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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II The second Micro Four Thirds camera that offers phase detect focusing so you can use Four Thirds DSLR lenses normally as well a Micro Four Thirds lenses.

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Old 5th August 2018
Olybirder Olybirder is online now
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A Question about Image Stabilization

I am still in fruitless pursuit of just one good BIF shot and have been looking at various suggestions for settings online. Several posts mention switching off Image Stabilization altogether for BIF, assuming the chosen shutter speed is sufficiently fast.

I decided to try this with my settings, as I have been using Auto stabilization for BIF. However, when I tried to turn it off with the SCP the option was greyed out. I worked out that this was due to to the IS switch on my 300mm F4 lens being set to On. I had hoped to use a custom setting for BIF, which would automatically turn off stabilization and then turn it on again when a custom setting for static shots was selected. However, it seems that the IS switch on the lens overrides the settings in the camera menu and this option is not possible. Obviously I can turn stabilization off on the lens manually when I use the BIF custom setting but I know that I would forget to turn it on again for S-AF shots. It also defeats the whole point of the custom settings.

Is this the case or am I missing something obvious?

Ron
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Old 6th August 2018
mik mik is offline
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Re: A Question about Image Stabilization

I don't have an Olympus lens with IS but what you say sounds likely, when i had Panasonic i found it a pain that i couldn't just use lens IS.

Are you using the EM1MK11, i have it with the 40-150 and TC i find it not as good as the G80 and 100-400 for BIF.
For most of my flight shots i now use pro capture low and find it works well even for birds flying towards me.
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Old 6th August 2018
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Re: A Question about Image Stabilization

cant answer your specific question ,but I've had no trouble getting b.i.f with my om10-mk2 and a p/l 100-400 and I dont turn the i.s off ,sometimes I use single point other times multi point but it works ,I have also seen plenty of other b.i.f shots from the combo your using .so its got to be in the settings your using . the only suggestion I can make is practise practise and more practise ..seagulls make for good b.i.f practise .. this intolerable heat is stopping a lot of birds from flying about at the moment to ,making things harder . heres one of mine a couple of days after I got the camera .
downbeat by jeff and jan cohen, on Flickr
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Old 6th August 2018
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Re: A Question about Image Stabilization

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olybirder View Post
I am still in fruitless pursuit of just one good BIF shot and have been looking at various suggestions for settings online. Several posts mention switching off Image Stabilization altogether for BIF, assuming the chosen shutter speed is sufficiently fast.

I decided to try this with my settings, as I have been using Auto stabilization for BIF. However, when I tried to turn it off with the SCP the option was greyed out. I worked out that this was due to to the IS switch on my 300mm F4 lens being set to On. I had hoped to use a custom setting for BIF, which would automatically turn off stabilization and then turn it on again when a custom setting for static shots was selected. However, it seems that the IS switch on the lens overrides the settings in the camera menu and this option is not possible. Obviously I can turn stabilization off on the lens manually when I use the BIF custom setting but I know that I would forget to turn it on again for S-AF shots. It also defeats the whole point of the custom settings.

Is this the case or am I missing something obvious?

Ron

Unfortunately, this seems to be the case. Like you I wanted to save the IS setting in a custom set so that it was automatically switched off for bif. In this situation, having a physical IS switch is actually a disadvantage.


As a result, half of my bif shots are IS On and half are IS Off because I don't always remember to check or switch it .
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Old 6th August 2018
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Re: A Question about Image Stabilization

Thanks for the replies. Yes, it does seem that the lens stabilization switch acts as master controller. With stabilization turned On at the lens it is impossible to turn it Off via the camera menu and vice versa. Therefore it cannot be saved as part of a Custom Setting.

I know my gear is capable of good BIF shots, as I have seen them from other users. My settings seem to be similar to those used by others, so it must come down to the lack of skill of this user. I am not very good at tracking the bird and keeping the focus points on it, so that is something which I will have to practise.

Ron
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Old 6th August 2018
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Re: A Question about Image Stabilization

I am not a real 'birder' but when I do try BIF shots I turn IS off. I look at IS as being for situations where the camera needs to be still, either in all dimensions or for level panning (stabilising vertical motion only).

With BIF I find myself pointing the camera up and down and all over the place, so I prioritise a fast shutter speed.

I can see IS being useful for level panning, say of an owl at dusk, but on the whole, no IS BIF for me.

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Re: A Question about Image Stabilization

One conclusion that I have come to for bif is that focus accuracy trumps almost everything else. This has a number of implications:


  • The camera focuses better with a faster maximum aperture so I stopped using the MC-14 for bif. A cropped in-focus shot is better than a non-cropped not quite-in-focus one.
  • Use the fastest shutter speed available. i.e. use the lens wide open. Additional depth of field won't overcome poor focus or motion blur or extra noise.
  • I am not convinced about how the camera switches between focus points when using multiple focus points. I get the impression that the focus may be an "average" value or a transitional value between different focus points. So, where I can, I use a single focus point.
  • The Image stabiliser can cause blur in the image sometimes but if having it switched on allows me to keep that single focus point on the subject better, the focus may be more accurate more of the time. More pictures in a burst may be in sharp focus than using multiple points without IS.
  • I now set the C-AF Sensitivity to a value that allows me to momentarily lose the subject and re-acquire it without the AF zipping off to something else (like the background). In my case, that is a value of zero.
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Old 7th August 2018
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Re: A Question about Image Stabilization

[IMG]lapwing brandon 6/8/18 by Walter Warburton, on Flickr[/IMG]
mk2 p/l 100-400 no ibis or ois used, shutter speed 1/500th at brandon 6/8/18
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Old 23rd August 2018
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Re: A Question about Image Stabilization

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olybirder View Post
I am still in fruitless pursuit of just one good BIF shot and have been looking at various suggestions for settings online. Several posts mention switching off Image Stabilization altogether for BIF, assuming the chosen shutter speed is sufficiently fast.

