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Old Sep 9, 2005, 9:10 AM   #1
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I have a Canon 20D with their 17-85 IS lens and a Sigma 70-300 DG lens. I find it very difficult to hold the camera steady with the lens at 300mm even using a tripod and a remote shutter release. (this is a recent purchase so I have a lot to learn) The shake appears to be caused by the mirror as it opens when the picture is taken. I also have a Nikon Coolpix 5700 which, of course, does not have that problem (one of just a few things in it's favor).

I wanted to purchase the Canon 70-300 IS lens but the price tag is quite high. I see Wal-Mart has a Canon EF 75-300mm Image Stabilizer f/4-5.6 USM lens for $547.84 but, it doesn't appear to be digitally optimized. The Canon 70-300 IS lens is DO.

Now, for my questions. What is the advantage of a DO lens over one that is not? Is it worth the price difference? Secondly, will an IS lens help solve my shake problem? I like to take bird pictures and I do use a rather solid tripod but, would like to do some hand-held as well.

Thank you

Arvid
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Old Sep 9, 2005, 9:32 AM   #2
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DO = Diffractive Optics

Nothing to do with digital, everything to do with making the lens small and light but still of high optical quality. This is a rather controversial lens, with many commentators feeling it is overpriced.

My view is that it is pricey, but you are getting what you pay for.

The IS on the lens is top-level 2-mode IS and works very well.

In general you should stay away from the 75-300 IS, it's got first-generation IS and the optical quality is poor, there is however a the new Canon 70-300 lens coming soon which is supposed to replace it.


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Old Sep 9, 2005, 10:31 AM   #3
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Ah!! as I said, I am learning. Thank you for your comments. I am in no hurry sowill wait and see what develops.

Arvid
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Old Sep 9, 2005, 1:16 PM   #4
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Arvid -

The problem you are describing can be solved by using Mirror Lock Up on your 20D. You are already using a tripod and remote release so keep doing that, but start using MLU. It's under Custom Functions 12. What it does: when you press the shutter on your remote the camera flips the mirror up, waits 2 seconds for the vibration to stop, then opens the shutter.

I don't think you need a new lens if mirror vibration is your main problem with the lens you have. You can also search on this forum and photo.net for "mirror lockup" or "MLU". Hope this helps -

Mary
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Old Sep 9, 2005, 4:12 PM   #5
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IS will compensate for camera shake but it won't compensate for subjects in motion. Unless you can make a bird stay motionless for a while, IS won't help (unless if maybe you're doing a panning shot).

And yuppers, Mirror Lockup is the answer to your main problem. Just be sure to turn it off when you don't need it.
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Old Sep 9, 2005, 7:20 PM   #6
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Thanks to Mary and Boy for your suggestions. I am sure "mirror lockup" will solve my problem. Although, Mary, I was a bit concerned when you stated that there would be a 2 second delay before the picture was taken. (the bird might be gone by then) Apparently, in some combination of functions, this is true. However, when I activated "mirror lockup", I could press the shutter release once to lock the mirror and a second time to take the picture. I could do this about as fast as I could push the button. Hope tomorrow is nice so I can get outside and try this.

Thanks again to both of you.

Arvid
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Old Sep 9, 2005, 8:24 PM   #7
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The current75-300 is barely optimized for film and still isn't very good even with that format.

For less money than the "DO" Canon, look at a 100-300 f4 Sigma. If you can handle the weight it's a killer lens. If you want the image stabilization the 70-300 DO is very tempting considering the reduced size and weight, although I still think it has some heft to it.

Regarding the "New" 70-300 IS lens Canon recentlyannounced, itlooks like it may be slightly better optically than the old dog it's replacing, but keep this in mind- it's still fitted with the micro USM motor instead of the very best Ring USMand still will rotate the front elements to focus, so it will not be a fast focusing lens by far compared to the 70-300 DO, which uses the better motor and focuses internally.
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Old Sep 9, 2005, 8:37 PM   #8
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Thanks Greg. I am keeping all this info on file.

Arvid
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Old Sep 10, 2005, 1:22 PM   #9
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Marymac, I believe the 2-second delay you're refering to is not caused by mirror lock up but by the timer that most people use along with mirror lockup. I thought there was minimal delay with mirror lockup... but honestly I don't recall, as I always shoot with a timer when using mirror lockup.

oldradioman.

Your problem doesn't have to be mirror slap. But I need a bit more info.
What tripod do you use?
What head do you use?
How to you attach the camera to the tripod?
What shutter speed are you shooting at?
What aperture?
What ISO?

I exclusively do bird photography. This means (often) fast moving subjects with little time for things like mirror lockup.

I have a very, very good tripod and head, and I exclusively use IS lenses. I only shoot at ISO200 (with my 20D), unless the shutter speed is too high. I usually shoot at between f4-f8, more often closer to f4 than 8. This gives me higher shutter speeds, which I need to stop the motion and reduce the effects of the mirror the wind and other factors.

Please give us more info, you might not need the better lens (although a better lens rarely hurts... except on your shoulder as you carry it!)

Eric

ps. Here is an example of a picture I took using mirror lockup:
http://esmith.marx7.org/web_posts/barred_owl1.jpg

Note this was at a shutter speed of... 1/4 or so. Yes, that slow. But with mirror lockup I feel that it worked. Not amazing, but I like it.

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Old Sep 10, 2005, 3:29 PM   #10
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Hi Mary.

Your mirror lockup seems to work different than on my 20D :-).

When the mirror lockup function is activated on my 20D, it is done with 2 shutter button presses. The first press flips the mirror up, the second fires the shutter and returns the mirror to the rest position. (Always us a remote release to stop finger induced vibrations)

The timer method you describe, is how it used to work on my old film based eos 10s.

Oldradioman & Eric S:
I think you might like this set of albums I just came across http://rockyc.smugmug.com/
Lot of very nice bird images there:!:
Rocky (Owner of the site) is using the Sigma 70-300, 50-500, and 150amcro for a lot of his shots.

Peter

marymac wrote:
Quote:
Arvid -

The problem you are describing can be solved by using Mirror Lock Up on your 20D. You are already using a tripod and remote release so keep doing that, but start using MLU. It's under Custom Functions 12. What it does: when you press the shutter on your remote the camera flips the mirror up, waits 2 seconds for the vibration to stop, then opens the shutter.
Mary
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