IBIS performance w/ long lenses

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by tradesmith45, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    There are several threads about camera shake when using several 300mm lenses hand held. My recent testing has caused me to think IBIS may have some limits we could collectively develop a better understanding of.

    I was testing tripods (I'll post that later) & also tested to see how well I can hand hold my long teles & how much a monopod helps. The best I can reliably do handheld w/ the MZD 75-300 @ 300mm is 1/500". On a monopod, I can go down to 1/60".

    However, w/ the MZD 40-150 @ 150mm, I can hand hold down to 1/30 & adding the monopod does NOT improve things much.

    For all these tests, the OM-D is set to IS1 & Auto for focal length, Firmware is all current (v1.0 for the 75-300) & I was a competitive rifle shooter 45 yrs ago so I know how to hold steady though I'm certainly not a steady these dayshttps://www.mu-43.com/images/icons/icon10.gif. I was shooting a resolution target at close distances which makes getting good focus much harder but all the higher shutter speed images are sharp with the lens wide open. I examined RAW files but when there was shake, it was pretty obvious.

    This variation of relative performance seems to show the strengths & weaknesses of IBIS in its current implementation. But before reaching ANY conclusions, someone else needs to repeat these tests. Perhaps some of you have already or could take the time to do that. It would help us all out.https://www.mu-43.com/images/icons/icon4.gif

    Thanks much.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Well, using the Olympus 70-300mm on my EM-5 (which I've since sold), I have images with shutter speeds as low as 1/100 that are acceptably sharp (good enough for 8x10's and not reliably so, at such speeds I take multiple shots and delete the bad ones later) and shots at 1/125 that are perfectly sharp (at least within the resolution limits of that particular lens, again not reliably so). Everything above that I've never had a problem: 1/160, 1/200, 1/250, 1/320, no problems at all.

    Of course, this isn't scientific, this is me going through Lightroom sorting by focal length and shutter speed and then recalling the specific situations in creating of those images.
     
  3. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Andrew
    Using my legacy Canon FD 300mm F4L I can have near 100% keepers above 1/200, 75% at 1/100 and around 50% at 1/60.
    Lowest I have done is with 1.5X TC (so 900mm equivalent) at 1/50.

    I believe the extra weight of a legacy lens helps allot but still you should be able to handhold below 1/500 with IBIS. Try with IS enabled on half press.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
  5. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    I went through my library as well, and found nearly the same result with that lens at 300mm on the E-PL1. I was also a little surprised to find that almost all of the shots had been taken at 1/200 sec, and I wonder if that was just a coincidence or if there was something in the system (me or the camera) biasing that choice.

    *** Okay figured out the 1/200 sec thing was having Auto ISO turned on most of the time. ***
     
  6. Jman

    Jman Mu-43 Veteran

    475
    Apr 20, 2011
    Columbus, OH
  7. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    Hi Jordan, great site you have & thanks for point us to it! You're camera shake test protocal is something I should do as well.

    Maybe these posts are starting to reveal something about IBIS performance & native vs. adapted or light vs. heavy lenses that deserves further testing. Or maybe something about the MZD 75-300mm firmware. To summarize, tests w/ the MZD 75-300 & 75 found little stability improvement w/ IBIS but big improvements w/ long heavy lenses.

    With adapted lenses you have to manually set IS for the FL & I assume Jordan & heli-mech are doing that. W/ native lenses I set IS FL for Auto - don't know what others have done.

    Certainly heli-mech is on the right track about the effect of a heavy lens on stability - the added mass will at least lower the frequencies of all camera shake compared to a lite lens.

    But none of this explains why I could get the expected 5 stops lower shutter speeds w/ the 150mm but not the 300 or why IBIS was so ineffective on the 75.

    I have an legacy 170-500mm Tokina & adapter I can use & when I have the time will repeat my tests with it & the MZD 75-300.

    Love to hear others experience!
     
  8. Jman

    Jman Mu-43 Veteran

    475
    Apr 20, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    IBIS works just fine for me on the 75. I'm generally good to about 1/20 sec, which is 3 full stops.
     
  9. larryroohr

    larryroohr New to Mu-43

    4
    Oct 8, 2010
    I wonder if since IBIS uses accelerometers in the body to cancel body motion, then with a physically long lens it's less likely the far end is moving nearly the same as the body end which is whats getting canceled. So physical length comes into play along with focal length.

    Just a thought looking at an old 300mm zoom here that's both heavy and long.
     
  10. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    What made you think that the IBIS used accelerometers? That is not typically how it's done (and it's been being done for 40 years), but I don't know about the state of the technology. Typically accelerometers are too slow to allow for correction in image movement.
     
  11. larryroohr

    larryroohr New to Mu-43

    4
    Oct 8, 2010
    I did a quick google search to verify what I thought made sense design wise.

    It actually said gyroscopes. Pretty cool if there are little spinning things in there doing that. The internet is never wrong, right? 8^).

    So how is it done?

    Regardless, if it's sensing body motion the point still holds and how you support a long zoom with IBIS may make quite a difference.
     
  12. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    it's really storming here so it may be a few days before I can do more tests of heavy adapted vs. light native long tele.

    Did read the review of the 300mm mirror -another light lens. Author reported having trouble hand holding below 1/500 sec.
     
  13. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    w/ 300mm native & adapted lens & monopods

    Finally got a bit of good weather to do some more testing. Thanks to all of your comments, I broadened the scope & reliability of these tests & learned a lot - thanks much!

