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Thread: is Image Stabaliser effective?

  1. #1
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    Default is Image Stabaliser effective?

    I recently got a 90mm macro lens, did some portraits shots and finds that the pictures are occasionally blur due to slightest hand movement. I realised that if I push the ISO to about 1600, then the shake is not that obvious but image is grainy, but if the ISO goes to 400 or lower, image is acceptable, but then the blur comes into play. The bluring might also be due to the x1.6 factor of the camera body itself which makes the lens to be about 144mm ( relative to a 35mm film camera ).

    I have seen some shots using lens with IS ( image stabaliser ). I wonder if this IS is really effective to overcome the human hand shake movement or that it is purely a gimmic ! How effective is it? Can you shoot like 90mm tele lens, say about 1/60sec?

    Anyone that had used IS, please provide some valuable information on this, very much appciated.
    Last edited by lkkang; 14th May 2007 at 01:35 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    I donno if there is any 90mm macro lens with IS. Never heard before. IS is useful and it works by giving you 1 to 2 stops advantage. This again is not like what you see on TV advertisement, IS only help you but cannot eliminate the shake. The basic of handling a camera is still required. 90mm is not that hard to hand held so i think you really have shaky hands and need lots of pratice. In situation where the light is low, use flash. as general rule, shutter speed should be 1/focal length seconds.

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    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    From the information you provided I suppose you want image stabilization in your 90mm Macro lens.
    And Yes you definitely can shoot at 1/50, 90mm. This is an example taken by myself.

    (I left some of the dark speckles untreated to protest against Sony's anti-dust claim though I have easily removed them from the original file using just ACD See)
    It was taken hand held with Sony Alpha 100, in camera stabilizer switched on.
    Exposure: 0.02 sec (1/50)
    Aperture: f/8
    Focal Length: 100 mm
    Flash gun did not fire.

    For Sony Alpha 100, its image stabilization is imbued in the camera itself unlike Canon and Nikon's stabilizer. The later two's stabilizer is built in certain lenses and non of them are Macro. In this way only Sony alpha 100 has 100mm Macro stabilization.

    But this is not to say Sony has better stabilization technology. Different Image Stabilizer implementations are design for the same purpose. And as stabilizers are used when the camera is hand held therefore I don't have empirical evidence to say which one is better. Anyway I have no shaky hands.

    However, 100mm macro stabilization is not the reason you should be looking for a Sony Alpha 100. Most serious macro photographs or most serious photographs are shoot with a firm tripod.

    If you are Canon or Nikon user, you can always buy other lenses with built in stabilizer and they work very well.
    Last edited by Yinfinity; 14th May 2007 at 03:10 PM.

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    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    camera shake can normally be reduced by using a faster shutter speed
    like what deswitch said above.

    the VR/IS/OIS can only help a little and it is still a hit or miss
    it is still best to know the correct holding technique
    even if you have IS.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    thankyou all for the valuable infomation. Sincerely appriciated. Yes, my hand are naturally not very stable I suppose. Worst of all, I was born with sweaty palms ( but not very serious ). On top of that, my lens is manual, and some fingers are needed to do focusing.

    Nevertheless, I did have shots that are ( luckily ) sharp enough with 90mm occasionally.


    YES! I do 100% agree that practice will perfect the shots, I also see professionals using even longer lens ( hand held ). I am looking at the 70-200mm F4 lens review, seems that the portraits shots are SO sharp!.. which makes me wonder is IS is really MAGIC!

    thanks again for the contribution. appriciated.

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    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    Since you say that you need some fingers to do focusing, why not you move yourself forwards or backwards to do focusing instead? The IS on lenses are effective relatively, but if possible, a monopod or tripod is usually a cheaper solution.

  7. #7

    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    nothing beats a tripod, macro sometime u might use f32 also, which will be a shutter speed that is impossible to hold.

  8. #8

    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    Quote Originally Posted by ihub88 View Post
    nothing beats a tripod, macro sometime u might use f32 also, which will be a shutter speed that is impossible to hold.
    I can get it sharp up to 1/8s with a Tamron 90mm Macro.

    Then again, I'm on a Sony A100 so I have IS.

  9. #9

    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    I can get it sharp up to 1/8s with a Tamron 90mm Macro.

