Image Stabilization Important

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by matt9013, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. matt9013 macrumors 6502

    matt9013

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    #1
    Is image stabilization really important? I'm trying to find a cheapish Canon 75-300mm lens or 55-250mm lens and I can get some good cheap ones but they don't have image stabilization. I can find a select few but they are $100+ more. Is it not that important a feature which is why they are hard to find or is it a needed feature?

    Taking my pictures now I don't seem to shake but I'm sure it does more than that. I have a Canon SL1 if that matters.

    I mostly take landscape, wildlife (nothing to exotic) and everyday objects. I also have a tripod when needed.
     
  2. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

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    #2
    It can be important, especially when shooting at shutter speeds under 1/125th of a second or using a longer lens (i.e. 250-300mm). I wouldn't buy a lens that didn't have IS.
     
  3. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #3
    Well once upon a time it didn't exist and we still got reasonable pictures. IS will extend the range of scenarios where it will enable a good shot where you could not before, all other things being equal.

    Check your usage scenarios, if like me you shoot outdoor hockey after dark by floodlights then likely you will see a big improvement, if you only shoot landscapes at noon in a desert then unlikely. Remember IS <only> helps with camera shake, if you can abide by the pre-IS rules (1/focal length (x1.5 for DX), to minimise camera shake then you still don't <need> IS - and IS won't help with subject motion so for instance in my hockey games it can make for a non-camera shaken image but the players movement still can create blur.
     
  4. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #4
    To be candid, it depends on the photographer and conditions when using such lenses. I recall for many many years using a 70-210 on a film camera and making sure I had a fast shutter speed and how to depress the shutter to make sure there was minimal movement. Later, I went on to a 300mm f/4 lens and was able to get some pretty good shots. The real deal is when one is able to shoot using a tripod and with the 300mm in particular, you could see quite a difference in having the lens steadied.

    You should consider such a lens okay if you care to learn to shoot with it correctly. Otherwise, some sort of stabilization is in order (internal or via tripod/monopod).
     
  5. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 8, 2014
    #5
    Depends how well you can handhold with the light you have to work with. As I've gotten older, my hand holding ability has gone down the tubes. I'd also add that quibbling over $100 for a tele zoom is pretty shortsighted. If you want quality glass, you pay for it. The improved sharpness you will get with stabilization makes it easier to realize the optical performance of the lens.
     
  6. kenoh, Dec 29, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015

    kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #6
    Personally I would take stabilisation over not. I have a very slight tremor in my hands (worrying at my age) and having IS smoothes that out for me.

    In terms of the lenses you are talking here, i have used the cheap Canon 75-300. It is terribly soft and will disappoint you. The 70-300mm ef IS USM however was a great lens and cost about £300-350. Probably the best bang for buck before getting into L glass. My next one up from this was the mk I 100-400 which for my photography, wasnt much better given the quadruple price.

    Hope this helps and remember I am just a hobbyist, I can only really talk to my limited experience.
     
  7. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    Birmingham, UK
    #7
    Only my 300mm has IS, to be honest I don't consider it to be an important feature - none of my recent lens purchases had it as an option (24-70, 135 & 200)
     
  8. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68000

    Cheese&Apple

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    Toronto
    #8
    Go for lens stabilization if you can. You'll never regret having when you need it and can switch it off if you don't. A tripod is great but can be a pain at times.

    ~ Peter
     
  9. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    Nov 5, 2015
    #9
    Right, but on the SL1 at 250mm without IS, minimum shutter speed is 1/400! I tend to go multiply by two to be safe. 1/800!

    I think IS is very important on longer lenses. It is not necessary, but will increase the ratio of keepers and will allow you to use the lens on more overcast and cloudy days. Otherwise, consider it a sunny day lens only.
     
  10. dwig macrumors 6502

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    Jan 4, 2015
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    Key West FL
    #10
    You can think of IS as something that "magically" makes your camera's sensor lower noise. This is because with IS you can use roughly 2 stops lower shutter speed than would be needed without IS. This lower shutter speed translates into a 2 stop lower ISO being needed for any given f/stop and lighting condition.
     
  11. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #11
    But that lower shutter speed still has its own effect on any subject motion.
     
  12. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #12
    I would class 1/400 as sufficient but the rule assumes good long lens technique which will be a variable for each individual and shot. These days with better ISO noise performance it is also possible to mitigate no IS by just ramping up the ISO to allow the faster shutter speeds required.
     
  13. Miltz macrumors 6502

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    #13
    It's actually very important on a Telephoto lens. It really depends on how serious you want to get with your photography.
     
