IBIS vs 600mm cat question

GaryCh

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Would an E-P1's IBIS be able to stabilise a 600mm cat or am I being too optimistic. Also, is the shutter vibration enough to spoil things at that length ?

I ask because I'm adding a 600mm cat to my G1 which would obviously be without I.S. making it pretty tricky to use. I'm fully expecting to struggle with using this setup but only while I save for the E-P1 body.

If it then turns out that the IBIS cannot make this lens manageable then I'll have wasted far more money that I can really afford, being unemployed and all : /

So, a little insight from you guys would be very useful : )


-Gary
 

cosinaphile

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according to the ibis menu of the ep1, it is usable for llenses between 8mm and 1000mm
and there is a setting for exactly 600 in the menu.

cant vouch for its value at that focal length but ive used it from 22mm to 135 mm and it has been effective in adding beween 1-2 stops real world to the shutter speed \hand hold equasion,imho

at 600mm its gonna be even more needed , i hope someone can provide a better answer for you
 

PeterB666

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I expect you would be using a 600mm cat on a tripod most of the time in which case you may as well turn off IS. Hopefully, the lens has a tripod collar as the baseplate of the E-P1 does bend very easily as it is just a lightweight aluminium pressing and not stainless steel like the front of the camera.
 

sinophilia

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If the lens is a Sigma, it weighs 790 grams and you definitely want to use it on a tripod all the time. And if the tripod is very light (like mine!) you will also need to use the self-timer so it stops vibrating before taking the photo. You can shoot hand-held if the light is sufficient to use very fast shutter times, but the big problem is focusing. I also have a 500mm cat that weighs less than 500 grams and that's much more easy to use hand-held.
 

GaryCh

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I expect you would be using a 600mm cat on a tripod most of the time in which case you mas as well turn on IS.
You mean 'turn off IS' ?

The problem is, I'm planning to use it in the Masai Mara next year so I'm guessing I will be shooting from a rangerover with no room for tripods and I'm not sure you can just climb out and set one up.

Having not been on a safari before I don't know what to expect, but I'm guessing beanbags from the 4x4 so I'm treating the 600 as essentially handheld.

Hopefully, the lens has a tripod collar as the baseplate of the E-P1 does bend very easily as it is just a lightweight aluminium pressing and not stainless steel like the front of the camera.
Naughty Olympus! Hmmm, no it doesn't seem to, but it is very light. It's the Sigma 600mm f/8

Okay, so assuming that I have to beanbag it most of the time, will IBIS allow it to be handheld (braced/bagged)


I guess I'm waiting for anyone with a 600mm+ lens already to take it off the tripod and see how many keepers you can get with IBIS on.

-Gary
 

OzRay

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If it's bright enough and you can use a high enough shutter speed, the IS may help, though I believe that it cuts out at some pre-determined shutter speed anyway. Don't use normal IS Mode when you have the lens on a tripod, you can try IS Mode 2 for vertical panning or IS Mode 3 for horizontal panning.

The best thing that you can do is try all options and all modes and compare the results.

Cheers

Ray
 

GaryCh

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If it's bright enough and you can use a high enough shutter speed, the IS may help, though I believe that it cuts out at some pre-determined shutter speed anyway. Don't use normal IS Mode when you have the lens on a tripod, you can try IS Mode 2 for vertical panning or IS Mode 3 for horizontal panning.

The best thing that you can do is try all options and all modes and compare the results.
That's the problem... I can't without buying the lens and adapter this week and the body in a few months. But by then it's an expensive experiment and I'm stuck with the result : /


I'm thinking maybe I should forget the cat (with fixed length and f8) and instead just hire a good faster professional zoom. I'm just terrified I'm going to blow money on a lifetime trip and not come back with images due to range, motion blur, vibrating 4x4's, slow lens etc.

