February 22, 2018, 07:51:00 AM

Author Topic: Image Stabilization in extreme movement?  (Read 2874 times)

Ryan_

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Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« on: February 06, 2018, 08:36:05 AM »
Hello all. Quick question on IS.
So obviously I will use IS if I'm photographing something while standing on land and the light is low and my shutter speed is low. However, I shoot with a 70-200 2.8 ii while swimming in the ocean. I photograph waves, so it is always turbulent when I'm shooting. It's rare that I can be even close to still.

Since I got this lens, I've always shot with IS on in the water as I thought it would A) Help counter my movement in the water and B) Create easier viewing through the viewfinder due to the stabilization.

IS definitely helps with B, and I want to believe it helps with A but thats my question here. Is swimming in a turbulent ocean too much movement for the IS to handle? Am I possibly hurting the image sharpness? I do get sharp images but I'd say I get just as many "unsharp" images as I do sharp. Unsharp meaning I can clearly see where the lens focused (foreground and background are strongly blurred), but the part thats "in focus" is weirdly not sharp. Doesn't look like a crazy motion blur, but its definitely not sharp.

Now there is a lot that can go wrong for image sharpness while shooting in the water. Obviously my camera is in a water housing, with a lens port. Water can get on the port and cause an unsharp image. But usually when that happens, I cant even focus to begin with. So I'm wondering if the IS elements are moving around too much because of the extreme movement and causing a blur to the image? I shoot at an absolute minimum of 1/1000 for freezing movement but usually 1/1250 and up. Shooting on a 5d3. Would it possibly be better to leave IS off since I'm shooting at a high shutter speed anyways? I just thought IS would still be helpful but possibly I'm wrong. I plan on shooting with it off but still wanted to see if I could get some input here first.

Appreciate any insight anyone may have on lens IS and extreme movement, thanks.

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Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« on: February 06, 2018, 08:36:05 AM »

Mikehit

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Re: Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2018, 09:15:05 AM »
in-lens IS is meant for small, repetitive vibrations that make up camera shake but the translational movements in open water are larger than the IS mechanism can correct for.
If you are shooting at high shutter speeds as you seem to be then classic camera shake should not be a problem. I think it more likely one of keeping the focuspoint on the intended target - on the 5D3 you can adjust the tracking sensitivity to reduce the responsiveness of the AF so it delays the camera re-focussing.
But that depends on precisely what it is you want to take pictures of (when swimming......?)

Random Orbits

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Re: Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2018, 10:15:44 AM »
It takes time for IS to activate, so it's possible that if you take a picture right after activating AF, then the picture may not be sharp due to IS movement.  I get it from time to time for soccer when I'm switching AF points/targets and I release and re-engage AF tracking.

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2018, 01:00:48 PM »
There are those who say turn IS off, and those who say leave it on.

The method that works for your case is the best one, of course.

Here is part of a article from "The Digital Picture"

https://www.the-digital-picture.com/News/News-Post.aspx?News=20098

"Here's one that never gets discussed among sports, action and wildlife shooters, but which our engineers HAVE said is a benefit of Image Stabilization, even at the fastest shutter speeds. Because Canon's I.S. is optical, if you do have your stabilization set to Mode 1 or 2, where it's continually active, the viewfinder isn't the only place where a steady, stabilized image is seen. The FOCUSING SYSTEM also gets the same benefit of a clean, steady and stabilized look at the subject, too. This matters, especially during fast, high-speed sequences, and even more so if/when you're shooting subjects that are (a) moving aggressively, and (b) may not have tons of detail, contrast and texture to them. The AF point or points being used must see some detail, and during a fast, AI Servo AF sequence, have less than 1/10th of a second in cameras like an EOS 7D Mark II, or certainly an EOS-1D X model, to read the subject between each frame. By using I.S., regardless of how fast the actual shutter speed is, the AF system gets a cleaner, steadier look at the subject during that interval between each frame, and is more likely to be able to read subject detail and provide continuous AF where most or all frames in a sequence are sharp (in terms of FOCUS). "


johnf3f

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Re: Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2018, 06:27:14 PM »
I, like most others, have no experience of using largish lenses in the surf - certainly with my long lens I would be an instant submarine! 

The information, given to me by a couple of Canon Reps, is that IS is ineffective at 1/500 sec or faster due to the inevitable limitations of moving the IS element any faster -which would suggest that it is not ideal for your needs.

