Canon Image Stabilizer... is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ^______^, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. ^______^

    ^______^ Guest

    I am planning to buy a telephoto zoom lens recently, and I am now deciding
    between the Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L the IS version and the non-IS version.
    Since I never used a IS before, I am just wondering if it is really worth
    the extra 1/3 of the price? In what occusions would you usually turn on the
    IS mode? Is there a down side of this feature?
    I will be using this lens mainly for landscape, natural, and some model
    shots. I use 10D.

    thank you.
    ^______^, Jul 8, 2004
    #1
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  2. ^______^

    Mark M Guest

    "^______^" <^_____^@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:E87Hc.42249$a24.8145@attbi_s03...
    > I am planning to buy a telephoto zoom lens recently, and I am now deciding
    > between the Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L the IS version and the non-IS

    version.
    > Since I never used a IS before, I am just wondering if it is really worth
    > the extra 1/3 of the price? In what occusions would you usually turn on

    the
    > IS mode? Is there a down side of this feature?
    > I will be using this lens mainly for landscape, natural, and some model
    > shots. I use 10D.


    It is absolutely worth it.

    I have four IS lenses (including the 70-200 2.8 L IS), and will not purchase
    another lens at 200mm or above without it. It enables SO MANY more shots
    that would otherwise require a tripod or monopod for real sharpness.

    **Keep in mind, too, that when mounted on your 10D, the 1.6
    cropping/magnification factor (due to it's sensor size being smaller than
    35mm film), your camera will be JUST as susceptible to the ill effects of
    camera shake as a 320mm lens would be on a standard film body. This means
    that IS will become even more critically important.

    There have been a number of non-IS owners here over the last few years
    mention how they wish they had gone with the IS version...
    ....If the money isn't stopping you, then you should definitely go with IS.

    Finally... The IS on the 70-200 2.8 is the later version, which includes an
    excellent panning mode in addition to still subject (mode 1).

    -Mark M
    Mark M, Jul 8, 2004
    #2
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  3. ^______^

    Mark Johnson Guest

    "Mark M" <> wrote:

    >I have four IS lenses (including the 70-200 2.8 L IS), and will not purchase
    >another lens at 200mm or above without it. It enables SO MANY more shots


    I would imagine so. That's a bulky set-up you have, not exactly the
    camera to use at picnics.

    I wonder if it operates anything like a steadycam?

    More precisely, have you heard of a rig that could function as a
    steadycam for digicams, or even your heavier dSLR rig, but that is not
    itself particularly huge, or expensive? I mean any experience, or
    running into someone with actual experience with such?
    Mark Johnson, Jul 8, 2004
    #3
  4. ^______^

    Mark M Guest

    "Mark Johnson" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "Mark M" <> wrote:
    >
    > >I have four IS lenses (including the 70-200 2.8 L IS), and will not

    purchase
    > >another lens at 200mm or above without it. It enables SO MANY more shots

    >
    > I would imagine so. That's a bulky set-up you have, not exactly the
    > camera to use at picnics.
    >
    > I wonder if it operates anything like a steadycam?
    >
    > More precisely, have you heard of a rig that could function as a
    > steadycam for digicams, or even your heavier dSLR rig, but that is not
    > itself particularly huge, or expensive? I mean any experience, or
    > running into someone with actual experience with such?


    If you're talking about some sort of external gyro, they are available...but
    they are huge, heavy and expesive.

    There are several digital point-and-shoots which are equipped with built-in
    IS.
    See Canon's site.
    Mark M, Jul 8, 2004
    #4
  5. In article <E87Hc.42249$a24.8145@attbi_s03>,
    "^______^" <^_____^@hotmail.com> writes:

    >I am planning to buy a telephoto zoom lens recently, and I am now deciding
    >between the Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L the IS version and the non-IS version.
    >Since I never used a IS before, I am just wondering if it is really worth
    >the extra 1/3 of the price? In what occusions would you usually turn on the
    >IS mode? Is there a down side of this feature?
    >I will be using this lens mainly for landscape, natural, and some model
    >shots. I use 10D.


