Image Stablization on a Tripod/Monopod

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by alex_dannenbaum, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. I remember reading or probably was told that you should turn off the IS function when shooting on a tripod. Since I generally keep the IS turned on on both of my two IS lenses (EF 24-105mm f/4L and 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L) as a default, I suspect more than once I have left it on while on a tripod. So far, I haven't noticed any problems. What will happen if you leave on the IS while shooting on a tripod? Will it just effect the images, or will any harm come to the Image Stabilization in the lens?
    Does this same general guideline apply to the use of a monopd?
     
  2. For the lenses for which this is the case, if it does harm, it only damages the image. I believe that some of the newer Canon lenses have IS systems that can handle being turned on while on a tripod, but I have either don't recall the details. It may be specified in the manual for those two lenses.
     
  3. Here's a quote from the manual that came with my 70-200 f2.8L: "When the shutter button is pressed down halfway, it takes about 0.5 seconds for the image stabilizer function to provide a stable image." So if you are using a tripod (maybe with a cable release) and don't have the shutter button down for that 1/2 second before completely releasing the shutter, the motion of the internal parts will degrade the image. No harm to the lens, but it's not a pretty picture.
     
  4. For what it's worth, here's a page from the 70-200/2.8 IS manual. In the right column it says the primary advantage of turning off IS for tripod use is to save battery power, and that you should leave on IS when using a monopod.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. Alex, you often do want to have IS on when using a tripod, it won't do any damage. With your 100-400mm at the long 400mm end for example you will probably find that even on a tripod you will get movement if there's any kind of substantial wind at all. This is where IS comes in - it will help with that. If your tripod is completely stable and there is absolutely no movement then the IS will creep - you will see this as the image slowly moving in the viewfinder - ultimately it can mess up your framing as it can move quite a bit, or you might think it could result in motion blur since the image is moving so that is the time you should probably turn IS off. Don’t worry if you forget - you will see the image move in the viewfinder. I leave it on using my 24-105mm and 100-400mm even on a tripod and even when I see the image move in the viewfinder - I just get the hurry-up and take the shot. The IS is a huge help with getting sharper images – even on a tripod
     
  6. Peter if you leave IS on when the lens is on a tripod you get a kind of grey blur effect on the edges of objects. Some of the newer lenses such as the 100 f2.8 L IS or 70-200 F4 LIS are supposed to detect the tripod and turn IS off. If you are suffering from camera movement on the tripod then you probably need a better tripod as even my lightweight carbon fibber tripod will hold a 1 series body and 300 f4 LIS steady. The issue is that the IS system is not designed to cancel the frequency of vibration / movement that occurs when on a tripod and is actually more likely to result in a blurred image. Canon's website provides more detail.
     
  7. Actually, leaving the IS on with the 100-400 will degrade the image quality. Canon advices that you turn the IS off for those older lenses (both the lenses you refer to belong to that class).
     
  8. It will actually depend on how stable your tripod is. If you have a rock-solid tripod, then you may induce the feedback loop that will blur the image. If, as Peter suggested, you have some wind effect on your setup, then there will be enough movement that IS will help. Just test it next time you go out and see. It only takes a second to flip the IS switch and take another photo.
     
  9. Different lenses, especially of different generations of IS, have different answers. You have to look at the instructions for a particular lens. The older ones generally require the IS to be turned off. Many newer stabilization systems sense the stability and don't have to be turned off.
     
  10. I have the 24-105 , the 70-200 F4, and the 100-400. The first two are about 5 years old and canon has not released a MKII version of any of these lenses since I pruchased them. I have tested all on a tripod with IS on and with IS off. None of these lenses will detect a tripod. With IS on on a tripod theses lenses tend to blur the images due to IS trying to cancel out motion that is not really there.. Definitely turn off IS when using a tripod with these lenses. For monopods I think you will be OK with IS on but I haven't tested that. Generally with a monopod there is enough motion for the IS system to operate properly.
    The IS system will not be damaged if you leave it on when the camera is on a tripod. Only the image will be damaged.
     
  11. Steven - I am not sure about your 70-200 F4 L IS but mine claims to have tripod detection. I quote from the Photozone review...
    The lens incorporates a new third-generation Image Stabilizer (IS) with a claimed gain of 4 f-stops for hand held photography (at cost of shutter speed). Unlike the consumer variants the IS system has 2 modes - a normal one for static shooting (horizontal + vertical stabilization) and a panning mode (horizontal OR vertical stabilization - the panning direction is automatically detected). Unlike the 1st generation IS the latest variant features tripod detection.
     
