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Old Oct 12, 2007, 12:12 PM   #1
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I do a lot of sports shooting indoors at fighting events and I normally use a rented canon 70-200 f2.8L IS to stop the action and get decent low light performance (indoor arena lighting sucks!). I shoot at a minimum of 1/320 or 1/400 at ISO800, but mostly its ISO1000 or even ISO1600. When I shoot cageside I hand hold so I use the IS, but sometimes I shoot farther away on a monopod so I turn it off. My question is, am I gaining anything with IS shooting at the high ISO and shutter speed or should I save the extra $$ and get the non-IS verson? Is anything to be gaining with the IS when using a monopod? If it matters it is paired to my 40D.

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Old Oct 18, 2007, 11:43 AM   #2
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Shooting at speeds of 1/320 - 400 at ISO 800 is plenty fast enough to avoid noticing "camera shake" in your pics. You should always shoot being aware how steady your holding the camera and you'll find plenty of pics sharp at the speeds your shooting at.

Before I bought my non IS 70 - 200 2.8, I rented a whole series of zoom lenses with IS and found the IS not useful for shooting indoor low light sports having shutter speeds much the same as what you find in your events. Also IS is not useful when the subject is moving/or your having to pan the shot.

For me, the bottom line is shutter speed. #1 - If your doing a lot of shooting around 1/250 and lower then IS may become useful. #2 - If your subject is moving, IS is not worth it and lastly #3 - be aware to hold the camera still and save the extra $1000.

Check out my "sports" gallery on my web site. The majority of these shot with the non IS 70 - 200mm 2.8.

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Old Oct 18, 2007, 2:28 PM   #3
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If you needs IS by all means get one - However if you already use a monopod and shooting at higher shutter speeds to freexe the actions then IS is not going to be beneficial to you.

-> If anything by being more complex with more elements in the light path the IS version has a lower MTF hence the contrast and sharpness are not as good as the non-IS version:

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Old Oct 18, 2007, 8:01 PM   #4
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Normally I would say it's useless. It certainly is if you're using a monopod. But when you're right up on the cage, whether or not you gain benefit depends on whether or not you can get into a good shooting position.

I've only covered one cage event for my paper and it was well lit and shooting at ISO 2000 I was easily getting 1/800 so shake wasn't an issue at all. But I had to lay over tables set around the ring to get my lens on the cage - not an ideal shooting position. So if I was shooting at 1/320 or 1/400 IS MIGHT have been beneficial. In a regular shooting position though (i.e. if I didn't have to lean over a table)- not a problem - especially with the added brace of the cage wall against the lens.
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Old Oct 19, 2007, 5:52 PM   #5
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Thank you NHL! From the links you provided, it looks like I'd be better off without IS, especially at the longer focal lengths. On a personal note, what do you shoot most often, and do you perfer the IS version or not?
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