    Summary:
    1. IBIS added 2 stops to the lowest shutter speed I can reliability hand hold my M.Zukio 75-300 @ 300mm - 5 out of 5 good @ 1/160". YMMV!
    2. Using a heavy adapted 300mm improved stability a bit more at 1/80"- 2 out of 5 good w/ the M.ZD v.s. 4 out of 5 w/ the adapted lens.
    3. Using a monopod improved stability only a bit more producing 5 out of 5 good @ 1/80" w/ both lenses & 4 out of 5 good with the adapted lens but only 2 out of 5 good w/ the lighter M.ZD @ 1/40".
    4. By far the most important thing the monopod added was fatigue reduction. Hand holding these long lenses especially heavy ones is very tiring.

    Did all these tests standing w/ the USAF resolution chart as a target, manual focus, IS1, IS FL=300mm for adapted lens & inspected RAW files in OV2.

    So basically, these tests confirm all the comments you all made. And they showed that by improving my bracing & shutter release technique, I was able to take better advantage of IBIS. IBIS is no substitute for good technique. If I'm sloppy, can't get below 1/500" reliably.

    W/ the finder stabilized while shooting, you can easily see what IBIS is doing & the effects of a heavier lens or a monopod. The camera shake frequency slows way down w/ the bigger lens or monopod. The image in the finder goes from jittery to a slow drift. The slow drift is probably harder for the IS to counteract.

    But equally as difficult as getting stable is getting something in good focus w/ a long manual lens hand held. I've tried an old 500mm adapted mirror lens & it is just short of impossible to focus hand held. Its doable but takes time w/ an adapted manual 300mm.

    Having shot tons of long tele video as a ski coach, the fatigue advantage of the monopod was no surprise but I had certainly forgotten how tiring it is to do long shoots standing & hand held.

    As an aside, when I first got the Tokina 170-500mm zoom I used for these tests, I remember being pleased at how sharp it was on 35mm Kodachrome. As soft as many think the current XX-300mm pany & oly zooms are at 300mm, they are miles ahead of this old war horse for contrast & some better for resolution. The coatings on the current lenses really are much better. It is only in comparison to some of the new Mu4/3 lenses that the 300s look soft but that's because most of the new lenses are so very sharp & crisp.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    UPDATE: Field shooting shows IBIS limits @ 300mm again

    Ok, after that last round of testing, I got to do shoe extensive shooting w/ both the Oly 75-300 & 40-150mm and now I'm back to my original view - IBIS on the OM-D seems to deliver only one usable stops of additional stability @ 300mm w/ no image softness.

    I sort of confirmed that @ 300mm, I can reliably get very good image sharpness down to 1/160" hand held & 1/80" on a monopod just as I did shooting the B&W test target. BUT all the images that really sparkle were shot at 1/320" or faster. The sharpness difference is not big & you would not call the images shot at slower speed blurry - just a little soft.

    FWIW, ran across a review of a 100-400mm Nikon w/ their latest IS - a 7.5 lb lens. The tester reported being able to hand hold down to 1/40" on a monopod at 400mm. Based on my testing, the OM-D would probably do as well with that lens weight but the Oly 75-300 is under a pound.

    So my conclusion is in real world shooting w/ these small lenses we are likely to give up a stop of stability. (And also that I need to use a more real world test target in the future-:).

    YMMV
     
  15. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    IBIS can be a little funny with longer focal length lenses. With the 75/1.8 & 40-150 @ 100mm, I can get tack sharp images at 1/15 sec., but not 1/50 sec. It takes significantly higher shutter speeds before things get really sharp again.
     
  16. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Andrew
    Bit of a double post as I posted this in the om-d image thread but this one was with a Canon FD 300mm F4L @ 1/30! (handheld no support at all). I took about a dozen shots at this speed and would say about 75% were acceptably sharp.(to me that means sharp if printed at 8x10 as I rarely print bigger)

    8320135282_8567347205_b.
     
  17. britops

    britops Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Apr 10, 2012
    75-300mm with tripod & IBIS on. I'm not sure if IBIS does anything at infinite focus with a tripod.
     

    Attached Files:

  18. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Jim
    Tradesmith, are you using the 'focus peaking' hack when manually focusing on the OM-D?

    Thanks for these posts - interesting stuff.

    Regards,

    Jim
     
  19. tradesmith45

    tradesmith45 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 13, 2012
    Oregon
    Yes Thom, I either manually switch on 5x mag or have that set as default. I also use full time IS so w/ half press of shutter, the VF is stabilized making focus easier while hand held.

    Interesting comment I hadn't thought of b_rubenstein. I have seen something like that but hadn't thought it was a trend. So maybe i need to use much slower shutter speeds to get sharp images?..?

    Camera movement is composed of many frequencies & those probably vary w/ FL & lens+camera mass. And perhaps there is individual variation in the frequencies we shake at. So is IBIS optimized for some specific frequencies?

    Nice deer shot heli-mech. Do they seem critically sharp on your monitor? My heavy adapted lens is too soft to do something like this. But I can certainly use slower shutter w/it than the light native lens & 75% is similar to what I've gotten. On my screen, these look like what I called very good but not crystal clear. BTW does the Canon have an aperture ring?

    Britons, I did a few shots w/ IBIS on with tripod & got slightly fuzzy shots. Manual says turn IS off when using tripod but in windy conditions I leave it on. & what should we do when using monopods - use IS3?

    We could sure use some factory tech help on the performance of IBIS.

    Love this forum!
     
    • Like Like x 1