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  1. #1
    Is fast glass with image stabalizing redundant?
    CrimsonRequiem's Avatar
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    Is fast glass with image stabalizing redundant?
    Kind of need the help of someone who knows a lot more about photography than I do. Working with a Canon EOS 7D. Might end up upgrading to the 5D Mark II or Mark III if there is a price drop. >_<"

    I currently saving up money to upgrade my kit lens to something of better quality. I'm trying to stay in the ball park of 1k USD.

    I would like to know if I get a lens that is f/ 2.8 do I need IS? I don't believe that I'm going to be doing any action or sports photography any time soon but I would like a lens that is capable of doing so down the line.

    Currently I'm working in the studio taking pictures of three dimensional artwork, sculptures, packaging, and printed work.

    I'm currently looking at a general purpose lens, that can be used for portraits as well.

    I narrowed it down to the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM, Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L USM Lens, and the Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L IS USM Lens.

    For now I think I'm leaning towards the 17-55mm. As for the other two I might end up getting one of them sometime down the line but not sure if I need the faster of the two or the slower one with IS?

    Feel free to suggest other lenses.

    I also would like to ask about prime lenses but maybe I should leave that for another time. I'm still really new to photography or starting to get serious about it. Still not sure what focal lengths I would need.
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  2. #2
    Is fast glass with image stabalizing redundant?
    Sawday's Avatar
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    Your studio work sounds as if you'll be using a tripod - in which case you'd switch the IS off anyway.
    Happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you get.

  3. #3
    Is fast glass with image stabalizing redundant?
    Doug b's Avatar
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    Preface: If you're EVER shooting on a tripod-NEVER use Stabilization. You'll actually get a more blurry shot by doing this, as opposed to hand holding. Monopod, could be a different story but use caution. If shooting sports, you'll get away with it. A non moving subject? Redundant. Moving on:


    This is a mixed bag, really. Because you have a fast prime, this does not mean you'll be shooting wide open all the time. There are reasons to shoot wide open vs stopped down, with the latter usually due to needing more detail surrounding the subject as well as every aspect of the subject being in focus/sharp.

    Secondly, and associated with focus is depth of field. Do you want it to be shallow or not? You might want to read up on this as it encompasses a lot of detail in terms of shooting styles and effects.

    Lighting: MUCHO IMPORTANTÉ! If you haven't already, go and spend yet MORE money on proper lighting equipment! Using good strobes (or other types of studio lights) is essential in getting a studio shoot done right. I'm not saying that natural light isn't good enough, but if you're shooting indoors, and need a lot of detail on a subject, shadows will always present themselves unless the entire thing is lit up. Even then, you need to manipulate light in ways which allow it to spread evenly. This sometimes takes more than one light, as well as special back drops to reflect etc.. The scenarios are plentiful, so go and do some research on lighting.

    A lot of the time when shooting in a studio, you'll find yourself wanting to stop down in order to get detail out of everything.. so 2.8 IS kind of redundant, and beyond that, stabilization is just beyond unnecessary and even harmful to the shot. Most people shoot wide open for a special effect or if they're shooting a sports event and their flash won't reach or isn't permitted etc..

    After all that, it might sound as if I'm condemning shooting wide open, and I'm not. There's a time and a place for it, and only you can make that decision. It's your subject matter, and only YOU know how it should be presented. That said, there are plenty of great 2.8 lenses which when shot wide open still provide enough detail on the subject matter while producing amazing bokeh for the background.

    But to answer your original question in general: Yes, it is fairly redundant !

    Being a photographer isn't necessarily a cheap undertaking. Fast prime lenses, good lighting equipment etc will haunt you, but are well worth the investment if you foresee a return in the future. I have to get some things done, or I'd go on.. but I'm sure you'll get good advice from the other photographers here. Good luck !