This is just my personal experience, but when I stopped using IS (Dec 2013) my keeper rate improved dramatically and the improvement on moving subjects was even more surprising! I have only one issue with IS, namely I can't buy most of the lenses that I want without it :'(
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YuengLinger

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Re: Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2018, 10:04:39 PM »
There are those who say turn IS off, and those who say leave it on.

The method that works for your case is the best one, of course.

Here is part of a article from "The Digital Picture"

https://www.the-digital-picture.com/News/News-Post.aspx?News=20098

"Here's one that never gets discussed among sports, action and wildlife shooters, but which our engineers HAVE said is a benefit of Image Stabilization, even at the fastest shutter speeds. Because Canon's I.S. is optical, if you do have your stabilization set to Mode 1 or 2, where it's continually active, the viewfinder isn't the only place where a steady, stabilized image is seen. The FOCUSING SYSTEM also gets the same benefit of a clean, steady and stabilized look at the subject, too. This matters, especially during fast, high-speed sequences, and even more so if/when you're shooting subjects that are (a) moving aggressively, and (b) may not have tons of detail, contrast and texture to them. The AF point or points being used must see some detail, and during a fast, AI Servo AF sequence, have less than 1/10th of a second in cameras like an EOS 7D Mark II, or certainly an EOS-1D X model, to read the subject between each frame. By using I.S., regardless of how fast the actual shutter speed is, the AF system gets a cleaner, steadier look at the subject during that interval between each frame, and is more likely to be able to read subject detail and provide continuous AF where most or all frames in a sequence are sharp (in terms of FOCUS). "

I happened to read this last week.  It's a pity that the "high level representative" is not named.  Trying to find this same suggestion on a Canon website is no easy feat.  The best I could find was Rudy Winston, here:

http://www.learn.usa.canon.com/resources/blogs/2014/20140225_winston_IS_blog.shtml

So, according to the quotes in Bryan's article, the "engineers" say leave it on regardless of what sports photographers claim.

Again, the "engineers" are not named, and now they are secondary hearsay.  (And we know that "engineers" are never conflated with service techs.)

I do feel I have better results at higher shutter speeds, say 1000th and faster, without IS on.  Plus leaving it off saves a little battery life.

As good as IS is, with quick, jerky movements and high shutter speeds, it seems reasonable to believe that there will be moments when the capture is just at the "wrong" moment of IS adjustment.

I know I come to this site for advice, but sometimes I'm just lazy.  So many of the questions here can be answered by just getting AWAY FROM THE COMPUTER and getting out to try for myself.  I can get a friend to throw a Frisbee to his dog for 20 minutes, trying with and without IS on.  I can go photograph baseball or soccer at our local community college.  All in bright light, of course, so that shutter speeds are up.  Then decide.

But this IS a  good question!   :D
« Last Edit: February 06, 2018, 10:21:26 PM by YuengLinger »

aceflibble

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Re: Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2018, 10:09:32 PM »
There are a few IS systems which can be configured to stabilise the viewfinder/live view but not affect the actual image taken as strongly as usual; I forget which it is, but a couple of the Tamrons and Sigmas offer this with their USB docks. Could be one of those is weak enough to not interfere with image capture, while still giving you the calmer viewfinder and more confident AF you need. (Though Tamron's AF is a touch slow and Sigma's AF is a touch inconsistent, so it may balance out to be no advantage at all.)

But that said, yes, any kind of stabilisation above 1/500th is giving you diminishing returns, and certainly by 1/1000th it can't do anything really. The 800mm f/5.6L IS is a bit of an exception because that does show a difference up to 1/1250th, but then nothing after that; even so, with that kind of magnification you always want a shutter speed in excess of 1/1600th anyway, just to minimise subject motion and atmospheric distortions.

So, basically, if you're shooting at 1/1250, yes, just turn IS off. At best you're just draining your battery a little faster; at worst the IS could be inducing blur.

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Re: Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2018, 10:09:32 PM »

AlanF

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Re: Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2018, 06:10:58 AM »

The information, given to me by a couple of Canon Reps, is that IS is ineffective at 1/500 sec or faster due to the inevitable limitations of moving the IS element any faster -which would suggest that it is not ideal for your needs.


