Benefits of Image Stabilisation
Canon's 70-200mm f2.8 image-stabilising lens has proved an invaluable piece of kit for me in many situations and the Carnival was no exception. When shooting in low light and with the IS switched on, you gain the equivalent of three faster stops on the shutter. In other words, if the shutter is set at 1/30th sec, the effective speed is more like 1/250sec. Shooting with a tripod would have been out of the question so having this facility was an excellent feature and well worth the additional cost.
If you do use this lens with a tripod make sure you have the IS switched off. This is because the IS, when switched on, will not operate as it will detect automatically that a tripod is being used. However, because the lens uses the camera’s battery supply, it will still draw power and reduce the battery’s operating life by about 20%. When you’re shooting an event such as the Carnival it might not be possible to recharge the battery, so preserving power is essential. There are two shooting modes with this lens. If you are shooting hand-held, a stationary subject in low light or where flash is either prohibited or inappropriate; or you are being jostled by the crowd so that your footing is unsure, set the lens to 'Mode One'. If your subject is moving and you are panning the camera then you will need to use 'Mode Two'. In this mode the lens will detect that you are panning and will not try to compensate for the panning action. Either way the lens will use the camera’s battery power as described above and reduce its life.
John’s Top Tips
1. Always make sure that you have sufficient memory to record all the shots that you might take. Eight hours or more is a lot of shooting time and it is surprising how quickly you can get through a memory card.
2. Be prepared to move about. If all your shots are taken from the same position they will look repetitive and boring. For this reason think ahead about the amount of kit you will take.
3. Try different approaches.Although you want your shots to be crisp and sharp, Carnival is about vitality and movement. Try to capture this with creative use of the shutter.
4. Always have a good supply of tracing paper or muslin to diffuse the light. Both these items are relatively cheap and you can even use them to soften daylight coming through a window.
5. Be careful and vigilant. There is a fine line between being paranoid and being aware. Crowds are a magnet for the opportunist thief the world over and I found the Carnival as safe as anywhere, but…