    Doug

  4. #4
    Is fast glass with image stabalizing redundant?
    Village Idiot's Avatar
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    No. I had a decetly unblurred shot at 1/15 with a 70-200 f/2.8L IS.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug b View Post
    Preface: If you're EVER shooting on a tripod-NEVER use Stabilization. You'll actually get a more blurry shot by doing this, as opposed to hand holding. Monopod, could be a different story but use caution. If shooting sports, you'll get away with it. A non moving subject? Redundant. Moving on:
    This is wrong depending on the lens. Newer IS lenses tend to have property where the IS will not activate if it senses it's on a tripod or otherwise completely motionless


    If the lighting is being done where AC power is easily attained, used Speedotron kits with good power and multiple head can be found for extremely cheap on Ebay. Speedos are work horses and good quality.
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  5. #5
    Is fast glass with image stabalizing redundant?
    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Am only a beginner here. I have been looking at lenses in the same range you're looking at there. Only thing I can really add, is if you're intending to move to a full frame camera, I'd be looking at the EF 24-70 f/2.8 L or the EF 24-105 f/4 L instead of that EF-S lens. I'm having a tough time trying to decide between these three and have not intention of moving from the APS-C sensor size.

    Just bought the 70-200 a couple of months ago, used, from a guy doing studio work. He was using the 24-70 exclusively. For a general purpose single carry around, I've already decided the 24-105 is the one that seems to be the go to lens instead of the 17-55.

    You can probably take this with a grain of salt though, these other guys are def vastly more technically superior with the equipment.
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  6. #6
    Is fast glass with image stabalizing redundant?
    Village Idiot's Avatar
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    The EFS 17-55 f/2.8IS is an exceptional lens and holds it's value extremely well. Selling it if he needed to would not be a problem and it wouldn't lose him a lot of money, if any at all, if he's smart.
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  7. #7
    Is fast glass with image stabalizing redundant?
    CrimsonRequiem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug b View Post
    Preface: If you're EVER shooting on a tripod-NEVER use Stabilization. You'll actually get a more blurry shot by doing this, as opposed to hand holding. Monopod, could be a different story but use caution. If shooting sports, you'll get away with it. A non moving subject? Redundant. Moving on:


    This is a mixed bag, really. Because you have a fast prime, this does not mean you'll be shooting wide open all the time. There are reasons to shoot wide open vs stopped down, with the latter usually due to needing more detail surrounding the subject as well as every aspect of the subject being in focus/sharp.

    Secondly, and associated with focus is depth of field. Do you want it to be shallow or not? You might want to read up on this as it encompasses a lot of detail in terms of shooting styles and effects.

    Lighting: MUCHO IMPORTANTÉ! If you haven't already, go and spend yet MORE money on proper lighting equipment! Using good strobes (or other types of studio lights) is essential in getting a studio shoot done right. I'm not saying that natural light isn't good enough, but if you're shooting indoors, and need a lot of detail on a subject, shadows will always present themselves unless the entire thing is lit up. Even then, you need to manipulate light in ways which allow it to spread evenly. This sometimes takes more than one light, as well as special back drops to reflect etc.. The scenarios are plentiful, so go and do some research on lighting.

    A lot of the time when shooting in a studio, you'll find yourself wanting to stop down in order to get detail out of everything.. so 2.8 IS kind of redundant, and beyond that, stabilization is just beyond unnecessary and even harmful to the shot. Most people shoot wide open for a special effect or if they're shooting a sports event and their flash won't reach or isn't permitted etc..

    After all that, it might sound as if I'm condemning shooting wide open, and I'm not. There's a time and a place for it, and only you can make that decision. It's your subject matter, and only YOU know how it should be presented. That said, there are plenty of great 2.8 lenses which when shot wide open still provide enough detail on the subject matter while producing amazing bokeh for the background.

    But to answer your original question in general: Yes, it is fairly redundant !

    Being a photographer isn't necessarily a cheap undertaking. Fast prime lenses, good lighting equipment etc will haunt you, but are well worth the investment if you foresee a return in the future. I have to get some things done, or I'd go on.. but I'm sure you'll get good advice from the other photographers here. Good luck !

