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09-09-2011, 08:15 AM   #1
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Image stabilzation sales pitch?

Ok. I have a Kx and I do appreciate the in body SR.. that said I find that I cannot reduce the shutter speed all that much and still grab a clear shot. When I read this article from Sigma, I found the waterfall shot at 1/10s to be freakin amazing! I know if I attempted to shoot something handheld on my Kx with just in body SR at 1/10s at that focal length there is a 98% chance the picture will be blurry.

Understanding Optical Stabilization by Jack Howard | SIGMA Blog

What do you all think is the extra stop or two provided by OS really going to give these results? And how low can you go with your shutter speed with your Pentax in body SR?

09-09-2011, 08:22 AM   #2
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Theoretically, on the shorter focal lengths, the in body SR is as good as the lens OS. It's the longer lengths that could give the lens OS an advantage.

So if you are using a nice wide angle lens to shoot at 1/10s and you are getting blur, chances are that a Sigma lens with OS won't give you that much more help.
09-09-2011, 08:24 AM   #3
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I've shot 1/15 sec fairly often with decent results
there are a lot of factors that determine what i can shoot at though (lens size is a big one - no different then pre SR cameras this way)
on wider lenses i have no issue with the slower speeds (my DA 14 i could probably get even lower than this), it's influenced a lot by shooting technique as well
I have a habit at low speeds of forming a tripod with my arms and body and holding my breath during shutter releases developed from when i shot film. I also find it easier to hold my k7 with grip steadier than without. the extra weight helps. I have the opposite issue if the lens is heavy and it becomes front heavy. I've shot the canon OS lenses ages back and found them pretty effective as well.( aside from having sold them a friend had a couple with his A2E in the late 90's that i tried- almost got me to switch systems after trying them - price stopped me)
I'm not sure the optical will give you 2 stops more than Sr, but it will on longer lenses make the viewfinder image sharper. Sr continually improves as does OS (sigma backwards engineered the Nikon system I think judging by the ongoing lawsuit between Nikon and them)
09-09-2011, 08:28 AM   #4
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Personally I don't find 1/10s extremely difficult. You will get blur images from time to time, but you will get crystal ones, too, especially after you find your best posture.

09-09-2011, 08:30 AM   #5
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I've shot even 55mm at similar shutter speed with good results. It's all about technique...
09-09-2011, 08:36 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
I've shot even 55mm at similar shutter speed with good results. It's all about technique...
that's about my limit for 1/15 or so, longer than that and i move up to 1/30 200mm+ i go to 1/60 and up
09-09-2011, 08:40 AM   #7
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you can go even lower than 1/15. I took often some 1/10 pictures (even with a 80-200 f4.5 vivitar @200mm), i also did some 1/5 and 1s clear picture with the 18-55 @18mm and with the tak A 28/2.8.

The SR helps a lot, but having a good body position is necessary too.
09-09-2011, 08:43 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by void7910 Quote
When I read this article from Sigma, I found the waterfall shot at 1/10s to be freakin amazing! I know if I attempted to shoot something handheld on my Kx with just in body SR at 1/10s at that focal length there is a 98% chance the picture will be blurry.
How do you know he didn't take a series of photos and pick the ones that best illustrate his point? This is marketing, remember?

At any rate, 1/10s at 28mm is two stops, not that big a deal. It's not generally a good idea due to subject motion, but in the case of the waterfall he's going for the milky look. You wouldn't normally shoot non-static subjects at this shutter speed.

I've read many posts from people with standard zooms and OS, none that I recall claimed better results with OS than SR. Once you get beyond 200mm, people claim that OS is better. Note also that the K-x and K-r have less capable SR than the K-7 and K-5.

09-09-2011, 08:47 AM   #9
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I dont' see anything wrong with the SR. Its more about technique. If you don't have a good steady technique, then no OS/SR system will help. I don't really have any problems going as low as 1/3 with the right technique.

here's one I took at 1/3


Model: PENTAX K20D
ISO: 100
Exposure: 1/3 sec
Aperture: 22.0
Focal Length: 18mm
Flash Used: No

another at 1/4


Model: PENTAX K20D
ISO: 100
Exposure: 1/4 sec
Aperture: 18.0
Focal Length: 18mm
Flash Used: No

another at 1/5


Model: PENTAX K20D
ISO: 100
Exposure: 1/5 sec
Aperture: n/a
Focal Length: 50mm
Flash Used: No
09-09-2011, 08:56 AM   #10
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If you want to compare lens IS and in-camera SR, you should read the detailed comparison conduced by slrgear.com:
Image Stabilization Test: Olympus E-520 SLR Body - SLRgear.com!

While the tests were conducted with an Olympus body, the outcomes are likely valid for Pentax and Sony bodies with in-camera SR.

"The bottom line on the Olympus E-520's IS system is that it turned in a superb performance, very much on par with the best lens-based IS systems we've looked at."
"While we can't generalize from one camera's test results to all sensor-based IS systems, the performance of the Olympus E-520's IS system certainly demonstrated that there's no inherent reason why sensor-based IS systems should underperform lens-based ones."

As mentioned elsewhere, another key advantage of the in-camera SR is the cost reduction of lenses. The IS lenses are more expensive than non-IS lenses.

Hope that the reference will be of interest.
09-09-2011, 08:59 AM   #11
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Sounds like I need to work on my position/technique for lower shutter speed pics...

QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
Note also that the K-x and K-r have less capable SR than the K-7 and K-5.
I find this interesting. Are there any docs that go into the details about the SR differences between models? I took a look at PF's camera section and didn't notice anything.
09-09-2011, 09:11 AM   #12
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1/40th handheld @ 300mm




0.3 handheld @ 40mm




1/6th handheld @ 18mm




1/8th handheld @ 28mm


09-09-2011, 09:12 AM   #13
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Falk Lumo posted test results (likely over in the NEWS+RUMORS area), showing that Pentax SR gives a 2-3 stop gain within certain ranges of focal lengths and shutter speeds. So it's not just marketing hype. But for SHARP pictures, you still need a faster shutter (or a tripod). The level of acceptable unsharpness is a matter for personal taste.
09-09-2011, 10:32 AM   #14
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There is a tendency to think of SR or OS as a magic wand. I know I certainly fall into that trap more than I should. Correct stance, posture, grip, breath control and technique are still required to get good sharp photographs. I doubt anyone would argue that SR or OS does not provide some benefit but if you are just taking a snapshot without proper technique you are not going to get the full benefit of stabilization and you can easily get blurry shots. I have lots of shots that are just awful with SR on. Not the camera's fault, I was too sloppy to take my time and do it right. A two stop improvement is only the difference between 1/15 and 1/60, at smaller focal lengths that can help a lot. At longer lengths say, 135mm and a requested exposure of 1/15, with SR on you might get the equivalent of shooting at 1/60 but that is still far too slow for sharp pictures at 135mm.
09-09-2011, 11:30 AM   #15
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It might be nice for the camera to offer some sort of feedback, like how much work it's doing to stabilize the sensor. That would be good for practice.

I use a lot of manual focus lenses and change them a lot. It took me a while to add "check SR focal length" to my habits. You don't want to take 50 shots with an 85mm lens while the camera thinks it's 300mm.
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