1. Mr Pid

    Mr Pid

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    I've been searching the web, Youtube and reading the Canon manuals thoroughly to fathom the differences between the different IS modes but am still struggling to get my head around them.

    Mode 1 - all purpose mode
    Mode 2 - designed for panning
    Mode 3 - enacted at the point of exposure.

    My biggest question is on mode 3, which of the other two does it engage? and how does it know? Also engaging on the point of exposure is surely a bit last minute? Canon say that it is active all the time but unseen in the view finder? Im not sure how this works either as the IS unit is still a lens which the light passes through before reaching the mirror/viewfinder, how can this be filtered out?

    Mode 2 - for panning, its almost to pan left to right without some sort of vertical fluctuation, so how does the camera compensate for this, along with the panning stability control?

    Mode 1 - All purpose mode.. Canon seems to change its mind whether this is for stills, moving subjects etc. We've all experienced the fight to track a subject with this mode engaged, some like it, some hate it. But would mode 3 be better?...

    As I said, so many questions and there seem to be so many conflicting answers?... :-(
     
  2. JohnStewart

    JohnStewart

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    Mode 1 includes both horizontal and vertical stabilisation
    Mode 2 is vertical only - i.e. panning objects in a horizontal motion
    Mode 3 I know switches off so you don't see a stabilised image through the viewfinder and it only activates when you press the shutter. Not sure if it switches to mode 1 or 2 though as none of my lenses has mode 3.
     
  3. troutfisher

    troutfisher

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  4. johnf3f

    johnf3f

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    Don't forget mode 4 = off. I found, a while back, that this IS setting gave me faster AF acquisition (lock) and much better tracking on moving subjects. Give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised. I haven't used IS in about 4 1/2 years and have benefited greatly from it.

    P.S. I did play with the newer IS system on my 100-400 Mk2 when I bought it, and Mode 3 is certainly less intrusive then mode 1 and 2 but OFF is still better in my experience.
     
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  5. soupdragon

    soupdragon

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    I too got tired of fighting against the IS when panning.
    I don't turn it off but use mode 3. It appears to activate both axes though.
     
  6. Mr Pid

    Mr Pid

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    IS appeals to me most when shooting airshows, when I have prop planes moving at some serious pace, yet I want a slow enough shutter to freeze the plane but blur the prop. I've not been having much luck so far this year, my previous years have been perfect but I cant remember what mode I was using.

    Using a 5D4 so the 30mp sensor is a little more sensitive to any imperfections. Having said that the weather conditions have been awful, incredibly hot and lots of shimmer, even the Rafalle shot at 1/3200 wasnt a sharp as it should be :-( (with no is)
     
  7. johnf3f

    johnf3f

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    Only one of my lenses has Mode 3 - which is certainly better for moving subjects, however I still prefer IS off in all situations with my longer lenses (100-400 Mk2, 300 F2.8 L IS and 800 F5.6 L IS). With my shorter lenses only the 16-35 F4 has IS and I don't even know if it works!

    I have found that IS costs me too many shots and is of little or no help on static subjects (even hand holding my 800mm) so I just don't bother with it anymore - just me.
     
  8. johnf3f

    johnf3f

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    At 1/500 sec or faster then IS is of no help according to the last Canon Rep I spoke to about it. Using his 5D4 and Canon's 500 F4 L IS Mk2 I very quickly had him taking sharper hand held shots (static and moving) at 1/160 sec with the IS off. He was confused to say the least!

    Just give it a try - you might be pleasantly surprised, if not just turn it back on.
     
  9. soupdragon

    soupdragon

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    I'm old and shakey so I can't live without IS.
    I don't want to use it but needs must.
     
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  10. GTG

    GTG

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    You have to remember not all IS is the same or same quality etc....
    I had a Canon 70-200 f4L IS and with IS I could hand held static subjects with considerably slower shutter speeds hand held without even caring about hand shake much.
    It worked fantastically well.
     
