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Old Jun 4, 2003, 3:12 PM   #1
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Default Stabilized lenses

New to this forum but have been using a Canon S100 since they came out. I am running into a problem with both my film and digital photography. I have essential tremor syndrome. This condition is characterized by a shaking of the arms and hands that has gotten worse as I have gotten older. This means that I can now, at times, only take photos on a bright day or using flash. I have been working around this limitation up until now but I'd like to find a better solution. This brings me to image stabilized lenses. They sound as though they would be just the thing for me. When I look through the reviews however, I find that most, if not all, of the moderatly priced digicams with stabilized lenses are of an older vintage or are no longer being made. I'd like to know from people that have used them if they think I would benifit from using these lenses. Also, I would like to know why I don't see any new fixed lense cameras with this feature. I don't buy cameras very often so it would be nice if I could buy new technology; but I haven't found any. Any help would be appreciated. Dave
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Old Jun 4, 2003, 5:50 PM   #2
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My father has either Parkensons or Altzimers (too early to tell.) The end result is that he has serious tremmors in his right arm.

I just got the Canon 10D and two image stabilized lenses (the 100-400L and 28-135.) I was hoping that IS would allow him to enjoy photography again. While resting his elbows on a table (he still shook a bit) he was able to take pictures without trouble (using the 100-400L.) I doubt he would be able to take pictures without some way of steading himself, thought. He just shakes too much.

There are camera stores which will rent you equipment. I would seriously consider renting a camera which has IS to see how well it works for you. If you shake as much as my dad, I don't think it will work for you. But you might not.

Oh, I should mention that the Canon 10D costs $1,499 and the 100-400L is $1,389.95 (a very good price for it, expect to pay $100-200 more.) All prices in USD. A very nie setup, but expensive.
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Old Jun 4, 2003, 5:55 PM   #3
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I'll give this one a try...

The digital camera industry has moved away from the big zoom stabilized lens, primarily because of cost. A stabilized 10X (37-370mm 2.8 lens is an expensive piece of glass. Panasonic recently introduced a new camera, with a stabilized 12X lens. The Panasonic is a 2.0 megapixel point and shoot camera. The general direction of the industry has been toward more megapixels and moderate zoom. There are a few big (10X) zoom cameras being produced, but without stabilization.

The old 10X stabilized lens made by Canon, was used in three cameras... the Olympus 100RS (1.5 megapixels), the Olympus 2100 UZ (a very popular 2.0 megapixel camera commonly called the "Uzi) and the Canon Pro90 (2.6 effective megapixels). These three cameras are still available if you look around in the $400-700 range.

Another way (expensive) approach is the Digital SLR with a stabilized add-on lens. This will cost on the order of $2000, camera + lens. Prices are dropping on the cameras, but remain stable in the area of lenses.

Now... does stabilization work? You bet it does. I regularly shoot with an equivalent of 645mm (17X) with my Pro90 (with a 1.7 teleconverter)... hand held without a tripod. I've read that the stabilization is worth two f-stops.

Your best solution might be a small monopod to stabilize the camera a bit and start saving for that DSLR with a stabilized zoom lens.
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Old Jun 4, 2003, 10:29 PM   #4
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Image stabilization will definitely help. I think your best bet for putting your hands on one of these would be, in this order, the Olympus C-2100, the Canon Pro90IS, and the Olympus E-100RS.
See if you can find someone who has one, and give it a try. If it works, you may want to consider one of these cameras. If it doesn't meet your needs, then you haven't lost anything for trying. You may find that one of these cameras is all you need; if not, pay the extra for one of the DSLR models after you're sure it's what you want. And, there's certainly nothing wrong with combining an stabilized lens with a monopod-- professional photographers use these every day!
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Old Jun 4, 2003, 11:25 PM   #5
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Unless you intend to print really big sizes .. the Panasonic has a great 12x lens but it is limited re. manual settings.
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Old Jun 6, 2003, 6:54 AM   #6
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Thanks for the responses! They gave me a place to start researching. The non-fixed lense solutions are out of my price range but, the other cameras mentioned are possibilites. Some of them I have looked at before(c2100,pro90) and not considered because of the of my perception they were 'old tech'. Your suggestions that I look at them tells me that they are viable cameras that take good photos. I should know that, my S100, which IS 'old tech' has always taken great pictures, it is my handling of the camera that has made it's output unacceptable. So thanks for getting me back on track. Dave
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