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04-26-2008, 11:35 PM   #16
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where are all these PDX'rs coming from? I still have my k110... don't know exactly why I've decided to hang on to it. I keep thinking, it's better in lower light or maybe I'd use a second body on occasion so I wouldn't have to change lenses midstream, but in a few months of owning the k10 and k110, I've yet to do that.

Anyways, I think I was in a similar situation as both of you... didn't want to spend a lot on a dslr, didn't know if I'd like a large camera(compared to point/shoot types), didn't know if I could/want to learn what it took to be able to take pics I'd be happy with so I cheaped out and got the less expensive cam. Looking back, no question, I should have gotten the body w/ SR. But I still took quite a few pics that I like w/ the k110 so it's a good cam. Put it this way... if you like photography and if you like learning about things to improve, then you'll probably be happy with a dslr. and if this is true, then you're going to want to have SR and may as well get it now rather than paying for a new camera later unless you're like me who likes to have a second body around without a good reason for it

04-27-2008, 12:57 AM   #17
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IS really 2 f stops?

QuoteOriginally posted by albacore Quote
I'm thinking of getting a K100D or K110D and on a pretty tight budget and can do quite better on a K110D for the money. Would I regret not getting the SR?
Later on in this thread you mention that you go on travels: How about a *istD or *istDS?
They are lighter than the K110, specially the *istD has many more options / buttons on the body than the K100 line, and a much wider range of flash is supported than on the later models..and they may be cheap!

I just bought a *istDS yesterday, though most users obviously think differently I am not so sure I will miss the IS greatly: So far I have been using the Minolta A2, a great camera with supposedly very well working IS, but it only goes up to ISO 800, image quality askes for going to ISO 400 max though. Since I missed low light performance I later bought the small Fuji F31fd which goes up to ISo 3200, ISO 1600 still useable, preferably I go to ISO 800 only. The Fuji has no IS but was useable with much less light than the Minolta A2 ever.

According to my very limited experience, but on which I based my own decision, I believe that IS gaining two f stops could be a bit of a myth...

cheers,
Andreas
04-27-2008, 05:40 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by kuuan Quote

According to my very limited experience, but on which I based my own decision, I believe that IS gaining two f stops could be a bit of a myth...

cheers,
Andreas
Did you see my earlier post using a 135mm lens and a 1/6 second shutter speed? That's well over four stops.

Here's one using a 70mm lens and a 1/10 second shutter speed:




1/10
1/20
1/40
1/70
1/80

That's close to three stops.

This scene was inside a small building which was so dark it was almost impossible to see anything, and I don't mean through the camera. I don't recall seeing any other SLR users even attempting to shoot.
04-27-2008, 06:52 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by kuuan Quote
Later on in this thread you mention that you go on travels: How about a *istD or *istDS?
They are lighter than the K110, specially the *istD has many more options / buttons on the body than the K100 line, and a much wider range of flash is supported than on the later models..and they may be cheap!

I just bought a *istDS yesterday, though most users obviously think differently I am not so sure I will miss the IS greatly: So far I have been using the Minolta A2, a great camera with supposedly very well working IS, but it only goes up to ISO 800, image quality askes for going to ISO 400 max though. Since I missed low light performance I later bought the small Fuji F31fd which goes up to ISo 3200, ISO 1600 still useable, preferably I go to ISO 800 only. The Fuji has no IS but was useable with much less light than the Minolta A2 ever.

According to my very limited experience, but on which I based my own decision, I believe that IS gaining two f stops could be a bit of a myth...

cheers,
Andreas
How mistaken you are about SR if you think it is a myth.
Like many others have indicated, SR can easily give a 2 stop advantage, definitely more in the hands of a photographer with steady hands. That can mean the difference between making the shot or not, or shooting at a lower ISO to avoid noise, or the ability to use lenses with a smaller max aperture. Bottomline is with SR you will get more keepers.

Frankly the K100D/K100D Super beats the *istD or *istDS series in picture quality. The difference in jpeg output is quite noticeably better in the K-series cameras.

04-27-2008, 11:02 AM   #20
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neither myth nor miracle

That shake reduction is useful is not a myth - but it's not a miracle, either.

