Will a lens with image stabilization make my nature photography come out sharper?

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  • 2 months ago

    I could be overthinking what you're trying to ask, however, if your nature images are not to your liking, could it be that you've not set the aperture priority setting correctly. I only say that because of the fact there's no movement, so shutter priority isn't necessary. I could be wrong completely?

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  • keerok
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Anti-shake features like IS, will definitely help make pictures come out sharper but they are only tools. The most significant factor in determining photo sharpness is still the skill of the photographer.

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  • qrk
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    If lack of sharpness is due to camera shake, then:

    Hand-holding the camera, IS helps.

    Tripod mounting, IS can be detrimental. If you have a very stable platform, IS will add camera motion blur because the IS system has electronic noise which jiggles the compensation mechanism a tiny amount. If you have a wobbly platform, then IS can be helpful. My long lens on my travel tripod is wobbly enough that IS helps. On my good tripod when shooting in the studio (using cable release & exposure delay mode), I have seen IS cause sharpness problems when turned on.

    Image sharpness is also affected by:

    Using your lens at the widest aperture (like f/2.8) can generate softer images, especially on cheaper lenses. Rule of thumb says 2-stops down from fully open is the sweet spot for your lens.

    If your aperture is too small (smaller than f/14 on an APS-C or f/22 on a full-frame) diffraction issues start showing up.

    Spherical aberration (also called back-foucing) can mess up phase focusing if shooting at anything but wide open aperture. This is problematic on some fast lenses.

    Using high ISO will make your image noisier.

    Using long shutter speeds (more than a minute) can cause excess noise.

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  • Frank
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Maybe, but then again, sharper than what? Which lenses are you comparing?

    Are you asking if you had a lens that wasn't stabilized, would the images be sharper if it magically became stabilized?  If so, then the answer is definitely not...maybe.

    If you are asking if a stabilized lens will make your images sharper BECAUSE your images are blurry due to camera shake, then yes.  Your images will be sharper, but only because your other unacceptable images were bad due to camera shake and only camera shake.

    However, if compare the image quality of a lens with and without a built-in stabilization system, what you will find is that the unstabilized lens is actually sharper than the stabilized version.  A classic example of this is the Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 vs the Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 VR (VR = Vibration Reduction).  The VR version is $600 more, weighs more due to the additional lens elements and motors in the VR system.  Because of the additional lens elements, the VR version lens is actually less sharp than the non-VR version.  For this reason in-body image stabilization or IBIS has become the preferred method of image stabilization.

    Another point to know is that stabilization only reduces blur that is caused by you moving the camera.  It does absolutely nothing for blur caused by the movement of the subject during the exposure.  So if you don't like your images due to subject blur, switching to a stabilized version of your current lens will not only not help at all, but it'll be less sharp than your current lens due to the additional lens elements.

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  • BriaR
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    It can do in the right circumstances. Image stabilisation reduces the image blur caused by camera shake, by allowing slower shutter speeds to be used hand held. This is particularly useful when using a telephoto lens for wildlife. It cannot however remove the blur caused by movement of the subject.

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  • 2 months ago

    If you are shooting handheld maybe. If you use a tripod (which you should be) no.

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