  14. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

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    #14
    I use the Auto Focus lock a lot and practiced holding my lens steady. Depending on what you shoot and how you anticipate the action is key also. If you are into buying your next lens I would rent it before buying. This way you will see if you really need the IS.
     
  15. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #15
    So I'm looking at buying either the Nikon 200-500mm 5.6 or the Sigma 150-600mm 5.6-6.3 and both come with IS.
    Trying them out yesterday I found the Nikon IS to be far superior to the Nikon.
    So for this and the extra weight I discounted the Sigma. Now I just have to weigh up the cost difference between owning and buying.
     
  16. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #16
    Because no-one was serious before IS was invented?

    My most successful commercial image was taken with a non-IS lens on a 6MP camera...IS sometimes helps you get the shot you might not have done without but that was largely true in the early years of digital. Now with ISO performance much better you can easily achieve shutter speeds faster than you ever could with colour film in the same light conditions.
     
  17. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #17
    Nice decision to have to make :)
     
  18. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #18
    I'd rather be deciding between a 500mm or 600mm prime!
    But Mrs AFB would kill me!
     
  19. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    #19
    LOL - I bet!
     
  20. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #20
    On the plus side we would miss you... :)
     
  21. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

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    #21
    Features of this sort exist, mostly, to push the boundaries of the extremes. It can buy you some f-stops and/or shutter speed clicks. When shooting in bright daylight that may be a marginal improvement, but in lower light, it can be critical. Sometimes it'll be the difference between a shot that looks fine on a web page but can't be enlarged to a gallery-quality print. Maybe exhibition-quality is an important consideration, maybe not.

    I own three tripods, of varying weights. When I'm out hiking all day, I'd prefer to carry the lighter tripod. Since OIS adds little or nothing to the weight in my pack... One thing is certain; for the kind of things I shoot, I can't go anywhere without a tripod - OIS just changes the threshold at which a tripod becomes essential to the shot.

    But in the end, "if a tree falls in the forest..." We adapt our technique to the limitations of our hardware. If I don't have a long lens in my kit, I may have to crop/enlarge to an unacceptable degree. If I don't have a sufficiently wide lens, some shots become impossible. If the lens is too slow, subject motion may be unacceptable... So we shoot what is practical, rather than waste time on shots that simply won't work out. That can be a very useful discipline, if we choose to be inspired to overcome those limitations, rather than be stymied by them.

    When I was much younger, I might show someone an almost-successful shot and say, "If only I had... this would have been great." Now, I don't show anything for which I'd have to make excuses. So, how much is "the one that got away," worth to you?

    I'd add that you need to invest where it'll do the most good. If that $100 buys you another bit of useful gear... If you had no tripod at all, I'd say "tripod rather than OIS."
     
  22. matt9013, Dec 31, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2015

    matt9013 thread starter macrumors 6502

    matt9013

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    Oct 27, 2013
    #22
    Thanks for all the input guys. I have narrowed down my choices to these two lenses. I have a Canon camera and not sure how good Sigma lens are but the reviews are good. I'm mostly looking to shoot landscape, wildlife, still objects etc. Not spending the big bucks just yet but what I really want for now is sharp and clear images and a good zoom distance.I have the Canon Rebel SL1.

    Anyone have these lenses or any experience with them?

    http://www.amazon.com/Sigma-18-250m...TF8&qid=1451619972&sr=8-6&keywords=sigma+lens

    http://www.amazon.com/Canon-EF-S-55...F8&qid=1451620244&sr=1-26&keywords=canon+lens
     
  23. Alexander.Of.Oz macrumors 65816

    Alexander.Of.Oz

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    Oct 29, 2013
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    Adelaide, Australia
    #23
    I used to have the EF-S 55-250mm lens and it's no slouch for the buck$! I found it to be a perfect first telephoto lens.
     
  24. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #24
    Lots of good advice here but it boils down to just this:
    1) IS is not needed at all if you use a tripod. in fact you should disable it if using a tripod.
    2) Rule of thumb for hand holding a long lens is to use a shutter speed not slower than 1/(focal length) so if hand holding a 200mm lens, shoot at 1/250 second of faster.
    3) Finally now that we have IS we can break the above rule and shoot at 4/(focal length). So now with a 200mm lens we can hand hold at 4/200 04 1/50th of a second

    So buying that expensive IS lens allows #3 above. Without IS you are stuck at #2 or #1.

    Remember there are two causes of motion blur (1) camera shake and (2) subject motion. IS only addresses camera shake.
     
  25. Hughmac macrumors demi-god

    Hughmac

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    Kent, UK
    #25
    I used to have the Sigma 18-250 and found it pretty good except for low light situations, very sharp, close focus just over 1' and overall a nice do it all lens.

    Cheers :)

    Hugh
     

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