1177 – Shake Away

For a change, this is another part of my review of the new Tamron SP AF 17-50mm 2.8 XR Di II VC LD Asp IF.

Basically it’s no big news, it’s just a warning. You know, every now and then someone asks at the photography forums if it is necessary to turn lens stabilization off when working from the tripod. I mostly see this asked on Photo.net’s Nikon forum, but that’s just what I read. I am sure it is the sama at Canon forums.

Normally there are no clear answers: some people say it makes no difference, some claim to see it, some tell us that it depends on the lens, and so on a so forth. Well, nobody has asked me about this lens, but as I stumbled upon it today, here’s the answer: If working from the tripod with Tamron’s stabilized 17-50/2.8, for heaven’s sake turn stabilization off, at least when you work on the long end.

The second image is a JPEG straight from the camera. See the shake? It’s extreme. Because of the gloomy light at 4:10pm I used a tripod. I was in a hurry and because of the snow I didn’t review the images when I was there. I simply assumed that they would be good enough. Why not, when shooting ISO 200 from a tripod? Well, here it is, the image could not have been worse hand held.

The Song of the Day is “Shake Away” from Lila Downs’ equally titled 2008 album. Hear it on YouTube. Great song, great album ๐Ÿ™‚

7 thoughts on “1177 – Shake Away”

  1. Wow. That is informative! I’d wondered if it was really necessary with the Nikon 18-200VR, because I’d never seen a problem but decided to get in the habit of “best practice”. This nails it; thank you for that.

  2. With Canon it is lens specific. As a general rule the newer, high end lenses sense the tripod and turn off the IS (stabilization) without moving the switch. The notable exception is the 100-400 f/4.0-5.6L IS, although can be left on when mounted to a monopod.

  3. April, Steve said it. For Nikon it seems to depend on the lens as well. I have only one stabilized Nikon lens, the 18-200, and I suppose I have most of the time forgotten to turn VR off, without visible effect. Thus Nikon’s VR II seems to be immune. This Tamron definitely is nott ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Andreas, I may be the only one who actually likes your unstabilized stabile version! I like dreamy blurs and this is so nice and dreamy.

    That said, thanks for the advice about the IS/VR lenses, Steve. And Andreas, now I have another reason to avoid Tamron lenses in the future. I’m going to try to trade in my fairly new Tamron 90mm macro, mostly due to the autofocus problem with Nikon bodies – but I just don’t like the lens anyway.


  5. That’s probably the most extreme example I’ve seen. I gotten away with a couple of my Nikon Lens on tripod with stabilized on (forgot to turn it off), now after seeing this I may be more app to turn it off. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Thanks for the information and example Andreas! I would never have guessed it could make that much difference with IS/VR on vs off! Amazing!


    1. Well, I’ve never seen anything wrong with using the Nikon 18-200 VR on a tripod. I believe I have never tried it with the Nikon 70-300 VR. It’s not a big disadvantage for this lens, at least not for me. Basically it’s just something to know.

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