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EPL-1 image stabilization, leave it on all the time?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by FaradayCage, May 16, 2010.

  1. FaradayCage

    FaradayCage Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 22, 2010
    Looking at a number of shots with the kit zoom lens, it seems that IS 1 more often than not actually doubles or blurs the image at shutter speeds over 1/100 s, whereas it seems to work well down at the 1/10 s range. Has anyone else noticed this? It makes me wonder if I have a wonky camera body or is it good practice to leave IS off unless the shutter speed is slow?
  2. blackSP

    blackSP Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 9, 2010
    I have it on 1 always and have yet to experience a bad shot (except maybe a few of course)
  3. FaradayCage

    FaradayCage Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 22, 2010
    Hmm... I wonder what others have experienced. IS sure seems to work at long exposures, but I'm puzzled about what happens at 1/125 s. I have been leaving it on, but I'll have to try turning it off sometimes. I know that it should be off for tripod work.
  4. blackSP

    blackSP Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 9, 2010
    I haven't really thought about it at all and it has been on happily through 1/5 s all the way to 1/2000 all shots being crystal clear and sharp. I love shooting against the sun so I use large shutter speeds all the time without any problem.

    Besides that, switching it on and off all the time would distract me from shooting...
  5. FaradayCage

    FaradayCage Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 22, 2010
    I'm more and more puzzled. If there were a defect in the IS system on my unit, one would not think it would work at all, or the camera would give a warning blink as described in the manual. I can't understand why I would see shaky output at fast shutter speeds but good IS at low ones. It's just the kit zoom lens, nothing oddball.
  6. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oly IBIS gives the most advantage at slow shutter speeds and wide apetures but there is no reason why it should make any image worse. I do switch it off when I use my Panny lenses with OIS.
  7. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    I leave it on all the time and haven't had any issues....
  8. nokiamia

    nokiamia Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2010
    Based on my experience with a DSLR that has an in-body stabilizer, it's ok to leave it on all the time unless it's on a tripod. So that's exactly what i'm doing with my EP2. So far, no problem.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    I leave it on all the time, too. The rare times I have used a tripod, I've left it on as well.
  10. moralesea

    moralesea New to Mu-43

    Jun 3, 2010
    Generally speaking, IS 2 seems to be the most responsive for me on an EP1. however, definitely make sure that you turn it off when it's on a tripod if you want tack sharp shots.

    If there's no movement, some IS implementations will actually start to look for, and thus overcompensate for and create, vibration, this can add unwanted smudginess to your images.

    If there is one thing that annoys me about Olys it's their confusing IS implementation. Other than that I couldn't be happier.
  11. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    I too tend to leave it on all the time unless I'm shooting with the Panasonic 45-200OIS, in which case I trust it's OWN OIS to the IBIS. Ironically when I tested both systems I didn't see any end resultant differences between them other than the possibility that beyond 100mm the OIS was a tad better or more effective. Needless to say there is essentially NO need for ANY stabilization if the shutter speed is more than ample for the focal length involved say on a sunny day and you are getting 1/500th sec shutter speeds and shooting with the kit lens. I'll have to experiment with that some and get back to you.
  12. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    I too leave IS 1 on all the time.
  13. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    Haven't tried any OIS lens untill now.
  14. photoSmart42

    photoSmart42 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 12, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I've forgotten to turn off my OIS when I put the camera on a tripod, and haven't noticed any negative effects from it. But then again I'm not a pixel peeper, so there could have been some effect from it that I didn't notice.
  15. et100

    et100 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 15, 2010
    Chicago area - USA
    I looked but haven't found any evidence of the issue on EPL1 and kit lens... but ill keep an eye on the 1/125s shots.
    If you do see an issue only at that particular shutter speed is likely to be a "resonance" effect. You may experiment and try holding the lens tubes with your finger to dampen any potential micro-vibrations induced by the shutter mechanism.
    Are you seeing the issue with other lenses? if not its more likely than not a "loose enough" lens element and maybe you can exchange it under warranty.

    let us know what you find!
  16. FaradayCage

    FaradayCage Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 22, 2010
    Finally returning to this thread, after shooting overseas for two weeks with the E-PL1 and both the kit zoom and two manual legacy lenses...

