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IS vs non-IS lenses?

post #1 of 6
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Are there any difference in terms of picture quality between the IS and non-IS lenses? Let say if I use a tripod with my camera, will there be any benefit of using the IS ones over the non-IS ones?
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post #2 of 6
Picture quality will be different between different lenses, but the IS doesn't affect the quality. The only thing it affects is the steadiness of the picture. If you're on a tripod, IS and VR (Nikon) can actually make it worse than when it is off as the lens searches for vibration.
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post #3 of 6
IS does affect the quality, once you go above a certain shutter speed. that's because those "floating elements" vibrate at a certain frequency to correct for camera shake (it's estimated at 200-500 Hz).

What does this mean in practice?

Don't shoot above 1/400th of a second with image stabilisation on (you won't need it at those speeds anyhow).

Also, most IS systems don't work well on a tripod, and manufacturers recommend turning off the IS system when tripod-mounted.
    
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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by citruspers View Post
IS does affect the quality, once you go above a certain shutter speed. that's because those "floating elements" vibrate at a certain frequency to correct for camera shake (it's estimated at 200-500 Hz).

What does this mean in practice?

Don't shoot above 1/400th of a second with image stabilisation on (you won't need it at those speeds anyhow).

Also, most IS systems don't work well on a tripod, and manufacturers recommend turning off the IS system when tripod-mounted.
Current generation IS can detect when tripod mounted. My 70-200 f/4 IS for example can shoot when tripod mounted and with IS on.

When I had the old 28-135 IS however, it didn't work, which initially made me nearly return the lens.
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post #5 of 6
I think Gen 3 on L lenses and Gen 4 can auto detect tripod mounting and disable IS .

Also, I can see some softness in IS vs NON-IS lenses at 100% crops. Nothing you will ever see unless your pixel peeping but IS lenses even with the gyro's off (manually or auto-detected off) do show some very minor softness compared to their NON-IS versions. This though is the same as far as lens to lens variants ..... same lenses much like CPU's do not have 100% same results.

All in all.... IS is a huge help in low light non-moving targets, worth the premium and hardly noticeable unless at 100% crop
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post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShtSh00ttr View Post
I think Gen 3 on L lenses and Gen 4 can auto detect tripod mounting and disable IS .

Also, I can see some softness in IS vs NON-IS lenses at 100% crops. Nothing you will ever see unless your pixel peeping but IS lenses even with the gyro's off (manually or auto-detected off) do show some very minor softness compared to their NON-IS versions. This though is the same as far as lens to lens variants ..... same lenses much like CPU's do not have 100% same results.

All in all.... IS is a huge help in low light non-moving targets, worth the premium and hardly noticeable unless at 100% crop
I don't know whether all this is true or not, but even if it is, the tiny bit of extra softness is nothing compared to the lower ISO and/or faster shutter speed you can get with IS - at which point you now have to consider the environment you're shooting in.

Then again, certain lenses' weight is like an IS system of it's own. I know for a fact that I can hold a 24-70 a lot steadier than a 50/1.4.
Edited by Manyak - 11/26/10 at 7:55pm
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