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Old Jan 1, 2007, 7:33 AM   #1
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I just got a Canon 70-200 F2.8L IS lens for myself which I shall be using mostly for shooting action sports.I know that the IS feature doesn't freeze action.Anyway,my question is if I were using my 70-200 F2.8L IS lens for shooting action sports,would it be better for me to leave the IS mode on or should I turn it off?And why?What results shall I get by using the IS feature while shooting action sports as compared to not using IS?THANKS.

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Old Jan 1, 2007, 5:25 PM   #2
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"IS" stands for "image stabilization", a feature which helps keep camera shake from blurring pictures when the camera is not mounted on a tripod. IS can let you shoot hand-held at lower shutter speeds than othwerwise possible and still get a clear picture. it's mainly useful for taking photos in relatively poor light when you have to use a slow shutter to get a proper exposure. itdetects the tiny movements of your hand and compensates for them, so they do not blur theimage. it has nothing to do with freezing action, which is a function of shutter speed only.

the old rule of thumb is that to avoid camera shake blurring your photos, your shutter speed should be the reciprocal of your focal length. your 200mm lens, if mounted on a Canon EOS body, will act like a 320mm on a 35mm SLR, so you should keep the shutter speed up to at least 1/320 to avoid camera shake. for sports, you want a relatively fast shutter anyway - 1/320 or 1/400 will freeze most sports action, but 1/500 or more isbetter.at 1/500 or above, with a 200mm lens, you shouldn't need IS, and can turn it off if you wish. at faster shutter speeds itwon't affect your picture one way or another, though it may help in composing and focusing because the lens will be steadier.
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Old Jan 1, 2007, 7:29 PM   #3
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IS, or Image Stabilization, will allow you to shoot with a slower shutter speed than you might otherwise. Using squirl033's rule of thumb example, without IS, you'd need to use a shutter speed of 1/320 or faster to to avoid camera shake blurring your photos. IS will enable you to use 1/80 or perhaps even slower. This can be benificial when your subject is moving and you're panning to follow the action and want the background blurred.

I have a KM5D, and it's called Anti-Shake, but it's the same thing. The camera (or in your Canon, the lens) corrects for camera shake. I use it to take pictures like this:
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Old Jan 2, 2007, 3:40 AM   #4
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Personally I would not be worrying about IS for anything unless it is stationary as with a good panning techniqueyou willbe able to get great shots at lowshutter speedswithout the IS. At high shutterspeeds then the action in the whole frame is frozen by the nature of the high speed. You will notice that with newer lenses they they have the ability to chose which plane the IS works in as when panning then the horizontal would not be needed anyway but there is a slight argument for having it in the vertical however from experience the panning technique seems to allow for a lot less shake than trying to hold it still.

This shot was taken at 1/60s at 400mm (640mm equivalent in 35mm) so at least 1/640th would be the minimum for a sharp shot so this is over 10 times slower. Before moving to Canon I had the KM5D and it didn't seem to make any difference if it was on or off, however when I was shooting car events and was very close to the action (being an official photographer at some events I could be) then with Anti Shake on it would actually cause a nasty vibration on the CCD giving blurred photos.

You will notice that in this shot the only part that is blurred is the front of the board and there is nothing that could be done to stop this as it is due to a small vertical movement from the water not camera shake.

Note anyone looking at theExif willsee that it shows f4 and 200mm however my 3rd party 2x telecon does not report that it is fitted so the camera does not realise it is there. As this is the case it should read f8 and 400mm.

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Old Jan 2, 2007, 8:00 AM   #5
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Killer Angel,

There is some debate in the sports shooting community as to whether or not IS will harm your images or help them. IS in the lens uses gyrascopes to detect movement and correct it. That originally caused problems when people were panning, so Canon came up with their mode 2 which only activates the IS along one axis. But, what does the IS do when you are tracking a diagonal moving subject (quite common on field sports)? Some people have claimed the IS fights them trying to correct the motion somewhat and say they always turn the IS off. Others say hogwash.

I myself don't use IS for sports - so I can't comment one way or the other. As has been indicated already, it won't really help you unless you're doing a slow-shutter pan - and as Mark indicated, proper technique is what will help you best there.

Try it both ways - my bet is you won't notice a difference.
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 9:56 AM   #6
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Just a quick question. How do you turn the IS off? Is it something you do on the camera, or on the lens??? I never realized you had that option.

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Old Jan 3, 2007, 10:01 AM   #7
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The lens will have a switch on it to turn IS off. For the lenses that offer it, there is also the capability to switch between the 2 types of IS - mode 1 which corrects along both axis and mode 2 which only corrects along the vertical axis (for use in panning). In the canon system all IS activity takes place in the lens. THe camera doesn't know whether you're using IS or not since the image is 'corrected' by the time it gets to the camera.
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Old Jan 3, 2007, 5:28 PM   #8
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I have been shooting competitive swimming ( mostly panning) for 2 years now and for the first year the Canon lenses I rented, I had the choice of IS or non IS. At first my thinking was 'if the lens has IS, it is better', it wasn't till shooting several thousand shots of IS and non IS that I found no difference between the two lenses when viewing the pictures on the computermonitor and I would specifically make a point of looking for "camera shake"distortion.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"You won't notice camera shake in your pictures if yoursubject is moving and your panning the subjectfor the shot and have a decent shutter speed.After seeing this, the choice ofbuying IS or non IS was easy...I bought non IS and saved a lot of $$$.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"In your situation you already have the IS version and your wondering if you should turn if off or have it on?? I am convinced from shooting both types of lenses (IS and non IS) that you won't notice any difference at all if the IS is on or off if the subject is moving. To shoot sharper pictures, set your appature smaller by 1.5 to 2 stops from 2.8 which is about f4. If this slows your shutter down (which it will) boost your ISO's and run the "keepers" through a noise program to clean and sharpen them up.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Check out the link provided here. http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...amp;forum_id=8 These two shots are taken with the 70 - 200 2.8 non IS, and taken through a tour bus window driving 100km/h bouncing over frost heaves on the highway. You can bet the camera was moving all over the place but because the shutter was roughly 1/4000, it didn't matter to the outcome. If your out side with good sun light and can achieve shots with a higher shutter speed than this, say 1/6500 - 8000, you could run along side your subject shooting at the same time and still get sharp pictures.

Keep in mind too that if you have a steady hand IS is not even necessary for shooting subjects not moving. It's all about shutter speed and you will determine how slow it can be before you need to turn it on. This shot is using the 70 - 200 2.8 non IS andis of my cat (who isn't moving much and not much panning going on here)

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