it evidently has good optics. Reviewers have noted that the IS works as well as on pro-caliber lenses..

Jerryhttp://jchoate.zenfolio.com/..

Comment #7

I just bot the Sigma 17-70, F2.8-4.5 that's designated "For Canon AF." It's my understanding that this lense has IS??..

Comment #8

Mikeobe wrote:.

I just bot the Sigma 17-70, F2.8-4.5 that's designated "For CanonAF." It's my understanding that this lense has IS??.

It doesn't...

Comment #9

I just bought Rebel XTi myself and opted out for a slightly better than kit lens, Canon 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 USM II. Since I saved $120 by not buying a kit lens, I figured another $120 was worth the upgrade and since I am completely new to DSLRs, didn't want to go too much above that..

If I get into this thing, I want to upgrade the lens this summer to something I really wanted in the first place, Canon 17-85 f/4-5.6 IS USM. Few weeks ago I saw this lense sell for $440 on Amazon which is well within the budget you were looking for. It is slightly slower than the one I have, but IS should more than compensate for that and I think 17mm wide-end would be nice for walk-around scenery/landscape shots...

Comment #10

BeerCan wrote:.

Is IS only available on Canon lenses? I never see IS on other brandson lenses. Also I will be doing most of my shooting hand held. Iunderstand that IS helps with camera "shake". If I was to purchase afast(er) lens instead of one with IS would this also help with camerashake? I am wondering this because as I understand it a faster lenswill allow you to use a faster shutter speed..

YES ... and NO.

YES ... you are correct that a faster lens will allow a faster shutter speed..

But ... the latest claims on IS/VR advantages are up to 4 stops. Economically that can never be surpassed with a faster lens. (I mean we are talking in the f/1.0 area.).

Also remember that another BIG advantage of IS/VR lenses is that it DOES ALLOW "LONGER" SHUTTER SPEEDS. If I have a moving subject, I often do want some subject-movement in my shots. In other words, I usually do not want to "stop" the motion of a moving subject..

IS/VR (and in-body stabilization) as allowed hand-holdable possibilities previously only available on heavy-steady tripods..

Sometimes I even "pan" and want a streaky background, that may take a longer shutter speed also, (albeit, I usually do not use IS/VR when panning)..

In other words ... a fast-lens/short-shutter-speed and IS/VR (or in-body stabilization), are both DIFFERENT features, used for different purposes in different situations..

They are only mutually beneficial in LOW LIGHT when both a faster lens and stabilization combined can allow exposures in the lower light leves; but even here, stabilization can give the better results with up to 4 stops compared to maybe a 1 or 2 stops economically available in a faster lens..

I am looking to buy anice med zoom to replace my kit lens and I am getting totallyconfused .

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #11

JoePhoto wrote:.

BeerCan wrote:.

Is IS only available on Canon lenses? I never see IS on other brandson lenses. Also I will be doing most of my shooting hand held. Iunderstand that IS helps with camera "shake". If I was to purchase afast(er) lens instead of one with IS would this also help with camerashake? I am wondering this because as I understand it a faster lenswill allow you to use a faster shutter speed..

YES ... and NO.

YES ... you are correct that a faster lens will allow a fastershutter speed..

But ... the latest claims on IS/VR advantages are up to 4 stops.Economically that can never be surpassed with a faster lens. (I meanwe are talking in the f/1.0 area.).

Yup. A fast lens and a stabilized lens offer the widest range of possibilities..

Also remember that another BIG advantage of IS/VR lenses is that itDOES ALLOW "LONGER" SHUTTER SPEEDS. If I have a moving subject, Ioften do want some subject-movement in my shots. In other words, Iusually do not want to "stop" the motion of a moving subject..

Yup. I find it useful sometimes to stop the camera shake in some of the photo and allow subject movement in other parts. It can be a dramatic effect..

IS/VR (and in-body stabilization) as allowed hand-holdablepossibilities previously only available on heavy-steady tripods..

Yup. Sturdy tripods are better if you can use them. Sometimes you can't..

Sometimes I even "pan" and want a streaky background, that may take alonger shutter speed also, (albeit, I usually do not use IS/VR whenpanning)..

I'm not certain, but I thought Nikon had a VR mode for panning in lateral motion while using stabilization for horizontal motion. Maybe it is Canon instead. I don't know. Interesting idea..

In other words ... a fast-lens/short-shutter-speed and IS/VR (orin-body stabilization), are both DIFFERENT features, used fordifferent purposes in different situations..

Yup..

They are only mutually beneficial in LOW LIGHT when both a fasterlens and stabilization combined can allow exposures in the lowerlight leves; but even here, stabilization can give the betterresults with up to 4 stops compared to maybe a 1 or 2 stopseconomically available in a faster lens..

IMO, a well reasoned post with good information...

Comment #12

Steve Balcombe wrote:.

Mikeobe wrote:.

I just bot the Sigma 17-70, F2.8-4.5 that's designated "For CanonAF." It's my understanding that this lense has IS??.