    Doug
    Thanks for taking the time to reply guys. Lots of info to process. >_<"

    I'm not too keen on shooting wide open as well because I notice that I get some distortion sometimes but I can kind of get away with it depending on composition.

    The reason I opted for the f/2.8 lenses was because I wanted shoot at night too, or in situations where there wouldn't be a lot of light.

    I wanted to get some lenses that had bigger apertures but they are kind of out of my price range at the moment and are mostly prime lenses. My concern is that my studio isn't that big and I'm afraid that if I get a prime lens with a long focal length the image will be too tight. Especially for portrait work.

    I was also considering a 100mm Macro lens, but not so sure about that now. Specificially this one: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro Lens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Village Idiot View Post
    No. I had a decetly unblurred shot at 1/15 with a 70-200 f/2.8L IS.

    This is wrong depending on the lens. Newer IS lenses tend to have property where the IS will not activate if it senses it's on a tripod or otherwise completely motionless


    If the lighting is being done where AC power is easily attained, used Speedotron kits with good power and multiple head can be found for extremely cheap on Ebay. Speedos are work horses and good quality.
    A little confused by the wording or typo? >_<". It's early and I kind of don't want to think. I'm guessing you are saying yes you still need it even with a fast glass.

    Thanks for the suggestions on lighting equipment. Currently I'm just using whatever I have in my studio and that stuff will be upgraded soon.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
    Am only a beginner here. I have been looking at lenses in the same range you're looking at there. Only thing I can really add, is if you're intending to move to a full frame camera, I'd be looking at the EF 24-70 f/2.8 L or the EF 24-105 f/4 L instead of that EF-S lens. I'm having a tough time trying to decide between these three and have not intention of moving from the APS-C sensor size.

    Just bought the 70-200 a couple of months ago, used, from a guy doing studio work. He was using the 24-70 exclusively. For a general purpose single carry around, I've already decided the 24-105 is the one that seems to be the go to lens instead of the 17-55.

    You can probably take this with a grain of salt though, these other guys are def vastly more technically superior with the equipment.
    Actually I did consider the EF 24-70 f/2.8 L as well. However it's not quite as wide as the 17-55 and plus I'm working with a 1.6X crop factor for the time being. Not so sure about the 24-105...maybe if they have a f/2.8.

    Quote Originally Posted by Village Idiot View Post
    The EFS 17-55 f/2.8IS is an exceptional lens and holds it's value extremely well. Selling it if he needed to would not be a problem and it wouldn't lose him a lot of money, if any at all, if he's smart.
    Yes I notice this as well. It seems to be quite popular and sells for the high 900s used.
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  8. #8
    Is fast glass with image stabalizing redundant?
    Village Idiot's Avatar
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    IS & a large aperture are not redundant and they help in different ways. Some time you may even need to stop the lens down to where the shutter speed would be less than optimum and IS can help in that situation too.

    There's no way you could shoot hand held at 1/15 of a second with at 70mm on a crop sensor camera and get a shot without motion blur unless you have IS. Is becomes even more useful in the longer focal lengths as well. Why do you think Canon puts IS on practically all their lenses over 200mm?
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  9. #9
    Is fast glass with image stabalizing redundant?
    CrimsonRequiem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Village Idiot View Post
    IS & a large aperture are not redundant and they help in different ways. Some time you may even need to stop the lens down to where the shutter speed would be less than optimum and IS can help in that situation too.

    There's no way you could shoot hand held at 1/15 of a second with at 70mm on a crop sensor camera and get a shot without motion blur unless you have IS. Is becomes even more useful in the longer focal lengths as well. Why do you think Canon puts IS on practically all their lenses over 200mm?
    Thanks Village Idiot, this was the kind of response that I needed.

