Is my IBIS Working?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by tjdean01, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    Every electronic product I've bought from Amazon has had problems. I'm to the point I won't even buy shoes from there because I'm not sure if they're actually Nike's or just rebadged crap.

    My PM2 was from Amazon. The 12-42 kit lens has a weird grinding noise during zoom. The camera's shutter sometimes doesn't close all the way and the bottom 100 pixels or so are over-exposed so I need to crop. Plus one the of buttons wasn't working when I got it but that has broken-in I guess.

    Anyway, how do I know if my IBIS is working? I have both native and manual lenses. Even when I use the native lenses I set it for the right focal length (although I don't think I have to). I take 10 images with IBIS on and 10 images with it off and the ones with it on are really no better than the others! I've tried using delay shutter by an eighth or quarter of a second to no avail. It's not shutter shock because it works fine on a tripod.

    I can get good images from the 14/2.5 down to 1/4 of a second but that's due to the wide angle and steadiness of my hands, not the IBIS. When I use my 50/1.7, however, I need to have a shutter speed of at least 1/200 whether the IBIS is on or off (yes, I have it set at 50mm). Since that 50mm is 100mm equivalent, I had hoped I could hand hold it at 1/100 with IBIS off and I was hoping I'd gain two stops with it on so I could use 1/25 handheld. But not even close. My 40-150 at 150mm can't be handheld at all at 150 unless if it's really sunny and you can get 1/300.

    I mean, could it have been broken to start? How do I know for sure?
  2. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    Look through the viewfinder, half-release the shutter (press to focus, but not fire) and then move your hand holding the camera around. You can see the image is being stabilized, since it is not moving around much.


    1) Make sure that it is in the mode that stabilizes vertically and horizontally, not the panoramic one that only does vertical.
    2) If you are using adapted lenses make sure that the focal length is set correctly. (oops, just saw that you said you do.)
  3. phl0wtography

    phl0wtography Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 15, 2011
    The "old" IS in the PL, and PM models really isn't that good. It is better at higher shutter speeds to get rid of micro movements of your hands. However, it is NOT suited to handhold at low speeds, like the new IBIS introduced in the E-M5.
    Amin did a really ncie comparison here: one year ago.
  4. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    Carpendean, I don't have a viewfinder, just the LCD. When I press it halfway down I don't see any change in the way the image shakes on the screen? Do I need the VF to do this test? I can HEAR it working, however. And based on my tests below, I guess it's working. It's just not up to my expectations.

    I just went to play with my 30/2.8 with IBIS on and off and then I did another set with the anti-shock on and then off. My findings were consistent with what was in the thread phl0wtography posted for me. Thanks. The anti-shock + IBIS definitely gave me the most consistent results out of the sets taken. HOWEVER, I have two shocks that are tack-sharp and both of them were with IBIS OFF. That's disappointing. It's like, okay, IBIS gives you consistent results, but at the expense of sharpness.

    Finally, I'd really like some answers regarding a few things.

    1. I can clearly see the OM-D's 5-axis IBIS beat that of my PM2. How does LENS stabilization work: is it better than OMD, worse than PM2, or in-between? As I have the PM2 and plan on sticking with the smaller bodies, if the 12-35's lens IS works better than the PM2's, I might want to forgo the 12-40 and go with the 12-35.

    2. I know there is debate about what is the minimal shutter speed for certain FLs. From what I've read, with IS all off, on m4/3s, with a 50mm lens, it's 1/100 (similarly with the 14 it will be 1/28 and with a 135 it'll be 1/270). However, I've found that this handy little formula works only at around the 20-30mm FL. I can hand hold the 14 at 1/8 quite consistently but with the 50 I need it much faster than 1/100 to get consistent results. Maybe 1/150 would be good. For the 135 I'm lucky if 1/300 will be sharp. I need 1/500 :(

    Finally, what's the IBIS on the new GM1? Is it similar to my PM2?
  5. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yeah, that's why it's recommended to turn IS off on a tripod. I've never personally seen a big enough difference on my E-M5 to bother though...

    1. It's a VERY grey area. It depends a lot on ergonomics, weight, etc. I think generally OIS beats 2-axis IBIS, but 5-axis and newer Power OIS are quite similar, with 5-axis being a little better at shorter FL and OIS at longer? The GX7's 2-axis one is pretty good now as well, basically on par with 5-axis.

    2. FL definitely matters. With the O40-150 I have to bump the ISO up quite a bit to get fast enough shutter speeds at f/5.6. It's because at longer FL the tiniest movement of the camera translates to a big movement of the image.

    3. There is no IBIS on the GM1.
  6. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    I meant to post this but forgot. On the right side you see two shots with IBIS off and on the left it is on. The right is definitely better. I'm going to keep it off from now on unless if really necessary!

  7. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Real Name:
    I don't have an E-PM2, but the IBIS on my E-PL3 wasn't very good.

    IBIS issues aside, I cannot imagine why you'd put up with the shutter problem with your camera and the over-exposed pixels! If it is still within your return period, I'd definitely complain and get an exchange. Otherwise, send it into Olympus to have the shutter fixed!
  8. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    It only happens sometimes. Whenever I have a problem like that I always hear, "If we can't see it we can't fix it." Ugh. Plus I don't really mind switching to 3:2 for a few shots until it goes away. If I sent it in someone will scratch it and that would make me more mad than the shutter issue!
  9. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

  10. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    Oh, my IBIS works. It's call not drinking coffee before going to shoot! :biggrin: