Stabilization, I think, has made us lazy

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by rklepper, May 20, 2014.

  1. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Real Name:
    I spent most of my photographic life using manual lenses with no image stabilization. Now we see comparisons between shots that are taken with no whole image stabilization turned on and with image it image stabilization turned on and the difference is just phenomenal. the one with no image stabilization is absolutely unusable the one with image stabilization is a phenomenal picture. I just don't know how I could've gone 50 years most of that shooting with cameras and lenses that had no image stabilization getting some pretty good pictures. now due to the stabilization if we turn it off which basically gives us a set up that I shot with her most of that 50 years we don't seem to be able to get a good picture. And I just don't understand how that difference could be so phenomenal. Am I alone in that or does anybody else agree with me.
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  2. sLindbergh

    sLindbergh Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 7, 2014
    LI, New York
    Real Name:
    S. Lindbergh
    It's funny I was just thinking this same thing recently. I shoot with manual focus lenses in manual most of the time and I marvel at how easy the tools of our time have made photography and how hard it must have been 30 years ago and more. People had to actually *know* what they were doing to get a decent shot, much less something really creative. I salute thee O photographer of yesteryear!

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
  3. starcolony

    starcolony New to Mu-43

    Nov 8, 2013
    Image stabilization is a remarkable tool that can allow for hand held images that would be impossible without. I am a huge fan.

    At other times it can be a crutch that promotes laziness. I find that if I've been using IS for a while, then grab my Fuji X100s or slap the 17mm on the E-M5, my first few slow shutter photos tend to suffer. I have to stop myself and correct my sloppy technique to improve the image results.

    IS is a great tool, but don't allow it to negatively affect your technique.

    Cheers, TR
  4. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    Real Name:
    Image stabilization allows hand held photos to be taken at slow shutter speeds that photographers in the good old days would never think of using. But IS is not a cure all for sloppy technique. I think that most photographers recognize IS as a tool that expands the window of opportunity to produce usable images. Combined with good camera holding technique it can produce some amazingly good photos that otherwise would not be possible. As good as IS has become I still think a good tripod will beat it anytime. I don't leave home without mine. For those occasions where a tripod cannot be used IS is a great backup.

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  5. val

    val Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2013
    Real Name:
    I spent most of my photographic life without stabilization, while I don't NEED stabilization, it makes my life easier especially with run and gun video.
  6. Tom_Chan

    Tom_Chan Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 19, 2013
    Pixel size shrinking means it's easier to get blurry pictures I think. A full frame camera with the same pixel density as a 16MP m43 camera would have 60+MP, which I don't think there is one out there yet.
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  7. Lurch

    Lurch Hi, I'm a gear addict

    Apr 21, 2014
    Canberra, Australia
    Real Name:
    I dont think Lazy is the correct word. WHat it does do is let you not worry (as much) about it and lets you concentrate on other aspects.
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  8. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013

    I have shot - and continue to do so - with tons of film cameras, and of all the lenses I had for my DSLR system (Canon gear I worked with for years and years), only ONE lens was stabilized.

    I tell you, when you're shooting night candids with a 135L at f2 on a full frame (razor thin DOF), it's bloody annoying having to keep the shutter speed up...I constantly had to be around ISO 6400. I much prefer shooting the O75 with my IBIS-equipped OM-D. Same goes for a lot of other night photography/indoor photography I do. Church interiors at 1/8th of a second were but a crazy dream with a DSLR, forcing me to bump my ISO a few notches...with the OM-D? Bring on the tiny little windows, we can handle it!

    Lazy? Hardly. Smarter/more efficient? You bet! It's called progress. ;)
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  9. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 14, 2010
    Real Name:
    Hmm... Would I rather be dragging a huge tripod with me or using a stabilizer? I don't consider myself lazy preferring the latter. The word I'd use is "practical".
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  10. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    the end image is all important... how you get there is irrelevant... a good photographer will use as many or as few of the tools they have available to get that image.

    I embrace image stabilisation the same way as I do high ISO,autofocus, small light cameras with very good lenses like micro 4/3 and the ability to do so much more so much quicker in the digital darkroom... they are all just tools that allow me to take better images.

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  11. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Real Name:
    Ray, not Oz
    I certainly remember carrying a tripod far more often in the 'good old days' than I do now, I now shoot scenes that I would never have considered previously because of IS. You have to also understand that film was far more forgiving of slight camera shake than is digital, and I think by a long shot.
  12. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    You use the tools that were available to you at the time.
  13. Kai

    Kai Mu-43 Regular

    May 5, 2014
    I was a DSLR spray and pray kinda person when using that gear. Didn't care how I was positioned, only looking for the right framing and right moment. Hoping that high shutter speed, stabilization (in lenses that had it) and luck would help me get the shot. These days with mirrorless cameras I take much more notice on my posture in order to keep things steady, despite IS. Going about it slow and steady is my way these days, not the good old spray and pray :smile:
  14. Itchybiscuit

    Itchybiscuit Photon Mangler

    Dec 10, 2013
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Real Name:
    I started off 33 years ago with an old Fed 3 fitted with a standard Fed f2.8/52mm. I never had any problems with camera shake - despite having to use a light meter (no internal metering) and a fair amount of 'guesstimation' in my aperture/shutter speed settings. I didn't process my own film back then and the national chemist chain (Boots) averaged out their film processing so anything over/under exposed was a washout.

