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"In body" or "In lens" stabilisation

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by GeoffR, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    There has been much discussion on whether "in body" or "in lens" stabilisation is better with many proponents suggesting that Nikon and Canon should adopt the former because "it works with all your lenses". This seems to them to be a compelling argument but to me it is flawed. Both Nikon and Canon started producing stabilised lenses before digital imaging was the norm. At that time moving the sensor was not an option so it was a case of either put the stabilisation in the lens or don't have it at all.

    Now if, say, Nikon were to produce a camera with built in stabilisation I would be able to have the benefits on all my lenses but not all my camera bodies. On the other hand, should I buy a stabilised lens it will work with all my camera bodies film or digital.

    It seems to me that whilst "in camera" stabilisation may be more attractive to someone just buying into SLR photography but for anyone using multiple bodies and/or film "in lens" stabilisation is more attractive. So I suggest that, despite its apparent flexibility, "in body" stabilisation is ultimately of less utility than in lens stabilisation.

    What does anyone else think?
     
  2. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    All you're saying is that if you own some film camera bodies and you want the benefits of IS then you're lucky if they are Nikon or Canon bodies as some will work with modern IS lenses.

    I can't see any other reasoning in your argument. :D


    An opposite case is that all the dSLRs produced with the Sony/Minolta AF mount have IS but none of the lenses. On the other hand ALL Minolta AF lenses produced long before IS was thought of will work perfectly with the modern bodies and benefit from the IS in the camera body.
     
  3. Dave_Cox

    Dave_Cox Well-Known Member

    Looking at this from a different perspective, my old manual focus Pentax lenses are now 'antishake' with my K10d and K20d cameras............. We each have our own reasons for choosing the cameras we use, in my case anti-shake in the body was one of the reasons for upgrading to the K10.
     
  4. Gordon_McGeachie

    Gordon_McGeachie In the Stop Bath


    In my opinion, in body IS is the better of the two options, yes buying the body with built in IS may be more expensive, but it is only a `one off` payment, and the need to pay for the more expensive IS versions of a lens expense that (IMHO) is not needed.

    And this is one of the main reasons why I stayed with the Minolta Brand when I went digital.

    As it would have meant some expensive replacements for my glass line up........
     
  5. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    I regard both systems as heavily compromising the design of critical hardware in order to achieve something that, for my preference, is better achieved by other means. So, basically, I'd rather it weren't incorporated into the equipment at all. It might be a technology that suits others, but it's not for me.
     
  6. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    But it does not work equally with all lenses. The sensitivity of an anti-shake detector required for a 1000mm lens simply isn't needed for a 100mm lens ... this is a bit like the rangefinder argument; rangefinder focusing works just great for shorter focal length lenses, but once you get to a certain focal length, even Leica / Contax etc. are obliged to roll out reflex attachments.

    In-camera stabilization is probably going to be just fine for almost all people almost all the time, but some specialist applications are probably always going to need in-lens technology.

    As for image quality "compromise", Huw, so long as you can turn it off the compromise appears to be minimal ... in fact with an in-camera system, it should be nil - preventing the sensor from moving should eliminate any possible degradation of IQ. And, in lenses using image displacement groups, hopefully those groups will be supplying some other correction as well, so again any compromise of IQ is probably minimal. The two sharpest lenses in my posession both have in-lens IS.
     
  7. alanS

    alanS Well-Known Member

    I think that IS is a good thing. I hardly ever use a tripod and I like the flexibility that IS gives as I have the option to hand hold and not be tied to a tripod, hand held will be quicker too and I have more scope over aperture and shutter speed with IS so it's a big plus for me.

    I don't know which system is ultimately "the best" but I suspect that the might not be a lot in it although personal preference might lead one to prefer one system over the other.

    Personally I think that it's only a matter of time before Nikon and Canon introduce in body IS as they're possibly seen as lagging others a little in this respect even though they've introduced IS versions of their kit lenses.

    I've read on the rumour sites that Nikon and Canon have in body IS cameras undergoing field tests and although that doesn't mean that they'll introduce them I still think that it's pretty much inevitable. If Nikon or Canon do it I'm pretty sure that the other will follow PDQ.
     