There's just too many unknowns : / and I somehow doubt my local jessops would let me fit one of their 600mm lens to their E-P1 and take it outside for a play, especially since they are deep in a shopping mall. *grin*


edit

Hire prices seem good though :

Sigma/N APO 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX DG HSM (£57.00)
Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8 D IF-ED (£161.00 a week)
Sigma/N APO 300-800mm f/5.6 EX DG HSM (£230.00) <-- EEK SIGMONSTER!

prices for 7 days and include the VAT and Insurance!


-Gary
 

sinophilia

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I don't think you read my reply above - anyway, I have a Sigma 600mm f8 and focusing is really hard hand-held. If you don't use magnification you will probably end up with slightly incorrect focus, and if you use it your subject (or part of it) will bounce up and down the screen as you try to keep the camera steady. With the EVF it will certainly be easier.

Anyway, mirror lenses are so cheap that it's still worth giving it a try, I got my Sigma for £50 and a Tokina 500mm (much smaller and easier hand-held) for 90 euros.
 

PeterB666

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You mean 'turn off IS' ?
Yes. Silly me - my fingers no longer talk to my brain.

I would expect that you would get some keepers with IS turned on if you can keep the shutter speed up around 1/1000s and higher but you don't have a lot of control as there is no diaphram in a cat lens although some have built in ND filters to give a tiny bit of flexiblity. I would expect you would need to bump up the ISO to provide a bit more flexibility.
 

GaryCh

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I don't think you read my reply above
No, I missed it... my apologies : /

anyway, I have a Sigma 600mm f8 and focusing is really hard hand-held. If you don't use magnification you will probably end up with slightly incorrect focus, and if you use it your subject (or part of it) will bounce up and down the screen as you try to keep the camera steady. With the EVF it will certainly be easier.
Yes, I figured as much. The other worry for me is that at f/8 it could be a little slow, although there should be so much light out there that maybe it can be used faster than normal.

I take it that you can turn off the focus-assist zoom... do you think that would be effective in speeding up point and focus at that length?

Anyway, mirror lenses are so cheap that it's still worth giving it a try, I got my Sigma for £50 and a Tokina 500mm (much smaller and easier hand-held) for 90 euros.
Hmmm, will maybe look for a 500mm.

Cheap if you already have the body for it. I'm not sure I could use either with the G1 (No IBIS) handheld ... so I think ANY long handheld lens is going to cost me an E-P1 body+converter on top of the lens price just to get the IBIS to use the thing : /

That's why I am so nervous about whether or not I should spend so much. I guess the only way to know is to join my local photography group and ask if someone has an E-P1 they can bring in for me to handle.

But thanks Sinophilia, at least I know it is at least possible and that perhaps I should aim for the 500mm first.

You're a star : )


-Gary

edit Thanks PeterB666, a lot there that I hadn't even thought about. I really didn't know about the lack of diaphragm and that would be an important consideration. Also, I'd have to practice a lot to get the balance if I'm controlling exposure that way. Some great points there.
 

sinophilia

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Yes you can switch off the focus-assist, but a subject may look perfectly focused on the small display even when it isn't. I guess a good technique might be to shoot a series using focus-assist not on all photos but once every few shots, just to check that you or your subject haven't moved too much. I think only practical experience will tell how many keepers you can get.

I'm using my mirror lenses on the GF1 so I can't say anything about how useful IBIS might be. I guess quite a lot! Add to it a viewfinder, plenty of light, a camera that can handle high ISO... and everything will be much easier!

For your particular trip, hiring a zoom lens might seem like the best thing to do.... with a 1200mm equivalent prime sometimes the subject can be too big for your photo! The problem is, you don't get autofocus with those lenses either, and they're probably so big and heavy that using them hand-held is out of the question.

:smile:
 

sinophilia

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just for reference, here's my Tokina on the GF1... not bad at all for a 1000mm equivalent telephoto lens!

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


the Sigma 600mm is much bigger (a bit of distortion here, but you get the idea!):

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sinophilia/4502933850/" title="New friends by sinophilia, on Flickr">
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
"650" alt="New friends" /></a>
 

Narnian

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Something that long I would never handhold - my 300mm mirror is about as long as I will hold by hand. Even then I like to use a monopod - it can buy you a lot where a tripod is not convenient.
 
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