    Makes me wonder why they offer the same focal length range without IS as well...?
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  10. #10
    Is fast glass with image stabalizing redundant?
    Village Idiot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonRequiem View Post
    Thanks Village Idiot, this was the kind of response that I needed.

    Makes me wonder why they offer the same focal length range without IS as well...?
    Price. The difference between the 70-200 f/4L and MKI f/2.8L IS and non IS is about $500-$600.

    Canon has:
    EF 70-200 f/4L - $636
    EF 70-200 f/4L IS - $1210
    EF 70-200 f/2.8L - $1300
    EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS - $1899
    EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS MKII - $2269

    Where as Nikon's only current 70-200, is their f/2.8 VR (IS equivalent) which retails for $2149. Canon has more choices and that opens up more potential customers. They could choose to discontinue all but the 70-200 f/2.8L IS MKII, but why would they do that when people are still purchasing the other lenses?
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  11. #11
    Is fast glass with image stabalizing redundant?
    TomTomTuning's Avatar
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    The EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 IS is a great lens, I don't really think the IS is that important since it's a wide-normal focal length lens.
    But it being F2.8 and "L" image quality is what really makes that lens shine.

    If you don't plan on upgrading to a 5DII anytime soon then that will be a great all-around lens.
    And even if you do upgrade, you should be able to get most of your money back.

    As far as the telephoto lens, I definitely recommend at least getting the 70-200 F2.8 IS (either mark I or Mark II).
    I know so many people that either get the non IS version or the F4, and eventually sell it to upgrade to the better version.
    But If you do 100% studio work and your always stopped down (smaller then F4).
    Then I guess the F4 version would be fine, It's even reported to be sharper then the F2.8 versions.

  12. #12
    Is fast glass with image stabalizing redundant?
    Doug b's Avatar
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    Hold on a minute though Village Idiot... Unless I'm missing something, he's looking for advice on shooting in a studio setup. Yes, of course everything you've said pertaining to stopping down and shooting at a very slow shutter speed such as 1/15th with VR on is true. Of course you CAN get a decent shot which isn't too blurry, but if we're talking about a professional shot which needs to be blown up, you're going to see the difference between having to use VR because of poor lighting and not having to use VR because good studio lighting is available.

    Non of this is hypothetical, it's true to the situation. So while what you're saying is true, it might be misleading for a particular scenario. No one doing a professional shoot in a studio isn't using proper lighting, and thus, VR IS redundant, stopped down or not.

    If we're talking about recreational/hobbyist shots outside at night time, then that's a different story. And yes, I do tend to shoot wide open with my 1.8 lenses at night, (which don't have VR) until that, plus my highest ISO setting just aren't cutting it anymore, which at that point, is where the tripod comes in. But again, you also have to consider the scene and scenario. But you can imagine those things and know what I'm saying.

    As far as what you're saying about using VR on a tripod goes, I'm a Nikon guy, and I don't know of any Nikor lenses which behave as such, if Canon is different in this respect, my pardons. I personally still wouldn't trust such a mechanism in the field. If I'm relying on whether or not the lens knows what still is or not, I'd rather not risk it, but that's just me. Otherwise, and in general VR on a tripod make zero sense and does indeed falt the outcome of the shot rather than enhance it. But you know that.

    Crimson: Know your shooting environment. Get a feel for what you will need before hand. Know what kind of lighting will be available. Lighting is EVERYTHING. It's the fundamental asset to proper exposure. You can't know what to do with ISO, aperture or shutter speed without knowing where you stand with lighting.

    So sure, go get a nice 2.8 VR lens. The two things in and of themselves are NOT redundant depending upon the situation, but I firmly stand by what I said about being in a studio with proper lighting.

    Doug

  13. #13
    Is fast glass with image stabalizing redundant?
    Village Idiot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug b View Post
    Hold on a minute though Village Idiot... Unless I'm missing something, he's looking for advice on shooting in a studio setup. Yes, of course everything you've said pertaining to stopping down and shooting at a very slow shutter speed such as 1/15th with VR on is true. Of course you CAN get a decent shot which isn't too blurry, but if we're talking about a professional shot which needs to be blown up, you're going to see the difference between having to use VR because of poor lighting and not having to use VR because good studio lighting is available.

