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Archive 2011 · Do you use IS when on tripod?
  
 
jstephens62
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


Over the years, I have had conflicting advice from professional photographers regarding use of IS when a camera is on a tripod. While most say to turn it off, but I have had several people claim they leave theirs on all the time with no problem. Then there is the "have it both ways" school where older IS systems need to be off, but newer ones can be left on.

I was out recently and decided to do a little testing. With a 500 f4 on a Gitzo GT3530LS tripod and Wimberley Sidekick, I tried three different scenarios:

1. Standing out in wind (enough to cause choppy water and some white caps) shooting gulls in the nearby water, hands on the camera
2. Protected on the lee side of building, shooting at a distant building, hands on the camera
3. Same protected location, but with mirror lock up and timer, hands off the camera

In all of these I shot several frames with IS on and off. I could not detect a difference between them at 100% crops.

I don't pretend to think that this is the last word on the issue, but I found it interesting.

Any comments welcome.






Dec 14, 2011 at 05:43 AM
StanOPhoto
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


I always leave it on with the exception of my old 24-105L.


Dec 14, 2011 at 05:50 AM
erikburd
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


It depends on the lens. Some of them don't properly detect a tripod, so you have to turn the IS off. Lenses with the later versions of IS are able to function on a tripod.


Dec 14, 2011 at 06:19 AM
Lars Johnsson
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


According to Canon you can leave the IS on with all the super-tele lenses. With other lenses it depends on what lens it is. Some lenses can have it on, others no.


Dec 14, 2011 at 06:25 AM
Geert Koning
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


jstephens62 wrote:
Over the years, I have had conflicting advice from professional photographers regarding use of IS when a camera is on a tripod. While most say to turn it off, but I have had several people claim they leave theirs on all the time with no problem. Then there is the "have it both ways" school where older IS systems need to be off, but newer ones can be left on.

I was out recently and decided to do a little testing. With a 500 f4 on a Gitzo GT3530LS tripod and Wimberley Sidekick, I tried three different scenarios:

1. Standing out
...Show more

What shutterspeeds where you using ?



Dec 14, 2011 at 06:53 AM
skibum5
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


jstephens62 wrote:
Over the years, I have had conflicting advice from professional photographers regarding use of IS when a camera is on a tripod. While most say to turn it off, but I have had several people claim they leave theirs on all the time with no problem. Then there is the "have it both ways" school where older IS systems need to be off, but newer ones can be left on.

I was out recently and decided to do a little testing. With a 500 f4 on a Gitzo GT3530LS tripod and Wimberley Sidekick, I tried three different scenarios:

1. Standing out
...Show more

my 70-200 f/4 IS gave awful results when I left it on and took slow exposures



Dec 14, 2011 at 07:08 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


One reason to turn off IS when on a tripod is to save battery life. Although the drain may be small, when combined with AF, Live View, chimping, etc., the cumulative effect can add up.


Dec 14, 2011 at 08:14 AM
rolette
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


Geert Koning wrote:
What shutterspeeds where you using ?


Yep, that's the key question for the experiment.



Dec 14, 2011 at 12:27 PM
bipock
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


I never leave it on on a tripod. My 70-200 detects and turns off but my 500 doesn't. With the 500, turning it off makes a huge difference.


Dec 14, 2011 at 01:18 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


bipock wrote:
I never leave it on on a tripod. My 70-200 detects and turns off but my 500 doesn't. With the 500, turning it off makes a huge difference.


Then you may want to have your 500mm checked. Especially, on a long lens like that, even mirror slaping can cause some camera/lens movement that can lead to some blurred images. The IS can help minimizing that and I would leave it on all the time but that's me.



Dec 14, 2011 at 01:23 PM
 

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Ed Peters
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


If you are on a tri-pod IS serves no purpose.. Turn it off...


