Buying an IS / VR lens or not?

One of the most frequent question asked by people trying to gear up for cinemaphotography is which lens they should buy, and most specificaly if they should get a lens with IS (VR for Nikonians) or not.

While this question as been answered many times when SLR were only able to shoot pictures, few people have looked into it from a cinemaphotography perspective.

So here it is! My totally unscientific side by side comparison between IS and non IS at two focal length. I do not have a 24-105ISf4 so I had to use the only IS lens in my bag, the 70-200LISf/4. I did two simple test: one at 70mm ELF and another at 200mmELF (coming soon, need editing!).

Disclaimer: My hands are not steady at all, this is why I always carry a tripod around! And to make things worst, I took these clips after working out. This is a worst case scenario test, I was holding the camera without any support but my elbows pressed against my body.

Image stabilization and the 5DMrkII @70mm

Image stabilization and the 5DMrkII @200mm

As a bonus, I have done some post processing in the last segment of the clip to show how much more improvement can be done by applying a software based IS filter. In this case, I used the one from Final Cut Pro.

I guess it is clear how much the IS contributes to the overall quality of the clip. I would love to have somebody do the same test at an EFL of 24mm to see how much of a difference it makes. In fact, I am thinking about getting rid of the 24-70 for a 24-105, a move I would have never dared to think of a few months ago!

Note: sorry for the 200mm video being in low def, seems like I cant be a pro user of Vimeo since I am not USians…

About Tommy

Photography allows me to be what I want to be, to be where I want to be, and to do what I want to do ... I'm not professional photographer and I don't need a title, I love to take photographs and that is what I do, I love to learn and I always try to do it better ...

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