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Old 21-05-2014, 13:19   #1 (permalink)
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To stabilize or not to stabilize

Having a number of stabilized lenses, telephoto seem to be the worst villains. When is the proper time to turn off the stabilizer ? I leave mine on all the time but with good light and speed I feel it should go off. Any thoughts as I have double lines appear and figure they were from the function but not sure. A lot to ask but I have faith in you.
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Old 21-05-2014, 13:28   #2 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

I turn IS off unless it is absolutely needed and even then don't always get any better results. One reason for turning it off is because I can feel a physical lock when turning it off on a couple of lenses which suggests that it is holding the floating elements in place by locking IS. The idea that these elements can swing about loose while the lens is transported just doesn't feel comfortable. It also means waiting for the gyros to spin up, which can be a lost shot. Just my thoughts using Nikon lenses, Canon etc. users might have different thoughts.
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Old 21-05-2014, 13:33   #3 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

Of my 10 lenses only 1 is stabilised and although it is a useful tool it is not at the top of my list when looking for a lens. It does add weight and bulk, maybe more so with longer lenses that arguably benefit more from it.

I think that you only need to turn it off if you are using a tripod. Not sure if it would cause the lines you are getting, but have you tried using the lens with it tuned off? That would eliminate or confirm if it is the culprit. Also does it do this on different bodies?
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Old 21-05-2014, 13:38   #4 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

I think the answer is turn it off whenever the camera is absolutely vibration free ie on a tripod or clamp.
I can be corrected but my understanding is the anti vibration creates small amounts of noise which is normally swamped by the strong signal coming in and is therefore not normally any problem. When the camera is solid there is no incoming signal so the sensor vibrates to this noise when it has no need to. So in this situation it degrades the image. To what extent this actually matters I don't know but most manufactures recommend you turn it off when it's on a tripod.
When you think of all the ways people manage to get bad results from good equipment this is probably only a minor issue
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Old 21-05-2014, 15:48   #5 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

Jake, having a point and shoot with the in camera stabilizer never thought about the vibration, good point. I use the camera enough that I should pay attention. I used the lens on a different body last night and had no lines on the edges,. I have to consider now the wind, it has been really windy but I have never had to much problem but might have got bitten. Looking at the other picture taken the day of my problem they were good as I could shoot fast. The lines or movement happened on my nicest camera so Being concerned. I will try to turn it off and see how happy I am. I spent a lot of time last year with small primes and that could mean I have lost the touch of stillness when pressing the shutter. Never have complained with those. Thanks so much for chiming in.
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Old 21-05-2014, 17:26   #6 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

I have 2 lenses that stabalise the 300. I have it on always, don't think I used it with a tripod ?

The other is a kit 17-55 which again I leave on, unless on a tripod - but that's rare for me to carry at the moment (tripod) - on my trekpod I leave the IS on.
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Old 21-05-2014, 18:03   #7 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

Using telephoto lenses I usually leave IS on. Even though it might not have any effect on the image, it does stabilise the viewfinder, so makes tracking the subject a lot easier.

On a tripod I'd turn IS off, if only to stop it draining the battery.
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Old 21-05-2014, 18:55   #8 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

I never use it, I bought the non IS version of the 70-200 for cycling after having a lesson with a photographer at the velodrome who told me to keep it turned off if I had it, as it slows down focusing too much & you'll likely miss the image. I've got it on the 24-105, but I can't remember turning it on at any time, usually if I'm at a low shutter speed, I'll have the tripod.
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Old 21-05-2014, 19:44   #9 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

I have IS on three of my lenses and normally leave it on. The only time I turn it off is high speed (e.g. birds in flight, aircraft, M Cycles). Absolutely no need to turn off my IS (Canon) when using a tripod as it had a threshold and once vibration is below a certain value (as will be on a tripod) the IS function is effectively disabled. Canon suggest turning it off only to save battery power but this is insignificant compared to using Live View which really eats power. In general, it has most effect at medium to low speeds but for very low speeds, you would still have to use a tripod.
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Old 21-05-2014, 21:35   #10 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

We got some deer in a field opposite I went over there a few evenings ago armed with a nikon 70 200 vr 2.8 and a TC 2.0 converter with the camera on a tripod the images with the vr off were sharper than with it been on
I'm going to try it on my 200 400 f4 which I haven't really put throu its paces yet sadly all work no play at moment
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Old 22-05-2014, 13:10   #11 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