  8. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Most of the time it's no contest - in body stabilisation immediately converts all one's lens collection to IS, allows you access to cheap(ish) third party glass (also stabilized) and works very well. There are also no potential IQ problems when switched off.

    However with long lenses there is also a problem of keeping the image stabilized whilst focusing and in lens IS does have an advantage here. If I was heavily into birding (I am not) I would add at least one lens with in lens IS - not forgetting to switch off the IS body facility when using it

    Roger
     
  9. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    In lens allows the AF system to take advantage of the stabilisation. It is also possible to cope with the corrections needed by long telephoto lenses. The effect can also be seen in the viewfinder. A problem may exist in designing an 'in lens' system for very fast wide aperture lenses such as the f1.4 primes. At such apertures the decentering and wobbling of the VR (IS,OS etc)elements may just cause too much loss of IQ.
    In camera systems would allow the use of fast primes wide open at slow shutter speeds. The sensor movement may be excessive to compensate for shake with long lenses.
    My own preference is for the 'in lens'system. I like to see the effect of VR in the viewfinder but I suspect that the rational arguments for each system are pretty much finely balanced.
     
  10. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I don't have any VR lenses but I do have three film bodies and two digital.

    My personal preference would be to have lens optimised VR, I don't believe that short lenses would show much benefit so I would only be interested in VR for longer lenses. I would also want to be able to use any VR facility on film as well as on digital hence my earlier statement that "in lens" stabilisation may have more utility.

    I also have a concern that a failure in an "in body" system could leave the sensor de-centred possibly making the camera unusable. With an "in lens" system a failure is not as serious, you simply remove the faulty lens and use a different one.

    After saying that, I have no fewer than 14 lenses covering a range from 12 to 600mm. There is no possibility that I will change camera systems and Nikon don't make a body with stabilisation so my only option would be stabilised lenses. I see no imminent need to replace any of my lenses so for me the discussion is academic. I do however think the discussion is valuable so keep it up.

    Finally, I suggest that when/if Nikon and/or Canon produce a body with stabilisation it will be able to determine that a stabilised lens is fitted and disable the "in body" system as appropriate. I doubt either Nikon or Canon would allow a situation where two stabilisation systems were active at the same tiem.
     
  11. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    I appreciate that you are not going to move suppliers but this Body vs lens link might be interesting
     
  12. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Hope you are right but it would depend on their having had the foresight to provide an "IS on" signal via the lens mount. As their IS lenses go back a long way this is not certain

    Roger
     
  13. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    When the F4 was launched there were no Nikon lenses with focus motors built in but when the first such lens was launched the F4 was fully compatible. The lens CPU reports the lens type, including VR capability, to the camera. VR is powered from the camera so I see no problem in determining whether lens stabilisation is active.
     
  14. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Having the dubious ability to use 'in lens' or 'in body' stabilation seems just as daft as having AF motors built into the camera and the lens. I say that as a Nikon owner :mad:
     
  15. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    Oh, I don't know - it might be entertaining to watch the two systems fighting each other ....
     
  16. FujiSigmaNolta

    FujiSigmaNolta Well-Known Member

    I think the lens stabilisation is more effective, BUT, it is possible to achieve the same level of stabilisation with proper (well it's more improper :D) handling of a lens with a camera with built in stabilisation. I have managed to take a very sharp shots of objects that were a good distance away by holding the lens under the front element, on my Minolta 7D at 300mm with shutter speeds of 1/15s to 1/30s.

    I think the advantage of the stabilised lens is in the handling really, for me.
     
  17. daft_biker

    daft_biker Action Man!

    Tripods rule :cool: I don't think chancing your luck with the shutter speed gives results as good as you can get with a tripod.

    However I wouldn't mind in body IS though....bit like liveview and video I can't see what harm it does if it can be switched off and I'm sure it could be used to improve a shot now and again.
     
  18. Dorset_Mike

    Dorset_Mike Grumpy Old Fart

    There ya go, told you you should have bought Minolta or Sony
    :rolleyes:
     
  19. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Shhhhhh! Whatever you do, don't give him any excuse to bang on about his ISO button again Mike! I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it.
     
  20. Dorset_Mike

    Dorset_Mike Grumpy Old Fart

    I've got an ISO button on my Minolta; you wanna make summat of it mate :D :rolleyes: /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
     

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