  12. I have the 100-400, and as others have indicated, . . . when mounted on a tripod I turn the IS off. When IS is left on, I notice I get blurred images. I do use the IS when using a Monopod.
    I also have the 100mm f/2.8 Macro with the newer generation IS, it can be left in the on position for tripod use.
    To specifically and correctly answer your questions, . . . as JDM indicates, review your instructions/user manual that came with your specific lens.
     
  13. Steven - I am not sure about your 70-200 F4 L IS but mine claims to have tripod detection. I quote from the Photozone review...
    Unlike the consumer variants the IS system has 2 modes - a normal one for static shooting (horizontal + vertical stabilization) and a panning mode (horizontal OR vertical stabilization - the panning direction is automatically detected). Unlike the 1st generation IS the latest variant features tripod detection.​
    My lens has the panning mode and I do get between 3 and 4 stops of stabilization (depending on how steady my hands are). So I don't believe I have an older version of IS. Like I said in my post the lens is about 5 years old and Canon has not released a MkII version of this lens yt. I don't believe photozone is correct in this. You should look at your lens manual. On my lens manuals is recommends turing off IS when the camera is on a tripod.
     
  14. Using IS with the camera mounted on a tripod will not damage the lens in any way. It will not tear itself to bits. Guaranteed! I've got no corrobation for that, purely my opinion. Pretty gutsy, I know, but I'm brave. ;)
    As to what using IS on a tripod and what it will do to your pictures, check out what the manufacturer says, and: try it.
    I can guarantee with slower shutter speeds, you will se some weird swirling motion blur with the 24-105.
     
  15. I can guarantee with slower shutter speeds, you will se some weird swirling motion blur with the 24-105.​
    I have seen this effect in 30 second exposures. It's actually kinda cool, but it ruins the shot.
     
  16. Steve
    I am very familiar with my manual. The 70-200 F4 LIS has the newer 4 stop IS system that automatically detects a tripod. If you read your user manual you will see that it provides the following warning
    When you use a tripod, the Image Stabilizer should be turned off to save battery power.
    In contrast the older 2 stop system contained the following warning
    Set the STABILIZER switch to OFF when using the camera on a tripod. If the switch is set to ON, the Image Stabilizer may introduce errors.
    As you state there is no mark II version of this lens but it has the newer 4 stop IS system that automatically detects a tripod. There are in essence three generations of Canon IS system. The origional 2 stop systems (e.g. 100-400 or 300 f4), the later 4 stop systems (e.g. 70-200 F4 L IS) and the new Hybrid IS on the 100 F2.8 L IS Macro. So while there is no IQ based reason to turn off IS on the 70-200 F4 L IS when it is on a tripod, as Canon says it does save battery life. On the older lenses it gives the type of problems I alluded to. In general it is a good idea to get in the habit of turning it off - especially if you have a mix of lens generations.
     
  17. If you read your user manual you will see that it provides the following warning
    When you use a tripod, the Image Stabilizer should be turned off to save battery power.​
    My manual also say that. "In addition it also says "Set the Stabilizer switch to off when you are taking bictes using the bulb setting (log exposure). If the Stabilizer switch is set to on, the image spabilizer function may introduce errors." If the lens detects a tripod that last sentance chouldn't be in the manual.
    Chuck Westfall (Director of Media & Customer Relationship for the company's Consumer Imaging Group, working out of Canon U.S.A.'s headquarters office in Lake Success, N.Y) Writes a monthly coulomb answering questions about canons cameras. In December of 2006 he listed all the lenses that could detect IS. The list didn't include the 70-200 F4 IS which was released a month earlier. this lens was introduced in 2006 and canon hasn't updated it so we both have the same lens. when Canon updates a lens design they generally give it the MKII designation. Canon hasn't released a 70-200 F4 IS MKII.
    I have tested it and it doesn't detect the tripod. I can see the damage in in the images and I can hear the IS working if I leave IS on when the camera is mounted on a solid tripod.
     
  18. I agree with Steve. My manual tells me to turn off the 70-200f4IS IS when on a tripod. Mine was bought new last year.
    If you leave it on you get a degradation of sharpness compared to switching it off. It is not a catastrophic reduction, but noticeable nevertheless.
     
  19. I'm not sure, but I believe IS lens that say they can have IS left on when used with a tripod are simply capable of detecting the lack of sway, and they disable IS, without user intervention. Bottom line, you can't go wrong turning off IS when tripod mounted, for all IS lens.
     
  20. The camera will shake as it works on a tripod, crane, slider, which will result in blurred pictures and obscure videos. So cinematographers need use a steadicam to firm the camera. A 3-Axis camera stabilizer can resolve such problem definitely. All you need to do is to install the camera on the gimbal, so you can take photos or videos freely even in the helicopter. Moza camera stabilizer is a 3-Axis gimbal for DSLR and other video cameras with wireless remote controller and video transmitter, guaranteeing smooth scenes and movements.
     

Share This Page