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Author Topic: Image stabilization  (Read 22224 times)
macgyver
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« Reply #40 on: December 23, 2006, 12:54:51 PM »
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I too will disagree with the poster who said it would not be usefull on a moving boat.  I've shot watersports from a motor boat moving at around 30 or 40 mph (forgive me if that is wildy innacurate, im not much of an ocean goer, but my point of speed remains) and, if nothing else, it helps to calm down the view finder a great deal.

In general, the IS helps you get shots you would not otherwise get.  Period.  The only time I turn mine off is when I'm shooting moving objects or sports where it will not help and will slow my focus.  (Boat example aside)
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John Sheehy
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« Reply #41 on: December 23, 2006, 04:54:11 PM »
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In case of Canon, I believe the 70-200L f/2.8IS was designed several years after the original 70-200 f2.8 non-IS, and theoretically had improvements built in, being a later design, and is still rated less sharp than the non-IS variant.

Having said the above, I would say that the sharpness trade-off is something a lot of people are willing to live with, when considering the other huge advantages from an IS lens that would enable the obtainment of shots that would otherwise not have been possible.
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Lenses don't get much sharper than Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS, or 500mm f/4L IS.  It can't be degrading them much, if at all.
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John Sheehy
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« Reply #42 on: December 23, 2006, 04:58:13 PM »
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Of course, a 400/2.8 or 500/4 would be better, but some of us can't afford such lenses you know   .
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Or don't want to carry them, or use a tripod.

I'd buy myself a 500/4 in a heartbeat if it were easy to tote about.

Also, I can't even stand the attention I get with the 100-400.  The 500 would draw attention of more bored and boring people, from a greater radius.
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Ray
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« Reply #43 on: December 24, 2006, 05:41:43 PM »
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Or don't want to carry them, or use a tripod.

I'd buy myself a 500/4 in a heartbeat if it were easy to tote about.

Also, I can't even stand the attention I get with the 100-400.  The 500 would draw attention of more bored and boring people, from a greater radius.
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I think I probably used an inappropriate expression. For something that costs no more than a small motor car, 'can't afford' implies that one is a pauper.

I meant to say, 'can't justify the expense'. There are quite a few expensive Canon lenses which I'd love to be able use in certain circumstances, such as the 85/1.2, 300 & 400/2.8, 600/4 etc, but I know from experience that I would be unlikely to use such lenses often enough to justify their purchase, not only because of their weight but because in general I find zooms more useful.

The lenses I use most are the Sigma 15-30, Canon 24-105 IS and Canon 100-400 IS. My main complaint with the 100-400 is sharpness is a bit lacking at full aperture. When I upgraded from a D60 to a 20D, I felt my 100-400 lens had also been upgraded because I could more often avoid using f5.6, and in general use faster shutter speeds, as a result of the very much improved noise of the 20D at high ISOs, but I'm disappointed both the 20D and 5D cannot autofocus at f8 because I would then use my 1.4x extender much more.

Cameras and lenses are tools, and tools are to be used.
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Ray
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« Reply #44 on: December 24, 2006, 06:09:33 PM »
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I too will disagree with the poster who said it would not be usefull on a moving boat. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=92080\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Misquoted again! This is what I wrote.

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IS is usually of very limited use in situations of strong wind and rocking boats, as it is from an elephant's back which is usually lurching from side to side as it walks along. If the subject is moving as well, such as a whale jumping out of the water, the problem is compounded.

Of course, if you time your shots to coincide with the point at which the direction of the elephant's lurch changes, or the point at which the wind temporarily dies down, or the point at which the heave of the boat changes direction, then IS will probably be able to do its job. It might even be possible to take a sharp shot of a flower in a gusty wind if you wait for a break in the wind.  

