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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    464

    70-200/2.8, IS query

    I tried this lens out today. Indoors, set at ISO 100 on a Canon 400D, handheld. The metering on the body says 1/10 at 200mm and IS (Image Stabilisation) switched on.

    With the IS on, I still get blurry shots. I feel that the IS is working, but would have imagined at 200mm 1/10 seconds at 200mm, the image would still come out sharp. After all, it is a $1,500 USD lens (Canon L lens).

    The shop assistant says this is normal and should raise the ISO speed to 200-400 (typical for indoor shots).

    Is the IS really superb on this glass or just normal? What are your thoughts on this?

    Canon Rebel XTi 400D, 18-55mm Kit lens, 50mm f/1.8, Canon L 70-200mm/2.8 IS USM, Canon macro 100mm/2.8
    Lowepro Slingshot AW 300, minipod, CF cards, B+W polarizing filter f-pro MRC, Cokin filters

    On the list: 1.4x tele-extender, Canon 580EX flash, *LCD protector, CF card reader, Canon EF-S 10-22mm (wide angle lens), Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Cool Know your reach ...

    I don't expect anything slower than 1/15th sec. on my EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM.

    1/10 sec. seems to be really pushing it, especially at full length. I don't remember getting a really clear shot at that setting, either, unless I'm really calm, relaxed and ready. I suggest you don't push your IS maximum to the extreme ... it is an assistant, not a master. You do have a pulse, KRZ ... and nature is cruel at 1/10 sec.

    Back down to 1/15th and see if you get better results. It took me a few months to balance the lens and my own breathing to make routine use of it, handheld, at that speed. I usually stayed at 1/30th to be safe.

    I will admit that my personal best, handheld, low-light situation using IS Mode 1 is @ 78mm - f/2.8 - 1/5 sec. - ISO 400 - WB-2800
    Name:  personal-best-IS-time.jpg
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    EXIF: 78mm - f/2.8 - 1/5 sec. - ISO-400 - WB-2800 - Manual Mode - Handheld - IS (Mode 1)

    And this is the 100% crop of that baby ...
    Name:  PB-IS-Time-Crop.jpg
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    I use the light reflection in the red eyeball to tell me if I moved ... because "the eyes have it."

    Here's the same subject, only at 200mm:

    Name:  IS-@-200.jpg
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    EXIF: 200mm - f/2.8 - 1/5 sec. - ISO-400 - WB-2800 - Manual Mode - Handheld - IS (Mode 1)

    Here's the crop:

    Name:  IS-@-200-crop.jpg
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    Do YOU see what I see? Okay ... 200% crop of both (200mm vs 78mm)

    Name:  IS-@-200-crop-crop.jpg
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Size:  22.0 KB vs Name:  PB-IS-Time-Crop-Crop.jpg
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    Yep, movement ... it's there and not very rare, unfortunately. See the little tail above the reflection ... that was the direction of the camera during shutter release. Every single time, without fail ... detectable movement, right in the eye. Shorter focal lengths are more forgiving ... but, when you are out there in telephoto-land ... up the speed. It'll save your shot and some time.

    Just a note: You may notice the reflection in the 78mm shot appears larger than in the 200mm shot ... and that is perfectly correct. At 78mm, there is less resolution of the pixels to describe the very same spot in space when taken at 200mm. The 200mm shot is zoomed in much closer ... so the sensor has more pixels available to "describe" it.

    So at 78mm, there is some verlap into adjacent pixels for the same description, hence is appears larger. Can you imagine the same spot defined by a 500mm shot? Super crisp and sharp ... and probably too many pixels used for a relatively "good" description. Well, wonder no more ... the below image was taken, manual focus, at f/6.3, same distance (just over ten feet), with the TAMRON SP AF200-500m f/5-6.3 Di LD.

    Name:  500mm-image.jpg
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    EXIF: 500mm - f/6.3 - 1/30th sec - ISO-3200 - Handheld (No IS) - MF - WB-5600 w/ pop-up flash

    Here is the 500mm crop . . . . . . . . . and this is the 200mm crop
    (resized to look similar) . . . . . . . . . at f/6.3 w/ flash (likewise)
    Name:  500mm-crop-crop.jpg
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Size:  40.9 KB . . . . . . . Name:  200mm crop crop.jpg
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    I always love how remarkably killer-sharp this lens is ... I just wish it had IS, at times. True, shooting f/2.8 vs f/6.3 will result in definite sharpness (softening) issues, but this is striking. Makes the other two shots look like you're shooting through mud. Truth be told, ambient light usually sucks.

    Anyway ... back to the dance.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 08-12-2007 at 10:48 AM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    2,200
    I agree with Don. You are pushing it too far.
    _______________
    Nikon D3, D300, F-100, 10.5 Fisheye, 35 f/1.4, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.4, Zeiss 100 f/2, 105 f/2.5, 200 f/4 Micro, 200 f/2 VR, 300 f/2.8 AF-S II, 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8, SU-800, SB-900, 4xSB-800, 1.4x and 1.7x TC
    (2) Profoto Acute 2400 packs w/4 heads, Chimera Boxes

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    539
    If you have steady hands, you can go with the 1/focal length rule. So at 200mm, shoot at 1/200. With 3 stop IS, you could do 1/200 divided by 8 which is 1/25, so maybe 1/50 to be safe. Some say you must account for the multiplier, so 1/(25 x 1.6) is 1/40.

    BTW price is irrelevant -- you could give me a Ferarri and I still wouldn't win a car race.
    To err is human, to crop divine.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    3,209
    you should be happy to get 1/15 of a second at 200mm.

    i won't try it slower than 1/30s to be sure, but even at 1/30s, that's just awesome.
    40d | 5d mk II | 2.8/16 zenitar fisheye | 16-35L | 35L | sigma 1.4/50 | sigma 2.8/50 Macro | sigma 1.4/85 | 70-200L IS
    website
    disclaimer: posts are for personal entertainment only...not to be taken seriously...ever.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Cool 1/15th ... a bridge you really shouldn't cross with IS

    It helps to have shot film for so long, before digital ... and certainly before IS. You understood the importance of a stable grip ... use of a tripod stand and remote release, whenever possible, and little breathing tricks to calm your body before hitting the shutter release.

    It's similar to shooting lost distance targets with a rifle ... if you "pull" that trigger ... you miss. If hold that breath and you gently ease the trigger back ... "bullseye!"

    A 1/15th of a second is possible without IS ... but it requires serious thought. IS allows you a little more latitude, in that regard. It can truly help you out if you've been running around and taking candids. Not everyone has 10 to 30 minutes, these days, to calm down in order to take stable shots, handheld, at 1/15th, that's for sure.

    Incandescents at 1/15th and ISO-1600 usually will provide you with a salvagable shot at f/4, but you really need to work at it. The f/2.8 lenses ease that load quite a bit, but then you have a very tight depth of field. Compromises are everywhere without a flash and lowlight imaging is often a real test of your creativity and photographic skills.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

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