    The camcorder image stabilization techniques I am familiar with
    occur in digital circuitry -- not optics. This is the first time
    I have heard discussion of digital stabilization optics.

    General comments, however. I have a circa early 1970's (heavy)
    90-230 mm zoom telephoto lens for my 35mm film SLR. Mounted
    on the camera body, the body/lens center of gravity is on the
    lens barrel, not the body. You hold the combination by the lens --
    not surprisingly, exactly at the location of the tripod mount ring
    on the lens.

    The combination is not extremely heavy and is not shake prone.
    By leaning against a wall, I have (at 35mm film equivalent 230 mm
    telephoto) taken photos at 1/15th of a second exposure. The results
    were acceptable when printed at 5"x7". (I did not print them at
    8"x10".)

    I have a tripod but I never use it. In low light I lean against walls
    or trees. YMMV.

    You did not state what camera body you are using (and I do not
    have a dSLR spec catalog). Your dSLR's sensor size is smaller
    than 35mm film full frame and a 70-200mm zoom telephoto lens
    on a dSLR will have greater magnification than my 70-230mm
    zoom telephoto on a 35mm film body. IMO a 70mm focal length
    on a dSLR (particularly a bottom of the line dSLR) might be too
    long for portraiture. In 35mm film photography, 75mm and 90mm
    telephoto lenses are considered portraiture lenses.

    Can you rent the lens and experiment before you make a purchase
    decision?

    'Hope that helps.

    Richard Ballard MSEE CNA4 KD0AZ
    --
    Consultant specializing in computer networks, imaging & security
    Listed as rjballard in "Friends & Favorites" at www.amazon.com
    Last book review: "Guerrilla Television" by Michael Shamberg
    Richard Ballard, Jul 8, 2004
    #5
  6. ^______^

    leo Guest

    "Richard Ballard" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <E87Hc.42249$a24.8145@attbi_s03>,
    > "^______^" <^_____^@hotmail.com> writes:
    >
    > >I am planning to buy a telephoto zoom lens recently, and I am now

    deciding
    > >between the Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L the IS version and the non-IS

    version.
    > >Since I never used a IS before, I am just wondering if it is really worth
    > >the extra 1/3 of the price? In what occusions would you usually turn on

    the
    > >IS mode? Is there a down side of this feature?
    > >I will be using this lens mainly for landscape, natural, and some model
    > >shots. I use 10D.

    >
    > The camcorder image stabilization techniques I am familiar with
    > occur in digital circuitry -- not optics. This is the first time
    > I have heard discussion of digital stabilization optics.
    >
    > General comments, however. I have a circa early 1970's (heavy)
    > 90-230 mm zoom telephoto lens for my 35mm film SLR. Mounted
    > on the camera body, the body/lens center of gravity is on the
    > lens barrel, not the body. You hold the combination by the lens --
    > not surprisingly, exactly at the location of the tripod mount ring
    > on the lens.
    >
    > The combination is not extremely heavy and is not shake prone.
    > By leaning against a wall, I have (at 35mm film equivalent 230 mm
    > telephoto) taken photos at 1/15th of a second exposure. The results
    > were acceptable when printed at 5"x7". (I did not print them at
    > 8"x10".)
    >
    > I have a tripod but I never use it. In low light I lean against walls
    > or trees. YMMV.
    >
    > You did not state what camera body you are using (and I do not
    > have a dSLR spec catalog). Your dSLR's sensor size is smaller
    > than 35mm film full frame and a 70-200mm zoom telephoto lens
    > on a dSLR will have greater magnification than my 70-230mm
    > zoom telephoto on a 35mm film body. IMO a 70mm focal length
    > on a dSLR (particularly a bottom of the line dSLR) might be too
    > long for portraiture. In 35mm film photography, 75mm and 90mm
    > telephoto lenses are considered portraiture lenses.
    >
    > Can you rent the lens and experiment before you make a purchase
    > decision?
    >
    > 'Hope that helps.
    >
    > Richard Ballard MSEE CNA4 KD0AZ
    > --
    > Consultant specializing in computer networks, imaging & security
    > Listed as rjballard in "Friends & Favorites" at www.amazon.com
    > Last book review: "Guerrilla Television" by Michael Shamberg



