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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 84
Registered: ‎07-21-2013

IS vs NON IS??

I was chatting with someone last night about a 70-200 f/2.8L IS vs NON IS.... and i wanted to get your thoughts on something i was told... 

 

I was asking how much better the IS would be as a lens vs the NON IS, if needed, worth the extra cost (for an amature etc) and was told that if the subject is moving it really doesn't help much - that IS helps you the camera holder for fast shutter speeds - to hand hold with out blur... but even if you are steady and the subject is moving you may have blur so if you know the subject you will photograph most (in my case a 5 yr old) will be moving then IS isn't really worth it? And since most of my shots will be indoors in low light the last thing i need is super fast shutter speeds! Smiley Happy

 

Is this really the case? does the IS only help with camera shake?

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Body: Canon 6D, Canon T1i, Canon Elan II,
Glass: Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, Canon 70-200 f/4 IS II, Canon 16-35 f/4, Canon 100 f/2.8 macro.
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Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: IS vs NON IS??

[ Edited ]

Yes, the IS only helps with camera shake, but there’s still a lot of misinformation around from older version of Canon IS.  The modern versions are quite capable, and unlikely to be a bad thing.  It may not help in certain situations, but it's rare it hurts anymore. 

 

Another fact we can all agree upon: IS will not help blur of the subject due to subject movement.  So, shooting a 5 year old indoors at slow shutter speeds is going to give you a blurry subject.  No lens can fix that.  You need faster shutter speeds to capture movement.  IS does nothing (you mentioned using IS with fast shutter speeds.  IS is only for slow shutter speeds, but at 200 mm a shutter speed below 1/200 is considered slow).

 

The modern Canon IS has a panning mode, so you could pan across the back yard in sync with your 5 y.o. and it will reduce camera shake in the non-panning direction.  With proper technique you can get a crisp subject with a blurred background showing movement.  IS isn’t a huge help in this situation, but it can help, and it’s likely not going to hurt.  The better your panning technique the less the IS will do.

 

Another common gripe about the IS was that the old systems took awhile to kick in.  So people were missing shots because of the delay.  This isn’t an issue with the new IS.

 

All that said, the 70-200 non-IS are great lenses.  They’re cheaper and lighter (the 2.8 IS II is a beast, btw).  I highly recommend renting one before purchasing, you may be surprised at the weight of some of them (the 2.8 lenses particularly).

 

Sorry to not give a direct answer to your question, but there’s isn’t really one.  Canon sells 4 versions of that lens because they are all good lenses, each with their pros and cons.  The new 70-200 2.8 with IS is one of the best lenses Canon makes.  But it’s heavy, expensive, and probably overkill.  Yes, it may net you a few more shots than the non-IS, but the non-IS is fully capable of capturing pictures of your child.

Reputable Contributor
Posts: 845
Registered: ‎03-06-2013

Re: IS vs NON IS??

[ Edited ]

If you can, get the IS version. You will thank me later.


In your case, let put it like this. You are able to increase ISO or get extra light and get a shutter speed of 1/125s. At that speed, you'll be able to "freeze" your kids motion to get good exposure with decent sharpness. Everything is good right.

 

 

However, if you're hand-holding the camera, you may need a shutter speed of 1/350s or faster (depend on person, but most common accepted rule is 1/focal length) to avoid camera shake. So at 1/125s, your photo will suffer from camera shake. BUT if your lens has IS, it can give you 2-stops stability easily; thus if you can avoid camera shake at 1/350s, then you can do it at 1/125s easily with IS. You'll get your photo nice and sharp. Without IS, you'll have to bump up your ISO to avoid camera shake or use a tripod. Hope it helps.

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Posts: 11,491
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: IS vs NON IS??

Confused? Weight and cost!

If weight and/or cost was your first restriction, than you do not want any Canon 70-200mm "L" lens. If you think it may not be that bad and you do want to spend in excess of a grand, or two, on a lens, they are the way to go.

I don't have any neck issues but I still don't drape my 70-200mm f2.8 around my neck! Even on a Black Rapid it is a lot of weight swinging around your side.

For many years we didn't have IS and we did just fine. But now, if I have the choice, I always go for the IS model. There is a off switch so if you decide you don't want it on, you can turn it off.

I can profoundly say the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 L II is the best lens in it's category ever made. It is an outstanding lens compared to any lens, period. It is very heavy and very expensive. This lens and the Canon 24-70mm f2.8 II, is the "dream outfit". Again, "very heavy and very expensive."

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 84
Registered: ‎07-21-2013

Re: IS vs NON IS??

Thanks everyone! Really appreciate the explanation! 

 

I decided on a lens from the other thread - will post the update there.  Not sure i made the right choice but have 14 days to be sure Smiley Wink

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Body: Canon 6D, Canon T1i, Canon Elan II,
Glass: Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, Canon 70-200 f/4 IS II, Canon 16-35 f/4, Canon 100 f/2.8 macro.
Flash: Canon Speedlite 430ex ii
Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,816
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: IS vs NON IS??