    Then again, I'm on a Sony A100 so I have IS.

    1/8 shutter is still very holdable without IS

    but at f32, can u?

  10. #10

    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    does it matter what aperture it is, since he said 1/8 shutter speed?
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  11. #11

    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaknafein View Post
    does it matter what aperture it is, since he said 1/8 shutter speed?
    shooting at f32, what shutter speed will you use?

    and you are shooting macro also.

  12. #12

    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    how would i know? u mean u can tell me the exact shutter speed to use now?
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  13. #13

    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    Quote Originally Posted by ihub88 View Post
    1/8 shutter is still very holdable without IS

    but at f32, can u?
    I wouldn't say that 1/8 is very holdable... you might get 2 out 10 shots without motion blur if you're using a 90mm without IS....

    I don't see your logic here, how would you know what his shutter speed was if he was using f32.... 1/8 and f32 will give you the same exposure as 1/250 and f5.6 which is typical outdoor lighting....btw... most people don't shoot at f32.... the diffraction at f32 would make even the sharpest lens soft....

  14. #14

    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    Quote Originally Posted by zj2000 View Post
    I wouldn't say that 1/8 is very holdable... you might get 2 out 10 shots without motion blur if you're using a 90mm without IS....

    I don't see your logic here, how would you know what his shutter speed was if he was using f32.... 1/8 and f32 will give you the same exposure as 1/250 and f5.6 which is typical outdoor lighting....btw... most people don't shoot at f32.... the diffraction at f32 would make even the sharpest lens soft....
    its quoting example.

    if u shoot macro, you want max dof.

    but if TS can show what he got from the macro lens will be good also.

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    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    I have taken many photos with my Nikkor DX18-200 f3.5-5.6 VRII (Nikon's version of IS) at 200mm with shutter speed of 1/40s and cannot detect any evident motion blur in any of the photos. The IS in Canon (I assume you are using Canon since you mentioned IS) should be equally effective.

  16. #16

    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    there are people who put on closeup filters or even extension tubes to make their tele lens (70-200 2.8L IS) a near macro lens + IS

    but however, unless you're trying to catch some flying insect, i think good use of flash is a better way to go then having IS on lens. =)

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    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    thankyou all for the valuable input, appriciated. I must say that it is a little bit "grey" area when we define "handheld". I remember shooting the "fly" picture as uploaded above hand-held. BUT, the elbow is resting on my knee and I am in a sitting position. Therefore, the lens is very stable . However, if you are standing, and at a lean forward position with a camera bag behind you, then things are not so pleasent.

    Anyway, I am convinced that IS does makes some impact to the pictures. However, it is the price raised versus the 1-2 stop difference that will justify the purchase.

    I personally had tried Mono-pod, not very like the feeling of it. Prefer tripod ( closed together ) and move around.

    Cheers!

  18. #18
    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    Grey area? Handheld means what it says, you're holding the camera in your hands. Sure if one supports the arms, you'll be steadier than if your elbows are unsupported chicken wing style. There are different ways to hold the camera and different postures one can take but you're still holding it in your hands, as opposed to mounting/placing camera on tripod/monopod/beanbag/clamp, ledge, etc.

    As a Pentax K10D & K100D owner that has in-body image stabilization (works on any/all lenses mounted), I can vouch it really works. It's no substitute for a tripod but can be a shot saver if you don't have one.

  19. #19

    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    Quote Originally Posted by creampuff View Post
    As a Pentax K10D & K100D owner that has in-body image stabilization (works on any/all lenses mounted), I can vouch it really works. It's no substitute for a tripod but can be a shot saver if you don't have one.
    Yes, IS is very much like a.. Airbag thing for photographers..

    You might not need it much. You might never use it; but if it's there when you need it, oh, won't you be happier than if it was not?

  20. #20
    Senior Member creampuff's Avatar
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    Default Re: is Image Stabaliser effective?

    I used to think like that, perhaps compounded by the fact many 35mm cameras in the past give some indication/warning of slow shutter speeds below 1/60 sec. However what would have been a mental limit of 1/30 sec in the past, I now know I can shoot acceptable 1/8 sec shots because of the results of in-body shake reduction. So shake reduction (or image stabilization) has helped lower the threshold of what I think will give passable snaps.

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