IBIS question

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by rklepper, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Real Name:
    So I am wondering, does the effectiveness of IBIS decrease as the focal length increases? I haven't tested this theory, but my 7-14 and 12-35 are wonderful. I love those two lenses from every standpoint. However, I am Luke warm to the quality I get out of the 35-100 and unhappy with the 100-300. I know it would be easy to test, but just no time right now. Anyone looked at this? Or am I way off base. :)
  2. keko

    keko Mu-43 Rookie

    May 19, 2013
    I remember reading Thom Hogan commenting on how Nikon's VR system is better turned off at shutter speeds close to or above 1/500s. I can't remember the technical explanation for this. So at least with Nikon shutter speed (not focal length) may limit the stabilization performance.
    Since IBIS is a different technology this may not apply, but I remember reading E-PM1 users having IBIS problems at shutter speeds around 1/100s.

    The reason I mention this is that apparently if IBIS performance is compromised it could be related to shutter speed rather than focal length. However, at longer focal lengths faster shutter speeds are required too....
  3. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Real Name:
    It is my understanding that sensor based IS (such as Olympus IBIS) is less effective at longer focal lengths. This from Wikipedia's article on Image Stabilization:
    Since both of the longer lenses you are using have lens-based OIS I would suggest that you might consider turning IBIS off and using OIS at the longer focal lengths.
  4. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I find the OIS significantly more effective than IBIS for the longer glass.

    Part of it is long lens technique - achieving 1/focal length (or 1/twice focal length for MFT) takes a good bit of practice, technique and control. I manage reasonable hit rates at slower shutter speeds, but it's technique that gets the great shots.
  5. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    Real Name:
    John Griggs
    In theory at least, an OIS system optimally designed for the lens can be better. But most of them are two axis.

    I found the E-M5 (which I sold, lol) to be superior in almost all situations because of the 5 axis system.

    That being said, I have no complaints about Panasonic's OIS in the 12-35, and 35-100mm lenses. Even the 45-150mm is fine.

    I haven't used any Panasonic kit lenses enough to comment.
  6. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Wikipedia would not be my go to on this topic.

    Naturally the magnification in longer focal lengths means the small movements, normally present and not much of a problem on short focal lengths, are similarly magnified. This means the IS must "work" harder and perform larger movements. IS works fine it just has limits and those limits are reached more easily with increasing focal length and slower shutters (just try hand held 7mm for 2 minutes - won't work but does not mean IS doesn't work).

    IS is not a tripod replacement and IS does not replace good camera handling technique. At some speeds it just cannot keep up (speed depends on focal length and shutter speed).

    So the direct answer to the OP is "yes" and at longer shutter speeds as well.

    The issue at the faster shutter speeds were pretty convincingly demonstrated in a series of posts by Amin to be shutter shock. At those shutter speeds the IS cannot keep up as the speeds are again too fast.

    Amin also has some testing on OIS versus IBIS.
  7. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    Real Name:
    On my SLR IBIS works fine at 300mm and I think helps significantly at 600mm too. (Few of my mirror lens shots showed camera shake, but many had problems with the subject moving out of the pre-focused range) As Rob says it has it's limits, but it definitely helps.
    IMO it's generally better at longer focal lengths as the wider angle shots are less demanding and usually are fine without any stabilisation.
  8. Halaking

    Halaking Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 17, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    I thought the EPM2 or EPL5 is 3 stop sensor IS, don't know about the OMD. Many Canon lenses has 4 stop IS.
  9. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    Real Name:
    John Griggs
    ALL of those number are "marketing speak", lol. YMMV.
  10. Halaking

    Halaking Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 17, 2012
    Los Angeles
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  11. uci2ci

    uci2ci Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 22, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
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    To me, OIS and OMD IBIS have both given me equal results in terms of sharpness. I usually just turn OIS off on my 100-300mm and use IBIS mainly because I forget to turn it back on when i switch lenses. That being said, I like how OIS is always on, rather than only when shutter is half-pressed.

    If you're like me, part of your disappointment with stabilizing the 100-300mm is probably due to the fact that you crop the hell out of your shots. I dont crop shot using other lenses to the extent that i crop for my 100-300 shots. At 300mm and close to 100% crop, neither OIS or IBIS will give you 2-3 stops of slack.The 1/2*fl rule says "reasonably sharp".....yes, i can take "reasonably sharp" photos at 1/320, but that doesnt cut it for me. I've found that at 300mm, I need ATLEAST 1/800 shutter speed to get a razor sharp frame that I can heavily crop. And its not always sharp either. I take a few frames regardless and pick the sharpest one. So its more like 1-1/2 stop of slack for my use case, but i still welcome it.
  12. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Real Name:
    Other than general out of focus issues with the 50-200, I don't have any trouble hand holding it and getting good shots even at low shutter speeds. (My oof issues are the lens deciding to focus somewhere I don't want. Something is pretty much always in focus :wink:)

    I took some indoor shots with the 12-50 last night at 1/4 sec which were ok.