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Old Apr 6, 2007, 6:58 PM   #91
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Jim,

No offense, but I still prefer flash (if it's allowed). There's still a lot of blur in those photos.

Here is some with flash in a church:





Or using a monopod (1/40 at 186mm)




1/40 at 197mm


I just think you give IS too much credit.

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Old Apr 7, 2007, 3:06 AM   #92
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JohnG wrote:
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Jim,

No offense, but I still prefer flash (if it's allowed). There's still a lot of blur in those photos.
And some in yours too...


For flash.... especially in a place like i chuch.... irritation/distraction factor.

I would take natural light over flattening flash (if you cann't bounce...still annoying but less than in the eyes)... and be lucky anyday.

Even if not actually because of SR/IS but subject movement slightly blurred.

And shown to subject (not a PERFECT model) probably just as happy NOT razor sharp)
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 5:53 AM   #93
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i must admit i find almost no blur in johng's pictures shown here, not at all when compared to JimC's.....BUT.......... I don't think it's fair to compare these fotos.

Afterall the SR/IS/VR/SSS will allow you to take photos in places where they wouldn't allow flash.

Let's take the church example, at our local ( my home country is Denmark, i live in china becausemy wife is chinese).

They don't permit flash photography during a sermon. In that case i would choose SR/IS/SSS/VR to no stabilizing effect any day.

If they indeed would allow it i would choose a flash setup any day for fast shutterspeeds alone.

I just came home from the rural areas of henan in China.There,evening arrangementsindoors tend to be very dimly lit. I borrowed a friends 24-120mm VR lens, BUT keeping 6 children steady enough to allow shots at 1/10 was terrible and for me impossible! I then switched to a slave flash bouncing of the roof, and voila I got usable results. I encountered some situations where bouncing was impossibleto do, so i wrapped my flash in toiletpaper and fastened it with some rubberbands, and voila the harsh whiteface effect was toned down to natural light :-)

But that example is only valid if you are allowed to use flash in the first place!

For insidetemple shooting i would choose IS/VR/AS/SSS/SR anytime.
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 8:07 AM   #94
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monx wrote:
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But that example is only valid if you are allowed to use flash in the first place!

For insidetemple shooting i would choose IS/VR/AS/SSS/SR anytime.
Monx - I agree with you 100%

But, that's also why I posted the last 2 shots - they were WITHOUT flash but WITH a monopod. Which, IMO, provides more stability than relying on IS. And, did I mention those shots were with a 120-300 2.8 lens? Try handholding that at 1/40 even with IS. Oh that's right, we already established the lens can't be found in Pentax or Sony mount so you can't even use it on those platforms. So, imagine using a similarly sized/weighted lens then

IS is a great feature when you already have great technique. But IMO it's a crutch that people rely on in too many instances and you get soft shots because of it.

While I prefer natural light, I would also take a sharp flash picture 100% of the time over a soft natural light picture. And, when I couldn't - look what the monopod could do. I'd say the monopod easily allowed a better shot than the IS did - and with a very heavy lens.

It's a shame, Hayward, that you're so wrapped up in the church of IS you have to justify soft photos as being more flattering to the subject. And if you'll re-examine the photos posted by Jim you'll see the softness extends to inanimate objects - it isn't motion blur. Although I will say that second shot of the woman and baby is a great shot - perfectly acceptable. The last one is also good enough. The other 2 are noticably soft. I'm willing to bet if those shots were taken with a monopod (and using proper technique for stabilizing the monopod)they'd be noticably better.

So again, let me say - IS can be a good thing. But people rely on it too much and use it as an excuse to either not use the right equipment (flash, tripod, monopod, fast prime, high iso). At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the photo. It's either good enough for your purposes or it isn't. You shouldn't have to provide excuses.

So Hayward, look at Jim's first shot of the woman singing and my shot of the girl singing. Can you honestly say, the results of the IS shot are preferable? My shot was ISO 1600, f2.8 and 1/40 - EXACT SAME EXPOSURE as Jim's (he used narrower app and slower shutter speed). So, IMO, I chose the right equipment for the job - faster lens and more stability. But looking at the shots, no one cares how you got it - the only thing that matters is the shot.
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 9:07 AM   #95
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The two you're referring to were shot at wide open apertures with a $79 lens, that tests horribly compared to most. :-)

They print fine at 8x10 anyway to my eyes (it never ceases to surprise me how much better prints tend to look versus screen images), and I could sharpen them if desired, too. It's all subjective what's acceptable and what's not when you consider things like sharpness.

They were also taken well outside of what you'd want to use for shutter speeds for a hand held photo.

The point is that you can get hand held photos at slower shutter speeds that you could without stabilization. I know I wouldn't have been able to take a sharper photo at 1/20 second at an angle of view equivalent to a 315mm lens on a 35mm camera using a hand held camera without it very often. The rule of thumb would have dicated shutter speeds 10 or 15 times as fast.

Would they have been sharper with a monopod? Maybe. But, depending on where you're shooting, you may not want to use one.

There is no real good standard test to judge the effectiveness of stabilization. But, if you look at some of the tests made by respectable reviewers, most are in agreement that it provides about a 2 stop (or sometimes more) benefit over what they'd get trying to hand hold a camera without it.

