High shutter speeds and IS

Started May 20, 2011 | Discussions thread
GPapa Senior Member • Posts: 1,919
Re: High shutter speeds and IS

I’m thinking I may have been the guy who said I turn off IS because it interferes with focus speed. I know I have said that more than once anyway.

The situation I am speaking of is encountered when shooting softball or baseball games. I’m shooting the batter and trying to get a shot of the batter swinging the bat with the ball in the photo. Then the batter hits the ball. I swing around to capture the fielder catching the ball. This would be the first situation where the problem could manifest. When I know which base the throw is going to I swing to catch the ball just before it enters the fielder’s glove or to capture the runner sliding into the base.

It is not always possible to capture this sequence but success depends a lot on the ability of the lens to obtain fast accurate focus. The 70-200 with or without IS can do it. However, sometimes, not even most of the time, but often enough, the IS will cause a moment of delay before the lens will focus and the IS delay will result in a less than optimally timed photo.

We are not talking about IS reducing accurate focus generally. We are talking about the time it takes to lock focus when swinging the camera around in ways that make one wonder how you ever expect to get an accurately focused image in the first place.

When you are not swinging the camera around IS definitely helps, even if the subject is moving, at least as long as you are using a fast enough shutter speed to stop the action.

I recently posted some shots of the kind of photography where this may come into play. I stand by what I said about IS interfering with the focus speed of the 70-200 f/2.8 IS of 2006 vintage. I have shot over 160,000 frames most of which are sports.

In the images posted in the link below there is one where the batter in red uniform is hitting the ball followed by the pitcher in purple is catching the ball. Those are images numbered 7864 and 7865.

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