Sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX DC vs Canon 17-85 f4-5.6 IS USM




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Page 2 - The Value of  Image Stabilisation - Panning

Some Canon "L" series IS lenses have a setting to enable IS on one axis only, for panning.  There is no such setting on the 17-85 IS.  I was hoping that perhaps Canon have improved the IS system to the point where it can automatically detect whether you are panning and compensate accordingly.  The manual which came with the 17-85 IS has this to say:

"The Image Stabilizer might not be fully effective in the following cases:

    - You move the camera for a panned shot

    -  You shoot while riding on a bumpy road.

Not terribly helpful.  So I tried some handheld panning shots at low shutter speeds:

This was my favourite panned shot of the day. although it is not absolutely sharp anywhere on the frame, it isn't bad.  It was shot at 1/8th of a second at 85mm with IS on.  The extract to the left shows the bus' ID number on the bonnet, just above the wheel, at "actual pixels" resolution.







Whilst artistically I'm not so fond of this shot of a silver London cab, technically I'm impressed with the lens' performance.  The background is nicely blurred but the cab is sharp.  Shot at 1/15th of a second at 85mm with IS on.

Next page - why I returned the Sigma - twice.

Page 3