Dec 14, 2011 at 04:06 PM
aznature
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


Try this:
500/4 + x2 on the best tripod you can get
Turn off the IS , look through the finder and with you finger tap slightly
On the body while your shooting finger locking the AF on your subject
Now repeat the above with IS ON
I guess from now on you shall leave it ON



Dec 14, 2011 at 05:02 PM
Scott Stoness
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


In theory on a tripod it makes no difference because the tripod is solid and it is not needed and because if you above 1/1000 etc you should not need it and if you require IS above 1/1000 likely it is not adequate because the sample frequency is too low.

But in practice:
1) I find it helps to frame and find the birds/etc.
2) Wind causes even the best tripod to move, especially big ones. IS helps with this.
3) It does not diminish the focus speed on my 500/F4 that I can notice
4) The battery perfomance may be effected but I carry spare batteries.
5) If I shoot less than 1/1000 it helps which sometimes is necessary



Dec 14, 2011 at 08:11 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


I generally leave IS turned on with my 70-200/2.8L IS II, 28-300L IS, 300/2.8L IS and 500/4L IS, except when doing handheld shooting of fast-moving subjects that require panning in two axes. Such as fast birds flying overhead in close proximity, running/playing dogs, and motorcycle racing on a 'natural' track.

I've more-or-less given up on Mode 2 IS. Basically, it's on or off, for me. Of course, there are situations where Mode 2 is beneficial, I just have to remember that while I'm shooting.



Dec 14, 2011 at 11:48 PM
Don Clary
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


If you are on a tri-pod IS serves no purpose.. Turn it off...

http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/education/infobank/lenses/image_stabilisation.do

Quoting from the Canon paper on IS, above:

With some of the earlier lenses, you need to switch the IS off when using a tripod. The lack of movement confuses the system and the image starts to jump around the viewfinder. However, using a tripod in high wind or with super telephoto lenses, often results in some camera movement, and the IS system can be invaluable. Later IS models are able to sense the use of a tripod and automatically disable the IS, if necessary.

Of course this is only from Canon; what do they know?




Dec 15, 2011 at 01:48 AM
brede
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


Try this: 500/4 + x2 on the best tripod you can get Turn off the IS , look through the finder and with you finger tap slightly On the body while your shooting finger locking the AF on your subject Now repeat the above with IS ON I guess from now on you shall leave it ON

I agree with this, it really isn't that much about IQ, if the shutter speeds are at that magical number where IS helps you might get some benefit then, otherwise it is all about photographer comfort. Being able to see what you are trying to photograph seems pretty important.



Dec 15, 2011 at 03:30 AM
scalesusa
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


I almost never use a tripod, IS usually takes care of movement. I was tweaking the micro adjust of AF on a tripod recently and had to turn it off on my 300mm f/4 L and 100-400mmL.

With a super tele, even a heavy duty tripod does not stop motion, if I can't use a fast shutter speed, IS works fine. I had a older non IS 600mm L, and huge tripod, big Wimberly Head, perfectly balanced, weight on the underhook, arm over the top to damp out movement, and I still had to keep shutter speeds up around 1/100 and more, there always was some vibration.



Dec 15, 2011 at 05:03 AM
Ariel Bravy
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


I always figured the "turn IS off on a tripod" deal was when shooting longer exposures. Depending on the generation of IS, as well as the lens, IS can cause the image to "float" and an image which would otherwise be sharp since it's on a tripod will be blurry as the IS moves the image during the exposure.

I haven't tested this, but I'd image trying exposures in the neighborhood of 1-5 seconds would show this pretty clearly.



Dec 15, 2011 at 05:12 AM
lowbone
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


My 100-400 image jumps all over the place whenI forget to turn IS off while on a tripod.


Dec 15, 2011 at 02:33 PM
cwwo
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Do you use IS when on tripod?


I turn the IS off on my 70-200 f2.8 II when shooting landscape shots on a tripod. One morning I was using live view to compose my shot and the image in live view would not remain steady. I turned IS off and the image in live view remained still. Ever since that morning I just leave IS off when shooting off a tripod which is pretty much all the time.


Dec 15, 2011 at 08:16 PM
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