  11. Archie747

    Archie747

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    Some interesting comments about IS on this thread. I assume it must work given the no of lenses that have it and the extra cost it attracts. For static subjects it works for me but for moving subjects I am not so sure. I struggle with BIF, I usually hand hold and leave IS on, the hit rate is poor. Last week I went to an owl sanctuary and as the bird they were flying was large and quite close I used my 70-200 L non IS. The light was not great and I was using a speed of 1250, but the results were very good. For wild birds you would not get as close but it did make me think if turning off IS helps with BIF. The next time I use my Sigma 150-600 for fast moving subjects I will try with IS/OS off.
     
  12. johnf3f

    johnf3f

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    It is worth a try - it worked for me. Remember that at higher shutter speeds IS/OS/VR etc is of no benefit - after all there is a limit as to how fast the IS elements can move. To me the main benefits were improved AF lock and tracking (with Canon lenses) and the greatly improved hit rate on moving subjects with no loss on stationery ones.

    Just my experiences.
     
  13. johnf3f

    johnf3f

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    I take your point.
    I have the Canon 800 F5.6 L IS which has the same generation of IS as your lens and am quite happy (with my matchstick arms) hand holding it at 1/250 sec and get only few failures at 1/160 sec. Translate that shutter speed to 200mm and I think you may see why I find that the AF benefits far outweigh any benefits (which I have yet to find) of IS.

    Remember this is only what I have found with modern cameras. When IS was introduced it was an absolute godsend to photographers - these days I can find little if any use for IS. Even when I am shooting medieval/Norman church interiors (quite a few around my here) I still rarely (ever) find a use for it.

    All I would suggest is give it a try, I have benefited greatly and don't want to see others miss out if it works for them.
     
  14. GTG

    GTG

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    Can you not shoot static subjects several stops slower then ? I'm sure I was shooting 1/8 with IS at 200mm and they were sharp.
     
  15. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    Yes. The benefits of image-stabilisation are beyond doubt and it has to be said that John's claims of hand-holding an 800mm lens successfully without IS at 1/160 - 1/250sec run contrary to most people's experience.
     
  16. johnf3f

    johnf3f

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    They certainly are!
    Well that is to anybody who hasn't tried it. If you live anywhere near South Wales I am more than happy to demonstrate. I am away in a fortnight, off to Kent, so if that is more convenient then let me know. Meet up?

    I have IS on most of my lenses, if I thought it was helpful then why wouldn't I use it?

    I am surprised at your scepticism "Hoppy", have you tried long lens photography without IS? Almost everyone I know who has tried this gets better images as a result, Including one rather baffled Canon rep who said it was impossible. Naturally it doesn't work for everyone, but if you give it a fair trial, and it doesn't work for you then I will be surprised.

    When I stumble across a way to get better images without spending money shouldn't I share it?
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
  17. johnf3f

    johnf3f

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    To be honest I haven't (yet) found a need to go that slow on shutter speeds hand held except at quite short focal lengths where it is not really an issue. Where I have looked for long (ish) exposures I use a tripod (waterfalls/waves/night skies etc) when IS is a complete disaster. Hence I have found no use for it in 4 1/2 years. IS is fitted to most of my lenses, and I have paid for it, so it is there if I ever find a use for it. In the meantime I prefer the better AF performance that disabling IS gives.

    Just trying to help others share the improvements that I have found.
     
  18. Mr Pid

    Mr Pid

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    Having looked through my photos of duxford last weekend, one of my experiments was shooting with a 2x iii on my DO ii so I'm effectively at 800mm. I tried this with and without IS on the 1DX and 5D4.

    To be fair, the number of keepers with each mode is roughly the same and I was shooting at 1/100 to get nice prop blur with the planes taking off. I thought these would all be throwaway photos to be honest but figured it was good practice for panning whilst they were getting in the air.

    My main point with trying to work out which is more of a failsafe I guess. I look forward to the shows all year and its a big commitment financially and time wise so I want to come away with as many keepers as possible, mitigating my losses to the ones that aren't quite sharp enough.

    I rarely use mode 1 anymore so I may give that a go on the next show, to remind myself how it works in practice and see the results in pp.
     