    BTW, high end Canon and Sony camcorders have _optical_ image stabilizer. If
    you are determined you need f/2.8 over f/4, getting the IS version is well
    worth the price difference. It's tough to use the lens hand held over 100mm
    without increasing the ISO to unbearable level. It's especially useful when
    you add a TC.
    leo, Jul 8, 2004
    #6
  7. ^______^

    leo Guest

  8. ^______^

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Mark Johnson wrote:

    > "Mark M" <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>I have four IS lenses (including the 70-200 2.8 L IS), and will not purchase
    >>another lens at 200mm or above without it. It enables SO MANY more shots

    >
    >
    > I would imagine so. That's a bulky set-up you have, not exactly the
    > camera to use at picnics.
    >
    > I wonder if it operates anything like a steadycam?
    >
    > More precisely, have you heard of a rig that could function as a
    > steadycam for digicams, or even your heavier dSLR rig, but that is not
    > itself particularly huge, or expensive? I mean any experience, or
    > running into someone with actual experience with such?
    >
    >
    >

    If I understand correctly, there are two type of consumer IS systems.
    One physically dampens the movement, and the other does this (attempts
    to anyway) electronically. The electronic method requires a lot of
    processing ability, and the results are a bit 'soft' for my preferences.
    Ron Hunter, Jul 8, 2004
    #8
  9. On Thu, 08 Jul 2004 07:58:29 GMT, "^______^" <^_____^@hotmail.com> wrote:

    >I am planning to buy a telephoto zoom lens recently, and I am now deciding
    >between the Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L the IS version and the non-IS version.
    >Since I never used a IS before, I am just wondering if it is really worth
    >the extra 1/3 of the price? In what occusions would you usually turn on the
    >IS mode? Is there a down side of this feature?
    >I will be using this lens mainly for landscape, natural, and some model
    >shots. I use 10D.
    >
    >thank you.
    >

    I consider that my Olympus 2100 IS and the Canon S1 also IS are good enough to
    compete with 5mp cameras as you can get a tight frame on a long distance shot
    and therefore do not need to do that digitally when editing and naturally that
    is hand held - I shall not ever consider a camera without IS. maybe except when
    shooting on tripod where it just does not mean anything.

    B.Pedersen Latitude -31,48.21 Longitude115,47.40 Time=GMT+8.00
    If you are curious look here http://www.mapquest.com/maps/latlong.adp
    nesredep egrob, Jul 8, 2004
    #9
  10. ^______^

    Jim Townsend Guest

    ^______^ wrote:

    > I am planning to buy a telephoto zoom lens recently, and I am now deciding
    > between the Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L the IS version and the non-IS version.
    > Since I never used a IS before, I am just wondering if it is really worth
    > the extra 1/3 of the price? In what occusions would you usually turn on the
    > IS mode? Is there a down side of this feature?
    > I will be using this lens mainly for landscape, natural, and some model
    > shots. I use 10D.
    >
    > thank you.


    Generally, the minimum handheld shutter speed for telephoto lenses
    is determined by finding the reciprocal of the focal length. (Of
    course this is very general). Some people are much steadier than
    others.

    In other words, at 200mm you wouldn't want to shoot slower
    than 1/200.. Doing so will probably result in blur.

    IS gives you a couple of stops. (Again, generally not precisely).
    So instead of being limited to 1/200, you should be able to go down to
    1/180 or 1/90.