    I'm sort of agnostic so far about the IBIS. It definitely works well on shutter speeds slower than about 1/30s, on the kit lens and a fixed 45mm (90mm effective). In fact, the (apparently normal) noise the IBIS makes is more clear the longer the shutter is open. It is very sensitive to the manual setting of focal length with legacy lenses. If you forget to set that correctly, you're hosed.

    But I can't say I see consistently good results when IS is on using anything from 1/30s to 1/125s. It becomes moot beyond 1/250s. I'll try using IS2 and see what transpires. You can definitely see the telltale marks of the IBIS system in certain photos. For example, water spilling off a fall. When you zoom into trails of lit droplets falling, you can see a little wiggle echoed from droplet to droplet.

    Also, it seems that if you want sequential shooting, try leaving IS off. It looks like the rapid firing and transfer of momentum of the shutter to the body perhaps fools the IS into doing compensations that don't end up looking sharp.

    I don't believe the unit is defective. There is no defect I can consistently reproduce. Perhaps no IS scheme is 100% effective, under normal use. As I say, it works well when the shutter is slow. It would be nice if there were a setting to automatically turn it off above a selected shutter speed. And yes, if you leave IBIS on while on a tripod or stationary, it will degrade your shot.

    I'm frustrated with the range between 1/30s and 1/125s. Sometimes it seems to be worse than without IS, sometimes not. It reminds me of what Imaging Resource found with the EP1 in its initial tests.

    Nevertheless it produces amazing shots, especially with legacy Contax G rangefinder glass.
  17. sparklehorse

    sparklehorse Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 4, 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    FWIW, Imaging Resource found the same blur issues with the 14-42mm on the E-PL1 as they did on the E-P1. The problem range they identified is from 1/100 to 1/200 though, which differs a bit from your experience. Here's a snip from their E-PL1 review:

    >>My personal style is to shoot with a zoom, framing with the lens rather than my feet -- and my only option was hence Olympus' 14-42mm lens, whose issues with blurring we covered in-depth in our E-P1 review. The problem still remains when used in concert with the Olympus E-PL1. The good news is that with the selection of Micro Four Thirds lens offerings fast expanding, alternate choices will soon be available covering similar focal lengths. In the meantime, I just had to try to remember to shoot around the shortcomings of the 14-42mm lens, avoiding shutter speeds between 1/100 and 1/200 second.<<


    It may be more responsive, but isn't IS2 designed for panning? My understanding is that IS2 deactivates horizontal stabilization, so you're only getting 1/2 the stabilization benefit vs. using IS1.

  18. kurtwist

    kurtwist Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Feb 6, 2011
    Southern Calif.
    When using legacy lenses it is crucial to set the IS to the focal length of the lens (or as near as you can predict when using a zoom) .
    It will adjust automatically with the native lenses.
    I've mistakenly left the wrong setting on a few times, and the obvious blur is an instant reminder to adjust!
  19. littleMT

    littleMT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 8, 2012
    Lucille Sanchez
    I never turn off image stabilization, including when I am on a tripod, as I often am, and my shots are still very sharp.

    I am on the side of the fence that tends to think, it doesn't matter.
  20. littleMT

    littleMT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 8, 2012
    Lucille Sanchez
    a night shot, shot last night, on a tripod, long exposure:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    and this shot, on a tripod during the day, and tack sharp with a quicker shutter speed:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    now I really don't see turning of image stabilization making this image sharper. But maybe its all due to the 45mm prime lens, I dunno, though
    I admit I am learning, and could easily change my mind, I just haven't seen
    evidence in my own shooting to say turn off image stabilization just because you are on a tripod, and I do this often, during the day, with varing shutter speeds.
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