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  19. swiftflo

    swiftflo

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    Sorry folks to seem a little thick but I have not long acquired the Canon 5D3 so am totally at a loss to understand all this about "Modes", I do understand what the IS is for but "Modes" no, can someone please enlighten me. At the moment I am not to happy with my images on this camera so this Mode business may be my problem.
     
  20. Archie747

    Archie747

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  21. GTG

    GTG

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    If you are still you would use one mode. If you are tracking something use a different mode. That kind of thing, it is very basic really and it says what they do in the manuals for the lenses if they have modes.
     
  22. swiftflo

    swiftflo

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  23. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    Image stabilisation neutralises unintentional camera movement, ie camera-shake, and it is very effective at longer shutter speeds.

    However, when you are panning/tracking a moving subject it can attempt to correct for that and work against you. Many lenses have a second mode for this, which switches out stabilisation in the movement plane, or some systems detect persistent movement in one direction and switch it out automatically.

    When there is no movement, eg a solid tripod, a feedback loop can build up in the system and cause movement of its own, so switch it off. Again, some systems have tripod-sensing and do that automatically, though if you are using a longer lens in windy conditions it may help to leave stabilisation on. There are some variations on how different systems and modes work, the lens handbook will explain.
     
  24. swiftflo

    swiftflo

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    Thanks
     
  25. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    I can only refer you to what I said in post #15 and that your experience does not reflect majority opinion or experience - or Canon's official documentation.

    When you claim to be able to consistently hand-hold an 800mm lens at shutter speeds of 1/160 - 1/250sec without stabilisation, you shouldn't be surprised when you get picked up on it. That's the equivalent of a 50mm lens at 1/10 - 1/15sec. Yes you can get sharp pictures at those speeds, the effects of camera-shake are very variable when you're around the limit, but most people would be lucky to score better than one or two out of ten. But switch on a modern image stabilisation system (typically with a 3-stops improvement at least) and that average would rise to nine or ten out of ten. I have tested this extensively with every kind of stabilisation system for my work, including big tele-primes and long tele-zooms.

    You say you want to share good information but I'm not sure that unqualified blanket statements like 'I have yet to find any benefits' and 'I have found no use for it in 4 1/2 years' are helpful.
     
  26. johnf3f

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    That is simply what I have found, as has everyone who has taken me up on it - with one exception but there were medical issues there. I am just advocating virtually instant and free IQ and AF improvements if you don't want them fine but please do not try and put others off because you can't/don't want to do it yourself.

    As to "Blanket" statements? Please re read you own post - makes it me look like a learner! You seem to prefer the perceived wisdom on this subject rather than practical experience, I have no idea why - but if it makes you happy? Just don't spoil by trying to put others off. I only suggest that people try this setting as, so far, it almost invariably rewards them with better images. If that upsets you then I am sorry but the world isn't flat anymore. I did offer to prove this to you - why not take me up on it? Anyway Hoppy, enough squabbling, I know my suggestion works for most people so if you don't like it that's fine. After all the more people who think like you then the better my images look - so I am happy!

    To other readers, despite the scepticism of some, the IS off position is preferable in my (and a number of others) experience in most/all conditions. Give it a go and see if it works for you as well as it works for me and a goodly number of fellow togs. If, on the off chance it doesn't, then you can always turn IS back on.
     
  27. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    I make no apology for preferring perceived widsom on this subject, as reflected in the products from every major manufacturer and used by millions of photographers. Particularly as it's also backed up by my own extensive practical experience, including around 120 lens tests I've done over the last few years for numerous magazines and websites, most of them with image stabilisation. It works, and it works very well in all but a few specific and well understood situations (mentioned above). I've taken thousands of pictures to prove it and measure it.

    And no, this kind of argument does not make me 'happy' at all.
     
  28. johnf3f

    johnf3f

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    Glad to hear it does not make you happy, though I was actually referring to "perceived experience" rather than an argument - I wouldn't presume to be that insulting. Though it still surprises me that with your "extensive experience" that you simply reject an idea that another (competent?) photographer finds very helpful.

