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To IS or not to IS

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miptog  83532 forum posts United Kingdom61 Constructive Critique Points
19 May 2012 - 11:50 AM

The issue I have with VR, at least with Nikon, is that it can affect performance. Nikon recommend that you allow the VR to settle before taking a shot. This can make a difference between getting the shot or not, and getting a in-focus/sharp shot.

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19 May 2012 - 11:50 AM

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19 May 2012 - 12:16 PM

Andrzej Wrotniak, probably the foremost authority on all things Olympus 4thirds said that in all the thousands of pictures he had taken with E system cameras fitted with in body IS, he got slightly sharper pictures with IS off. For slow shutter speeds, long exposures or large tele shots were the only times he switched it on.

I will have to re read my Nikon hand book.

StrayCat e2 Member 1014807 forum postsStrayCat vcard Canada2 Constructive Critique Points
19 May 2012 - 6:36 PM

Quote: The issue I have with VR, at least with Nikon, is that it can affect performance. Nikon recommend that you allow the VR to settle before taking a shot. This can make a difference between getting the shot or not, and getting a in-focus/sharp shot.

I see that as you have a choice; if it is a shot that requires VR, then the VR is providing you with the means to get the shot, with a very slight delay. Your other choice is a tripod.

Overread  63763 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
19 May 2012 - 7:24 PM

miptog - as far as I know all the systems work in a similar manner - VR/OS/IS - they all have a period where they have to spin up to take proper effect. This does negatively affect you if you're the kind of person points and shoots very fast at subjects suddenly. If you're panning a shot, tracking motion or doing any other activity where you've already got your shutter half way held (and thus your stabilization running) then it should be ready instantly for a shot.

I do certainly think that its not a miracle cure to simply getting sharper shots each and every time and, like all things, is a process which has a time and place when its going to help. Variations in shooting style, situation and ones own ability to handhold will all come into play to vary those specific points where it is and is not viable to use it.

19 May 2012 - 8:49 PM

I'd always thought, niavely, it now seems that using IS, or whatever flavour your particular brand offers, would be beneficial by default, so ever since I got my Sony, it's been switched on. The only exception being when I've used a tripod.
So, having followed this thread, I tried half a dozen shots this afternoon of the face on our local clock tower. I alternately took one with and then one without IS. Back firmly against a wall, one shot each using 'A', 'S' and 'M'.
I opened the RAWs using FastStone, magnified 100%, no processing at all and in each case, the shots without the IS are sharper. Not by a huge amount but sufficiently so that from now on, I shall leave it off unless I think that it might make a difference.
You learn something every day!

20 May 2012 - 8:51 AM

Thats an interesting observation with your Sony. Quite often or not RAW files straight from the camera are less sharp or detailed and noisier than the Jpegs. Its only after some PP that the RAW pics can be seen at their best and can surpass the Jpegs for IQ. Mind you, Jpegs on some cameras are as good.

My E-510 hand book suggests to use IS when long exposures or long telephotos are used, I only switch it on for my SD 40-150. Most of my work with my D5000 is from 16-mm to 105-m and I have the IS/VR off.

If you use a good shutter button pressing technique, you have cracked it, however how many times have you seen the mobile and the point and shoot users take a picture and the whole camera moves downwards as they press the button, they havn't got a clue.

[my personal opinion is that camera steadiness is not helped when holding the thing at arms length away from the steadying factor of your body] The absence of eye level view finders are forcing people into this arms length technique which is not ideal in my book. I also believe that the camera needs some weight/inertia which helps anormously in keeping it steady. These feather weight cameras are all over the place.

Select the ISO appropriate for the conditions and a suitable shutter speed, lean against some thing if you can and use a tripod if you are trying to achieve certain effects. As some one said on this thread, its your technique that counts. If you lived through the 35-mm age you will be very aware of this.


20 May 2012 - 1:58 PM

Quote: If you lived through the 35-mm age you will be very aware of this.

I did and although I say it myself, I can get some pretty good results, hand-held at shutter speeds many would consider to be far too slow.
There's one in my pf. which I took at 300mm. and 1/20th. It wasn't set up that way, it was just a shot that I saw and took on the spur of the moment. But it's worked.
I had IS switched on for that one and by coincidence, in the comments applied to it, I mention trying some shots with it switched off.


Paul Morgan
Paul Morgan e2 Member 1315364 forum postsPaul Morgan vcard England6 Constructive Critique Points
20 May 2012 - 3:48 PM

Quote: I have often wondered why the camera manufacturers don't offer non movie versions of their DSLR's, at reduced cost

Probably because it would save zilch, if your adding live view you may as well add video.

If only more camera`s would be made with a threaded shutter releases, those optional screw in soft releases were ace Smile

SlowSong e2 Member 64431 forum postsSlowSong vcard England29 Constructive Critique Points
23 May 2012 - 4:46 PM

I use IS if the subject is static, like a building, and I've zoomed out quite a long way.
I turn it off for candids and street otherwise you miss the moment while waiting for the IS to settle.

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