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02-19-2011, 06:19 AM   #1
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Newbie Image Stabilization question

From reading all the helpful topics in this forum, I've come to learn that when I mount my k20d on a sturdy tripod, I should turn off image stabilization for even sharper pictures. This because of the moving stabilized sensor.

But what about handheld shooting while the light is ideal? What if I'm outside and I'm covered by very bright sunlight? Shouldn't I then also turn off the Image Stabilization for the same reason?

02-19-2011, 07:31 AM   #2
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Clavius, here the experts do not agree amongst each other.

Let's try to apply some logic:

1/ The Shake Reduction mechanism is there to try to compensate for camera movements.
If there is no camera movement, the Shake Reduction has nothing to compensate for.
If there is nothing to compensate, SR is redundant and may as well be turned off.

2/ If the camera is not moving, and SR is moving the sensor while your photo is taken, something is wrong.
Either the SR mechanism is malfunctioning, or the camera is moving while we are believing it is not.

Unless there is something wrong with this reasoning, I don't see any point in turning off SR when the camera is mounted on a tripod. Or in any other case.

- Bert
02-19-2011, 09:22 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
Clavius, here the experts do not agree amongst each other.

Let's try to apply some logic:

1/ The Shake Reduction mechanism is there to try to compensate for camera movements.
If there is no camera movement, the Shake Reduction has nothing to compensate for.
If there is nothing to compensate, SR is redundant and may as well be turned off.

2/ If the camera is not moving, and SR is moving the sensor while your photo is taken, something is wrong.
Either the SR mechanism is malfunctioning, or the camera is moving while we are believing it is not.

Unless there is something wrong with this reasoning, I don't see any point in turning off SR when the camera is mounted on a tripod. Or in any other case.

- Bert
bad advice ^

On a tripod, you should lock it down. No SR. Pentax says so.
02-19-2011, 09:49 AM   #4
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With no wind, shoot something detailed from a tripod with SR on and off. Use a remote shutter release. You should find a subtle sharpness increase with SR off.

02-19-2011, 10:11 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
bad advice ^

On a tripod, you should lock it down. No SR. Pentax says so.
What kind of argument is that?
02-19-2011, 10:17 AM   #6
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Clear, on a tripod, no IS.

But what about handheld, with seas of light?
02-19-2011, 11:01 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
From reading all the helpful topics in this forum, I've come to learn that when I mount my k20d on a sturdy tripod, I should turn off image stabilization for even sharper pictures. This because of the moving stabilized sensor.

But what about handheld shooting while the light is ideal? What if I'm outside and I'm covered by very bright sunlight? Shouldn't I then also turn off the Image Stabilization for the same reason?
No. Hand-holding is not a tripod. On a tripod, the sensor tries to compensate for movement that is not there.
02-19-2011, 11:03 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
What kind of argument is that?
It isn't. No need to argue facts.

02-19-2011, 11:18 AM   #9
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I suppose the point of turning SR off when the camera is stable is that the accuracy of the acceleration sensors as well as rest of the SR system is not infinite: it may/will end up moving the image sensor around slightly even when there is no need to do so and when it does this cannot happen with perfect accuracy either. Turning SR off eliminates this.
02-19-2011, 11:57 AM   #10
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Thanks everybody, for all the feedback!
02-19-2011, 07:13 PM   #11
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Handheld SR is beneficial at some ranges of shutter speeds and focal lengths, and neutral at most others. Falk Lumo has posted tests results here that document this. Handheld SR is ineffective at very close working distances, because it moves the sensor in 2D whilst your hands move the camera in 3D. And tripodded SR is detrimental because it moves the sensor despite the fact that the camera ISN'T moving.

I did this: I put a manual 40-80 zoom with a Kenko 180 fisheye adapter on my K20D, with SR and LiveView on. I put the camera on a table. It started bouncing around. I turned SR off. It stopped. You may draw your own conclusions.
02-20-2011, 03:40 AM   #12
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I've never encountered a forum, not even with my other hobbies, where people are so helpful. This is all very good info!
02-20-2011, 03:53 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clavius Quote
Clear, on a tripod, no IS.

But what about handheld, with seas of light?
I have SR is ON all the time except when the camera is on tripod .
02-20-2011, 05:47 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
It isn't. No need to argue facts.
Please explain, something is written, so it is true?
What is wrong with logic?

SpecialK: "On a tripod, the sensor tries to compensate for movement that is not there.".
I do not dig this, sounds like "the sensor" has a mind of its own?
Probably not.

- Bert
02-20-2011, 06:48 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
What kind of argument is that?
Without wanting to start a fight, I think it's a good one After all the Pentax engineers know how their SR works.

I don't know how the SR exactly works, but this is my explanation for the advise:

Before the hand symbol lights up the SR is doing a coarse adjustment for shake; once this is within certain limits that can be compensated with fine adjustments, it's ready and the hand symbol lights up. After this it can (and will) do fine adjustments to compensate for shake (and it can do these quickly) fi there is any.

When the mirror flips up and the shutter opens, this results in a shake that can not be compensated for by the fine adjustments; the SR might even fall back to the coarse adjustment and / or overcompensate (I don't know). So there will still be shake while the image is taken.

The question is / might be why this would happen with a tripod and not hand held. The explanation for me for this has to do with mass. The mass of your hands, arms and face (pushing against the camera / viewfinder) will prevent this shake from becoming too big.

Note that this is just my explanation and does not have any scientific prove or whatever.
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