Are IS lenses worth the money?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Dustbunny, Dec 26, 2004.

  1. Dustbunny

    Dustbunny Guest

    I'm thinking about making the leap to dSLR. Now that the price of the
    bodies is within my reach, it seems the lenses are terribly expensive,
    especially the Image Stabilizing versions. Can someone give me some
    honest input on whether it's worth the cost, or at what length lens it
    makes sense to pay for IS?

    Many thanks.
    Dustbunny, Dec 26, 2004
    #1
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  2. Dustbunny

    Banjopikr1 Guest

    >Are IS lenses worth the money?

    If you use the lens, yes.
    Last Xmas I bought the Canon rebel kit and the 75-300mm IS lens. With the lens
    extended to 300mm(480mm in Canoneese),its almost impossible for me to hold the
    camera steady for a clean pic.With the IS turned on, its a cinch. Its well
    worth it to me.

    Ken C
    Banjopikr1, Dec 27, 2004
    #2
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  3. Dustbunny

    Fyimo Guest

    The two IS lens that I have are the 28-135mm and the 300mm f4 L lens.
    They both help me but in different situations. You will have to look at
    the type of pictures you take and what your needs are. I really love
    the 300mm f4 for hand held wildlife shots and this would be impossible
    without IS.
    The 28-135mm is a walk around lens for me and I find the IS helps me in
    low light situations where I don't want to use a flash. For $400 it's a
    great lens with IS.
    The IS works as advertised so it's the type of pictures that you take
    that will justify buying lens with it.

    Art
    Fyimo, Dec 27, 2004
    #3
  4. Dustbunny

    Pete D Guest

    A tripod of course will also do a similar job.

    "Dustbunny" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I'm thinking about making the leap to dSLR. Now that the price of the
    > bodies is within my reach, it seems the lenses are terribly expensive,
    > especially the Image Stabilizing versions. Can someone give me some
    > honest input on whether it's worth the cost, or at what length lens it
    > makes sense to pay for IS?
    >
    > Many thanks.
    Pete D, Dec 27, 2004
    #4
  5. Dustbunny

    Frank Pittel Guest

    Yes!!!


    Dustbunny <> wrote:
    : I'm thinking about making the leap to dSLR. Now that the price of the
    : bodies is within my reach, it seems the lenses are terribly expensive,
    : especially the Image Stabilizing versions. Can someone give me some
    : honest input on whether it's worth the cost, or at what length lens it
    : makes sense to pay for IS?

    : Many thanks.

    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
    -------------------
    Frank Pittel, Dec 27, 2004
    #5
  6. Dustbunny

    Larry Guest

    In article <>,
    says...
    > I'm thinking about making the leap to dSLR. Now that the price of the
    > bodies is within my reach, it seems the lenses are terribly expensive,
    > especially the Image Stabilizing versions. Can someone give me some
    > honest input on whether it's worth the cost, or at what length lens it
    > makes sense to pay for IS?
    >
    > Many thanks.
    >


    The answer to your question is dependant on several thing:

    Can you hold the camera steady enough to shoot with a 300mm equivalent lens??
    Very few people can do that.. I'm good to about 200mm equivalent (if I have
    something to lean on or brace against, and Im not out of breath from hiking
    ect, right phase of the moon, good lucky day ect.)

    If you hands NEED it (IS) then its worth ANY price, if you dont need it, why
    buy it.

    You should experiment with long lenses and see what YOU can do.. Ive had
    lucky shots where I hand held a monster/heavy 400mm body/lens on a 35mm slr
    and got the shot clear as a bell(braced one elbow against my belly, the other
    on my knee and breathed OUT slowly while pressing the shutter button), but I
    dont think you can count on it (I know I cant).





    --
    Larry Lynch
    Mystic, Ct.
    Larry, Dec 27, 2004
    #6
  7. Dustbunny

    C J Campbell Guest

    "Dustbunny" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I'm thinking about making the leap to dSLR. Now that the price of the
    > bodies is within my reach, it seems the lenses are terribly expensive,
    > especially the Image Stabilizing versions. Can someone give me some
    > honest input on whether it's worth the cost, or at what length lens it
    > makes sense to pay for IS?


