Canon EOS film camera battery life with IS lenses...

Discussion in 'Modern Film Cameras' started by richard_golonka, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. Hello

    I know that canon IS lenses will work all the way back to the 620 (I have one and I have tested them in store).

    I am considering buying 3 IS lenses (not all at once of course). I shoot a lot of film. I have been completely fine without IS, but adding IS would be a huge benefit to me (lets just skip the part where you tell me that I don't need IS, deal? ;))

    I am also considering buying an eos 3 or 1v.

    But I do have concerns about battery life on these older film cameras when using AF and IS.

    I know some EOS cameras run 6V inside (eos 3), and other fun 12V (eos 1V). Do I know how that relates to battery life? Not at all.

    I know the cr123a, CR2 and C25R batteries are generally used, or AA's in a battery grip. All look to be different voltages. Not sure if IS lenses have a min voltage requirement?

    I dont want to be stuck with a camera that can only do three or four rolls when using IS before the battery dies. 20 rolls would be nice. 10-15 would be my minimum acceptable.

    I am assuming that the battery grip would be the best choice just to be safe, but I would rather not if I didnt need to RE size.

    What is your best experience with battery life on an EOS film camera using IS lenses? If you have a suggestion for a path of least resistance that would be helpful :) . I am looking to buy lenses and a camera and would prefer not to have an expensive false start here. If its just not going to be practical, I will just skip the IS.

    Also, what is this? Seems useful
    VINTRONS Rechargeable Battery 1200mAh For Canon EOS-1V EOS-3 2418A001 NP-E2 JZRTQLQRX
  2. I can't answer for Canon specifically, but I have a handful of Nikon VR lenses(and one Tamron VC lens) that I use on my Nikon F5, F6, and F100 with some regularity. The F5 runs on 8x AA, the F100 "normally" on 4x AAs(I've run mine on 6x AAs, but don't like the extra weight), and the F6 runs on 2x CR123s(without the battery grip, which can do 8x AA or an EN-EL4 Li-Ion). I get the rated battery life with all of these cameras both with and without VR, and all of these are in the ballpark of 10-20 rolls.

    I honestly don't notice VR draining the batteries on any of these bodies. Truthfully, AF with heavy lenses seems to drain it more-my old 80-200 f/2.8D is actually harder on my F100 batteries than my "new" AF-S 70-200 f/2.8 VR. The 80-200 uses the in-body motor(something not present on any EOS camera and not a consideration) with the 70-200 uses a "silent wave" ring motor-it's the same technology as Canon's Ultrasonic lenses.

    IIRC, Canon's first IS lenses were still pretty firmly in the film era. Of course, like Nikon, the early ones would have been confined to high end lenses, but no doubt Canon would have at least considered it with the EOS-1V and EOS 3. Digital was pretty well established by the time Nikon started shipping VR lenses, although I'd venture to guess that early VR lenses were designed with an eye toward at least some use on the F5 and F100, while the F6 shares a decent bit of its underpinnings with the early DSLRs.

    Also, with Canon you don't have to worry about what happens with some lower end mid-1990s Nikons where VR doesn't actually do anything but can drain the batteries by "running" but not actually stabilizing.
  3. No real clue, I never used stabilized glass on film. - Looking at my Fujis, I notice them offering 2 OIS use modi; "just for the exposure" and "already while composing" I suppose the first can't drain very much power and is most likely what Canon built into their system?

    I have no clue about film bodies' battery demands. Is there something you could run on Eneloop rechargeable AAs on the market? Or anything else willing to eat rechargeables somehow?

    I think I recall a 400mm lens being reported to drain batteries comparably heavily? - I suppose weight of the AFed and IS-shaken elements matters in the end. I can also imagine a film sports shooter doing a whole lot of AF tracking before they finally hit their shutter, unlike the short lensed average happy snapper.
  4. While I never used an IS lens on a film camera, the Canon 75-300 IS, 28-135IS and 300mm F4IS were very popular lenses in the EOS film era (along with the super telephoto lenses with IS). I do not remember any serious complaints about power usage on PN, and I have been an active member here since 1998.
  5. awesome, thank you!

    I am looking to get the 28-135 IS for my 620 actually.
  6. I have used IS lenses on my EOS 3 and 1. For the length of a shooting session at the Botanical Garden (say 3-4 hours) I never could see any evidence of extra battery power loss.

    I do always carry an extra battery or two -- try it and let us know.
  7. I’ve used my 16-35 f/4 L IS lens on my 620 on a cold winter morning with a temperature of 9F/-13C. I could tell no appreciable drain on the battery at all.
  8. Silent Street

    Silent Street Silent Street Photography AUS

    Image Stabilisation has improved a great deal since the first EF 75-300 tele lens fitted with this noisy, raspy feature came out around 1995-1996, and which drained the 2CR5 battery after a very short time. Unsurprisingly, this lens was hammered mercilessly in reviews at the time. It is noteworthy that IS power drain was reduced considerably when the lens was used on an EOS 1N with a power drive booster E1 (8 x AA batteries). This was my experience and is also the current experience of colleagues using the EOS 1V with the power drive booster using the larger, faster IS-equipped Canon L-series lenses (predominantly on digital bodies; I surmise there would be a small difference on film bodies because of the additional power needed for shutter, mirror and film transport actions).

    Today, IS works very well, and much quieter, smoother and gyroscopic metrics have improved so much that blur through gyro element movement is eliminated. That said, if a camera uses AA batteries, these are preferable for use over 2CR5 or other lithium batteries, so yes, the battery grip is a better choice.There is a significant power drain and 2CR5 batteries are not particularly well known for their longevity.

    IS should not be used when the camera is tripod-mounted, even on the premise of "reducing lens shake". Let the stability of the camera and lens take care of that and leave IS for handheld shots when and where it is needed. IS decreases in performance below 0°C and will also suffer retardation in very high termperatures (30-40°C).

    Though often involved in testing Canon's EF IS lenses, I have not been pursuaded to purchase one as the majority of my landscape and scenic work is in MF ANA/DIGI using tripod-mounted cameras. The price premium of IS lenses means you should give careful consideration as to how much you would use this feature and the economy it provides on battery power.
    Last edited: May 13, 2020

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