Film cameras and image stabilization

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by mabman, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. mabman

    mabman Member

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    This past weekend I used a medium zoom lens for the first time on my Pentax ME Super. Normally I have a handful of prime lenses, so this was a first.

    The results were interesting - the zoom lens, extended, is longer than my other lenses, and camera shake is an issue with it. I've made a couple of "string monopods", which actually work reasonably well, but this has raised a question for me:

    Which film cameras (and associated lenses) support some form of image stabilization (or whatever the manufacturer calls it)?

    A brief search shows that Nikon and Canon have lenses with built-in IS - do these work with *any* body, or is there something powered or required on a particular body? I don't see any Pentax-related equivalent off-hand, but then, I haven't searched very hard.

    Thanks!
     
  2. RobC

    RobC Member

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    there's quite a common one called a tripod! And theres also a monopod which works quite well.:wink:
     
  3. AgX

    AgX Member

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    The body must have some sensor over the image plane that can detect image movement; and distinguish it from brightness variation, which asks for a set of detectors.

    This set of detectors must be coupled to the electronic control of the stabilizing element inside the lens.
     
  4. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    I use Canon 24-105mm f/4 L USM with various generations of EOS series bodies, and it works.

    However, with 100-speed b&w films, you will see that prime lenses deliver better image quality, including sharpness and distortion, at f/8. Zoom is for convenience, and not a substitution for prime lenses...
     
  5. mabman

    mabman Member

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    Oh, I agree - more of a question on what the limitations were on film cameras, as most of the info I could find was for the digital variety.

    It's unlikely I'll be doing this anytime soon - Canon L lenses aren't exactly cheap - but my experiences on the weekend got me to thinking...

    But surprisingly inconvenient if you want to walk around for several hours :smile:
     
  6. GeoffHill

    GeoffHill Member

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    I use my EOS1n with a 70-200 f/2.8L IS, and have sucessfully hand held shots at 1/25th of sec at around 100mm.

    The image stabaliser is an element inside the lens, that moves on 2 small servos, controlled be a processor in the lens. It is the lens that detects the movement, not the body. There is a tutorial on how it all works somwhere on the canon site.

    The 70-200 is very sharp, even wide open at 2.8. I'm not sure its any sharper than my 85mm 1.8 when they are both at f4. It is, however, significantly more expensive and less portable.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2008
  7. GeoffHill

    GeoffHill Member

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    Edited to say:

    I've just tried it on an EOS3000v (bottom of the range EOS) and a 300v, and the IS seems to work on both of these lenses. You can hear the movement of the IS element when you half depress the shutter.
     
  8. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Yes Geoff,

    I was totally off track (or ahead the industry....).
    Sorry!

    Seemingly all analogue body/stabilized lens combinations employ two sensors placed perpendicular in the lens susceptible to angular acceleration steering actuators to which a lens element is fastened to.
     
  9. GeoffHill

    GeoffHill Member

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    The big disadvantage of the canon IS system, is that you need to switch it of, or change it to 'mode 2' if you move the lens while shooting. Failure to do this results in soft pictures, even at high shutter speeds, as the lens tries to compensate for the movement.

    I guess its more user error, than equipment error, but I know at least one owner of this lens who is prone to frequent errors :smile:
     
  10. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I know you don't want to hear this, but Rob has the best solution--a tripod!

    The second best solution is a portable gyro stabilizer. I use a Kenyon battery powered gyro for those situations you just can't use a tripod, such as air-to-air photography. I have found it much better than the VR lenses I've tested. But it is heavy.
     
  11. Dirb9

    Dirb9 Member

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    I suspect that is the method of stabilization for Nikon's VR system, as they require a minimum number of AF points for operation (I believe it is 5), but I know on Canon's IS system, there are two accelerometers (X & Y) in the lens, and a matching set of electromagnetic coils that detect and counteract motion. All the camera body does is just tell when to turn the IS on and off. As for compatibility within the Canon system, IS works on all models, but it may shake after the shutter release on the early bodies.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2008
  12. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    Hi mabman,I am a pentaxuser myself as you may have gathered from my non de plume. I have never seen any pentax lenses that incorporate any form of image stabiliser or vibration reduction either. At that point at which Canon and Nikon continued to develop their 35mm cameras Pentax seemed to rest on its laurels and lost its way and more than a little ground which in terms of film cameras it never made up. Pity.