    The answer is, "it depends." I like the VR lens (Nikon's equivalent) when
    photographing from airplanes because there is a lot of vibration in an
    airplane anyway.

    If the lens is for occasional use and I was photographing more static
    subjects, I probably would just use a tripod.
    C J Campbell, Dec 27, 2004
    #7
  8. Dustbunny

    Dustbunny Guest

    what a great NG, thanks for all the answers. I definitely shoot moving
    subjects (race cars, etc). For some reason I wasn't even thinking
    about IS helping there, I was just worried about movement for slow
    shots (which I also do, indoor, ambient, dive bar lighting!).
    Dustbunny, Dec 27, 2004
    #8
  9. Dustbunny

    Jon Pike Guest

    Dustbunny <> wrote in
    news::

    > I'm thinking about making the leap to dSLR. Now that the price of the
    > bodies is within my reach, it seems the lenses are terribly expensive,
    > especially the Image Stabilizing versions. Can someone give me some
    > honest input on whether it's worth the cost, or at what length lens it
    > makes sense to pay for IS?


    How well can you hold your camera still? If not well, then it's worth it.
    If you're a human tripod, then it's not worth it.

    --
    http://www.neopets.com/refer.phtml?username=moosespet
    Jon Pike, Dec 27, 2004
    #9
  10. Dustbunny

    Jim Townsend Guest

    Dustbunny wrote:

    > I'm thinking about making the leap to dSLR. Now that the price of the
    > bodies is within my reach, it seems the lenses are terribly expensive,
    > especially the Image Stabilizing versions. Can someone give me some
    > honest input on whether it's worth the cost, or at what length lens it
    > makes sense to pay for IS?


    On longer lenses 200mm+ IS is VERY useful in any light.

    The generally accepted rule of thumb for maximum handheld shutter
    speed is the reciprocal of the focal length. So according to the
    formula, at 100mm, the minimum handheld shutter speed should be 1/100th
    of a second. In bright daylight, this is no sweat, but as the clouds
    roll in or as the sun starts setting, you might not be able to use 1/100.

    (Of course this ALL depends on the shooter.. Some people are steadier
    than others. It's just a rule of thumb :)

    IS adds a couple of stops.. So you should be able to go down to
    around 1/30 second and get the same results as a non-IS lens
    at 1/100.

    I have a 100-400mm IS lens and I *always* use IS when shooting at
    400mm handheld.. Even in bright sunlight. I can clearly see the
    difference IS makes.
    Jim Townsend, Dec 27, 2004
    #10
  11. Pete D wrote:
    > A tripod of course will also do a similar job.


    A tripod doesn't help much from horseback, boats, airplanes,
    or museums where tripods are not allowed. Many places
    and situations, the IS allows one to get a sharper image
    at longer exposure times in lower light than you
    ordinarily could. To me it is definitely worth
    the extra cost. I have 28-135 IS, 100-400 L IS,
    300 f/4 L IS, and 500 f/4 L IS. The 500 I use IS
    on the tripod, and it helps when doing action work,
    even on a tripod.

    Roger Clark
    Photos at: http://www.clarkvision.com

    > "Dustbunny" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >>I'm thinking about making the leap to dSLR. Now that the price of the
    >>bodies is within my reach, it seems the lenses are terribly expensive,
    >>especially the Image Stabilizing versions. Can someone give me some
    >>honest input on whether it's worth the cost, or at what length lens it
    >>makes sense to pay for IS?
    >>
    >>Many thanks.

    >
    >
    >
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Dec 27, 2004
    #11
  12. Dustbunny

    Skip M Guest

    "Dustbunny" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > what a great NG, thanks for all the answers. I definitely shoot moving
    > subjects (race cars, etc). For some reason I wasn't even thinking
    > about IS helping there, I was just worried about movement for slow
    > shots (which I also do, indoor, ambient, dive bar lighting!).
    >
    >

    This is an interesting write up on the subject

    http://www.bobatkins.com/photography/tutorials/is.html

    Here's an example I did with a 100-400 IS, handheld at 400mm and 1/100 sec.

    http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com/SolitaryPelican.html

    It's small, I know, but the original, in 8x10, is just as sharp.