I've actually ridden on an elephant only once, and that was during the Songkran festival in Thailand when people have great fun pouring water over each other (to keep cool).  As a comfortable way to get around, I cannot recommend riding on an elephant   . I took a number of shots using the 5D and 24-105 IS lens at shutter speeds of ranging from 1/250th to 1/750th. The sharpness of the shots seemed pretty much hit and miss. Of course, you understand, if you want a shot of someone having a bucket of water poured over his/her head, you cant wait till the elephant has finished a 'lurch'.
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Chris_T
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« Reply #45 on: December 26, 2006, 08:27:12 AM »
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Another lower-cost alternative to a pricey, pro-quality image-stabilized telephoto would to be to get one of the "Anti-shake" DSLRs, which puts the image-stabilization mechanism in the camera body, and use it with a top-quality, used older telephoto (preferably with autofocus). I recently acquired a Sony Alpha 100 for more-or-less this purpose, and though my impressions are that that type of image stabilization isn't as effective as the Nikon-Canon type, which puts it in the lens, it definitely helps, and makes a shoulder stock (which is much handier than a tripod for wildlife photography) practical for lenses up to 300mm or so (450mm full-frame equivalent). Camera bodies, in the digital era, will come and go for a few years yet; but a good lens is a lifetime investment.
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Putting the image-stabilization mechanism in the camera body instead of the lenses would certainly reduce the overall cost. Many point and shoot digicams do include this feature. But what are the downsides? What is the difference in technology? If this is such a good idea, why was it not done with the film camera bodies (way back when) and the current DSLRs?
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gkramer
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« Reply #46 on: December 26, 2006, 09:12:50 AM »
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Putting the image-stabilization mechanism in the camera body instead of the lenses would certainly reduce the overall cost. Many point and shoot digicams do include this feature. But what are the downsides? What is the difference in technology? If this is such a good idea, why was it not done with the film camera bodies (way back when) and the current DSLRs?
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The "anti-shake" cameras put the sensor (CCD or CMOS) on a flexible mount, and use micromotors to twiddle it to compensate for cammera vibration--clearly not practical for a roll-film camera.

While an attractive option in principal for a DSLR, permitting one to get some image stabilization with an unstabilized lens, it doesn't seem to be very effective for telephoto work; at least that has been my recent experience with the Sony Alpha 100, which was quite disappointing when used with a short-mount Leica Telyt 280mm head. (It did somewhat better with a shorter, 135mm Olympus OM bellows-lens head.) These are just preliminary impressions from shots taken in the field; if the weather ever clears, I hope to do some more systematic tests.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2006, 07:57:57 AM by gkramer » Logged
bruckner
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« Reply #47 on: December 26, 2006, 10:55:29 AM »
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I'm in the market for the new Canon EF 70-200L f/4 IS. This seems excellent value, lightweight and fast enough to autofocus with a 1.4x extender (on a 20D or 5D).

But I can't find any reviews. Is this lens not available yet?
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Bought this lens in UK last week after a review on www.the-digital-picture.com. Cannot comment on IS v non IS issue but lens seems to give very acceptable results on my 30D. It is relatively expensive compared to the non IS. In the UK about 800. I, for one, cannot hand hold at 280mm which is the effective range on a 1.6 sensor.
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francois
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« Reply #48 on: December 26, 2006, 11:23:57 AM »
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Bought this lens in UK last week after a review on www.the-digital-picture.com. Cannot comment on IS v non IS issue but lens seems to give very acceptable results on my 30D. It is relatively expensive compared to the non IS. In the UK about 800. I, for one, cannot hand hold at 280mm which is the effective range on a 1.6 sensor.
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I also got this lens last week and I'm very happy with it. I've yet to test it with the 1.4x extender. In french mag Chasseur d'Image, they state that using a lens tripod collar is strongly suggested with the 1.4x extender. I'll order the tripod collar anyway. I paid about $1250 (with taxes) at the local camera store. Online store prices were $100-$120 less expensive but they had no stock. It's expensive but IS is so precious...
« Last Edit: December 26, 2006, 11:35:21 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
Ray
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« Reply #49 on: December 26, 2006, 09:01:12 PM »
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....but lens seems to give very acceptable results on my 30D.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=92363\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Only very acceptable??  I was hoping for 'superb'   . Joke aside, thanks for the link to the review. It answers some of my questions. The IS version appears to be at least as sharp as the non-IS version in all respects, but sharper than the non-IS version in the centre at f4. In other words, according to this review, there is no image quality trade-off at all as a result of introducing the additional elements for IS. In fact, the reverse appears to be true.

