PSA: Protect your lenses by turning off image stabilization when traveling

Dec 7, 2015

Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett is a communications professional with over a decade of experience in content strategy, editing, marketing, multimedia content creation. He’s photographed and written content seen across hundreds of millions of pageviews. In addition to his communications work for various entities and publications, Gannon also runs his multimedia marketing agency, Ekleptik Media, where he brings his expertise as a full-stack creator to help develop and execute data-driven content strategies. His writing, photos, and videos have appeared in USA Today, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Autoweek, Popular Mechanics, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Digital Trends, DPReview, PetaPixel, Imaging Resource, Lifewire, Yahoo News, Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal, and more.

PSA: Protect your lenses by turning off image stabilization when traveling

Dec 7, 2015

Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett is a communications professional with over a decade of experience in content strategy, editing, marketing, multimedia content creation. He’s photographed and written content seen across hundreds of millions of pageviews. In addition to his communications work for various entities and publications, Gannon also runs his multimedia marketing agency, Ekleptik Media, where he brings his expertise as a full-stack creator to help develop and execute data-driven content strategies. His writing, photos, and videos have appeared in USA Today, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Autoweek, Popular Mechanics, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Digital Trends, DPReview, PetaPixel, Imaging Resource, Lifewire, Yahoo News, Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal, and more.

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PSALensISDid you know that when traveling with your image stabilized (IS) lens, it’s suggested that you turn off the IS functionality? Neither did I. Until today.

Posted as a PSA by Redditor momonto, he quotes an unknown reference he found some time ago that says ‘you should always turn off image stabilization on your lens before you travel so as to lock floating lens elements in place.’

Other Redditor chimed in on the matter, with one backing up the claim using anecdotal evidence from an article on LensRentals which states:

Lenses have multiple failure points, including their autofocus systems and image stabilization. Of the two, LensRentals sees image stabilization failing more than autofocus. You should always turn off image stabilization on your lens before you travel so as to lock floating lens elements in place and minimize the chances of them being jostled and damaged en-route.

Some Redditors weren’t as convinced it makes a difference, calling it ‘BS’ and an ‘urban legend.’ According to a handful of commenters, lenses will automatically lock into place upon removing them from a camera body.

Canon document, pointed out by a few of the aforementioned Redditors confirms this, stating Canon lenses will automatically lock image stabilization into place for safe travel.

Whatever side of the argument you’re on, it’s hard to argue with erring on the side of caution. Lock it up.


Image credits: 70–200 by Garry Knight used under CC BY 2.0

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Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett

Gannon Burgett is a communications professional with over a decade of experience in content strategy, editing, marketing, multimedia content creation. He’s photographed and written content seen across hundreds of millions of pageviews. In addition to his communications work for various entities and publications, Gannon also runs his multimedia marketing agency, Ekleptik Media, where he brings his expertise as a full-stack creator to help develop and execute data-driven content strategies. His writing, photos, and videos have appeared in USA Today, Car and Driver, Road & Track, Autoweek, Popular Mechanics, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Digital Trends, DPReview, PetaPixel, Imaging Resource, Lifewire, Yahoo News, Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal, and more.

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