    And one with the same lens, same f/l but somewhat faster shutter, probably
    about 1/400, on monopod:

    http://www.shutterspeedway.com/cgi-...lery=My 20D images/Day at the Races&picture=8

    --
    Skip Middleton
    http://www.shadowcatcherimagery.com
    Skip M, Dec 27, 2004
    #12
  13. Dustbunny

    Pete D Guest

    Of course it will help, I will note that I rarely take shots with the 500mm
    lens when riding my horse but perhaps I am unusual.

    I also increase the shutter speeds to counteract movement as I am mainly
    outside when using the longer lenses. You also of course can increase your
    ISO setting, I can go up to 3200 with little degradation.



    "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <> wrote in
    message news:...
    > Pete D wrote:
    >> A tripod of course will also do a similar job.

    >
    > A tripod doesn't help much from horseback, boats, airplanes,
    > or museums where tripods are not allowed. Many places
    > and situations, the IS allows one to get a sharper image
    > at longer exposure times in lower light than you
    > ordinarily could. To me it is definitely worth
    > the extra cost. I have 28-135 IS, 100-400 L IS,
    > 300 f/4 L IS, and 500 f/4 L IS. The 500 I use IS
    > on the tripod, and it helps when doing action work,
    > even on a tripod.
    >
    > Roger Clark
    > Photos at: http://www.clarkvision.com
    >
    >> "Dustbunny" <> wrote in message
    >> news:...
    >>
    >>>I'm thinking about making the leap to dSLR. Now that the price of the
    >>>bodies is within my reach, it seems the lenses are terribly expensive,
    >>>especially the Image Stabilizing versions. Can someone give me some
    >>>honest input on whether it's worth the cost, or at what length lens it
    >>>makes sense to pay for IS?
    >>>
    >>>Many thanks.

    >>
    >>
    >>

    >
    Pete D, Dec 27, 2004
    #13
  14. Dustbunny wrote:
    > I'm thinking about making the leap to dSLR. Now that the price of the
    > bodies is within my reach, it seems the lenses are terribly

    expensive,
    > especially the Image Stabilizing versions. Can someone give me some
    > honest input on whether it's worth the cost, or at what length lens

    it
    > makes sense to pay for IS?


    Yes, it does make sense when you can't use a tripod. But don't let IS
    make you lazy. Its not replacement for a good & sturty tripod. Use a
    tripod wherever you can to get extra sharp pics - IS or no IS.
    - Siddhartha
    Siddhartha Jain, Dec 27, 2004
    #14
  15. Dustbunny

    Colin D Guest

    Dustbunny wrote:

    > what a great NG, thanks for all the answers. I definitely shoot moving
    > subjects (race cars, etc). For some reason I wasn't even thinking
    > about IS helping there, I was just worried about movement for slow
    > shots (which I also do, indoor, ambient, dive bar lighting!).


    IS is of no use if you are shooting moving targets, or panning the
    camera. It is brilliant for hand-holding slowish shutter speeds, or long
    lenses on stationary (or nearly so) targets.

    Colin (eos300D and 17-85mm IS USM lens)
    Colin D, Dec 27, 2004
    #15
  16. Dustbunny wrote:
    > I'm thinking about making the leap to dSLR. Now that the price of the
    > bodies is within my reach, it seems the lenses are terribly expensive,
    > especially the Image Stabilizing versions. Can someone give me some
    > honest input on whether it's worth the cost, or at what length lens it
    > makes sense to pay for IS?


    Even if you aren't moving to DSLR, it makes a lot of sense to choose a
    camera with an IS lens, such as the 3.2MP Canon S1 IS, 5MP Panasonic FZ20
    or 8MP Nikon 8800. You don't need to pay pocket-emptying prices either.
    In fact, as these cameras are more limited in the ISO range they allow
    (and hence shutter speed), using an IS lens makes even more sense.