It's more expensive than the older version, as one would expect, but still good value at A$1659. I'll look out for more reviews that might confirm this excellent result from digital-picture.com. It's a lens that is definitely on my shopping list.
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BJL
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« Reply #50 on: December 27, 2006, 11:36:10 AM »
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While an attractive option in principal for a DSLR, permitting one to get some image stabilization with an unstabilized lens, it doesn't seem to be very effective for telephoto work; at least that has been my recent experience ...
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There is another point with DSLR's: for the camera makers who already have good in-lens stabilization systems (Canon, Nikon, and to some extent Panasonic), any added benefits to their cameras from in-body stabilization are less than for systems without such lenses. It is noticeable that amongst the main camera makers, none of the ones with access to stabilized lenses (Canon, Nikon, Fuji and Panasonic) have shown any interest in sensor-based stabilization, while most or all of the others have: Konica-Minolta/Sony, Pentax, and reportedly Olympus, which recently introduced its first sensor-stabilization system, but only in a digicam so far.

It is perhaps significant that the SLR makers without a lens-based stabilization system seem to be going purely in the direction of sensor-stabilization, to the exclusion of lens-stabilization. Even Olympus, which has some unused patents on lens-based stabilization. This suggests to me that these companies all judge that the sensor based approach will be the best for them in the long run, at least in the overall balance of price, weight, performance and such.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2006, 11:36:36 AM by BJL » Logged
howiesmith
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« Reply #51 on: December 27, 2006, 01:19:36 PM »
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It is noticeable that amongst the main camera makers, none of the ones with access to stabilized lenses (Canon, Nikon, Fuji and Panasonic) have shown any interest in sensor-based stabilization, while most or all of the others have: Konica-Minolta/Sony, Pentax, and reportedly Olympus, which recently introduced its first sensor-stabilization system, but only in a digicam so far.

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Wouldn't Canon and some others be taking sales of one product (IS lenses) if they introduced sensor-based stabilization?  Why buy an IS body is you have IS lenses?
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Ray
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« Reply #52 on: December 27, 2006, 08:53:59 PM »
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Introducing image stabilisation with 'ant-shake' sensors, on the surface, seems a better solution because it works with all lenses. Does it work as well as IS within the lens? Can it potentially work as well or better? Who knows?

The new Canon EF 70-200L f/4 IS claims as much as 4 stops shutter speed advantage. Is this purely advertising hype?

Will it be possible to eventually combine the properties of sensor anti-shake with in-lens IS to achieve a.... what?... 6 stop shutter speed advantage, perhaps?  
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macgyver
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« Reply #53 on: December 27, 2006, 10:16:43 PM »
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Will it be possible to eventually combine the properties of sensor anti-shake with in-lens IS to achieve a.... what?... 6 stop shutter speed advantage, perhaps?
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Actually, the lens will just levitate and hold itself in the air while it exposes.  Sharp and easy on the back.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2006, 10:16:56 PM by macgyver » Logged
BJL
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« Reply #54 on: December 28, 2006, 10:28:51 AM »
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Wouldn't Canon and some others be taking sales of one product (IS lenses) if they introduced sensor-based stabilization?  Why buy an IS body is you have IS lenses?
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That was the point of my first sentence, before the one you quoted. However there is some reason for having in-body IS even for use with Canon and Nikon lens systems: for use with non-stabilized lenses, like all of Canon's macro lenses and all but one of Nikon's.

Still, the most interesting question to me is why no SLR maker currently without a lens-based stabilization system is showing any signs of adding one, with all of them instead looking only to sensor-based systems.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #55 on: December 28, 2006, 11:06:02 AM »
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Introducing image stabilisation with 'ant-shake' sensors, on the surface, seems a better solution because it works with all lenses. Does it work as well as IS within the lens?