It is a myth that because the IS sensing frequency is only 500-1000 Hz or so it becomes ineffective at 1/500s or faster.  The IS works by prediction of movement and doesn't depend on making an IS measurement during a 1/500s or shorter time.
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hne

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Re: Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2018, 06:25:41 AM »
Optical IS can't compensate for rolling motion since you can't rotate a beam of light by moving lenses. The capability to compensate for rotation in my book is the primary benefit of moving the sensor instead of parts of the optical system.
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BeenThere

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Re: Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2018, 08:55:34 AM »

The information, given to me by a couple of Canon Reps, is that IS is ineffective at 1/500 sec or faster due to the inevitable limitations of moving the IS element any faster -which would suggest that it is not ideal for your needs.


It is a myth that because the IS sensing frequency is only 500-1000 Hz or so it becomes ineffective at 1/500s or faster.  The IS works by prediction of movement and doesn't depend on making an IS measurement during a 1/500s or shorter time.
How can the IS system make predictions for frequencies for which it has no data? If the frequencies are out of the bandwidth of the system, it would seem to me that any higher frequency prediction would have to come from an a priori hard wired model rather than from actual movement. Seems unlikely.

AlanF

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Re: Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2018, 12:54:01 PM »

The information, given to me by a couple of Canon Reps, is that IS is ineffective at 1/500 sec or faster due to the inevitable limitations of moving the IS element any faster -which would suggest that it is not ideal for your needs.


It is a myth that because the IS sensing frequency is only 500-1000 Hz or so it becomes ineffective at 1/500s or faster.  The IS works by prediction of movement and doesn't depend on making an IS measurement during a 1/500s or shorter time.
How can the IS system make predictions for frequencies for which it has no data? If the frequencies are out of the bandwidth of the system, it would seem to me that any higher frequency prediction would have to come from an a priori hard wired model rather than from actual movement. Seems unlikely.

It makes predictions from measurements made during the time before the shutter is actuated and continues to extrapolate them during the time the shutter is open. I have done experiments that show IS is effective at high shutter speeds, well beyond the 1/f rule.

I have done series of measurements on my telephoto lenses with the 5DSR in particular for me to decide when to use IS. I am looking at pixel level shake not the gross sharp/not sharp, using charts from Bob Atkins and standing 19m away. With the new Tamron 100-400mm at 400mm, resolution increases until ~1/1600s with IS  on and it is better than turning IS off. I need to go to about 1/3200 to eliminate shake with IS off.

The Canon 100-400mm II IS is about 2 stops more effective, some of it because the lens is heavier as well as the better Canon implementation. Both lenses are rated at about 4 stops IS but I think that these figures are for gross shake and not for pixel peepers like me, and standing 19m away magnifies shake that wouldn't be seen close up.
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johnf3f

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Re: Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2018, 06:33:28 PM »
It is a myth that because the IS sensing frequency is only 500-1000 Hz or so it becomes ineffective at 1/500s or faster.  The IS works by prediction of movement and doesn't depend on making an IS measurement during a 1/500s or shorter time.

Quite possibly - it is just what I have been told by Canon.

Whether the Canon rep correct or not I find IS to be a hindrance - especially on large long lenses. Many tell me I am wrong but I speak as I find and can easily show them how to get sharper shots at relatively low shutter speeds and better AF with IS off. Took about 2 minutes with that Canon Rep.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2018, 06:57:19 PM by johnf3f »
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Ryan_

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Re: Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2018, 06:52:11 PM »
Ok so there seems to be a split in opinion/fact? here. I will be shooting tomorrow and I think I’m gonna leave the IS off for once. I think I’ll have to try this at least a few times to really see how it affects my images.

PS, as far as my AF settings go. I’ve had my settings set basically so that it’s as responsive as possible. Maybe this is an issue? I’ll have a look at my camera when I can get to it and see the exact settings. But I don’t think it’s a problem because like I said, I can see right where the image is focused when I zoom in to 100%. And yes it’s focused but it’s definitely not sharp. And sometimes a frame before or after will be focused in (or very close) to where the other frame is but be sharp.

I will update the thread when I do some expermenting. In the meantime I’ll continue to read on this.

