PL100-400 IBIS vs OIS tested

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Nawty, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. Nawty

    Nawty Mu-43 Regular

    96
    May 1, 2015
    Hi all,

    I posted this over on DPR but I struggle with their archaic thread system and also have had a few answers so thought I'd post here to update and for those that don't use DPR.

    Its a rainy day here so I thought I'd do some testing on the image stabilising options of the new PL100-400 mounted to an Olympus EM1.

    It's a simple test, in a neighbours garden is an old birdbox on a pine tree that had the top cut off, I often use it for a target for testing telephoto lenses. How slow can I go?

    All shots handheld @ 400mm, shutter priority and auto-iso, I just wanted control of shutter speed.

    I started with all stabilisation switched off and at 1/800 and took 10 shots (refocussing each time) then repeat at 1/400, then 1/200, then 1/100, this will give a benchmark of how stable my hands are.

    I then switched on the IBIS (Half way Rls with IS = ON) and went from 1/200 down until images seemed blurry in the VF @ 1/50.

    I then flipped the POIS switch on the lens so I believe in effect both are working, I can't confirm this or otherwise but both lens OIS and camera IBIS where whirring. This is likely how it would be if you had just bought the lens and put it on your EM1 without changing any settings. Starting at where I left off with just IBIS I did 1/50 and 1/30, seemed cheeky to go any lower.. UPDATE - it seems the switch on the lens controls the IBIS too, so you can do the test simply by flipping the switch on the lens.

    I then switched off IBIS so just OIS working and repeated 1/50 and 1/30.

    Then I looked through each shot and rated them Sharp, Marginal and Blurry. Sharp is sharp to super-sharp (no obvious blur @ 200% but focus/ISO changes might cause varience), Marginal is where there might be a touch of blur but I would have kept the shot if it were interesting and the only choice, blurry ranges from just a bit too blurry to use to woooah! This is a bit subjective but I tried to keep judging the same, no doubt other's marginal calls would be different.

    The results can be seen in the table below with a shot of the test target (1/30, f/9, ISO200).

    From this limited testing my conclusions are:

    1) IBIS alone struggles with this long a focal length. It seems fine with the 150mm of the pro zoom though - I can get a decent keeper rate at 1/15s - but that may be the FL limits of IBIS.

    2) POIS is great and gets a very high keeper rate down to 1/30 which is more than enough for any situation where you might use an 800mm EFL lens, I should probably test slower than 1/30 but in reality I would never use it as subject motion blur would become a big factor.

    3) I am happy to use it with both IBIS and POIS on, I can't say for sure if it is better than POIS on its own but it which means less faffing around in settings which I'm all for. This is how I will leave the settings. UPDATE - as above, it seems like the switch on the lens controls the IBIS too so you have one or the other, I like this.

    Hope that's of use to some people trying to make a call about this lens on an Oly body.

    UPDATE - you can view 'Both' and POIS as replications of the same settings, which shows good consistency.
    Snip20160422_1. Both 1-30.
     
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  2. popiT

    popiT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    608
    Mar 20, 2014
    BayArea, CA
    Yang
    Hi, nice test. I didn't do any thorough test like yours but I've found (as shooting in general) from my older P100-300, OIS is better performed than IBIS @300mm. In addition, OIS on and IBIS off increases my frame rate when using CAF. Now I just use OIS on the PL100-400 and IBIS always off. If you could do another test on CAF to confirm?
     
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  3. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    916
    Sep 30, 2013
    Yeah with the EM1, you can only have one or the other on (with the exception of the 300/4 which is designed to work with both systems). With the original EM5, you could have both on and it would cause problems as both systems would try to work at the same time and fail to do so.

    In the C gear menu you'l find a setting called Lens I.S. Priority. I believe, that when turned to on, the IS switch on the lens will override the IBIS setting, turning the IBIS off when you turn the OIS on. When set to off, the IBIS setting should override the lens switch and keep IBIS enabled regardless of the position of that switch.
     
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  4. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    397
    Jan 5, 2016
    Andy
    Thanks for these posts. Up until now, I had believed (for no special reason) that E-M1 IBIS was more effective than OIS. I'm going to see if my P100-300 results improve with OIS on.

    Somewhat OT: does anyone have definitive results on use of OIS vs IBIS with the P12-35 f/2.8 on E-M1 and/or E-M5ii?
     
  5. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    I have the M5II and the 100-300, and a super-quick comparo at 1/13 sec and 300mm was better with OIS than IBIS (both not sharp but 1/13 is 5.5 stops!). Just FYI. But I was not thorough like the OP here!
     
  6. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    916
    Sep 30, 2013
    I rented the 100-400mm for a 10 day trip to Iceland, and I'm not sure if IBIS or OIS is more effective (didn't really test it), but OIS is much, much easier to use with a lens this long, so I kept it on. OIS runs all the time, instead of only when you half press, which makes framing and acquiring focus a lot easier. With OIS off it's a jittery mess until you've got your focus locked in (IBIS on with half press).

