Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 - no IS?? Hello, I'm about to make my first SLR purchase. I was planning on purchasing 2 lenses - the EF-S 10-22mm (I'm sure I want this one), and I need another standard lens. The debate is between the 24-70mm f/2.8 USM, or the 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM. Is it a big deal that the 24-70mm doesn't have IS on it? I
asked by Joe B. on May 12, 2008
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M. Attias is right. There are two reasons. First, when opened up to 2.8 or two stops up, there is enough light to have a fast shutter speed. Generally, unless the subject is moving quickly, 1/125 is enough to freeze them in action, and with such a speed no IS is necessary. This does depend on available lighting, though. If there is little lighting available, then a slower shutter speed is necessary and IS would be helpful. Secondly, the longer the focus point is from the camera (technically, from the the sensor rather than the lens) the more IS is necessary. So a subtle and minor shake of the shooter's hand would create negligible effect on the photo (at a high shutter speed) at 60mm, and a significant one at 150mm. So all things equal, IS becomes more important the further the object (and further the telephoto effect, i.e. the further the zoom).
SOS
SOS answered on July 8, 2008

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A fast f/2.8 lens with a low-noise sensor such as that on the Canon 40D can compensate quite nicely in the hands of an experienced (not necessarily professional) operator. Bumping the ISO up to 400, 800 (or higher?) can give the f/2.8 lens and camera combination the room it needs to increase shutter speed and negate most reasonable user hand-shake as well as continue to 'stop the action.'

Most professionals photographers who are on the go are not using a tripod and might use a monopod for their long-reach, telephoto lenses. Their secondary camera body is usually on their shoulder, ready to to be swung up and used a moment's notice. A really fast lens on that secondary body enables the pro to shoot in a much wider range of available light w/o having to worry about the technicalities of using a flash.

I own both the 40D and the 24-70mm f/2.8L. What an incredible combination in the hand and with the resulting images. The lens is perfectly at home on the 40D (with battery grip) in terms of balance and feel.

I also own the 70-200mm f/4L (non-IS) and the 300mm f/4L IS prime from Canon. Having the built-in stabilization on the 300mm is completely relevant, especially when shooting birds and wildlife at medium-range. As was noted above, when shooting at-range, the stabilization can make a big difference. Closer in, not so much with a fast lens.
C. Buck answered on December 17, 2008

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I own the Canon 24-70 f/2.8 usm lens and love it, I do not think you need I.S. on such a lens that has a reach of only 70mm. The lens is pretty fast as well at f/2.8 . I. S. really becomes mandatory on zoom lenses with a reach at or over 200mm as well as a slow lens at say f/4 in low light. As far as the EF-S 10-22 mm that lens is a must have on a 1.6 crop camera.
M. Attias answered on May 12, 2008

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i think IS is important even in shorter zoom lenses. that's why point and shoots have it, and the new standard kit lens on the 40d has IS. the 70-200 IS L lens i have is superb and there is never any concern about handheld shots.

canon needs to put IS in the 24-70mm L lens.
joe nome
J. Naoum answered on June 26, 2008

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Plenty of good pictures were taken before the days of IS. As far as taking pictures of kids in a dim auditorium, IS won't help you there, it only eliminates camera shake, it doesn't stop motion. The lack of IS on this lens is no big deal, f/2.8 is wide enough for pretty much anything, especially with the latest generation of sensors and processors.
Andrew R. Nelson answered on January 22, 2009

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The thing to remember is image stabilization (IS, VR, OS, etc) is nothing more than an electronic tripod. It only becomes useful at those times when a tripod is useful. This means for everyday photography when you are using a shutter speed faster than 1/focal length image stabilization isn't doing anything more than good camera holding technique can do.

Image stabilization is extremely over hyped, especially in fast relatively short focal length lenses.

Image stabilization was a way for manufactures to make less expensive small aperture lenses usable in a broader range of conditions. The problem is they spent so money hyping image stabilization that they were successful in convincing a whole lot of people that image stabilization is magic. They hyped it to the point where many people believe a quality lens it has to have image stabilization. Nothing could be further from the truth. Image stabilization is not magic, it is simply a very convenient electronic tripod.
Tom Martin answered on November 26, 2009

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nicholas,

pros have time to set up a tripod and are not sitting in a crowded auditorium or gym taking pictures of their kids in low light where flash is not allowed. IS is very helpful even with shorter lenses. IS sells because it increases number of "keeper" shots.
J. Naoum answered on September 27, 2008

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You will have people tell you that you don't need IS (VR or whatever)... which you don't; however, it is nice to have. It really depends on what you shoot though.

I don't think it should be the buying choice here though. The 17-55 2.8 IS is an excellent lens for crop body cameras. It covers a range similar to that of the 24-70 on full frame... but again, it is for crop body cameras.

Not knowing your experience with SLR's, there is a lot of information that could be helpful in selecting between the lenses but I'd say maybe try renting both lens and see which you prefer?
PencilInWin answered on November 17, 2009

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I believe this lens is coming out in an image stabilized version later this year. Price will be right around $1900 or so.

Personally I think I will pick up the unstabilized version- for around half that price (used).
Steven Charles Dovala answered on October 29, 2010

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ha ha.. 24-70 with IS is rumored for ages.. Not going to happen in the near future.. may be in 4-5 years.
Raj answered on August 31, 2011
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