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Re: Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2018, 06:52:11 PM »

aceflibble

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Re: Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2018, 02:18:00 PM »
I have done series of measurements on my telephoto lenses with the 5DSR in particular for me to decide when to use IS. I am looking at pixel level shake not the gross sharp/not sharp, using charts from Bob Atkins and standing 19m away. With the new Tamron 100-400mm at 400mm, resolution increases until ~1/1600s with IS  on and it is better than turning IS off. I need to go to about 1/3200 to eliminate shake with IS off.

The Canon 100-400mm II IS is about 2 stops more effective, some of it because the lens is heavier as well as the better Canon implementation. Both lenses are rated at about 4 stops IS but I think that these figures are for gross shake and not for pixel peepers like me, and standing 19m away magnifies shake that wouldn't be seen close up.
More like those longer lenses are benefiting from the expanded, more modern stabilisation as used in the 800mm example I detailed above, to see some benefit around the 1/100th mark give-or-take. The Canon 100-400 certainly does, though it seems 50/50 as to when it'll benefit and when it doesn't; you're basically rolling the dice on whether the IS keeps up or not, as mechanical variation means each shutter press could land on one side of shake or the other. The Tamron I've not got my hands on yet and my usual Tamron contacts aren't available at the moment, but I wouldn't be surprised if that was a similar situation; Tamron's VC has always been about as up-to-date as Canon's.

In other words, you've picked out the one (possibly two) examples where it's possible for IS to keep helping at higher speeds, though it's still not guaranteed, and if you've found it's helped more than half the time then it's safe to say you've been exceptionally lucky.

You can wang on about how much of a pixel-peeper you are, but given my regular work involves hand stitching 300-odd files into what amounts to 400mp+ pictures for archive, I'm confident I can say pixel-level detail is something I'm more familiar with and 1/3200th should not be needed to eliminate shake on a 400mm lens, IS or otherwise. If you're getting shake at 400mm using speeds up to 1/3200th, that means you're suffering a pitch factor of 8; 400mm on the 5DS R gives you a pitch factor of 3.4. That means you've got more than twice as much shake as you should; seeing shake that fast is more like that you'd expect from 400mm on a 120mp 35mm sensor. Either your hands are extremely unsteady, your tripod isn't as sturdy as you think, or etc etc. In any case, there's something going on with your 'testing' which is not normal.

PS, as far as my AF settings go. I’ve had my settings set basically so that it’s as responsive as possible. Maybe this is an issue? I’ll have a look at my camera when I can get to it and see the exact settings. But I don’t think it’s a problem because like I said, I can see right where the image is focused when I zoom in to 100%. And yes it’s focused but it’s definitely not sharp. And sometimes a frame before or after will be focused in (or very close) to where the other frame is but be sharp.
If you're shooting a series of images in a burst with continuous AF then it's completely normal for frame to dip in and out slightly. Cameras' AF systems are not perfect and neither the lens nor body is machined to control that focus that finely that quickly. It's got nothing to do with IS; this is all down to the AF. You may think it's focused on the same point, but it only has to be off by a tiny fraction for the sharpness to dip. The only way each frame in a series will be equally sharp is if you use a wider lens and smaller aperture to get a deeper depth of field so there's inherently less variation, and then use Live View for focusing. (Which then comes with its own drawbacks.)
Using your 70-200 2.8 as an example, if you use it at 200mm f/2.8 and focus on something 20' away on a 5D4 body, that gives you a depth of reasonably sharp focus of about 2.4" and absolute sharp focus (peak resolution, 1:1) of about 0.8". Meaning you only have to move 0.1" further forward or back, or have the camera focus 0.1" further forward or back, for there to be a difference in sharpness at 1:1. That kind of difference can happen at nearly any shutter speed—no human has the ability to intentionally hold a camera precisely 0.1" further than they previously were—and can happen with any camera's AF, regardless of model and settings. Even if you're not shooting in continuous and you have the camera repeat one-shot focusing each time on what appears to be the same point, it's easily going to vary each shot by that kind of small increment.

In other words, what you're describing sounds totally normal. I'd only worry if you were getting the same kind of results when shooting more zoomed out and at small apertures. Even then, my first thought would be a more basic fault with the focusing of the body and lens, rather than anything relating to the shutter speed or IS.


CanonFanBoy

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Re: Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2018, 04:43:59 PM »
That IS potion won't stop the motion in the ocean.
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Re: Image Stabilization in extreme movement?
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2018, 04:43:59 PM »