    Much of what I have learned has been from listening to and adapting the advice of others. Rejecting some ideas and expanding on others - though I always tried out suggestions before accepting, modifying or rejecting them. I am not a Guru of Heightened Enlightenment so I need to try things first - then decide not reject ideas out of hand. This was certainly the case with not using IS, what persuaded me to give it a go was literature from Canon on IS pros and cons, suggestions from two Canon employees and a professional Wildlife photographer (Canon user). Certainly I have taken it somewhat further than they suggested but that was because IT WORKED and it has worked for quite a number of others.

    Sorry but I still completely fail to see why you have a problem with this and am baffled at your criticisms. I am not suggesting anything other than turning a switch off and seeing what happens which seems to make you think I am some sort of heretic! If you honestly believe what you have been posting then please can I respectfully ask that you stop putting others off trying out an option that may (and probably will) help them considerably - a point which I am happy to prove to you in a matter of minutes should you care to be open minded. Anyway it's time for bed and I am obviously beating my head against a brick wall here - it is your loss not mine. I just ask that you do not try to sway others with your intransigence as many local togs have benefited significantly from the "Off" mode - so why don't you want other to benefit too? Don't bother answering that as it will be pointless an certainly not helpful.
     
  29. HoppyUK

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    Let's be clear about this. You appear to be saying that we're all better off without image stabilisation. You've said it here several times and on previous threads. If we take that at face value, you will have a hard time convincing me or anyone else. But if that's not quite the case and you're highlighting certain situations or particular techniques, please explain. (Apart from the known and ackowledged circumstances mentioned above, eg panning/tracking, tripod use, reduced benefit at high shutter speeds.) It would be helpful if you could keep it relevant and resist referring to your 800mm lens, which is a very unusual and specialised lens.

    So what are you saying exactly? Can you link to those Canon articles you refer to? But please don't expect me to travel to Wales, my location is in my profile and I'm at the other side of the country.
     
  30. johnf3f

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    I don't expect you to travel anywhere I was just making the offer of demonstrating what I have found. The "West Midlands" area is quite large but having spent 5 years there I didn't find getting to South Wales was onerous - I was just outside Hereford but also spent many subsequent years travelling to Leominster/Birmingham and Worcester - never took very long please note I am a pretty slow driver.

    These days I have fewer IS lenses than I used to but, including my previous lenses, I am referring to experiences with the 16-35 F4 L IS, 24-105 F4 L IS, 70-200 F2.8 L IS, 300 F4 L IS, 100-400 L IS Mk1 and 2, 300 F2.8 L IS, 600 F4 L IS and 800 F5.6 L IS, as well as reasonable use of the 70-200 F2.8 L IS Mk2 and 500 F4 L IS Mk2 and a half hour or so playing with the 600 F4 L IS Mk2. I think that is all. So it is not just the 800 - that is just the lens that showed the greatest benefit.

    So - long lenses. These are used at higher shutter speeds whenever possible, nothing to do with the focal length but due to subject movement. Here disabling IS helps improve AF acquisition speed and tracking according to the Canon Rep I asked for information. At lower shutter speeds the IS should be more effective? Well yes and no. With something like a 70-200 F4 IS could be handy due to it's light weight and medium focal length (I am guessing as I have never used this lens) however the larger/heavier lenses damp down the small vibrations (that IS is designed to stop) due to their sheer inertia - hence I have found little use for IS here.

    Medium lenses. With these I need proportionately faster shutter speeds (relative to focal length) than the biggies as their inertia is far less - but so is their focal length so again I have found little/no use for IS. Naturally if I were shooting a church interior at 150- 200mm (no idea why I would want to) then the case for IS may well be different.

    Shorter lenses. If I want good IQ then ISO has to be kept to a reasonable level and I have been quite happy hand holding with the likes of my (ex) 24-105 F4 IS or current 24-70 F2.8 (which doesn't have IS). Naturally wide-angle lenses can be hand held at very low shutter speed with IS but again I have yet to find a need for such shutter speeds even when I visit ST MARTIN'S CHURCH, CWMYOY - well worth a visit!