It doesn't..

Yep ... a stabilized lens will be clearly indicated if it has it .... (well, it may not be "clearly" indicated since different manufacturers use different designators but it will be labeled somehow)..

If it is not designated ... you can bet it does not have it..

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #13

Yes, for Canon (and Nikon), you have to buy image stabilized lenses..

Right now, Sigma produces an 18-200 image stabilized lens for both Canon and Nikon..

If you want more.you'll have to wait for Sigma as they have more in the works..

So, right now, you are limited to Canon for the rest of the IS offerings..

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

Remember.always keep the box and everything that came in it!..

Comment #14

What this thread needs is a summary..

Camera shake - when to expect it....

Low light (because it tends to result in slow shutter speeds)Long lenses (because camera shake is magnified)Macro (small apertures for depth of field, therefore slower shutter speeds)Unstable platform, e.g. shooting from a moving car; shooting one-handed..

Solutions....

All the solutions for camera shake fall in to one of two categories:- make the camera more stable- take action to permit a faster shutter speed.

Tripod -.

Pros: completely eliminates camera shake in all situations except unstable platform; works for all your lenses!Cons: set up time; not permitted in many venues; bulky and heavy..

Monopod -.

Pros: effective solution for long lenses; smaller and lighter than tripod - easy to move short distances; very low cost.Cons: tricky to use - practice needed..

Bean bag -Pros: lowest cost, low tech solution.Cons: need something to rest it on..

Larger aperture ('faster') lens -.

Pros: can use faster shutter speed - works for subject motion too; often has the side benefits of improving focus speed and accuracy, and narrow depth of field for background separation; all-round best solution for sports..

Cons: large aperture zooms can be very expensive; rarely more than two stop improvement; narrow depth of field not always wanted; bigger, heavier lenses..

Optical image stabilisation -.

Pros: hand holding at up to four stops slower shutter speeds; the most portable 'equipment' solution; less expensive than like-for-like faster zooms (and costs are falling); stabilised viewfinder image; some lenses allow stabilised panning.Cons: must pay extra cost for each lens..

In-body image stabilisation -Pros: lower cost than optical IS; works for all your lenses..

Cons: generally held to be less effective than optical IS, especially for longer lenses; of only academic interest to those who own Nikon and Canon systems!.

Increase ISO speed -Pros: zero cost.Cons: increased noise usually limits applicability..

Increase natural light -.

This doesn't really have pros and cons. If you can do it, e.g. by stepping outside or coming back when the weather is better, it can be the perfect solution. If you can't, you can't..

Use flash -Pros: very portable, very effective..

Cons: effective only at limited distance; can be obtrusive; not permitted in some venues; can look unnatural unless used very skilfully..

Improve your technique -Pros: very effective and costs nothing.Cons: practice required; few can claim more than one stop improvement!.

So "image stabilisation or faster lens" doesn't really tell the whole story, does it? ..

Comment #15

Steve Balcombe wrote:.

What this thread needs is a summary..

Camera shake - when to expect it....

Low light (because it tends to result in slow shutter speeds)Long lenses (because camera shake is magnified)Macro (small apertures for depth of field, therefore slower shutterspeeds)Unstable platform, e.g. shooting from a moving car; shooting one-handed..

When you deliberately WANT a long-shutter speed for creative "movement" in "moving" subjects. Which is my PRIMARY desire for stabilization..

Solutions....

All the solutions for camera shake fall in to one of two categories:- make the camera more stable- take action to permit a faster shutter speed.

Tripod -Pros: completely eliminates camera shake in all situations exceptunstable platform; works for all your lenses!.

Not necessarily .... a lightweight tripod can be even worse if used without a "REMOTE" RELEASE or self-timer. In other words, the act of pushing-the-shutter-button moves (shakes) almost all cameras on almost all tripods. I consider a remote-release essential for tripod use; (or self timer)..

Note: this is also assuming no WIND which also renders a lightweight tripod useless..

Cons: set up time; not permitted in many venues; bulky and heavy..

Monopod -Pros: effective solution for long lenses; smaller and lighter thantripod - easy to move short distances; very low cost.Cons: tricky to use - practice needed..

Bean bag -Pros: lowest cost, low tech solution.Cons: need something to rest it on..

Larger aperture ('faster') lens -Pros: can use faster shutter speed - works for subject motion too;often has the side benefits of improving focus speed and accuracy,and narrow depth of field for background separation; all-round bestsolution for sports.Cons: large aperture zooms can be very expensive; rarely more thantwo stop improvement; narrow depth of field not always wanted;bigger, heavier lenses..

Optical image stabilisation -Pros: hand holding at up to four stops slower shutter speeds; themost portable 'equipment' solution; less expensive than like-for-likefaster zooms (and costs are falling); stabilised viewfinder image;some lenses allow stabilised panning.Cons: must pay extra cost for each lens..

