This blog is my attempt to keep track of some of the things I learn along the way, with my Canon 7D, G12 and accessories. All images copyright Brad Calkins, not to be used without permission (or purchase). I do not attempt to monetize my blog, other than to promote my stock photo portfolio on Dreamstime.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Image Stabilization (IS) with EOS lenses

I have two IS lenses, the 17-55 and the 70-200. Here are my observations on IS:

1. I can't stop people with anything slower than 1/60th of a second, when it comes to my kids. At a wedding I did last summer, the bride and groom were more static so 1/30th seemed fine. The rule of thumb is that you can't handhold below 1/Focal Length for a lens. Using 35mm equivalents, I should be using 1/60th or faster for a 40mm lens. Therefore, IS is useless to me for focal lengths below 40mm (for people shots). In reality, I never use IS with my 17-55 for moving people shots. Works great for sleeping babies, though Max sleeping. IS really shines with a longer lens like the 70-200. I can shoot at 200mm with 1/60th of a second and get sharp shots.

2. IS is great when you want to get a long ambient exposure combined with flash. I took some shots at Halloween where my family was lit by flash, with great ambient lit buildings in the background. I use this a lot with the 17-55.

3. Depth of field can be extended for landscapes. When shooting with a 20mm lens at 1/30 f/4, you could go down to f/8 and drop the shutter down to 1/8s. This would otherwise be too slow to hold and require a tripod.

4. Canon makes the claim that viewing through an IS lens is better than sensor stabilization because you can see the effect. I would agree on a long lens. I can compose better with a stable viewfinder image. With the wider lens it isn't a significant factor. In a perfect world I would support sensor stabilization for use will all lenses, but probably put the IS into long lenses. This would minimize lens cost for the photographer.

1 comment:

Dat-Tuyen Nguyen said...

Thanks Brad. We both have the same motivation for starting a blog, and that's learning! I find your blog quite interesting, I'll be looking forward to your next post.