Please comment briefly on experiences you might have had with image stabilization systems, good or bad.

Editor's picture
Image stabilization lenses and camera systems offer the ability to shoot at slower shutter speeds than usual with a handheld camera. Is some form of image stabilization important to you as a feature when considering lens or camera purchase?
Please comment briefly on experiences you might have had with image stabilization systems, good or bad.
Yes, even a greater cost it's worth the ability to work with slower speeds.
84% (107 votes)
No, the extra cost is not worth it and I don't have the need for this handheld aid.
11% (14 votes)
Not sure, as the benefits of image stabilization are not that clear to me.
5% (6 votes)
Total votes: 127
Share | |
Comments
Warren H.  Grubb's picture

I'm trading my Cannon 10D for a Minolta 7D. The lenses are lower priced and just as good. I wish someone would do a review on the 7D this month.

Bob Morgan's picture

My Nikon 80-400mm VR zoom has made it possible for me to get sharp images hand held at shutter speeds down to 1/60 of a second at the 400 mm setting something that would have been nearly impossible without the viration reduction feature. The extra cost of this lens has been worth every penny.

Daniel's picture

Though image stabilization offers a distinct advantage when shooting at low shutter speeds, as I have found for myself, this is nothing that can't be accomplished simply and effectively through conventional means, effectively making the extra cost of VR lenses unsubstantiated.

Patman10's picture

I have a Nikon 24-120 VR Zoom lens mounted on a Kodak DCS Pro 14n and when in VR mode pictures are out of focus, have to turn it off to get good results

Andrew Pike's picture

The primary area where image-stabalization makes sense to me is wildlife photography. As I do not participate in this field, I see no need for the added expense of image stabilization on a lens. When I shoot flowers, I can get along fine with a tripod. For some, image stabilization is a must, but not me.

Ron Klupka's picture

90% of my work is on a tripod, so it is of little benefit to me to have stabilization lenses. I think that it is more cost effective and easier to use a faster lenses or iso than deal with gimmicks. I would almost wager that these solutions, or flash that freezes action anyway, would be sufficient for the average shooter.

John A Garcia's picture

Great image, low lighting, no tripod, an IS lense saves the day.

Robert Feldman's picture

Yes, IS is an asset in the same way that faster lenses are. One advantage is to keep the cost of lenses down as I do not have to purchase ultra-fast lenses in order to do existing light, non flash work.

Peter Wine's picture

I recently moved up to a Canon 300D from an Olympus 2100UZ with image stabilization. The change is amazing. I was used to getting usably sharp focus down to 1/50 from a handheld shot. (Yes, I used a tripod whenever possible, but for many news situations, it's not practical. Since the upgrade, it's been a bit frustrating that there isn't an IS lens that's close to affordable for the 300D. The higher ISO helps, but doesn't make up for the lack of IS. I'm currently using the Promaster 28-300 and results are definately mixed.

Robert Wright's picture

Have a 24-120 Nikon VR Love it. Sometimes setting up a tripod just isn't possible.

Gerry Evoniuk's picture

I shoot mainly small jazz concerts where flash is too distracting to the performer and audience or the atmosphere of the shot. Sometimes flash is just not convenient. I currently have 2 VR lenses from Nikon that work extremly well for me, the 70-200 2.8 AFS VR and the 80-400 4.5-5.6 VR. I really wish they made the 17-35 2.8 AFS with VR. while Nikon does have a 24-120 VR in their line it's a 3.5 -5.6 and my experience with the 80-400 is that focusing in low light is just too iffy and it's noisey. If their going to make the lens with VR they should use the silent wave motor for focusing.

Stu Nowlin's picture

IS needs to mature. I find that only a small percentage of my digital captures are really usable when I have to rely on IS, given the shooting situation. This is NO substitute for a tripod when 1) light is really low (dark churches) or 2) you must get the shot.

Bob Levesque's picture

After reading review after review singing the praises of Image Stabilization, it is obviously one of those features that consumers have come to expect. Minolta seems to be leading the way with it's Maxxum 7D SLR "Body-Integral Anti-Shake System". With the "body" stabilized, ANY Minolta lens will work, as opposed to Nikon's "VR" series of very expensive, and very heavy lenses. Nikon and Canon would do well do follow that lead and improve upon it...at a reasonable price.

Bill Stafford's picture

Shooting motorsports digitally requires the faster shutterspeeds/lower ISO abilities that come with IS. Reducing noise is paramount for publication and printing.

David Kelly's picture

If I'm not using a tripod, IS is the best way to assure sharp images.

Glen Robinson's picture

I use the Canon 75-300 IS lens. Excellent lens.

Ira Schwartz's picture

With reduced noise at higher ISO settings in many new cameras such as the Canon 20D, I don't find this feature necessary. For me the cost, complexity and probably weight are not worth the purchase.

Richard Farris's picture

I shoot alot of twilight, night, water, reflections, golden hour, etc. The IS systems are worth their weight in gold in those situations.

Scott W.  McClure's picture

Sure, if I could afford it, I'd buy it. But, I've been getting very good results for the last 27 years without it.

Joe Dlhopolsky's picture

Whatever gives you the opportunity to get a shot that might have gotten away in a difficult lighting situation is worth it, I say.

Allen Graf's picture

Older hands need it.

Andy's picture

Worth more with film-based photography. On digital I can up the ISO if I need to hand-hold in dim light. Since going entirely digital - sold 2 of my 3 stabilized lenses.

Sam Norris's picture

Minolta's image stabilization on its Z3 works great. Very noticeable at the cameras lenses 12X fully extended telephoto range.

Steven J Kaiser's picture

I tried my first Nikon 80-400 VR this summer. I love it. It was amazing the sharpness I was able to obtain at the full 1/1640 @ 400mm (600mm in 35 format).

Henriette K's picture

I'm using a Nikon-zoom 24/120.f 3.5-f/5.6D(IF) Very happy with this object.

David Kerbyson's picture

I just purchased a Canon 70-200 F2.8L usm lens but could not justify the 50% increase in cost for the IS feature. I used the lense at a Rugby tournament this weekend and found that depth of field was more important that the IS feature. I enjoy your magazine!

John E.  Thompson's picture

I am 83 years old. 1/125 was beginning to look like a slow shutter speed. I bought a Lumix FZ10 to get stabilization and extreme zoom range.

Larry Rommel's picture

I am considering switching to a digital camera with up to 8 or 10x telephoto capability. With such an 8 or 10x i feel that stabilization is a must have feature.

Neal Evans's picture

Image stabilization is extremely important when using long telephoto lenses and you don't have time to setup the tripod. It is also important to us "older" photographers who aren't as steady as we used to be.

Byron Prinzmetal's picture

At longer focal lengths it is absolutely necessary if one does not carry and use a tripod. Almost all of the advances with digital photography deal (or should) with quality and besides better sensors (less noise at higher iso) this is the next most important thing.