Can some people hold a camera steadier than others and get photos that sharp without it? Sure. But, then, they'd be able to go with even slower shutter speeds if desired with it.

I use a flash and tripod, too. But, sometimes, that's just not convenient. IS gives you more flexibilty in what you can get away with if you can't use a flash, or don't want to use a monopod or tripod.

More often than not, I prefer a non-flash photo anyway. Flash can lead to harsher skin tones (too much contrast for my liking) at closer ranges, even when bouncing. For example, this shot was taken with a bounched flash (non-dedicated Sunpak 333 Auto, so the EXIF wont' show a flash was being used).



Or, even when you're in a position where the light is more diffused, you can have problems with things like flash reflections. A lot of that light is going forward, too -- even with the flash head pointed almost straight up.






But, with stabilization, I've got the flexbility of using slower shutter speeds without worrying about lugging a monopod or tripod around, especially while visiting relatives, and I can have the flexibility of a light weight zoom with a good focal range at the same time.

For example, I zoomed in to 85mm for this shot, and took it at 1/15 second without a flash.



Do you sometimes get a touch of blur trying that? Sure. For example, the hand was moving a bit in that image. But, these are perfectly acceptable to my eyes for the print sizes I'd want, and I could sharpen them if desired, too.

The benfits of having it are nice from my perspective, because it gives you more choices. You can still use a brighter lens if desired (and I did take a lot of photos using a brighter 28mm f/2 that same evening, with and without a flash). You can still use a flash if desired (and I took a lot of flash photos that same evening, too).

But, some of my favorites were without a flash, using a lightweight zoom that only has f/4.5 available on it's long end. I've got more choices with Anti-Shake. I don't see a down side to having a camera with it built in.


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Old Apr 7, 2007, 10:14 AM   #96
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JimC wrote:
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I don't see a down side to having a camera with it built in.

That would be a true statement if everything else were equal. But, it isn't. If the camera AND SYSTEM offers everything you want then I am with you 100% But there isn't a single system that offers EVERYTHING FOR EVERYONE. I've given some examples. Most recently - if you like certain third party lenses - I'm partial to the 120-300 2.8 from Sigma. I can get it for Canon or Nikon or Sigma mount. But not pentax, Sony or Olympus. I like high ISO performance - so far Olympus is behind all the other manufacturers (even the comments I've seen regarding their new releases state it's better than previous models but still not as good as the competition). Nikon has built in wireless flash capability - Canon doesn't (don't know about the others). Or let's say you want full frame for the benefits it provides. Nikon doesn't have it, Oly certainly doesn't Does Sony or Pentax? Or let's say you prefer JPEG over RAW - some systems do a better job of JPEG conversion than others.

Likewise in-body IS could be an important feature to someone. Or any other features - each system has something or does something better than another system.

So, all other things AREN"T equal. Thus by choosing a camera with in-body IS you give up features/bodies/lenses that other systems have. It's a trade-off.

And I still argue - there are other aspects that have a greater impact on whether or not your picture will be good: composition, correct WB, correct exposure, correct focal length, quality optics, correct position of photographer, correct DOF, good technique. Good flash, good support - tripod, monopod or improvised. Every one of the above is infinitely more important to success than IS. in the hands of someone who has all of the above then IS will allow a good photo to be great. For those that are duped into believing IS is a substitute for the above, they'll continue to get mediocre shots.

So, if every system offered a body with IS at the same price as a body without IS, your statement would be correct. Or if the chosen system has everything else you want and the things missing are not important to you than you are correct. But that's hardly the case. If it were, than knowledgable photographers would never buy Nikon or Canon (notice I said knowledgable). So, why do you think they do so when it is such a no-brainer that in-body IS is more important than any advantage either of those systems offer?
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 10:27 AM   #97
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No time to reply... walking out the door right this minute. But, I'll give you more thoughts after the weekend when I'm back in town.
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 4:24 PM   #98
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Love the church photos guys.

Y'all really crack me up. :-)
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Old Apr 9, 2007, 2:49 PM   #99
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That's it.... I'm going back to old my Minolta SRT 101 film bodies.I don't even want to use an autowinder. I'll just carry several bodies with different speed film. Who needs this digital stuff that gets outdated every time I change batteries.
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Old Apr 9, 2007, 4:13 PM   #100
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JohnG wrote:
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It's a shame, Hayward, that you're so wrapped up in the church of IS you have to justify soft photos as being more flattering to the subject.

So again, let me say - IS can be a good thing. But people rely on it too much and use it as an excuse to either not use the right equipment (flash, tripod, monopod, fast prime, high iso).
Not trying to JUSTIFY anything....

However for one with good grip skills, SR is a wonderful tool, especialy in places where flash and tripod are not allowed or just plain impractical due to space or time constraints.

AGAIN SR IS NOT and I have never claimed it to be a cure all. It is however a feature from now on would be disireable for me to have on any future camera. Not as an absolute, but vs an otherwise similar camera without, likely a deal clincher. It can always be turned off and for formal shoots (like a church, in a static setting sure drag the pod along.

If I want to go out and specifically shoot fixed night/moon/etc scenes sure I'd take a tripod.... but hump it all around Key West for 8 hours a day, every day NOT A CHANCE, and SR makes up a lot for not having to do that.

Maybe when I can afford a roadie/caddy to follow me around perhaps.
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