    The benefits I have found from disabling IS is the faster and more accurate acquisition of subjects and the better tracking when they are moving. For quite a while I was interminably switching IS on and off depending on shutter speed but I was also forgetting to switch it off a lot of the time - this has caused a number of lost opportunities and wasted trips. So back in December 2013 I just turned IS off and thought I will forget about IS until I feel I could benefit from it and then use it if necessary - I am still waiting.....................

    As and extra benefit I have found that the faster and more accurate focusing has allowed me to forget about switching between Servo and Single Shot focus regardless of the subject (except Macro/Product photography of course!). I don't know if this would apply to all cameras but it certainly does to the 1D4, 1DX and 7D2.

    So, in a nutshell, I started disabling IS for moving subjects back in 2007, faffed about (to my cost) until I gave up it in 2013 and have yet to find a reason to turn IS back on. By doing this I have found no downside (yet), plus I have significantly fewer settings to worry about whilst benefiting from a higher success rate with my images. Isn't that worth others having a go to see if it works for them? Should I not let people know about a potential, and free, improvement to their photography? People helped me when I was starting out so I will try and help others regardless of any naysayers.

    well that is now quite enough on that subject - Bye!
     
  31. HoppyUK

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    Thanks for the clarification John. It looks like nothing has changed.

    ps East Midlands
     
  32. johnf3f

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    Sorry I tho
    I thought it was West - my bad.
    No nothing has changed it is not suddenly going to stop working just because you don't like the idea.
     
  33. canonbabie

    canonbabie

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    So if you Switch IS Off how do you stop the Shakey Shakes in the viewfinder.

    Sorry for being thick.

    Regards.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  34. canonbabie

    canonbabie

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    This is taken from a Digital Picture article.

    This is Edited highlights.

    Should You Turn Off "IS" When Using Action-Stopping Shutter Speeds?
    We recently spoke with a high-level Canon representative about the benefits of using image stabilization when high shutter speeds are being utilized to stop fast action. While the information below should not be considered official Canon guidelines, they do represent the experiences of a person who has had a substantial amount of experience with Canon lenses and their IS systems.


    Most of the time, I'm very comfortable to suggest using I.S. Mode 1 or 2, even at fast shutter speeds, and with nearly all moving subjects. But I repeat, if for whatever reasons you feel it's hindering your ability to compose in real time, either switching to Mode 3, or turning I.S. off completely, remain options as well.

    So, there you have it. Even when using shutter speeds fast enough to negate camera shake, leaving image stabilization "On" is generally a good idea. If nothing else, it's providing a stable viewfinder scene for you and the AF system, allowing for easier tracking of moving subjects.
     
  35. johnf3f

    johnf3f

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    Don't read about it - try it!

    What is right for a person paid to promote certain aspects/features of their employer's products may not be the best for you. A number of posters have queried/criticised my suggestion but nobody has come back and said they tried IS off and it was great/rubbish etc.

    It works for me and almost everyone I know of who has taken a little time to give it a try. If people here don't want potential quick, free improvements to their images because they are not willing to flick a switch and see what happens then I give up!
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  36. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    I thought I'd made it pretty clear that I've tested image stabilisation extensively - and it works, very well.

    It's easy to test with a suitable target and a constant light source that puts your shutter speed around the limit for hand-holding. Perhaps a desk lamp or similar that you can move back and forth to adjust brightness on the target. The target I use is a sheet of A4 paper printed with text of different sizes, though the page of a magazine is okay, or a cerial box with different sized bits of printing. The target only needs to appear quite small in the centre of the frame.