    Used with EM1
     
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  7. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    Since my original testing with the Panasonic 100-400mm I just leave IBIS on, Lens Priority off, Half Way with IS on and if I have any issues I just turn on the OIS on, on the Panasonic lenses. The two systems may not have been designed to work together, but they definitely work well in conjunction with each other and do not degrade anything.
     
  8. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    916
    Sep 30, 2013
    If you have lens priority off, turning the OIS switch to on does nothing, when lens priority is set to off, the camera ignores the OIS switch and uses IBIS all the time. To get that to work you need to set lens priority to on and then when you switch OIS on, it will switch from IBIS to OIS. IBIS and OIS work great together, because they don't. :D

    The only lens that works with IBIS+OIS on Olympus bodies is the 300mm 4.0.

    On older bodies like the original EM5 you could set both OIS and IBIS on and it really wreaked havoc, both systems would fight and the image would jerk all over. This is why they added the lens priority setting in newer bodies.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016
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  9. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    Whether or not the lens priority is off, turning on OIS does in fact start the lens stabilization. And as I stated, "The two systems may not have been designed to work together, but they definitely work well in conjunction with each other and do not degrade anything." This is in regards to using the lens on the E-M1, as in the original post.

    In windy conditions and at at 400mm I have found using both have been beneficial for me in keeping the lens extremely steady. I'll take your word about the E-M5 as I have not used the lens with it.
     
  10. gbuck

    gbuck Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Dec 9, 2012
    Should we add the 12-100 f4 to this statement?
    Having just changed my gear to the e-m1 mkii, 12-100mm and 300mm I am trying to work out what the best settings are for IS. Should lens priority IS be set to on in the custom menu and IBIS set to S-IS1?
     
  11. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    I can't comment on the E-M1mk2, but with the E-M1 the switch on the lens is the IS controller. When you switch it off it switches off the IS of the lens and the body. Based on this I strongly suspect that the lens priority IS setting is moot with the 12-100f4.
     
  12. Danny_SWE

    Danny_SWE Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 30, 2013
    Sweden (Gothenburg)
  13. moonhawk

    moonhawk Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    289
    Feb 12, 2016
    Dave Cherry
    Won't work with Olympus, will it?
     
  14. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    I did a comparison of the 12-35 OIS vs E-M1 IBIS, however I can't seem to find it now (grr...). Anyway, from what I remember, there wasn't a definitive difference. Both IBIS and OIS appeared to be good for ~4 stops of stabilization. I did the shooting sitting down, EVF to my eye, i.e. very similar to real-world shooting.

    Based on my quick test, I set the stabilization priority to the lens, that way if I ever am to attach something like a 100-300 or 100-400 on it (I own neither at the moment), I'll make sure the most effective stabilization is being used. For the E-M5 II, the IBIS is supposed to be a bit better than the E-M1, but since I don't plan on using that camera with larger lenses, I just left it to IBIS priority. Most of the time it's shot with my P20, O75, or one of my Voigtlander trio, none of which have stabilization.

    Sorry I couldn't find the thread to show you my results, however I did look in to it and those were my findings.
     
  15. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Correct. Panasonic OIS will only work with Panasonic IBIS (Panasonic calls it Dual IS), while Olympus IS will only work with Olympus IBIS (Olympus calls it Sync IS).

    I'm not really certain why they couldn't get either to work with each other, since all it uses is a gyroscope/accelerometer. Sadly, it appears that Panasonic and Olympus are moving in opposite directions with regards to lens/body compatibility (Panasonic OIS wont' work with Olympus IBIS, PL aperture ring doesn't work, Olympus OIS wont' work with Panasonic IBIS, Lens Fn button won't work on Panasonic bodies, and now Focus Stacking/Pro Capture/etc. will only work with select Olympus lenses).
     
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  16. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    874
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    My experience with an E-M1 and both the 12-35/2.8 and 35-100/2.8 is that I couldn't definitively see a difference between IBIS and OIS. I left OIS switched off on the lenses. With the 100-400 OIS was significantly better (and quite good), especially past 150 or 200mm. I haven't tested either of the shorter lenses with the E-M1ii yet, but expect the same results. The 100-400 OIS beat the ii at longer FLs. So I will leave OIS switched on for this lens.
     
  17. moonhawk

    moonhawk Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    289
    Feb 12, 2016
    Dave Cherry
    So when you use OIS on the 100-400, do you switch off IBIS on the mk II, or leave it on auto? I thought if you left it on auto, it would automatically turn off when OIS is on.

    Very confusing subject, for sure.
     
  18. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    874
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    On the 100-400 I leave it switched on.
     
  19. moonhawk

    moonhawk Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    289
    Feb 12, 2016
    Dave Cherry
    I ordered the 300 f/4--probably selling the 100-400. Focus is very difficult on the em-1 mkII, even manua. spmetimes the ring just turns and turns, no focus achieved. I don't care for focus by wire, I guess. Hopefully the 300 will do better, and the dual IS should help as well.
     
  20. Nawty

    Nawty Mu-43 Regular

    96
    May 1, 2015
    Have you updated the lens firmware, this was a known problem which has apparently been fixed.