    Non of this is hypothetical, it's true to the situation. So while what you're saying is true, it might be misleading for a particular scenario. No one doing a professional shoot in a studio isn't using proper lighting, and thus, VR IS redundant, stopped down or not.

    If we're talking about recreational/hobbyist shots outside at night time, then that's a different story. And yes, I do tend to shoot wide open with my 1.8 lenses at night, (which don't have VR) until that, plus my highest ISO setting just aren't cutting it anymore, which at that point, is where the tripod comes in. But again, you also have to consider the scene and scenario. But you can imagine those things and know what I'm saying.

    As far as what you're saying about using VR on a tripod goes, I'm a Nikon guy, and I don't know of any Nikor lenses which behave as such, if Canon is different in this respect, my pardons. I personally still wouldn't trust such a mechanism in the field. If I'm relying on whether or not the lens knows what still is or not, I'd rather not risk it, but that's just me. Otherwise, and in general VR on a tripod make zero sense and does indeed falt the outcome of the shot rather than enhance it. But you know that.

    Crimson: Know your shooting environment. Get a feel for what you will need before hand. Know what kind of lighting will be available. Lighting is EVERYTHING. It's the fundamental asset to proper exposure. You can't know what to do with ISO, aperture or shutter speed without knowing where you stand with lighting.

    So sure, go get a nice 2.8 VR lens. The two things in and of themselves are NOT redundant depending upon the situation, but I firmly stand by what I said about being in a studio with proper lighting.

    Doug
    200mm * 1.6 APS-C crop sensor = 320mm FOV.

    The old rule of thumb is that you should be shooting at a shutter speed equal to your focal length for shots that aren't affected by camera shake.

    Canon's manuals give the x sync with non Canon speedlights at some where between 1/160-1/200 with most all of their cameras. If there's any bleed from ambient, it could cause camera shake. It really depends on his setup and the situation. I shoot outdoors with my strobes a lot. This could potentially be a problem if I ever used my 70-200 and wasn't using a 5D MKII. The situation could be different for him though. What's that they always say? It's best to have it and not need it rather than need it and not have it?

    And not having to turn IS off while using a lens on a tripod is merely a convenience.
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  14. #14
    Is fast glass with image stabalizing redundant?
    CrimsonRequiem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomTomTuning View Post
    The EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 IS is a great lens, I don't really think the IS is that important since it's a wide-normal focal length lens.
    But it being F2.8 and "L" image quality is what really makes that lens shine.

    If you don't plan on upgrading to a 5DII anytime soon then that will be a great all-around lens.
    And even if you do upgrade, you should be able to get most of your money back.

    As far as the telephoto lens, I definitely recommend at least getting the 70-200 F2.8 IS (either mark I or Mark II).
    I know so many people that either get the non IS version or the F4, and eventually sell it to upgrade to the better version.
    But If you do 100% studio work and your always stopped down (smaller then F4).
    Then I guess the F4 version would be fine, It's even reported to be sharper then the F2.8 versions.
    Thanks TomTomTunning. I think I'm going to have to rent all three of them for the weekend and do some testing to see which one is the sharpest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug b View Post
    Hold on a minute though Village Idiot... Unless I'm missing something, he's looking for advice on shooting in a studio setup. Yes, of course everything you've said pertaining to stopping down and shooting at a very slow shutter speed such as 1/15th with VR on is true. Of course you CAN get a decent shot which isn't too blurry, but if we're talking about a professional shot which needs to be blown up, you're going to see the difference between having to use VR because of poor lighting and not having to use VR because good studio lighting is available.

    Non of this is hypothetical, it's true to the situation. So while what you're saying is true, it might be misleading for a particular scenario. No one doing a professional shoot in a studio isn't using proper lighting, and thus, VR IS redundant, stopped down or not.