    Is IS worth it ? ABSOLUTELY :)
    Jim Townsend, Jul 8, 2004
    #10
  11. ^______^

    M Barnes Guest

    Richard Ballard wrote:
    > ^______^ writes:


    > > I am planning to buy a telephoto zoom lens recently,
    > > and I am now deciding between the Canon EF 70-200mm
    > > F2.8L the IS version and the non-IS version.
    > > ... I am just wondering if it is really worth the extra 1/3
    > > of the price? ... I will be using this lens mainly for landscape,

    > natural, and some model shots. I use 10D.


    > This is the first time I have heard discussion of digital
    > stabilization optics.
    >
    > By leaning against a wall, I have ... taken photos at
    > 1/15th of a second exposure. The results were
    > acceptable when printed at 5"x7".
    >
    > I have a tripod but I never use it. In low light I lean
    > against walls or trees.
    >
    > You did not state what camera body you are using ...


    He's using a 10D.

    I have used Nikon IS lenses, and they are fantastic!
    My impression from talking to Canon users (some
    pros, some amateurs) is that the Canon IS system
    is better -- lighter, smaller. My next lens purchase
    will be IS. Go for it. You won't regret it. Only downside
    is cost and weight. You'll gain sharpness and convenience,
    and fewer shots suffering from shake softness. And
    you won't have to lean against walls.

    The IS systems have been on the market for quite a
    while now, and are well proven and tested. I have
    not heard much downside at all. Quite the opposite.
    M Barnes, Jul 8, 2004
    #11
  12. On Thu, 08 Jul 2004 07:58:29 GMT, "^______^" <^_____^@hotmail.com>
    wrote:

    >I am planning to buy a telephoto zoom lens recently, and I am now deciding
    >between the Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L the IS version and the non-IS version.
    >Since I never used a IS before, I am just wondering if it is really worth
    >the extra 1/3 of the price? In what occusions would you usually turn on the
    >IS mode? Is there a down side of this feature?
    >I will be using this lens mainly for landscape, natural, and some model
    >shots. I use 10D.
    >
    >thank you.
    >

    Well worth it. You can use two stops slower shutter ahnd-held than you
    could by whatever non-tripod techniques you could use otherwise.

    My direct experience is with a Nikon VR lens, but I know several
    nature photographers who use IS glass with stunning effect. My wife
    also has a Canon IS binocular which is super.

    You can turn it off whenever it seems undesirable.



    Rodney Myrvaagnes J36 Gjo/a


    "In this house we _obey_ the laws of thermodynamics." --Homer Simpson
    Rodney Myrvaagnes, Jul 8, 2004
    #12
  13. ^______^

    Guest

    Mark Johnson <> wrote:

    > I would imagine so. That's a bulky set-up you have, not exactly the
    > camera to use at picnics.


    I use equipment like that all the time. Even "picnics". Doesn't seem
    too bulky to me.

    > I wonder if it operates anything like a steadycam?


    No.

    > More precisely, have you heard of a rig that could function as a
    > steadycam for digicams, or even your heavier dSLR rig, but that is not
    > itself particularly huge, or expensive? I mean any experience, or
    > running into someone with actual experience with such?


    Steadicams are easy to make. www.google.com: steadicam cheap easy
    make

    http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/steadycam/
    http://www.bealecorner.com/trv900/steady/steady.html

    many other hits. _Operating_ a steadicam, however, is not easy.
    , Jul 8, 2004
    #13
  14. ^______^

    Guest

    "^______^" <^_____^@hotmail.com> wrote:

    > Is there a down side of this feature?


    A little more flare. Something else that can break. Drains the
    batteries much faster. Wonky focus demands the use of "servo" AF if
    your "hang time" on the shutter button is long (e.g., wildlife work)
    -- adding more drain on the battery. That said, the benefit/cost
    ratio is a very large number: the feature is worth it.
    , Jul 8, 2004
    #14
  15. ^______^

    Mark Johnson Guest

    "Mark M" <> wrote:

    >"Mark Johnson" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> "Mark M" <> wrote:


    >If you're talking about some sort of external gyro, they are available...but
    >they are huge, heavy and expesive.


