Do you specifically exploit image stabilisation?

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hampshirejohn Contributing Member • Posts: 653
Do you specifically exploit image stabilisation?
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My question is prompted by a number of threads in this forum within the general subject of "what should I take to ...".  In almost all cases the responses include a moderately wide prime, either as part of a set of primes or as a complement to a slower "walk-around" zoom.

Certainly 10 years ago, and probably 5 years ago, I would have wholeheartedly agreed. These days, with continuing improvements in IS, I am less sure.

In film days I found the suggested maximum hand-held exposure time of 1/focal length a reasonable description of what I could manage. There's possibly an argument that with modern higher resolution digital sensors, 1/(2*fl) might be better.

My usual holiday walk-around kit is a Panasonic G9, with the 14-150 giving me Dual IS2. I'm not sure what's claimed for the IS, but after some experimentation I find I can generally expect at least 4 stops. Perhaps 1 stop of this brings me back from 1/(2*fl) to 1/fl, but certainly I can repeatedly get sharp images at 1/5s with the lens at 25mm. Slower than that I tend to take a few shots in the expectation one will be better than the others, and I have sharp examples such as 1/4s with the lens at 140mm.

The end result is that whilst I have a fast prime, it is used less than it used to be.

This raises some questions.

Have you ever, systematically or on an ad hoc basis, tested what level of IS performance you can achieve?

Do you explicitly make use of that?

Whilst a fast prime undoubtedly still has advantages, is it still the case that such a lens is a "must have"?

 hampshirejohn's gear list:hampshirejohn's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH OIS +4 more
Panasonic Lumix DC-G9
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