I decided to try this with my settings, as I have been using Auto stabilization for BIF. However, when I tried to turn it off with the SCP the option was greyed out. I worked out that this was due to to the IS switch on my 300mm F4 lens being set to On. I had hoped to use a custom setting for BIF, which would automatically turn off stabilization and then turn it on again when a custom setting for static shots was selected. However, it seems that the IS switch on the lens overrides the settings in the camera menu and this option is not possible. Obviously I can turn stabilization off on the lens manually when I use the BIF custom setting but I know that I would forget to turn it on again for S-AF shots. It also defeats the whole point of the custom settings.

Is this the case or am I missing something obvious?

Ron
Hi Ron,

You are indeed correct. The IS switch on the lens overrides the menu setting.

I sometimes find myself having accidentally turned it off from time to time. I keep mine on all of the time as I like the stabilizing effect it has to the viewfinder and also like the ability to quickly change between C-AF for BIF and S-AF for static subjects by switching between custom settings C1/C2. I think I wrote about this in another post the other month.

The photos below are with IS on. Shutter speeds 1/3200s and 1/5000s which demonstrates that IS on works. Time permitting, pending weather conditions and Swallows still around I will try with IS off and let you know if I getter a higher keeper rate.

The Barn Swallow is unfortunetely underexposed as it rose against the bright sky just as the angle was right.




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Old 23rd August 2018
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Re: A Question about Image Stabilization

Thanks Tord. They are two lovely shots, especially the first one. That is a very fast shutter speed (I usually have mine set to 1/1600 or 1/2000 sec.) I too use CS1 for static birds and CS2 for BIF and it is really easy to flick between the two settings. I will have to try to remember to turn the lens stabilization switch On when I change to CS1 and Off when I use CS2 but I am sure to forget from time to time.

Unfortunately a medical condition means that I have been unable to get out with my camera to try it for over a month. I did try a few shots of gulls over my back garden a few days ago and they seemed to work quite well with stabilization turned Off. Hopefully I can get out again in a week or two to try it properly with some decent birds.

Ron
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Old 24th August 2018
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Re: A Question about Image Stabilization

I can only see justification for this if your on a tripod and gimbal . the camera has to be up to the job to ,I have been successful with b.i.f with the om10.mk2 but far better with the panasonic g80 both with the 100-400 lens ..as in the pic below hand held i.s on . this one is om10.mk2 plus 100-400 hand held

on the prowl by jeff and jan cohen, on Flickr
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Old 24th August 2018
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Re: A Question about Image Stabilization

This is a selection of the shots which I took of gulls over my garden the other day with image stabilization turned off. They are not the most challenging of subjects but I am sufficiently encouraged by the results to repeat the experiment the next time I find some suitable birds.













Ron
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Old 24th August 2018
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Re: A Question about Image Stabilization

Sorry for the late addition to your thread Ron, I've just spotted it.

I leave image stabilisation switched on, even when I have the kit mounted on a tripod and gimbal.

The only time I switch it off is if I have the tripod and gimbal locked down, if it's moving freely I find IS still works okay.

I think you may have looked at my Flickr page already Ron however, if not, all the BiF images were taken with IS on.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/144249381@N05/

I hope this is of some help.

Dave
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Old 25th August 2018
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Re: A Question about Image Stabilization

I leave IS on all the time with 300mm f4. With the Pana 100-400mm I use IBIS rather than OIS. I have found the advice from this recent thread very helpful: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4308866
I had always assumed that fast fps would take more computing power and so reduce the continuous autofocus capability, but this seems to work and I get more keepers by using 15fps now. One example was recently at Minsmere where I had a sparrowhawk flying down a ditch straight at me - poor light and not a great photo, but I got several sharp images of a difficult subject.

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Old 26th August 2018
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Re: A Question about Image Stabilization

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olybirder View Post
This is a selection of the shots which I took of gulls over my garden the other day with image stabilization turned off. They are not the most challenging of subjects but I am sufficiently encouraged by the results to repeat the experiment the next time I find some suitable birds.

Ron
Ron,

The two first photos look good to me. The third looks a tad OOF and the last one seems it has some motion blur. But again, looking promising.

I went out this morning in search of raptors on migration, still a bit too early, mostly Sparrowhawks and the occasional Harrier. Shame as it was good light and windy from tehe right direction. Before heading home I remembered to take some photos with IS off and was lucky to find some Swifts passing by at low altitude. From what I could sense AF acquisition was maybe a bit faster than with IS. AF accuracy seems to be about the same. Hard to draw any conclusions based on a few dozens shots, though. This one is at 1/2000s:

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