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I never use it, I bought the non IS version of the 70-200 for cycling after having a lesson with a photographer at the velodrome who told me to keep it turned off if I had it, as it slows down focusing too much & you'll likely miss the image. I've got it on the 24-105, but I can't remember turning it on at any time, usually if I'm at a low shutter speed, I'll have the tripod.
Hi Sarah, I was wondering if you had use of D series camera when you did this, it is my MK4 with the extra focus processor that I was using. I am hoping that the lines I experienced were wind or artifact movement. I have never noticed any problems and leave my stabilizer on unless I am tripoded in stilllife. .? Dave it sounds encouraging as I never developed any kind of a learning curve other then the function settingson the MK4.
Thanks guys for your thoughts, Muscle, my work load has slowed down, one thing that holds me together is its nice to have a job and get fired up about taking pictures. Cheers
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Old 22-05-2014, 14:25   #12 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

I have 3 IS lenses and only use it for slower speeds, after all if I am shooting at say, 1/ 500 sec plus then would the IS be fast enough to make a difference? On a sunny day at f2.8 it is not unusual to be at 1/8000 sec unless I use an ND filter, so I cant see it being able to engage.
On the other hand at slow (down to 1 sec hand held) speeds it is invaluable to me as due to my arthritis I have a slight tremor which it cancels out. I don't use them on a tripod very often as being a mobility scooter user they are not practical unless I am static for a while.
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Old 23-05-2014, 09:24   #13 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

Switch mine off unless I need it. The thinking is that older IS lenses should be switched off on a tripod, newer ones don't need to be

Rarely switch off my 100mm macro (mainly just on tripod), occasionally my 300mm, 150-500mm and 15-85mm
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Old 23-05-2014, 16:38   #14 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

I really don't see the point of all the different opinions. Surely IS. was invented by the manufacturers to improve sharpness of images by eliminating camera shake from which everyone suffers to a greater or lesser degree, So why switch it off? That's the bit I don't understand. It makes absolutely no difference to the performance of the "Taking". of the picture at the time. As far as I am concerned I never switch it off as I have a tiny shake in my hands and the IS corrects this for me, I would not be without it.
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Old 23-05-2014, 17:18   #15 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

Hi Boofers, when I first had it, I was using a 40D with a 70-200 f4 IS, that is when I was first told to turn it off for sports, particularly the velodrome and the results were much better, the results were obvious even from looking at the back of the camera. I then upgraded the body for the 1D MkIII and again, found the same thing, so when I upgraded the lens to the f2.8 version, I went for non IS.
There probably is a time for it, but I've never found it really useful for sports when fast focus is what I need. If out for the day with just the 24-105 and the light is low & I don't have a tripod, I might turn it on if light levels are really low & I know I would not be able to hand hold a shutter speed under 1/40th.
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Old 23-05-2014, 21:08   #16 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

I shoot sports and always have the IS turned off.
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Old 24-05-2014, 09:08   #17 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

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I shoot sports and always have the IS turned off.
Ah yes....but you have lenses which allow you to have 1/1000 sec at f2.8 at 100 iso .....and the rest of us only dream about
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Old 24-05-2014, 19:33   #18 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

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I really don't see the point of all the different opinions. Surely IS. was invented by the manufacturers to improve sharpness of images by eliminating camera shake from which everyone suffers to a greater or lesser degree, So why switch it off? That's the bit I don't understand. It makes absolutely no difference to the performance of the "Taking". of the picture at the time. As far as I am concerned I never switch it off as I have a tiny shake in my hands and the IS corrects this for me, I would not be without it.
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Image stabilisation (IS, VR, OS, etc) will aim to reduce camera shake but cannot eliminate it. Depending on the implementation, depends on how effective it is and what shake it will actually introduce. Obviously, introduced is very small and, in the presence of larger shake, imperceptible - but it'll always be there by virtue of gyroscopic movement, piezo movement, software freezing, etc.
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Old 25-05-2014, 00:08   #19 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

After all and all for one, yes feeling shaky opening up to the world. I still always turn my IS on after this was post. Habit, yes but a lot of very good thoughts from you all and someday, when out in photoland all alone a time will come when the switch is in off. And my learning curve will make another change. I have used this new lens enough now that I think Mark has a clear meaning, thanks for your help all for IS questions are often brought up now and again. And to conclude my endever I would Thank PE for his appearence
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Old 26-05-2014, 13:26   #20 (permalink)
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Re: To stabilize or not to stabilize

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Originally Posted by stepheno View Post
Ah yes....but you have lenses which allow you to have 1/1000 sec at f2.8 at 100 iso .....and the rest of us only dream about
I used to dream too.....and still do whenever a new lens appears

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