The longer the focal length, the narrower the angle of view from the lens.  The narrower the angle, the more a minute motion would be noticed.  There's a guideline that says if you've got good hand-holding technique, are stable, and are actually TRYING to hold a lens steady, the average person can manage to hand hold a lens at shutter speeds down to:

 

1 / (focal length) X (crop factor)

 

So for an APS-C camera where the crop-factor is a fixed 1.6 always, a 200mm lens can be hand held by the average person (again... this person would be using all the proper technique) down to 1/320th of a second.  Anything slower than that risks motion blur from not being able to hand-hold the lens.

 

You can always see how lenses of short focal lengths become extremely forgiving (this is why, for example, Canon doesn't even bother to make a 24-70mm lens with IS -- even though a lot of people ask for it.)

 

But often with action photography, the shutter speed is going to be pretty fast already... so while a person might be using that 70-200mm zoom for sports, they may not be taking many shots with a shutter speed less than 1/500th.  This might lead one to conclude that the IS is no big deal.

 

There is one thing though... it turns out that BEFORE you take a shot, you'll want to focus a shot.  And that means you're probably tracking a moving subject while attempting to focus.  The IS system actually DOES help the camera lock in focus before you take the shot (so it's not just for that moment when you take the shot... it helps the camera lock focus faster before you take the shot.)

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: IS vs NON IS??

Holy crap, you got a 24-70 II?  I love the internet.

Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 3,816
Registered: ‎06-11-2013

Re: IS vs NON IS??


@Skirball wrote:

Holy crap, you got a 24-70 II?  I love the internet.


Yeah but why not go for it?  There's a few ways to approach it.  

 

A)  Buy the most affordable glass... not quite get the capabilities and results you want, upgrade to something mid-range and get a little more, but still not quite what you want, and then finally break down and just buy the high-end glass.

 

B)  Buy the high-end glass right from the start.

 

If you tally up the price tag for option B, it turns out to be less expensive than option A and you get the benfit of getting not messing around with lenses that don't deliver what you want in the meantime. 

 

When I moved from film to digital I still wasn't quite sure digital "had arrived"... so I didn't want to invest heavily until I was sure.  I bought a T1i with kit lens.  Having had experience with really nice glass on film cameras, I quickly concluded that the high variable focal ratio zoom, minimum aperture blade, non-internal-focusing, slow-noisy focus motor lens was not going to cut it and immediately switched to a 24-70 f/2.8 myself.  It is a workhorse and will last for years to come.

 

 

Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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Posts: 11,491
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: IS vs NON IS??

"A)  Buy the most affordable glass... not quite get the capabilities and results you want, upgrade to something mid-range and get a little more, but still not quite what you want, and then finally break down and just buy the high-end glass."

 

 What an amazing concept! Smiley Surprised  And I totally agree. Smiley Happy

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎02-28-2013

Re: IS vs NON IS??


@TCampbell wrote:

@Skirball wrote:

Holy crap, you got a 24-70 II?  I love the internet.


Yeah but why not go for it?  There's a few ways to approach it.  

 

A)  Buy the most affordable glass... not quite get the capabilities and results you want, upgrade to something mid-range and get a little more, but still not quite what you want, and then finally break down and just buy the high-end glass.

 

B)  Buy the high-end glass right from the start.

 

If you tally up the price tag for option B, it turns out to be less expensive than option A and you get the benfit of getting not messing around with lenses that don't deliver what you want in the meantime. 

 


Well of course.  But that presumes:

 

A) there are only three levels of glass, beginner, intermediate, and a single high-end glass

B) the 24-70 mark II is the only lens that would meet the qualifications of "high-end glass"

C) you're the type of person that would follow this constant upgrade scenario

D) that by the time you upgrade to the high-end glass something new hasn't come out that now you have to go buy

E) you stick with photography, and aren't just buying the absolute top of the line product in the honeymoon phase

 

 

And of course, all this assumes that your needs and uses even show benefit of the highest of the high-end lens.  I seriously doubt that on a T2i, on anything less than huge enlargements, that anyone is going to see the difference between the mark II and a mark I (which can be purchased for less than half the cost refurbished, direct from Canon).  Most people that shoot these days don't even do prints.

 

My point though, was that for the kind of money she spent on a 24-70 II she could have made purchase(s) that would have sufficiently met her needs, and had money left over either for other upgrades, or...  this is the scary part...  to simply put back in the bank/stock/savings/bed mattress.  Just because you have the money to buy something doesn't make it a smart purchase.  Not everybody is either a) professional/long time photographer that earns income off photography or b) a retired baby boomer spending their savings on camera equipment instead of a Harley.

 

Which brings me to point F) that you guys with this "best the best first!" attitude don't actually save money because of it, you just go buy something else that you feel you need when you have the money.

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