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Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM ii lens stabilization modes

AdoNetok
Enthusiast

I just got Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS USM ii lens for Canon 90D. I understand the difference in the definitions of the three stabilizations modes. I want to set a stabilizations mode that can be used in most environments. I want to choose mode 1 or mode 3. Which one is better?

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Waddizzle
Legend
Legend

If memory serves….

IS Mode 1 - This mode works like any other lens with IS and an IS On/Off switch.  The IS is active anytime the Metering System is active in the OVF.  This mode stabilizes the image in both the horizontal and vertical directions.  Use your favorite choice of AF points.  It works well with either One Shot or AI Servo modes.

IS Mode 2 - This mode is most suitable for horizontal panning.  The IS is active anytime the Metering System is active in the OVF.  While Mode 1 is sensitive both vertical and horizontal shake, Mode 2 is less sensitive to horizontal shake to allow for smoother panning.  I feel this mode is best used with your favorite AF Point(s) selection combined with AI Servo AF.

IS Mode 3 - This mode is most similar to Mode 1.  The IS is NOT active anytime the Metering System is active in the OVF.  The IS is momentarily active only at the moment when the shutter is fired. I feel it is best used with a single AF point and One Shot AF.  It is far easier to get a focus lock without IS using One Shot AF.  Once you can lock focus, the IS kicks in when the shutter fires to correct for camera shake.

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"The right mouse button is your friend."

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6 REPLIES 6

rs-eos
Elite

I wouldn't phrase things as "which one is better" since each mode caters to specific scenarios.   So you'll ultimately have to choose which one would best fit for a particular shot.   To include choosing to have IS off.

In terms though of a default mode, perhaps Mode 1 since it corrects in all directions.  You'd still though have to evalutate each scenario you're in and see what mode would be best.

See page 8 of the User Manual for details.

--
Ricky

Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

Waddizzle
Legend
Legend

I use Mode 2 about 99.9999% of the time.  The only time I would use Mode 3 would be if I were shooting still subjects.  It seems designed to preserve battery power more than anything.  I think the only time I may have used Mode 1 was the day I took it out of the box.

The single most important task that IS performs is to provide a stable image for the AF system to focus and track subjects.  This is what it spends 99.9999% of its time doing.  The shutter fires in a small fraction of a second.  The rest of the time your IS is presenting a stable image to the AF system and, of course, the OVF.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

Since I got new lens I only test mode 1 and mode 3, now I want to test mode 2.

Thank you Waddizzle, you have me new idea because many users only take 1 or 2 as regular setting.

ebiggs1
Legend
Legend

On the contrary I use Mode 1 99.9999% of the time and I suspect you will too. It is the most useful AF setting and probably the one most people use more than 2 and 3 combined. Mode 1 corrects for lens vibrations in all directions. It is best when your SS will be less than the reciprocal of the lens. Probably why it is the first mode on the lens. Best for stationary or nearly so subjects.

Mode 2 is if your subject is moving continuously in the same direction and you can't or don't want to use a fast SS. Shooting a race car for example. IS becomes less and less important as SS gets faster.

Mode 3 is not my favorite and I never use it. It would be for something like a small bird that was flying erratically and the SS is pretty fast.

 

"I want to set a stabilizations mode that can be used in most environments."

Not a question with a simple answer but a simple answer is Mode 1.

EB
EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and less lenses then before!

Waddizzle
Legend
Legend

If memory serves….

IS Mode 1 - This mode works like any other lens with IS and an IS On/Off switch.  The IS is active anytime the Metering System is active in the OVF.  This mode stabilizes the image in both the horizontal and vertical directions.  Use your favorite choice of AF points.  It works well with either One Shot or AI Servo modes.

IS Mode 2 - This mode is most suitable for horizontal panning.  The IS is active anytime the Metering System is active in the OVF.  While Mode 1 is sensitive both vertical and horizontal shake, Mode 2 is less sensitive to horizontal shake to allow for smoother panning.  I feel this mode is best used with your favorite AF Point(s) selection combined with AI Servo AF.

IS Mode 3 - This mode is most similar to Mode 1.  The IS is NOT active anytime the Metering System is active in the OVF.  The IS is momentarily active only at the moment when the shutter is fired. I feel it is best used with a single AF point and One Shot AF.  It is far easier to get a focus lock without IS using One Shot AF.  Once you can lock focus, the IS kicks in when the shutter fires to correct for camera shake.

--------------------------------------------------------
"The right mouse button is your friend."

johnrmoyer
Whiz
Whiz

As others say, none is better. I mostly use mode 3 and I mostly shoot birds. My reasons (personal preferences only, not rules) are:

1. mode three encourages me to hold the camera steadier so that the image in the viewfinder does not move much

2. if the bird moves and I follow the bird, then the parts of the lens that move for image stabilization are more likely to be centered and have more room to move when I press the shutter button

If I am feeling unsteady or if autofocus is having difficulty then I might switch to mode 1

 

The deer standing still in dark shade looking at me was mode3.

ISO 12800, in the shade, sun not yet above the trees, hand held, Exposure Time 1/160 second, White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Norman, Oklahoma, June 16, 2023, IS mode 3, F/9.0, EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM +1.4x IIIISO 12800, in the shade, sun not yet above the trees, hand held, Exposure Time 1/160 second, White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Norman, Oklahoma, June 16, 2023, IS mode 3, F/9.0, EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM +1.4x III

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