    It's the one thing I never worried about, until now. But I was put in
    mind of it, as the most general solution, regardless of camera. You're
    saying the steady-cam is basically just a gyro? I know about gyros.

    Is the Canon IS lens gyro stabilized?
    Mark Johnson, Jul 9, 2004
    #15
  16. ^______^

    Carl Miller Guest

    On July 08 2004, "^______^" <^_____^@hotmail.com> wrote:
    > I am planning to buy a telephoto zoom lens recently, and I am now
    > deciding between the Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L the IS version and the
    > non-IS version. Since I never used a IS before, I am just wondering if
    > it is really worth the extra 1/3 of the price? In what occusions

    would > you usually turn on the IS mode? Is there a down side of this
    feature? > I will be using this lens mainly for landscape, natural, and
    some > model shots. I use 10D.

    I have the 35-128mm IS lens and I think it is worth it just for the
    ability to shoot in lower light (slower shutter speed) without a tripod.

    --
    Carl Miller

    www.stellarphotos.com
    Carl Miller, Jul 9, 2004
    #16
  17. <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > "^______^" <^_____^@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    > > Is there a down side of this feature?

    >
    > A little more flare. Something else that can break. Drains the
    > batteries much faster.


    Is the "much faster" measured in a DSLR or a point-and-shoot? I ask
    because the basic battery drain is likely to be much higher in a P&S so
    the increase using IS may be relatively smaller....

    Cheers,
    David
    David J Taylor, Jul 9, 2004
    #17
  18. In article <E87Hc.42249$a24.8145@attbi_s03>,
    "^______^" <^_____^@hotmail.com> wrote:

    > I am planning to buy a telephoto zoom lens recently, and I am now deciding
    > between the Canon EF 70-200mm F2.8L the IS version and the non-IS version.
    > Since I never used a IS before, I am just wondering if it is really worth
    > the extra 1/3 of the price? In what occusions would you usually turn on the
    > IS mode? Is there a down side of this feature?
    > I will be using this lens mainly for landscape, natural, and some model
    > shots. I use 10D.
    >
    > thank you.


    I have the 70-300 DO IS and the IS works very well. Some of my most fun
    photos were taken under conditions where a non-IS lens would have been a
    mess of blur.

    The downside is that half-pressing the shutter consumes more power.
    Bring an extra battery if you find yourself half-pressing frequently.
    Kevin McMurtrie, Jul 9, 2004
    #18
  19. ^______^

    Mark Johnson Guest

    "Mark M" <> wrote:

    >"Mark Johnson" <> wrote in message
    >news:...
    >> "Mark M" <> wrote:


    >If you're talking about some sort of external gyro, they are available...but
    >they are huge, heavy and expesive.


    It's the one thing I never worried about, until now. But I was put in
    mind of it, as the most general solution, regardless of camera. You're
    saying the steady-cam is basically just a gyro? I know about gyros.

    Is the Canon IS lens gyro stabilized?
    Mark Johnson, Jul 9, 2004
    #19
  20. ^______^

    Guest

    "David J Taylor" wrote:

    >> "^______^" <^_____^@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >>
    >>> Is there a down side of this feature?

    >>
    >> A little more flare. Something else that can break. Drains the
    >> batteries much faster.

    >
    > Is the "much faster" measured in a DSLR or a point-and-shoot?


    I have no experience with P&S's, let alone IS on such a thing.

    > I ask because the basic battery drain is likely to be much higher
    > in a P&S so the increase using IS may be relatively smaller....


    A reasonable theory. My experience with my 10D is that the IS makes
    the battery last about half a long. But again, as I mentioned, that's
    because I spend alot of time "hanging" on the IS (you never know when
    the bird will poke its head out, etc).

    Some day I'll get around to sticking my Fluke's probes into the camera
    to measure the current draw under various conditions.
    , Jul 9, 2004
    #20
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