Let's start with a few simple facts that, while obvious, are often overlooked. Nobody had shake reduction for, um, most of the history of photography. The first Pentax dslrs didn't have shake reduction. Canon and Nikon still sell zillions of bodies to amateur/hobbyist buyers and none of those bodies have shake reduction built in, and many if not most of those hobbyists aren't spending big money for VR/IS lenses. Most of my amateur friends and relatives have Canon or Nikon cameras, and nobody owns any of the expensive lenses with image stabilization built in. They manage to take nice photos. I have taken some wonderful photos that I was very happy with using my *ist DS.

How can this be? It can be because your subject usually sets a limit on how slow your shutter can be. SR helps reduce the effects of camera shake, but it doesn't stop the action. People don't stand still, even when they're trying to stand still. Flowers don't stand still, at least not if they're outside and there's a slight breeze. I don't shoot a lot of photos of, say, bricks sitting on a table in a dimly lit room, where being able to shoot down to 1/8th sec might be useful. When I'm shooting people, I'm very often (a) using a focal length of 70mm or less, and I need a shutter speed of 1/70th sec or faster in order to reduce the effect of subject movement. But if the reciprocal of the focal length (F) is less than the shutter speed (S), i.e., if

1/F < S

then I'm already compensating for camera shake pretty well even without shake reduction. Now, when I'm shooting live or moving subjects - birds, people, animals - I'm usually either outdoors in good or decent light, so I can keep my shutter speed high enough to obviate camera shake, OR I use flash.

My guess is that shake reduction is important to me in no more than half of the photos I take. Perhaps it's less. I strongly suspect it's much less for most photographers. As a wedding/event photographer, I very often shoot in lousy light, with high ISO and shutter speeds as slow as possible. If I'm shooting a bride and groom in a dimly lit church at 100mm, shake reduction may make it possible for me to take the photo at f/3.5 rather than f/2.8 and get a bit more depth of field; and/or shake reduction might make it possible for me to shoot at ISO 800 rather than 1600. But at the reception, I'm outside in good light; or I'm using flash. And shake reduction becomes pretty unimportant.

I'd note that SR doesn't matter much to me when I'm shooting amateur sports either. I often shoot in badly lit gyms - but what I need there are faster lenses, not shake reduction. Shake reduction allows you to slow down the shutter. If it affects aperture and/or ISO, those effects are consequential or secondary. Basically, shake reduction is about shutter speed. And when I'm shooting indoor sports, I can't go much below 1/250th sec most of the time, at any focal length, and even if I had the camera on a tripod - because the subjects are moving. I've shot volleyball with the K10D, the K20D and the *ist DS. Shake reduction makes no difference to me at all.

So when does shake reduction matter? It matters to me in two situations.
  1. When I'm shooting people in dim light - say, in a church - so long as I can catch the people at a moment when they're standing still, I can go as low as 1/60th sec and still hope for a reasonably sharp picture, even if I'm shooting at 100mm or something like that. If I can use flash, I'll use flash and increase the shutter speed and get probably a better photo. But I can't use flash in a church.
  2. When I'm shooting almost anything with a long lens (greater than 200mm), and again, if the light is not bright, and if the subject is still, shake reduction helps me slow down the shutter. But if I'm shooting a moving deer, a flying bird, a soccer player kicking the ball, etc., then I need to keep the shutter speed pretty fast to deal with subject movement and shake reduction is relatively unimportant.
NOTE that, if you decide to buy into the Pentax body system, it's prudent to get one of the bodies with shake reduction built in, because if you're using Pentax, that's the only way to get image stabilization, when you do want it. There are, to my knowledge, NO Pentax-mount lenses with image stabilization in the lens.

I'm definitely not knocking shake reduction. It can be very useful in certain situations. In-body shake reduction is one of the major reasons that I decided to go with Pentax rather than Canon or Nikon two years ago when I finally moved to the digital SLR world. It's not that in-body is better than lens-based technology. Apparently it's a wee bit worse. But it's not MUCH worse, as far as I can tell, and it's nice to have it all the time, for every lens, without having to pay for it over and over.

But shake reduction is not important all the time, and it certainly isn't a miracle feature. I shot a banquet last night. When I got the photos off the camera and looked at 'em on the computer, I realized that some of them were not as sharp as I would have liked. Reason? In some cases, I let my shutter speed slow down to 1/30th sec. I had shake reduction on. Moreover, I was using flash. The focal length was short - usually around 35mm. And my subjects were mostly posing for me, or at least they paused for a second and looked in my direction. Even so, either my hand was unsteady, or they moved a wee bit. Pictures weren't ruined, they're just not tack sharp.

