Muppet Moment 05: Stabilisers OFF!

January 28, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Image stabilisation is a wonderful thing.  That little button on the side of the lens that gives you a few more levels of comfort when trying to get a sharp image.  The normal rule being that your shutter speed should be at least the same as your focal length, if not a faster (higher) number.  Image stabilisation, vibration compensation, (whatever brands call it), manufactures claim that you have a few extra stops of control.  Most lenses these days seem to advertise four stops.

It all sounds great doesn't it, and it is.  So where's my MUPPET MOMENT?

Well, tripods and stabilisation DON'T MIX!  TURN IT OFF when you put the camera on a tripod.  Basically those whizzy bits of tech that stabilise your image are looking for movement that on a tripod doesn't exist.  The very thing that makes your image sharper, now adds movement.  This is true when the camera is on a tripod, or set down on a solid surface...anytime when the camera isn't likely to move.

How many times have I looked at an image on the rear screen wondering why it was soft...only then to remember that I haven't turned stabilisation off? 

I seem to have got over this problem, now.  Believe me it took some time.  I usually realise the problem while taking the images, not when I am home and it is too late.

But there's another problem: turning the blasted thing back on again when I take the camera OFF the tripod.  What a MUPPET!

As an enthusiast, I don't go to one place with the intention of taking just one scene.  I don't travel for photography very often, so when I do I like to walk around and see what shots I can get.  My subject matter also changes.  I love to take landscapes, (that's my real passion), but macro, wildlife, strange looking run-down vehicles...anything that looks a bit different and interesting.  It's not uncommon for my camera to be yo-yo-ing on and off the tripod over the visit.

You see the problem?

The two shots below.  Very typical.  One moment taking a long exposure on a tripod of the waves against the rocks, a few moments later, a short way behind the first spot, and the camera is off the tripod hand-held to capture birds.  Countless times I have forgotten to switch stabilisation back on.

The tip then, and well, this one is basic.  REMEMBER THE BUTTON!  If my problem continues I am going to have to put sticker on my tripod that I see when folder the legs.

Attention all camera manufacturers:

It would be really good if you could create a system where the camera KNOWS its not being handheld, maybe a sensor in the handgrip.  Fingers not present = stabilisation off; fingers present = stabilisation on. 

Hmmm, can't see that innovation being reliable.  What do you think?

Until then, don't be a MUPPET.  REMEMBER THE BUTTON!

What do you think about auto stabilisation on/off? Is it as crazy as it sounds?  On my 70D I get a warning in the viewfinder if I see the image to monochrome, why not about this problem?

On the subject of innovation, I will soon talk about my ideas for electronic filters...something I mailed to Canon over a year ago. No reply!  :/

Best wishes

The Frustrated Photog.

 

 

 


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