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Switching to IS lens - any advice/pointers?

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  • Switching to IS lens - any advice/pointers?

    I'm currently in advanced negotiations with one Mr. S. Claus for a new image stabilised lens! The one I'm most likely to get is a Canon 55-250mm, which seems very good value.

    I've never used an IS lens before, so I'm just wondering if there is any adjustments I should be making to the camera as part of the transition to the new lens?

    Also, in terms of sharpening (for example, for uploads to this site), do you find that it needs much less?

    I know that on this particular lens, there are two (?) settings of IS, but I'll just have to wait and read the manual, although I guess this is the same for other Canon IS lenses.

    Can anyone comment on experiences? Easy to get used to? Makes a huge/medium/minor difference to the quality of the end product?

  • #2
    Hi there,

    The important thing to remember about IS is that it doesn't actually make the lens any sharper. The sharpness of the lens is dictated by the quality of the optics and you very much get what you pay for with lenses, so a cheap-ish lens with IS won't really perform any better than any other roughly equivalent lens in terms of sharpness. IS is purely there to help try avoid camera shake (which causes blur, not softness). In all honesty, for the most part in reasonable conditions you probably won't even notice IS doing anything apart from making the image in your viewfinder wobble a bit. Many people even turn IS off when shooting in good light and it should generally be regarded as a way of assisting in poor conditions, not as something that gives sharp results regardless of the conditions. It can help but not quite that much!

    Many of the higher-end IS lenses have two settings, mode 1 is normal and generally used for non-moving subjects and mode 2 is panning, which may be the best one to use for shooting things like sports (or planes) where the subjects are moving. The EF-S 55-250 doesn't have this mode switch and is permanently in mode 1 but that should be perfectly fine for general use. There are plenty of great images around taken with this lens so it should serve you well!
    Seeing the world with a 3:2 aspect ratio...

    My images on Flickr

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    • #3
      And do not forget, that IS does not give you a faster shutter speed. Motion blurr remains the same, only panning becomes easier.
      My photo editing guide - updated and improved Feb. 2010
      My Nikon D100,D200,D300, D800, D7200 basic spotting settings guide
      ACIG - the best resource for military aviation information

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      • #4
        To be honest, I'd prefer better optics over IS. IS gives you a higher possibility to avoid motion blur, but better glasses give you overall higher photo quality. So, my advice is: wait until you can afford an L lens on Canon or any other premium glass and enjoy the sharper photos.
        My photos on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/geridominguez

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        • #5
          Originally posted by LX-A343 View Post
          To be honest, I'd prefer better optics over IS. IS gives you a higher possibility to avoid motion blur, but better glasses give you overall higher photo quality. So, my advice is: wait until you can afford an L lens on Canon or any other premium glass and enjoy the sharper photos.
          We all wish for a "L" lens ...
          Unfortunately we can't all afford it. I am doing the same, will start off with the 55-250 IS and in a year's time or two I will surely upgrade to a 100-400L. It's still unreal for me to buy a 70-200F4L used, not at the moment. Just saying that is what most of our condition is...
          Flickr |Airliners.Net | Airplane-Pictures.Net | Jetphotos.Net

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          • #6
            If I could sum the 55-250 up in one line:

            It's worth it for the price!

            Some samples taken with the 55-250:



            Taken at 187mm.

            >

            Taken at 200mm.



            Taken at 250mm

            N343AN

            See at 1600 pixels here: goo.gl/cLDws

            Enjoy the lens coz it really blowed me off when I first used it for shooting planes!

            Yash

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            • #7
              A useful link for getting more infos about your lenses of choice: www.fredmiranda.com

              The 55-250 seems to be a good value for the price. Still, I would save the money and wait a bit longer.
              My photos on Flickr www.flickr.com/photos/geridominguez

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              • #8
                On the other hand it will still be a good lens for travel and holidays when you want to go light.
                My photo editing guide - updated and improved Feb. 2010
                My Nikon D100,D200,D300, D800, D7200 basic spotting settings guide
                ACIG - the best resource for military aviation information

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've got a Sigma 120-400 - a consumer zoom - with 2-mode IS. It's not really useful for daylight aviation, tbh. I leave it off most of the time. Shooting stationary subjects in dual-axis stab is another story - it does help quite a bit, but most of the time at high shutter speeds it doesn't 'win' you any sharpness.

                  Below around 1/125 it's handy though, and does help with the keepers. You need to account for the mechanism in your technique though, and be very, very smooth, taking care not to jolt at all or it unsettles the system.

                  I'd go for a faster lens with better glass any day.

                  James

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