Canon non IS Lens question

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mrcam216, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. mrcam216 macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2011
    Hey guys and gals! Question. Every lens I own, with the exception of prime lenses, have IS built in. I'm interested in maybe purchasing a canon 70-200 2.8 lens without the IS and also maybe that 24-70 2.8 lens without the Is but the non IS is what scares me. I shoot mainly weddings and engagement shoots and do not use tripods. From my understanding, the longer the lens, the more it issues it may have if its a non is.
    So I guess my question is, do any of you use non IS lens on a regular basis without a tripod for weddings or anything similar and have any issues or not?
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    THere was a time, not long ago that no lens had IS. You simply could not buy one. And believe it or not, we had to rotate a ring to cause the lens to come to focus. And you know what? the resulting images were just as good, maybe even better.

    OK, serioulsly the "one over FL" works very well. If you are hand holding a lens with no IS then keep the shutter FASTER than 1/(focal length) So lets so you have a 200mm lens, just shoot at a shutter faster then 1/200. That would be 1/250 or 1/500.. Also remember a flash is very fast so any shot the lis lit with a flash is going to be free from camera shake.

    Some photographers develop a skill where they can hold the camera still at low shutter speeds but if you have zero experience with this then be _extra_ conservative and and always shoot one stop faster than 1/(FL) so 1/400 with your 200mm lens and 1/60 with the 24mm lens

    The over all effect is of course a more shallow depth of field because you wil be shooting wide open so as to get the shutter speed up
  3. billnelson75 macrumors newbie

    Jun 12, 2013
    Turn off the IS

    I think the quickest way to find out if you "need" IS is to turn off the IS on the lenses you have and see what difference it makes. IS is more important at longer focal lengths, so if you have anything that goes out to 200 with IS, turn it off and see the difference. There actually seems to be a pretty big difference in my opinion if you are shooting hand held. If you are on a tripod, then it probably doesn't matter, as many IS systems need to be turned off on an tripod, or they are able to sense they are on an tripod, and the IS turns off.

    I don't know how important IS would be on the 24-70, given the shorter focal range, but the 70-200, I probably wouldn't buy without IS unless I was a very steady shooter or regularly using a tripod.
  4. fcortese macrumors demi-god


    Apr 3, 2010
    Big Sky country
    I totally agree with Bill's advice. I would think that with weddings and the high probability that there will be lower light situations that I'd opt for the IS to help me out with borderline lower handheld shutter speeds rather than cranking up the ISO to compensate, especially with the longer focal lengths.
  5. jabbott macrumors 6502

    Nov 23, 2009
    I shoot with the 24-70 f/2.8 (non-IS) and in dark indoor environments when shooting handheld it can certainly lead to blurry shots at "usable" ISO speeds. That said, IS would only help somewhat, as there's still not enough light to have a decent shutter speed. You can still have subject motion blur for example. An f/1.4 lens (which lets in 4 times as much light as an f/2.8 lens of the same focal length) can help tremendously but still not be enough in some situations. One of the best solutions going for shooting handheld in low light is the new Canon 35mm f/2 IS prime lens. It provides twice the light gathering ability of an f/2.8 lens at 35mm, and provides four stops of image stabilization. I'd say if you're set on getting the non-IS lenses you mentioned, just be wary of using them in low light / indoors, take more shots than normal to increase the chances you'll get a good shot, and focus on your technique for shooting handheld.
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    You WILL see a difference if your shutter speed is slower then about 1/200 and the lens is at 200mm. Unless you have developed some really good technique you ail notice blur due to camera shake.

    But if shooting at 1/500 or faster at 200mm or if the source of light is a flash then turn off IS and you will not notice any difference.

    The over all effect is that IS allows you to shoot in less light and with lower ISO. Back in the days of shooting film, ISO was fixed at 160 (or so) and where not IS lenses. What people did (1) get closer so as not to need a long lens. (2) use a way-powerfull flash with a battery pack clipped to the belt. (3) keep the shutter speed up to 1/FL.

    You can do very good work with not IS but with IS you have a lot more options especially in low light. But if you have "all the light in the world" to work with you don't need IS, just set the shutter to 1/1000 and you'd be fine. But can't do that in a dark building.
  7. AxisOfBeagles macrumors 6502


    Apr 22, 2008
    East of Shangrila
    I use the f/2.8 24-70 L series lens all the time - it's my 'go to' lens for most things. At 2.8 it's plenty fast enough for most lighting situations, even handheld. Autofocus is quick and accurate, with ample flexibility by choosing any one of a dozen or so different focus points.

    Of my 6 lenses none are IS. Haven't felt the need to spend the extra $ when either a tripod or a faster shutter will suffice.

    Having said that, I'm hankering for an EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II. I rented one last year and fell in love - and for handheld action shots at longer focal lengths, the IS probably serves a good purpose.
  8. mrcam216 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 22, 2011

    Thanks for the info and very good point. Thanks for the reply


    I don't know why didn't think about that. I have a wedding this weekend and I will test turning the IS off.
  9. ctyhntr macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2010
    Ever thought about renting both lenses? Rental price may be a small sum to avoid a costly mistake.
  10. AlaskaMoose, Jun 23, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2013

    AlaskaMoose macrumors 65816

    Apr 26, 2008
    I have saved quite a lot of cash by choosing some real nice L lenses that have no IS. Some of the older Canon L glass are of outstanding quality, and this is something that I am more interested on than image stabilization.

    You will notice that some of the most expensive Zeiss lenses for Canon and Nikon do not incorporate image stabilization, and are focused manually. Still, these lenses I highly regarded by photographers because of their high quality, and because of the IQ that can be achieved with these. The problem is that most cost a lot more than the most expensive Canon and Nikon offerings.

    So, all depends on what you can do with a lens. If you shoot off hand in low light, and there is not a similar but faster lens, or if you don't want to crank the ISO up, then IS may be for you. By the way, rent a Canon 6D and try a few practice shots of weddings in low-light (use a fast lens without IS).

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