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Old Mar 24, 2004, 10:49 AM   #1
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Default Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS or without IS

I have tried shooting with 70-200 f2.8 without IS (image stablizer), and find that a tripod is needed in order to produce good pictures.

Can anyone share with me whether IS does help in hand-held shooting? Or do I still need a tripod to get decent pictures? In other words is it worth the extra money paid for IS?

Cheers!
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Old Mar 24, 2004, 11:02 AM   #2
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To ME, it was worth the extra money. You gain at least 2 stops with the IS. If you're doing landscape photography, you're probably better off going without the IS and using a tripod, but if you're taking action shots that require quicker reaction using handheld shots, the IS is superior.

In my case, I figured that by having the IS available, I had the best of both worlds --- an excellent piece of glass with IS when I need it.
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Old Mar 25, 2004, 9:14 AM   #3
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Thanks for your advise, Henry. It's comforting to know it from a user about the benefits of IS. I'll be getting it tomorrow.

Do you do macro shots? What do you think of 100mm f2.8 Macro and 180mm f3.5L Macro? Which will be a better all rounder?
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Old Mar 25, 2004, 9:36 AM   #4
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I own the 100mm f/2.8 Macro. It is a very nice piece of glass that takes excellent macro and normal photos. It is extrememly sharp at all f-stops. Unfortunately, I haven't done as much macro work with it as I would have liked to do YET. I can't compare it to any other macro lenses as I haven't used them.
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Old Apr 6, 2004, 4:10 PM   #5
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Or you could use the poor man's IS, a monopod. Which will give you a stop or two.
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Old Apr 6, 2004, 9:08 PM   #6
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Billy posted on March 25th that he was going to go out and get the IS lens. I'm wondering if he actually did purchase it and if indeed he has received the necessary information on IS before making that substantial purchase decision.

If a person is using slow shutter speeds in order to gain more light in darker places then IS will definitely be a blessing, as long as the subject is not sporadically moving in various directions, such as a bird in the air fluttering about or an athelete in a sport that is not in one predictable direction.

I am convinced that the potential buyer really needs to ensure that he or she understands what the subject matter will be and in what environment they plan to shoot. Otherwise, they may be purchasing overkill, and perhaps when they can't really afford to.

A tripod costs a few hundred dollars if one wishes to shoot a stationary subject in low light. If one is shooting motor sports where the direction is a "pan" movement, then a tripod will work nicely. The only area where I personally have found a tripod to be uncomfortable is in the exact area where IS "doesn't" shine and might even hinder a good shot, and that's in sports where the direction isn't predictable and the shutter needs to be fast.

I'm simply posting this for those who have not yet considered the scope of benefit of IS.

If Billy actually went out and purchased his lens and has tried it out, then I'd love to hear his own impressions now.
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Old Apr 7, 2004, 12:37 PM   #7
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Thanks Norm & GR.

What a coincident! Yes. I just got my 70-200mm f2.8L IS this morning.

I enjoy candid, animals and events photography and a good telephoto would help. I just tried it in the evening at botanical garden shooting monkeys. The advantage of IS and the non-IS was about 3 stops different. (like Hendry mentioned). I am happy with the fact that I can still obtained a acceptable quality with handheld shot and not sacrificing on ISO.

I have a Gitzo carbon fibre G1128. Shooting with tripod may not be possible some of the time. Just now, I shot monkeys by lying on the ground on my side, at times on my back to shoot up, otherwise it will kill my neck.

The difference of IS and non-IS is vast. At indoor lighting situation, even with all the Qi-Gong and breathing exercises, the non-IS will only produce an focused picture with ISO 800 or 1600. Whereas an IS can produce the same picture with ISO 100 or 200. Some says it's the psychology aspect of using a better lens which boost the confidence of the photographer. But I'll leave that conclusion to you.

Now I have to improve my hiking stamina (chasing after monkeys in the garden), in order to recover faster and have a sturdy hands.

Overall, it's silence (like all USM), bright, fast and serve my purpose. (I suppose, need more shooting session..) The down side is the weight, the price and the size (with hood and all) that scares away my candid victims :P

Might post some photos in my next reply, IF I can get some pictures that are presentable. ops:
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Old Apr 7, 2004, 2:07 PM   #8
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Thanks Billy. I look forward to seeing some of your photos. Please see if you can get a shot of some of those monkeys rushing about. I'd be interested in seeing something like that, and of course other shots of more stationary subjects.

Congrats on the lens and have fun!
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Old Apr 8, 2004, 8:19 PM   #9
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Just got the 70-200 w/ IS. Still very much a work in progress, but I really like the lens. Here are a few pics.

http://www.aasportsphotos.com/
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