    If we're talking about recreational/hobbyist shots outside at night time, then that's a different story. And yes, I do tend to shoot wide open with my 1.8 lenses at night, (which don't have VR) until that, plus my highest ISO setting just aren't cutting it anymore, which at that point, is where the tripod comes in. But again, you also have to consider the scene and scenario. But you can imagine those things and know what I'm saying.

    As far as what you're saying about using VR on a tripod goes, I'm a Nikon guy, and I don't know of any Nikor lenses which behave as such, if Canon is different in this respect, my pardons. I personally still wouldn't trust such a mechanism in the field. If I'm relying on whether or not the lens knows what still is or not, I'd rather not risk it, but that's just me. Otherwise, and in general VR on a tripod make zero sense and does indeed falt the outcome of the shot rather than enhance it. But you know that.

    Crimson: Know your shooting environment. Get a feel for what you will need before hand. Know what kind of lighting will be available. Lighting is EVERYTHING. It's the fundamental asset to proper exposure. You can't know what to do with ISO, aperture or shutter speed without knowing where you stand with lighting.

    So sure, go get a nice 2.8 VR lens. The two things in and of themselves are NOT redundant depending upon the situation, but I firmly stand by what I said about being in a studio with proper lighting.

    Doug
    Doug thanks for your insight. I really like how you emphasis the importance of light. I also believe it to be very important. After I master the art of studio lighting I think I may give outdoor photography outside a try.

    Quote Originally Posted by Village Idiot View Post
    200mm * 1.6 APS-C crop sensor = 320mm FOV.

    The old rule of thumb is that you should be shooting at a shutter speed equal to your focal length for shots that aren't affected by camera shake.

    Canon's manuals give the x sync with non Canon speedlights at some where between 1/160-1/200 with most all of their cameras. If there's any bleed from ambient, it could cause camera shake. It really depends on his setup and the situation. I shoot outdoors with my strobes a lot. This could potentially be a problem if I ever used my 70-200 and wasn't using a 5D MKII. The situation could be different for him though. What's that they always say? It's best to have it and not need it rather than need it and not have it?

    And not having to turn IS off while using a lens on a tripod is merely a convenience.
    Thanks Village Idiot, for the rule of thumb. I learned something new.

    This seems a lot more complicated than I imagined. I'm going to have to test all these things independently from the ground up to see what kind of results I get. Basically trial and error. Oh the joy...>_<"

    What you said about having it better but not needing it, compared to not having and then needing it is true. >_>" ( Did that make any sense?)

    It's mainly the cost that makes me question it really. I'm not sure if I even need a telephotozoom lens at that focal length?

    Would it be better to spend my money on some fast prime lenses?
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  15. #15
    Is fast glass with image stabalizing redundant?
    Doug b's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonRequiem View Post

    What you said about having it better but not needing it, compared to not having and then needing it is true. >_>" ( Did that make any sense?)

    It's mainly the cost that makes me question it really. I'm not sure if I even need a telephotozoom lens at that focal length?

    Would it be better to spend my money on some fast prime lenses?
    Not needing and having is a good thing, I agree. But not at the cost of investing into something that you don't need in general. I'm sure Village Idiot would agree with that as well. This brings us to your next question and something I already said. Know what you're shooting. You're just starting out, and as such, you'll probably want to have all of your bases covered, until you figure out what it is exactly that interests you most and will be able to make you some money while you're at it.

    This is the toughest call to make when starting out. The only thing I can suggest, is to start with a zoom, and figure out which focal length you shoot at the most, and only then start considering if you think that a prime will be worth plunking down money on.

    That 17-55 would likely do the trick, since 70mm on a crop sensor is way too tight for the kind of work your doing (IMO). Or what about the 24-105 f4 or the 24-70 2.8 ? Those also look like decent kit for about the same price. I can't comment on them personally though, maybe Villiage Idiot can?

    Doug

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