Will

Last edited by WMBP; 04-27-2008 at 07:11 PM. Reason: corrected misspelling of "my"
04-27-2008, 06:51 PM   #21
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Not to hurt anybody who so fervently had written infavour of IS I was very carefully choosing my words, I had written: 'According to my very limited experience I believe that IS gaining two f stops could be a bit of a myth...'
I knew that this was provocative and it was intended to be, hoping to get a response as insightful as your's. And your comment trutly is insightful and puts what IS can achieve into the right perspective IMHO, thank you very much for that Will!

Since I have my *istDS only since 2 days there are not many samples to choose from, but e.g. this one was taken handheld with the *istDS with a shutter speed of 1/20:


( above the photo should display, but I am not sure if it does, on my PC is does not, just as other photos posted in this thread don't - there is something wrong with the PC I am on, so therefore here also a direct link: http://i39.photobucket.com/albums/e190/kuuan/IMGP0150red.jpg )

I wonder how the IS would have improved it. I guess I could have used ISO 800, even 400?? resulting in better image quality? Faster shutter speed was not so much necessary in this case, I can do alright with 1/20 handheld, but a bit could have helped.
Sure it may turn out having been a mistake that I chose a *sitDS over a K100D since I do like low light photography of people, e.g. in bars asf. I prefered the handling/weight of the *istDS and the K100D would have cost me abt. 100 USD more so I decided for it. ( I would love to have a small Pentax body similar to the *istD(S) with a 3200 ISO 8 to 10 MP sensor and shake reduction...)

Last edited by kuuan; 04-27-2008 at 06:56 PM.
04-27-2008, 10:21 PM   #22
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Shake reduction definitely works, but the techniques for reducing the effects of shaky hands are still necessary.
From my experience, if I take due care such as a stable leg stance, placing my elbows close to the body, taking the shot at the end of exhaling, 3.5 stops better than the recommended minimum shutter speed is regularly obtainable with SR. If no precautions are taken at all, the limit I've got is about 2 stops improvement.

If I take multiple shots and select the best, even 4 stops are possibile.

At that speed, the movement of the subject is usually what may spoil the shot, not shake reduction.

SR's best advantage is with handheld telephoto shots where the scene may have decent absolute brightness, but there isn't enough light to get the 1/(1.5 x focal length) shutter speed normally recommended to prevent hand-shake. At 300 mm telephoto range, you need 1/450 seconds, and if you are shooting something sitting in a shade, that's too fast.
SR would let you take a shot e.g. 1/45 seconds, taking a shot which would otherwise be impossible.
04-28-2008, 01:29 AM   #23
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My experience is that SR works and I like it. But I think most people are a bit generous when they state 4 stops and base that on their shutter speed contra the rule of thumb instead of their own ability. Those that get sharp photos at extremely low shutter speeds most probably would do one or two stops better then the rule of thumb even without SR.

04-29-2008, 08:04 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
Did you see my earlier post using a 135mm lens and a 1/6 second shutter speed? That's well over four stops.

Here's one using a 70mm lens and a 1/10 second shutter speed:




1/10
1/20
1/40
1/70
1/80

That's close to three stops.

This scene was inside a small building which was so dark it was almost impossible to see anything, and I don't mean through the camera. I don't recall seeing any other SLR users even attempting to shoot.
wow, a realy impressive result and example Mike, quite amazing that this is on 1/10, really nice colors too!
( sorry for not commenting earlier, only now I can see the image for the first time )
04-29-2008, 12:34 PM   #25
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I will never own a camera without Shake Reduction. With my MX (film), K1000 (film), *istDS, K100D, K10D, and now K20D; my spoilage ratio went from about 20-80 to about 80-20. Not that they are all keepers now. It's just that Shake Reduction has resulted in many more images worth saving than before.
04-29-2008, 03:35 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by volosong Quote
I will never own a camera without Shake Reduction. With my MX (film), K1000 (film), *istDS, K100D, K10D, and now K20D; my spoilage ratio went from about 20-80 to about 80-20. Not that they are all keepers now. It's just that Shake Reduction has resulted in many more images worth saving than before.
I'm happy that you're taking more keepers these days. And perhaps in your case, shake reduction really deserves the credit.

