The IS/VR at Work
Here are 2 sharp images. I'm using Canon but it's the same with Nikon, Sony, Olympus… These photos were made during the Vancouver SmugMug Headshot Workshop at the East Vancouver Studio. It was very, very busy.
Kid taking photos during the Vancouver SmugMug Headshot Workshop at the East Vancouver Studio-Canon 5DMk2
Lady taking photos during the Vancouver SmugMug Headshot Workshop at the East Vancouver Studio-Nikon D800
I do a lot of headshots but never in studio, always on location. I do not own a studio (I could rent) but my customers are not comfortable in a studio environment. So lets go back to the photos:
- One was done with my old favourite lens, the 70-200L f/4 IS lens at 75mm f/5 @ 1/10 sec
- The other one was done with my new favourite lens, the 40mm f/2.8 pancake at f/4.5 @ 1/25 sec
Both photos look quite sharp, but the important part is the story behind the photos:
- For years I've been making photos of photographers. I have thousands of them and quite a few of them are in the gallery: http://photos.foto-biz.com/People/Photographers. These photos and many others will eventually be added to the gallery.
- Most of the afternoon, I was using the 40mm pancake lens. Toward the end of the workshop, one of the person gave a Canon 5DMk2 to her son, set the flash and let him take photos. I had to make photos of the kid taking photos. In this serie, I was on my knees to be at his level. In the space of less than 5 seconds, I took 11 photos at f/4.5 and 1/25 sec. Out of the 11 photos, 8 photos were fuzzy due to MY movement. Since the 40mm is a pancake lens, there is nothing to hold underneath the lens and to steady the camera. Instead of holding the lens portion on top of my left hand, I'm just squashing the camera in my face. Out of the 3 photos that are sharp enough, this is the photo that I like best.
- This lady is making a head and shoulder photo with her Nikon D800. I made this photo with my Canon 70-200mm at f/5 at 75mm and 1/10 second. I took 3 photos. The first one was “really” fuzzy, the next one was quite good and this one was the sharpest. It's so sharp that I can read the Nikon lens serial number.
Good stabilization adds a lot to a lens both in term of size and price. But it significantly helps. Now what about stabilization inside the body? Like Sony, Olympus, Pentax… It's lot cheaper and can be integrated with the sensor cleaning mechanism. It's great with wide angle lenses, it's OK with normal lenses and as the lens gets longer it's become less and less effective. The problem with stabilization inside the body is that the stabilization is done on the sensor when the mirror is up. That's after the focusing is done / finished. That's why most wildlife photographers using Sony/Pentax are turning off the stabilization inside the body and switch to Sigma lenses with the “OS” to help with the focusing.