I can’t count the number of times people have asked me about image stabilization on cameras and lenses. That and higher ISO’s. The end all be all “fix your photos no matter what” features. If you read the basic marketing out there you might think stabilized lenses and cameras will fix all, cook your dinner after work, and give you a loyal friend curled up at your feet at the end of the day.
So, why can’t I get excited about stabilization?
Stabilized lenses are helpful. If you’re shooting hand held they sure can help with the right light conditions, right ISO, right aperture, and right shutter speed. Under optimal conditions you’ll get a super sharp photo and a stabilized lens can help you achieve it.
Now, if you’re shooting in a poorly lit room (read dark), you’re not using your flash, your ISO is set to 100 and you’re shooting at F22 your stabilized lens or camera probably isn’t going to get you there. Unless of course you dig super blurry photos.
In my personal shooting experience the stabilized lenses I use are helpful. Shooting in standard daylight I find that my handheld shots are pretty sharp and they make the grade. The lens does in fact help. But when I’m shooting indoors I’m pretty clear on the fact that I’ll need more than just that type of a lens. Inside I usually look for a faster lens, reach for my speedlight, and I grab my tripod.
If you want “stable” think tripod. Every time I use my tripod my photos are sharp. I don’t have to worry about the extra gadgetry in my lens, I already know I’m shooting from a stable platform!
So, will these higher end lenses make you thinner, taller, and more popular? No. I’ve been using them for years and my height has remained the same, my weight is fairly constant, and I believe I’m popular already.