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Stabilisation and tripods

Discussion in 'AP Magazine Feedback & Suggestions' started by GeoffR, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Interesting Letter or the week in AP dated 3 August. Should you turn image stabilisation off when using a tripod, or not? I have to say that the author was right to ignore the "advice" to turn the stabilisation off, and indeed the comment about graduated filters. However, I would say that one should be guided by the camera and/or lens manufacturer. If the manufacturer says switch off or change mode when using a tripod they have probably done the research to support that advice. I've never used my one VR lens on a tripod so I have no idea what, if any, effect it has but before using it on a tripod I would check with Nikon this is what they say: "When the camera is mounted on a tripod there will be very little, if any movement. If the VR function is turned on when used on a tripod, this may result in a reduction in image quality as the VR system attempts to adjust for any slight vibration which will not normally affect the image."
    There is then a list of lenses that can cope wit having VR switched on when using a tripod.

    As always, if it works for you, get on with it, there is no "right" way to do things.
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2019
  2. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Quite. The earliest Canon IS lenses came with advice to switch it off on a tripod. More recent lenses are auto-sensing, and turn it off where necessary.

    Of course if something works for someone, even I'd it flies in the face of manufacturers' instructions, then fine.
  3. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Every now and then I forget and leave stabilisation on when using a tripod,I have never noticed any degradation in sharpness. I suspect that in body and lens systems may behave diferently,
  4. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    I have not used my Canon 40D or it s 17-55 F2.8 in years, But if IS was on when it was on a tripod you could actually see the image drift on the screen.
    So there are definitely cameras and lenses where it would be wise to turn the IS off.
    However I usually forget to do so on my Fuji cameras, and it has never been a problem.
    So it is probably best to follow the particular manufacturers advice especially when doing time exposures.

    I think early IS systems suffered from un-corrected Gyroscopic precession.
  5. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Since stabilisation systems, in my limited experience*, use rate of movement not angle of movement precession isn't generally a problem. Precession at a rate sufficient to cause the image to drift would be pretty unacceptable in even a child's toy.

    *45 years in avionics (autopilots included).
  6. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Taking the 70-200 F2.8 L as an example of early Canon IS, it would probably shake the tripod if left on. It is impressively noisy in action, I think it makes use of the mass of the photographer in keeping the lens elements still.
  7. Terrywoodenpic

    Terrywoodenpic Well-Known Member

    nevertheless visible drift does occur... what ever the cause.
  8. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I'm not suggesting that it doesn't, and I would be intrigued to know why it happens.
  9. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    What I've heard of elsewhere (but not been able to duplicate myself) is a form of self-induced vibration where the stabiliser hunts, inducing vibration in the body, which it then picks up and attempts to compensate for. This supposedly creates a positive feedback loop that gives you shake on the image.

    Drifting is something new on me.
  10. dangie

    dangie Senior Knobhead

    Setting the 2 second self timer on Pentax cameras when mounting the camera on a tripod automatically switches off stabilisation.
  11. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    On my K-5 it also raises the mirror immediately, to reduce the risk of vibration from its movement remaining when the shutter fires two seconds later. I use this setting with a cable release for long exposure tripod shots.
  12. Bazarchie

    Bazarchie Well-Known Member

    Totally agree. Depends on the age of the lens and what the manufacturer recommends. Newer lens detect a tripod, older ones do not. Even if the recommendation is to turn off IS, in say windy conditions or with a lightweight tripod, leaving IS on may be beneficial. Whatever works for you is best .

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