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  1. #1

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    Film cameras and image stabilization

    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!
    i can't wait to take a picture of my thumb with this beautiful camera.

    - phirehouse, after buying a camera in the classifieds

  2. #2

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

  3. #3
    AgX
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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. #4

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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. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryuji View Post
    ... Zoom is for convenience, and not a substitution for prime lenses...
    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...

    Quote Originally Posted by rob champagne View Post
    there's quite a common one called a tripod! And theres also a monopod which works quite well.
    But surprisingly inconvenient if you want to walk around for several hours
    i can't wait to take a picture of my thumb with this beautiful camera.

    - phirehouse, after buying a camera in the classifieds

  6. #6
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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 GeoffHill; 04-17-2008 at 04:13 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #7
    GeoffHill's Avatar
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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. #8
    AgX
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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. #9
    GeoffHill's Avatar
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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

  10. #10
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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.
    —Eric

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