But I would not be so sure. I certainly can't think of any reason why this would HAVE to be the case. Before I had cameras with shake reduction or image stabilization, I simply did not bother taking certain kinds of photos, because I knew from previous experience that they would not come out. My keeper/loser ratio has gone DOWN in the last couple of years, even though I've gotten to be a better photographer. It's gone down because I take photos now that I would not have dared to take years ago. It's gone down because I take many more photos than I used to, knowing in advance that I'll sift through them and throw a bunch away.

I just took a few quick shots outside as tests, some with SR enabled, and others without. My goal was NOT to show that I could slow the shutter down a bunch of stops before the photo gets blurry. Rather my goal was to take a handful of shots which, while obviously test shots taken without much thought about the subject, are nevertheless similar to the kinds of shots that I actually do take. Here's the link:

Picasa Web Albums - William - 20080429 shak...

NOTE that these were all taken with a Tamron 70-300 + a Tamron 1.4x teleconverter, so multiply by 1.4 the focal lengths shown in the "more info" link on the right side of the screen. This isn't meant to be a gotcha test so I've identified which had SR enabled ("y") and which don't ("n"). When the shutter speed is fast enough, it's hard to tell the difference between the shots. When the shutter speed slows down, I blurred a couple of shots - at least one taken with SR, and one without. I've included ALL the shots I took, rather than just picking the ones that make a particular point. Basically no processing done: I shot as DNG in the K20D, imported into Lightroom 2 beta, exported immediately to JPEG using "medium" level output sharpening (which has virtually no noticeable effect), opened in Picasa and applied the "auto contrast" adjustment to all of the images. The last 10 images were taken indoors in low light. These shots were obviously converted to grayscale and that was done in Lightroom 2b. Other than that, with one identified exception, no processing.

What's all this prove? Not much, except that it goes back to my earlier point that shake reduction isn't a panacea. I still think it's important and worth having, especially for folks like me that have to shoot in low light and also for photographers (amateur or pro) who like to shoot wildlife with longer lenses. Perhaps because I don't think it's miraculous, I think it makes sense to have it in the body rather than in the lenses. I like having it and I keep it turned on (almost) all the time. But I agree with those who say that SR's advantages - especially in terms of stops - are sometimes exaggerated. If you look at the gallery, notice that some of the shots were taken handheld, without SR, at shutter speed/focal length combinations that violate the reciprocal rule (shutter speed should be faster than reciprocal of the focal length). You'll see a couple shots taken at focal length of 105mm, shutter speed 1/30th sec, no SR - and the shots are reasonably sharp.

There's a degree of faddishness here. I used to think that Canon and Nikon kept selling bodies without shake reduction because they were evil companies who wanted to sell me more expensive lenses. The more I think about it, the sillier that seems. I think now that they didn't build SR into their bodies because they didn't think it necessary for a good while. They still don't use in-body VR - perhaps because it might really tick off a lot of their users who have spent zillions on VR lenses.* But I notice that Nikon is selling the new D60 with a VR kit lens. It's an 18-55 lens! Why is the VR there? Not to take better photos, but to sell more cameras.

Will

*Note added later: I'm willing to give them another small credit. There seems to be evidence that lens-based image stabilization is slightly better than body-based.

Last edited by WMBP; 04-29-2008 at 03:49 PM.
04-29-2008, 05:05 PM   #27
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Will,

Good post, interesting test. Thanks for your effort.

My input is far less scientific than WMBP's, but I've got a photo album of nice photos taken without SR. Some shots could have been saved by SR. Some couldn't.

Working without SR is not a ticket to an insane asylum. You'll still get your shots.
04-30-2008, 04:23 AM   #28
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I have also had 1/10 second handheld exposures that came out acceptably well with cameras lacking SR.....but in all honesty I should add that they were cameras that used leaf shutters and had no mirror. In other words, practically no shake gets introduced by the mechanical action of the camera and it all boils down strictly to how well I hold the camera.
04-30-2008, 05:52 AM   #29
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It's not needed but it's pretty useful feature...
I have quite shaky hands, so my stays on nearly all the time...
04-30-2008, 06:19 AM   #30
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WMPB, William, thank you, great work and post.
Your sample photos surprise, seem to confirm my doubts more strongly that my actual doubts had been.
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