In-body image stabilisation -Pros: lower cost than optical IS; works for all your lenses.Cons: generally held to be less effective than optical IS, especiallyfor longer lenses; of only academic interest to those who own Nikonand Canon systems!.

Not necessarily; newer tests on the newer cameras show that in-body they may be at least equal to OS..

Increase ISO speed -Pros: zero cost.Cons: increased noise usually limits applicability..

I appreciate a high ISO ... but I also miss much "lower" ISO's ....

With film I had an option of down to ISO 25 (even 6 with B&W). Some DSLR have an ISO 200 minimum; (ala D70). Very bad for what I like to do..

Increase natural light -This doesn't really have pros and cons. If you can do it, e.g. bystepping outside or coming back when the weather is better, it can bethe perfect solution. If you can't, you can't..

Use flash -Pros: very portable, very effective.Cons: effective only at limited distance; can be obtrusive; notpermitted in some venues; can look unnatural unless used veryskilfully..

Improve your technique -Pros: very effective and costs nothing.Cons: practice required; few can claim more than one stop improvement!.

So "image stabilisation or faster lens" doesn't really tell the wholestory, does it? .

Thanks for reading .... JoePhoto.

( Do You Ever STOP to THINK and FORGET to START Again ??? )..

Comment #16

JoePhoto wrote:.

Steve Balcombe wrote:.

What this thread needs is a summary..

Camera shake - when to expect it....

Low light (because it tends to result in slow shutter speeds)Long lenses (because camera shake is magnified)Macro (small apertures for depth of field, therefore slower shutterspeeds)Unstable platform, e.g. shooting from a moving car; shooting one-handed..

When you deliberately WANT a long-shutter speed for creative"movement" in "moving" subjects..

Yep, I forgot that one..

Which is my PRIMARY desire forstabilization..

Solutions....

All the solutions for camera shake fall in to one of two categories:- make the camera more stable- take action to permit a faster shutter speed.

Tripod -Pros: completely eliminates camera shake in all situations exceptunstable platform; works for all your lenses!.

Not necessarily .... a lightweight tripod can be even worse if usedwithout a "REMOTE" RELEASE or self-timer. In other words, the act ofpushing-the-shutter-button moves (shakes) almost all cameras onalmost all tripods. I consider a remote-release essential for tripoduse; (or self timer)..

By "all situations" I did of course mean "all situations where camera shake is a threat" i.e. a tripod is an appropriate solution for low light, long lenses and macro; it is not an appropriate solution for shooting from a moving car. I'm offering a simple list/comparison of available methods, not instructions on how to use them!.

Note: this is also assuming no WIND which also renders a lightweighttripod useless..

Obviously this is about choice of equipment and technique which I didn't intend to discuss, but for the record - even a lightweight tripod can be useful in wind if you hold the camera conventionally while using the tripod for support. If you stand back and watch it won't work, obviously. Also, a lightweight tripod with a heavy weight hung from it is much more effective..

Cons: set up time; not permitted in many venues; bulky and heavy..

Monopod -Pros: effective solution for long lenses; smaller and lighter thantripod - easy to move short distances; very low cost.Cons: tricky to use - practice needed..

Bean bag -Pros: lowest cost, low tech solution.Cons: need something to rest it on..

Larger aperture ('faster') lens -Pros: can use faster shutter speed - works for subject motion too;often has the side benefits of improving focus speed and accuracy,and narrow depth of field for background separation; all-round bestsolution for sports.Cons: large aperture zooms can be very expensive; rarely more thantwo stop improvement; narrow depth of field not always wanted;bigger, heavier lenses..

Optical image stabilisation -Pros: hand holding at up to four stops slower shutter speeds; themost portable 'equipment' solution; less expensive than like-for-likefaster zooms (and costs are falling); stabilised viewfinder image;some lenses allow stabilised panning.Cons: must pay extra cost for each lens..

In-body image stabilisation -Pros: lower cost than optical IS; works for all your lenses.Cons: generally held to be less effective than optical IS, especiallyfor longer lenses; of only academic interest to those who own Nikonand Canon systems!.

Not necessarily; newer tests on the newer cameras show that in-bodythey may be at least equal to OS..

I knew somebody would say that..

Increase ISO speed -Pros: zero cost.Cons: increased noise usually limits applicability..

I appreciate a high ISO ... but I also miss much "lower" ISO's ....

With film I had an option of down to ISO 25 (even 6 with B&W). SomeDSLR have an ISO 200 minimum; (ala D70). Very bad for what I like todo..

Increase natural light -This doesn't really have pros and cons. If you can do it, e.g. bystepping outside or coming back when the weather is better, it can bethe perfect solution. If you can't, you can't..

Use flash -Pros: very portable, very effective.Cons: effective only at limited distance; can be obtrusive; notpermitted in some venues; can look unnatural unless used veryskilfully..

Improve your technique -Pros: very effective and costs nothing.Cons: practice required; few can claim more than one stop improvement!.

So "image stabilisation or faster lens" doesn't really tell the wholestory, does it? ..

Comment #17

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