No, especially at longer focal lengths. There's a limit to how much you can joggle the entire sensor around, which means that effectiveness of body-based IS decreases as focal length increases. As a result, it is least effective where it is needed the most. For short-telephoto work, the difference isn't that major, but when shooting at 600mm, it's far easier to move a lens element group a millimeter or two than to move a 24x36mm sensor half its height, at least fast enough to keep up with the vibration.

I predict that body-based stabilization will remain confined to systems that do not use long telephoto lenses, and that for long telephoto work, lens-based stabilization will remain king.
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BJL
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« Reply #56 on: December 28, 2006, 02:42:47 PM »
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I predict that body-based stabilization will remain confined to systems that do not use long telephoto lenses, and that for long telephoto work, lens-based stabilization will remain king.
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Quite possibly, unless some kind of "just in time" activation of sensor stabilization can minimize needed sensor travel and so improve long telephoto performance. It could well be that some systems will eventually offer both, with sensor based stabilization for use with (shorter?) non-stabilized lenses. I cannot resist speculating that the 4/3 system will soon the first to do this, after a slow start on stabilization: Panasonic OIS lenses and the sensor-based stabilization that Olympus has hinted at.
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #57 on: December 29, 2006, 09:33:49 AM »
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Quite possibly, unless some kind of "just in time" activation of sensor stabilization can minimize needed sensor travel and so improve long telephoto performance.

How would "just in time" help? if you're shooting with a 600mm lens, the sensor is going to have to move a large percentage of its dimensions to effectively stabilize the image, regardless of whether this is done continuously or only for a short interval before+during exposure. Making a full-frame sensor that can move 15mm in any direction in an eyeblink with a mount sufficiently flexible to keep the sensor connections from breaking due to repeated cable flex, while keeping the whole thing flat, sounds much more difficult than moving/tilting a lens group a few mm in the lens somewhere.
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BJL
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« Reply #58 on: December 29, 2006, 04:05:03 PM »
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How would "just in time" help? if you're shooting with a 600mm lens, the sensor is going to have to move a large percentage of its dimensions to effectively stabilize the image ...
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You are right, it would not help with that problem of movements that actually put the subject partly out of the frame of a non-stabilized lens. These I would think can only happen on the longer time scale of composition, before shutter release, not during the fraction of a second of the exposure itself. At a rough estimate, I would not expect a lens to "slew" at a rate of more than 10 per second, so with a 600mm lens in 35mm format, the image could be moving across the focal plane at up to about 10cm/sec. I understand that movements of up to 1cm or more were mentioned by Konica-Minolta, good enough top control camera motion blur during exposures as long as about 1/10s.

Of course, if that is too much, you can probably guess my proposed solution: reduce the sensor movement needed, and reduce the forces needed to accelerate the sensor, by using smaller photo-sites and a lens of shorter focal length, but comparable aperture diameter, like 400/2.8 instead of 600/4. Maybe using the same sensor size with a crop, maybe using a smaller format sensor to reduce the sensor weigh needing to be accelerated.

I do expect that this is the way that narrow FOV photography is going, mostly eliminating the need for lenses so long that f/2.8 is impractical.
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Chris_T
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« Reply #59 on: December 30, 2006, 08:36:33 AM »
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No, especially at longer focal lengths. There's a limit to how much you can joggle the entire sensor around, which means that effectiveness of body-based IS decreases as focal length increases. As a result, it is least effective where it is needed the most. For short-telephoto work, the difference isn't that major, but when shooting at 600mm, it's far easier to move a lens element group a millimeter or two than to move a 24x36mm sensor half its height, at least fast enough to keep up with the vibration.

I predict that body-based stabilization will remain confined to systems that do not use long telephoto lenses, and that for long telephoto work, lens-based stabilization will remain king.
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What focal length range would work well with an in-camera stabilizer?

Within this range, how does in-lens and in-camera stabilizers compare?
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