    So with a ME super I think you are stuck with non image stabilising lenses. Probably not too much of a problem even for handholding except in low light or high speed action photography or if the zoom is very big. Monopods and tripods can be a bit of a pain to carry around but even the very best are probably cheaper than a VR or IS lens and VR or IS in most situations is unlikely to match the rock steadiness of a tripod.

    pentaxuser
     
  13. haris

    haris Guest

    Best solution is tripod. Even if you have image stabilizer on lens, try to shoot 1/2 second or slower :smile:
     
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  15. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    No the best solution is not always a tripod.

    I have to move around fast usually in a melee of people while shooting rock concerts, lens at almost full aperture and on the limits of hand holdabilty usually with shutter speeds of a 60th or less. So an IS lens would be an enormous help, I have used the Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS lens and it does make a huge difference.

    Ian
     
  16. cmo

    cmo Member

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    There is also one lens from Sigma, but the best IS is definitely from Canon (yes, I also tried Nikon).
     
  17. cotdt

    cotdt Member

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    Nikon F6 is compatible with VR, i think also the F100 and F5.
     
  18. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    Regarding the Kenyon gyro systems... has anyone purchased one and used it for their photography?
     
  19. AgX

    AgX Member

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    And what about IS versus monopod (concerning blurr)?
     
  20. walter23

    walter23 Member

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    That's not inconvenient.

    This is inconvenient:
    http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/images/2007/12/08/rr20x24bw2.jpg
    http://theonlinephotographer.typepa...apher/images/2007/12/08/rr20x24extendedbw.jpg


    I wouldn't sweat the primes vs. zooms issue - Canon's L zoom lenses with IS are all top-notch, wickedly sharp lenses. You might squeeze a couple more LPM out of a prime, but the L zooms are pretty damned good.
     
  21. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    I have a Kenyon KS-6 kit and used it with a Pentax 67 for an aerial photography business I had in the late 90’s. Image stabilization lenses were just being introduced, and only a very few models, all 35mm. I needed a larger negative, so I used the P67.

    For air to ground shots, I used a 55-105mm zoom and could set the shutter speed fast, up to 1/1000. At that shutter speed the gyro wasn’t absolutely necessary, but it did make holding the camera and framing the scene much smoother. And maybe it did contribute somewhat to the very sharp results.

    For air to air shots, the gyro was indispensable. I primarily used a 200mm lens, but sometimes a 300mm lens, and the shutter speeds had to be 1/60 or maybe 1/125 to get the optimum propeller blur. The results were almost always tack sharp.
     
  22. Snapshot

    Snapshot Member

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    Sounds like a great device. How much was your unit?
     
  23. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    The kit, with battery, inverter, and a few connecting cords and adapters, was actually about the same price as the kits Kenyon is selling today-- $2,800. It paid for itself in the first few months of operation.
     
  24. thuggins

    thuggins Member

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    There are two methods currently used to implement IS. Both use accelerometers to sense up and down or side to side motion (the X and Y axes if the optical axis is taken as Z). For sensors in the lens, the optical path of the lens is moved. For sensors in the body, the sensor is moved (this method obviously doesn't work with film).

    In any case, IS is at best a gimmick. It doesn't sense rotation of any type, which is far more likely than just moving the camera up an down or side to side. It also senses movement that has already happened. So it just guesses at the correction needed based on the movement that occurred a fraction of a second earlier. It is more likely than not to guess wrong, and "automatically" blur an otherwise good shot.

    My Canon with IS consistently produces the blurriest pictures of any camera I have. It is especially bad if you are skilled at bracing yourself and smoothly pressing the shutter release.
     
  25. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Tim, what do you mean by `bracing´?
     
  26. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    mabman. Since my earlier post I happened by sheer luck to be speaking to a pro wedding photographer who now uses a F100 but in her early days used a pentax ME Super. Based on what she had to say it is not good news. She said that for even fairly modest zooms the ME's body was far too light and the lens unbalanced the camera. No such problems with a F100. I didn't ask but I suspect that in her line of work VR probably isn't needed a lot but I don't know. Anyway it seems that the ME's size and lightness may work against it.

    By the way and for what it is worth she went on to repeat what a number of others have said in the F5 v F100 thread. Namely that the F5 gave her nothing that the F100 didn't except muscle strain from its extra weight. So unless you are well muscled it may be that there is a happy medium in terms of camera body weight.

    pentaxuser