Monday, March 28, 2011

Cheap Image Stabilization?

Many of you may have seen the video suggesting you no longer need to carry a tripod or monopod for your lens that doesn't have image stabilization. If you haven't, take a look:

I thought I'd give you my first hand experience. My new lens, the old 300mm F4 ED does not have image stabilization. My old lens did, and the lack of IS is immediately noticeable. I'm finally getting over being sick so I thought I'd give it a shot and make my own IS for my lens. I went in with high hopes, but is it as good as it looks?

Here is my "setup".
The essential tools. 1/4" screw and 3/4" washer along with some string. Cost me a total of less than $4 at Home Depot.
Make the string about your height, tie one end to the washer and one end to the screw. Screw the screw into the camera/lens and step on the washer to stabilize your setup.
I tried it out with the screw attached to the body of my camera. Lets just say I was not impressed. Horizontal shake was still there, although vertical shake was maybe a little better. I can't really say it would make a huge difference to be honest.

I then realized I could attach the screw to the tripod mount on my lens. This seemed to work a little better. Although there was still a bit of shake, it seemed to be a little more under control. I took a few pictures with very slow shutter speeds and the stabilization didn't seem to make a difference. I took pictures at slightly faster speeds (1/30, 1/40 ect) and there didn't seem to be a noticeable difference either.

Overall, seems to be a waste of time, plus you might look like a fool in the field. Honestly, a tripod is always going to be the best option, but if you want something more portable, give this idea a try. Maybe it will work better for you.

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