    Get yourself comfortable and using your normal hand-holding technique take pictures of it with image-stabilisation off. Because the effects of camera-shake are very variable when you're around the hand-holding limit, you need to shoot a lot of images in continuous drive mode. I do it in batches of ten, because it makes the maths easier, using ISO to adjust exposure (starting around ISO800). So shoot a set, zoom in on the camera's LCD, flick through the images and see what you can read. Find the shutter speed where around 7 or 8 out of ten are acceptably sharp, then shoot another set and check. It will probably be different, so shoot another set, and probably another. Adjust shutter speed until you're getting a reasonably consistent score when the total number of images are averaged. This is all about averages, because single images are highly misleading.

    Now switch on image-stabilisation, change nothing else, and repeat. Your average score will immediately rise, usually to 100%, so drop the shutter speed (and reduce ISO) and keep doing that until you're back to 7-8 out of ten acceptably sharp images. At this stage, you will probably have reduced your shutter speed by around three stops, say from 1/60sec down to 1/8sec with a standard focal length lens. It may be only two stops, perhaps as much as four with the latest technology - it varies with different lenses and image stabilisation systems, and your own hand-holding technique.

    Now you know where your personal hand-holding limit is (with that focal length) and how much improvement the stabilisation system makes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
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  37. johnf3f

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    What on earth are you on about Hoppy?

    I would never claim that not using IS allows lower shutter speeds - it doesn't, nor would I be so stupid as to judge camera/lens performance on targets. I shoot targets - I don't photograph them! I photograph (mainly) wildlife with a mix of landscape/closeup/occasional sports and a bit of architecture. The reason I suggest that people try IS off is that in the majority of cases the rewards are better AF lock and tracking to the limit of their hand holding ability - which is a lot better than most think.

    I am sorry you have a problem with this but you really need to get out and try it in the field. Faffing about with bits of paper is fun but doesn't really tell you very much. The whole point is to benefit from improved AF lock and tracking so sticking a bit of paper to a wall is of little, if any, relevance. Yet you claim to be an experienced photographer (I don't, I just say what I have actually done) but you seem to have no idea/clue as to the actual benefits of improved AF over possible benefits of stabilisation?!?

    Sorry if this is getting a bit personal, but I am only trying to let others know how to get better images - especially on moving subjects and even more so with long lenses. If others want to stick to views (such as those above) then you have my sympathy - I have tried to help but some here seem to think that Ostriches have the right perspective. Personally I am more open minded and like to give others suggestions a go - as have 20/30 local togs who are very happy with their IS off images.

    Anyway, my gain - your loss!
     
  38. HoppyUK

    HoppyUK

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    I was responding to your somewhat extraordinary claim that nobody has tried shooting with image stabilisation off, and to your earlier accusation that I was trying to stop people trying it.

    Well I have tried with image-stabilisation off, a lot, and I've outlined a method for assessing the benefits of IS. It's not directed at you but intended for anyone who's interested, and recommended as a way of finding out what your own hand-holding limits are, with a measure of how effective image stabilisation can be. Feel free to pass.

    If you think in-depth testing in controlled conditions is 'stupid' then that could explain our difference of opinion. With this topic in particular, you can get one-off images to prove almost anything.
     
  39. johnf3f

    johnf3f

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    Or I could get lots of nice sharp images under real conditions?. Still baffled at your attitude, but so long as you are happy then that's fine. I have spent a lot of money on camera gear (though a lot less than my gear list suggests) therefore I want to get the most out of it, you don't seem to - well that is you decision. Your gear, your expense and your decision is to prevent it giving it's best = your choice.

    I still completely fail to understand you attitude and why you reject free IQ and AF improvements, but that is your choice and that's fine. I am just concerned that you seem to be trying to put others off - why? Just let them decide for themselves.............
     
  40. pooley

    pooley

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    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    John, I'm pretty intrigued with the thought that you can get sharp shots with your 800mm at the speeds you mention, but I do acknowledge in certain situations (i.e. puffins in flight) then there is benefit to turning IS off. Unfortunately I'm not able to get down to your neck of the woods anytime soon - is there any way you could describe your technique or maybe show us some of the images you've made?

    Obviously, your views go against conventional wisdom, but if I could learn another useful technique then I'm all ears as I generally hand hold my 500mm f4, so any assistance I can get is greatly appreciated

    Mike
     

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