    As others have said, it helps a lot with the camera-shake problem, but not
    with a moving subject. Some IS will allow horizontal panning whilst still
    providing vertical stabilisation.

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Dec 27, 2004
    #16
  17. Dustbunny

    RustY© Guest

    "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <> wrote in
    message news:...

    > A tripod doesn't help much from horseback, boats, airplanes......



    IS will not work correctly in any of the above situations. Vibrations are
    the enemy of stabilised lenses. I would say 'read the manual' but of course
    they don't give you one, so most folks have no idea how they work !
    --
    For Welsh Military Flying visit .......
    www.groups.yahoo.com/group/V-A-S/
    RustY©, Dec 27, 2004
    #17
  18. Dustbunny

    RustY© Guest

    "Colin D" <ColinD@killspam.127.0.0.1> wrote in message
    news:41CFC39E.8674B1DA@killspam.127.0.0.1...

    > IS is of no use if you are shooting moving targets, or panning the
    > camera.


    I'll second that Colin. Even with 'mode 2' [the panning mode] on an IS lens
    I get more 'good' shots with it switched off than with it on.
    --
    For Welsh Military Flying visit .......
    www.groups.yahoo.com/group/V-A-S/
    RustY©, Dec 27, 2004
    #18
  19. Dustbunny

    Mark² Guest

    "RustY©" <> wrote in message
    news:40Rzd.888$...
    > "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <> wrote

    in
    > message news:...
    >
    > > A tripod doesn't help much from horseback, boats, airplanes......

    >
    >
    > IS will not work correctly in any of the above situations.


    Sorry, but...
    Yes... It will. Ever ridden a horse? Ever stopped your horse momentarily?
    It's just as stable as you are standing on the ground...only a tripod
    doesn't sit well on a horse's back. Ever stood on a moving boat with a
    glass full of water? You can do it without spilling just as you can use IS
    quite effectively on the deck. Ever been on a plane? How about a little
    single engine job over the rain forests of South America? Or Papua New
    Gunea? Or dozens of other places in buzzing, rattling planes. I have. IS
    works swimmingly.

    >Vibrations are
    > the enemy of stabilised lenses. I would say 'read the manual' but of

    course
    > they don't give you one, so most folks have no idea how they work !


    Oh?

    I've shot using my four different IS lenses from planes, rattling buses,
    moving trains, boats, while climbing trees, scaling boulders, and any number
    of other vibration-ridden scenarios. You don't wedge your IS lens against
    the prop motor! You *hold your lens*, meaning the most violent vibrations
    don't directly jar the lens. IS is QUITE effective in the situation I, and
    Roger mention.

    In all of the above situations, IS was the factor that enabled many a shot!
    Mark², Dec 27, 2004
    #19
  20. Dustbunny

    Mark² Guest

    "Colin D" <ColinD@killspam.127.0.0.1> wrote in message
    news:41CFC39E.8674B1DA@killspam.127.0.0.1...
    >
    >
    > Dustbunny wrote:
    >
    > > what a great NG, thanks for all the answers. I definitely shoot moving
    > > subjects (race cars, etc). For some reason I wasn't even thinking
    > > about IS helping there, I was just worried about movement for slow
    > > shots (which I also do, indoor, ambient, dive bar lighting!).

    >
    > IS is of no use if you are shooting moving targets, or panning the
    > camera. It is brilliant for hand-holding slowish shutter speeds, or long
    > lenses on stationary (or nearly so) targets.
    >
    > Colin (eos300D and 17-85mm IS USM lens)


    Good gravy!!

    There is so much misinfomation being splattered in this thread!!
    :(

    IS works GREAT with panning in all but a few lens concactions!
    The 75-300, 28-135, and 17-85 (I believe) lenses do NOT work with panning,
    but all, or nearly all the others DO work.

    There is a "mode 2" IS setting which is designed specifically for panning on
    my 70-200, and 100-400. All the super-tele IS lenses have a panning mode as
    well.
    Mark², Dec 27, 2004
    #20
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