Street photography - primes wide angles image stabiliser?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by RaymondC, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. I am still debating between a Olympus and a Fuji. I hear that image stabilisation may not be needed for WA lenses and in history we didn't have IS. The Fuji zooms have it but not their primes. Olympus have in-body stabilisation.

    If I am doing street, say inside subway stations, night markets, city walks at night, dark alleyways like Tokyo and Hong Kong. Is image stabiliser useful? I won't be using a tripod for streets. At night time is when the contrast comes out.

  2. Image stabilization doesn't make as strong an impact with wide angle lenses as it does with telephotos and long zooms, but it is still useful in low light. It doesn't matter that we didn't have IS in the past--it is available now, when you are choosing between two systems. Keep in mind (1) that IS doesn't help with subject movement any more than a tripod does and (2) that there may be differences in the low-light performance between Olympus and Fuji. I've never shot with Fuji digital, but others might help with that.
  3. I know that in the case of the XT-2 and XT-1 with the 18-55 attached, OIS works. I try to stay away from it I guess because its another button I don't want to worry about, but I have had low light scene conditions where an 8th, 1/4 was needed, OIS came through. I also mix landscape work with street, so its important to remember to turn OIS off when on a Tripod. I haven't been victim to a lost image because of OIS being left on using a Tripod, but I understand its something to avoid. I've learned to aways check it.
  4. I don't need "IS" image stabilization for wide angle street scenes, night or day'or inside
  5. I am less challenged to follow the argument: "You don't need a 70-200mm f2.8 IS for sports, since you need conventionally handholdable shutter speeds to freeze the action anyhow." But I bought the IS version, since I know where else I'll need the IS. There will never be plenty of light everywhere.
    Why shoot a not dirt cheap prime on a high resolving body at all when you can't really handhold the shutter speed and bin 75% of your pixels to get rid of noise? - I'd get just the 18-55mm OIS zoom and fire away. Even my 16-50mm's results look OK. My issue with Fuji is the challenged AF of the old bodies vexing me.
  6. Its Fuji's superior high ISO performance vs the Olympus unmatched IS. My Fuji cameras look just fine at ISO 6400 while Olympus tops out at least one stop lower.
  7. In-body image stabilization (IBIS) is very useful. That is a feature of Olympus and the Sony A7ii and up. It works with any lens, and will keep lamp posts sharp even if the people loitering there move. The Sony is useful up to ISO 12500 or more.
  8. Panasonic does have in-body IS, its just not quite as good as Olympus. With a Pany OIS lens though on the newest bodies, or at least the GX8, you get both in and lens IS working together which about equals what Olympus has in body:) As said above, for normal shooting, wide angle lenses (35mm or wider) you don't need as much if any stabilization unless you're shooting very low speeds. In the days before all this, on a SLR or DSLR ,to avoid most focus loss due to camera shake, rule of thumb was your shutter speed was at least twice that as you focal length. Hence on a 24mm lens you could predict generally good photos at 1/60 or 1/50 if your camera had that.) I think mirrorless itself, especially if you use the electronic shutter, beats that by at least a stop if not more. IS however does make a difference and I suppose could be useful if you are shooting that same 24mm lens at 1/15 or 1/8. I use a fuji camera and even if low light don't notice a need for IS. Also as said above, IS doesn't do anything for moving subjects.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  9. For a full frame camera I don't really care whether I have IS for wide angles - 16-35mm, but it came with the Canon so it is there. For street, any scene with people in it at 1/30th or slower will have blurred people, so obtaining sharp images at lower speeds than this is not terribly useful, but, like most of these things, occasionally you will find things for which it is a benefit. Also the wider you get the lower the shutter speed can go anyway without showing camera shake. For example, a 1/15 or 1/30 shot at 16-20mm is good without IS. Its main value is with telephotos where you can shoot at useful people-freezing speeds such as 1/250 and not have camera shake. To be honest, I would prefer a faster lens for most wide angles than sweating over the presence or absence of IS, and with modern cameras the absence of IS in a wide angle is easily compensated for by upping the ISO.
  10. As one that believes in more than surface logic, its beyond me why OIS is in all Fujinon X Zoom lenses other than the 16-50? Even the 10-24 has it.
  11. Image stabilization keeps stationary objects sharp, even at slow shutter speeds. In this example, the shutter speed was 1/60", but the Christmas lights are perfectly sharp, which might not be the case without stabilization.

    sony A7Rii + Batis 25/2 at f/4, 1/60", ISO 2500
  12. While I admittedly misplaced mine, a quick online check affirmed it having OIS.
  13. maybe ... maybe not
    I took this street photo over seven (7) years ago with a Canon Digital Rebel XSi and an inexpensive unstabilized Tamron 17-50 zoom handheld at 1/10 of a second

    I now use a 22mm f/2 pancake lens and never need IS. maybe I'm just an unusually stabilized old guy

  14. The small lights on the underside of the marquis are doubled. It may be sharp enough but it's not sharp.
  15. they do seem double, but then again, it appears that they actually are doubled:) The doubling of the slightly larger lights on the underside are reflections. Its not totally "tack" sharp, but its fairly sharp.
  16. Jochen, Yes your right its the 16-55 that does not have OIS.
  17. In all fairness, IS is not an essential feature for wide-angle lenses. It is nice if you have it, though, and you notice a significant difference. In reviewing my images, I find that I seldom need shutter speeds slower than 1/60 (the default minimum). I use auto-ISO, limited to a useful maximum of 25600. The night scene I posted was 1/60, f/4 at ISO 2500, taken with a 25 mm lens. I have some taken backstage in light so low I couldn't see the controls, with surprisingly sharp results at 1/6 second. Almost unbelievable.

    Sony A7Rii + Zeiss 16-35/4 FE (non-OIS), 1/6 at f/4, ISO 25600
  18. Sorry, I wasn't familiar with that rather new lens, Donbright. Some folks say: OIS takes engineering toll; you basically have to toss in a few extra elements to get moved around by it. Doing so might cost IQ or lead to mechanical challenges when the candidates for movement are quite bulky. I really have no impression of the math & precision involved in getting a sharp fast lens, but looking at other manufacturers I see a trend like 35mm f2 IS and 35mm f1.4 unstabilized for even more money. IDK how long it took Canikon to bring out stabilized wide f2.8 zooms, compared to slower counterparts that came out earlier.
    I'd see the 16-55mm f2.8 as a speciality lens catered towards flash users. - Let's hope it has lightning fast AF to be worth it's money. I'm currently not closely watching Fuji's developments. All I see is many tiny steps into the direction of catering everybody somehow like introducing slower portable primes and fast behemoths of zooms.

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