    So, I never saw image stabilisation until I got my first Olympus m4/3 camera (I didn't like the menus so I ditched it). I still use the same 'brace yourself' technique that I always did. Whether it be a sign/lamp post, wall, tree or anything solid, I lean hard against it with my hand between the hard surface and my camera. Or I'll use one of my tripod/monopods if I have it with me. I mean, I always carry a camera with me even if I'm just popping to the shops so oftentimes I don't have the full range of options.

    My conclusion? Cars didn't always have power steering but I know which type of car I'd prefer to drive these days. For me it's all about budget, the latest Panasonics are way beyond my reach! This doesn't detract from the fact that I don't NEED image stabilisation nor the point that I'd use it if I had it. :2thumbs:
  15. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    Of course, I have some bodies with non-tilting screens and no EVF. Many of those SLR holding techniques just don't work with these and hence the need for IS. OTOH, I am increasingly reluctant to buy this kind of camera for exactly this reason.
  16. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Real Name:
    Yes. I blame IS for making me lazy!
    In fact I blame any technology for making me lazy. It's not my fault. Technology made me do it!
    As long as nobody finds out that I was lazy before, without any assistance from any technology I think I'm going to get away with it!
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  17. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Real Name:
    While I agree that stabilization is a great tool, I just marvel at all the comparisons on the net showing an image with stabilization and one without as if you cannot get a good image without. In the days before stabilization we shot sports, BIF, etc... all without stabilization and somehow ended up with good photos. :)
  18. hookgrip

    hookgrip Mu-43 Regular

    May 21, 2013
    The stabilization on the E-PM2 (and presumably the PL5) doesn't even work half the time, so there is no way it could make someone lazy :p

    In fact, enabling IS makes a good portion of shots more blurry, so if anything it keeps you on your toes as far as when to turn off IS and when to enable it.

    An additional point: even though most DSLRs do not have IBIS, they also do not suffer from shutter shock, which affects many Micro 4/3 cameras and lenses to varying degrees.
  19. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I think about how technology changes our lives quite frequently. Its all about how technology is applied to solve a well defined and scoped problem. A solution without a problem (blind application of technology) is almost always a failure. I think image stabilization helps address a specific well defined problem that many photographers faced. This is what gave Canon a boost in marketshare in the 1995-ish... they delivered an applicable solution. Has it made people lazy? In general, I don't think so. However, I have seen some photographers with terrible stance. No excuse I can imagine except no one taught them properly or simply laziness.

    From where I stand, the problem of shooting in low light was addressed mainly with the recent capabilities of digital sensors... more so than IS. IS isn't a perfect solution; subjects in motion, enlargements can still show a tiny bit of camera shake. In the film days, I lived with ISO 400. Sensors these days gives us high iso capabilities that is IMO more effective than relying on IS. It provides ample shutter and the ability to stop down a little from wide open. High ISO isn't a perfect solution either...

    For me, I realized a while ago that technology hasn't changed photography all that much. What it has changed are people's attitudes towards it; Obsession with technology, Marginalization of skills/art form, anxiety over breech of privacy, etc..

    I personally shoot primarily with a camera that doesn't have IS and still use a tripod when applicable. For portraiture, it helps keep the camera in a fixed position while I tend to my subjects. When I return, the framing is exactly how I left it. Its the same reason why I use one for landscape and some journalistic style photos.... it allows me to careful consider composition without constantly holding the camera in hand. I can take my time.... often leaving the camera positioned until I find the moment I am looking for.

    One last thought..... I found on my camera (EpL1 and EM5) IS is less effective in continuous mode.
  20. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Real Name:
    The problem is not the tool being used, but the person using the tools. I'm not going to blame a poorly framed house on the hammer and nails that the carpenter used. I'm going to blame a poorly framed house on the skill/decisions/materials that the carpenter decided to employ.

    Photographic tools are no different. I can get great images from a $40 diana camera, a Fuji Instax, or a $10,000 digital medium format....or I can get equally pathetic images from all those tools. We need to stop blaming everyone/everything else for a photographers lack of discipline, lack of pushing the envelope, lack of practice.

    Getting great/poor images rests souly on the shoulders of the carbon based life form behind the lens.
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