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Canon 100-400mm Buttons

David Herman , Mar 22, 2007; 08:47 p.m.

I own a Canon 100-400 lens i was wondering what the difference is between the 2 image stabilizer modes and the other number buttons on it, i think they are something to do with focusing if you could help me out and please if possible give examples of when i would use each, i would really appreciate it. Thanks.


Sheryl Bury-Michals , Mar 22, 2007; 08:59 p.m.


when using the tripod, I keep the IS button off (on O), and the stabilizer mode at 1. If I don't use a tripod, I turn the stabilizer on (push to l), and the stabilizer mode to 2 - that way I can catch action without any shakiness showing up on the end result shot; I don't usually use this often, as I mostly work with thelens on a tripod or monopod, but it's good to know you can use stabilizer mode 2 for those times when you don't the lens on a stable platform.


Francis Vernon , Mar 22, 2007; 09:08 p.m.

The Stabilizer Mode switch has two positions: 1 and 2. In position 1, the lens will compensate for motion in both horizontal and vertical directions. I use this mode almost all the time since I shoot handheld most of the time. In mode 2, the lens will only compensate for motion in the vertical direction (I believe). You would use the lens in this mode if you were panning with your subject as you took the picture.

The Stabilizer switch has two positions: 1 and 0. The 1 position means the stabilization mechanism is on. The 0 position means the stabilization mechanism is off. I switch the stabilization mechanism off when I put the lens in my bag or when I mount the lens on a tripod. I don't think you have to swtich the mechanism off if you're going to take the lens off the camera or turn the camera off with the lens mounted.

The AF/MF switch controls the autofocus mechanism. In the AF position, press the shutter button (or whichever button you may have designated to initiate autofocus on your camera) for the lens to focus. When the lens is in MF mode, you need to turn the focusing ring to focus the lens.

The last switch, the one with 1.8m to infinity (∞) and 6.5m to infinity (∞) written next to it, allows you to choose the focusing range for your lens. The 6.5m to infinity position allows you to focus on objects that are at least 6.5 meters away faster than if the switch was set to 1.8m to infinity. OF course, if you want to focus on an object that is between 1.8 meters and 6.4 meters from you, you will need to move the switch to the 1.8m to infinity position. If you decide to photograph an object at least 6.5 meters away again, I would suggest moving the switch to the 6.5m to infinity position.

Omega NC , Mar 22, 2007; 10:36 p.m.

For what I've read here and there (I don't have a 100-400 but have some other IS lenses).

IS mode 1 = to prevent you from "hand shaking" assuming that you're standing/sitting on a firm surface.

IS mode 2 = when you are shooting from a moving car, boat, train ... or when you are in a moving position (I think this apply if you shoot walking).

In either case IS won't prevent you from bluriness with moving subjects (if your shutter speed is not fast enough).

Hope this helps

Geoff Francis , Mar 22, 2007; 11:55 p.m.

I believe Francis gave the correct answer. The other answers are only partly correct and partly wrong.

Franklin Polk , Mar 23, 2007; 12:05 a.m.

Omega, I believe you confused Canon IS with Nikon VR. I'm pretty sure you described how VR works, and Francis described how IS works.

M Barbu , Mar 23, 2007; 01:27 a.m.

Aside from being less detailed, I don't see any difference between the two descriptions.

Simon George , Mar 23, 2007; 08:10 a.m.

Mode 1 - standard IS. Stabilises in both vertical and horizontal axes.

Mode 2 - panning IS. Stabilises only in the axis perpendicular to the one of consistent movement (in English: if you are tracking a car horizontally, IS only operates on the vertical axis, and vice versa).

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