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Old Aug 22, 2011, 6:54 PM   #1
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Default IS, OS, VR, VC, when do they really matter?

It is been a while since I last posted.... And I apologize for what must be s dumb question to some...
I have the following lenses canon kit 18-55, 55-250 and 50 F1.8 II, and a 430 EX II...
I really want to try some macro and close up, and probably some wide angle in the future, for specially for indoor pourposes... And there seems to be a ton more options without any type of image stabilization, not to mention they are a lot cheaper than the few with IS or whatever the brand calls them (i am open to all "good" brands). Since most of the time I can't use a tripod I wonder if I should better save up... BTW I have a T2i

Thanks for bearing with the long post...
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Old Aug 22, 2011, 7:13 PM   #2
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IS, VC, OS are all helpful on long zoom lenses over 100mm. It helps out if the lens is not very fast. F2 or better to avoid camera shake. If you get serious into macro at 1:1 IS, OS or VC is not to important as you will need to shoot on a tripod.
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Old Aug 22, 2011, 8:52 PM   #3
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The idea is to shoot with a shutter speed that is approximately the reciprocal of the focal length, e.g. 200mm shots require a minimum of 1/200s shutter speed, in order to get a sharp image. Image stabilization allows us to change the shutter speed in that example 2-3 stops, to 1/50s or 1/25s, thereby letting in more light. As such, image stabilization makes the biggest impact on the longer lenses.

It can help with shorter glass, but we can run into shutter speeds so long that motion blur becomes an issue.

At any rate, IS systems cost a lot more than their non-IS counterparts but are generally seen as worth it.
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Old Aug 23, 2011, 12:32 AM   #4
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The indoor wide angle shots are where stabilized lenses will help most, if you are not using flash. Macro almost requires a tripod, unless you have excellent light.
To expand a little on the rule of thumb - using a SS equal to the reciprocal of the focal length will give you 'acceptably sharp' pictures. You will very often find that you need faster shutter than that to get really sharp shots. It depends on what you are after, and what is acceptable to you. As Jim points out, subject motion can be more of a limiting factor than camera shake.

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Old Aug 23, 2011, 5:23 AM   #5
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The rule of thumb of a shutter speed being equal to the reciprical of the focal length is appropriiate for 35mm film SLRs and 'Full Frame' dSLRs. Cameras with smaller image sensors (APS-C, 4/3, etc.) need a faster shutter speed because the same shake makes more blur on a smaller sensor. You need to include the 'Crop Factor' in the calculation.

So it's Shutter Speed = 1 / ( Focal Length X Crop Factor )

Image stabilization helps under any circumstances where you might be pushing your luck as far as this rule of thumb goes, except for 1:1 macro as my collegues have already mentioned.
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Old Aug 23, 2011, 2:19 PM   #6
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We've had a big argument about this before, but many prople do not believe the 1/FL rule (even adjusted for crop) is not nearly good enough for the modern high-resolution sensors. I am not a sharpness freak, but I have started using 1/2*FL with my Canon 5D2. With IS lenses I allow for a 2-stop gain down to around 1/25s. Below that, even with IS results are generally poor and a tripod should be used.
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Old Aug 23, 2011, 2:31 PM   #7
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As others have pointed out, stabilization allows you to use slower shutter speeds than you might otherwise be able to use without camera shake. It doesn't add anything if your shooting at fast shutter speeds (i.e., people shooting sports where they are trying to freeze the action are most likely using fast enough shutter speeds to avoid camera shake).

Stabilization depends on the shooter and how stable they are. As I've gotten older I'm less stable and depend more on anti-shake. At one time I could use the 1/focal length criteria without taking into account the crop factor and be reasonably assured of a sharp picture. However, recently I've been using 1/2xfocal length if IS is turned off, and 1/1.5xfocal length if using IS.

I've personally found IS helpful for macro but others say otherwise. I do agree that a tripod gives you much better results, but mainly because I tend to sway a bit unless using a pole for extra support so while the picture might not have camera shake, it could have the focus point off slightly (depth of field with macro is tiny).

While most people think of stabilization being only useful for long lenses (where it can become a necessity almost), those who shoot in museums and interiors where they can't use flash would benefit from stabilization also, even with a wide angle lens.
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Old Aug 24, 2011, 4:34 PM   #8
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Thanks a lot for all your very informative explanations...
Now that I have a better understanding of the relationship between lens and shutter speed. Which macro lenses would you recommend?
And since neither my camera nor flash can trigger an off camera flash is there a way to do that and mantain the ETTL capabilities?
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Old Aug 24, 2011, 4:40 PM   #9
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Yes you can get a yougnuo STE2 if you have a flash that has ettl slave ability.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/180564301825...t_11418wt_1218

How much do you want to spend on a macro lens,

The ef 100 2.8 is a good one for 550 dollars. And the sigma 105 2.8 is another good option. The only IS macro is the canon ef 100 2.8L which it 990 dollars, best on you can get in the 100mm range.

If you want to shoot insect, you might want a 150mm to 180mm macro lens
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Last edited by shoturtle; Aug 24, 2011 at 5:08 PM.
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Old Aug 24, 2011, 5:06 PM   #10
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Thanks Shoturtle,
I guess I have to answer to things, first decide if I need the IS, and if it is worth th extra $$$ (for me).
And second, if I decide to go non-IS, is the non-iS canon worth the extra $$$ as say the tamron, tokinq or sigma?
What would you pick?
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