Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Gadget Bag: Image Stability
Get sharp handheld exposures with image-stabilization technologyThis Article Features Photo Zoom
The 400mm also has a Silent Wave Motor (SWM) that lets you focus instantly, even at fully extended focal ranges. If you plan to shoot with a tripod, the lens has a VR on/off switch to disable stabilization, as well as a cool feature called Tripod Detection that counters the effect of VR when the lens is already stabilized on a tripod. Other specs include a 10.2-pound weight, minimum focusing distance of 9.5 feet and a minimum aperture of ƒ/22. Nikon also has a variety of other VR lenses in its stable, including telephotos, super-telephotos and standard zoom lenses, giving you a variety of glass with this effective system.
Panasonic is unique in that it utilizes its MEGA Optical Image Stabilization (MEGA O.I.S.) both in the camera body and in interchangeable lenses. As Panasonic released its first-ever D-SLR, the Lumix DMC-L1, and now its most recent D-SLR, the Lumix DMC-L10, it formed a partnership with Leica to provide interchangeable lenses with IS.
The most integral part of the MEGA O.I.S. is a gyro sensor that detects any sort of shake. The movement sends a signal to a microcomputer inside the camera that calculates the amount of compensation that’s needed. A linear motor sends a signal back to the optical image stabilizer that moves the stabilizer to the correct path of light as it hits the image sensor.
The newest lens from Panasonic is the Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-150mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 ASPH lens. With a 20-inch minimum focusing distance, it also features a new technology called Extra Silent Motor (XSM) that has a supersonic oscillation engine that increases responsiveness and focusing to the camera.
Sigma’s OS (Optical Stabilizer) system is similar to most of the systems mentioned above. Because all image stabilization technology is about letting the photographer shoot handheld, Sigma’s technology is made to address low light and eliminate blur at long focal ranges.
The OS system uses a group of lens elements that are controlled by two sensors inside the lens, which detect both vertical and horizontal movement. The elements move to correct themselves as the other systems do, and also have two optical stabilizer modes. Mode 1 detects vertical and horizontal movement. Mode 2 detects only on the vertical axis, making it useful for catching moving subjects while panning the camera.
Sigma’s latest lens is the 18-200mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM lens for Nikon-mount cameras, good for macro to telephoto shooting, with a minimum focusing distance of 17.7 inches. Sigma also manufactures two other lenses with its OS technology, the 80-400mm ƒ/4.5-5.6 EX DG OS and another 18-200mm without HSM (Hyper-Sonic Motor) autofocus.
Tamron is the newest kid on the block to offer an interchangeable zoom lens with optical stabilization, which it has named Vibration Compensation (VC). The VC system works by featuring a triaxial (X=horizontal, Y=vertical, Z=curvelike movements on both X and Y axes) configuration of driving coils and sliding balls to compensate for hand shake. Three driving coils move the VC lens through electromagnetic signals originating from the movement of the steel balls. The lens element that compensates for movement is held in place by these steel balls, which is controlled electronically to operate a mechanical system that holds the lens in place to get a clear shot.
Tamron’s first VC lens is the AF28-300mm ƒ/3.5-6.3 XR Di VC LD Aspherical (IF) macro zoom lens. The 28-300mm has a maximum aperture of ƒ/3.5-6.3 and a minimum aperture of ƒ/40. The new lens fits on both Canon AF and Nikon AF-D camera bodies.
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