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Olympus OM-D E-M1 The first 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 30th June 2014
brian1208 brian1208 is offline
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Shake induced softness using the EM-1 + 75-300mk2

I'm not sure if this belongs here or in the Software section so mods, please move if you feel it necessary.

I've been examining a load of images from the Aqua Adrenaline meet over the weekend comparing results from the 75-300 with those I got using my 50-200,k1.

Too my surprise, whilst on their own the 75-300 looked pretty good they all looked slightly soft when compared to similar shots from the 50-200

As I have now subscribed to CC2014 I thought I would put them through the Shake reduction sharpening filter in PS CC and the difference is remarkable

Whether this is truly an proof of "shake" with this EM-1 + 75-300 combo or just the sign of a clever new sharpening algorithm I don't know but the images now look as sharp as those from the 50-200 (although they do still lack a certain clarity that the better glass in the 50-200 seems to provide )

Note - I was using high shutter speeds, up in the 1/1000th sec+ so well beyond the "shutter shake zone"
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Old 30th June 2014
brian1208 brian1208 is offline
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Re: Shake induced softness using the EM-1 + 75-300mk2

Hmm, I've been looking at a few more where the shutter speed was 1/2500th sec + (it was a very bright day! ) and the softness seems to have gone, so maybe there is an element of shake involved.

(Probably me "wavering" as I was hand-holding all these shots during the day)
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Old 1st July 2014
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Re: Shake induced softness using the EM-1 + 75-300mk2

Brian at those speeds where do you think the shake could be coming from? and why would the lenses be different?
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Old 1st July 2014
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Re: Shake induced softness using the EM-1 + 75-300mk2

As we get more pixels and sharper images so the old inverse rule of 1/focal length seems much less appropriate. Add to that my less steady hands and shutter speeds I need to use certainly quickly go up.

For a 250mm ( 500mm equivalent ) lens I find I need to use 1/1250th sec to get consistently sharp pics, when looking closely. So for 300mm it does not surprise me you are seeing differences in images taken at 1/1000th and 1/2500th.

Probably not applicable with current light winds but wind also makes a surprising effect as I found out when photographing some windsurfers.

Panning shots are obviously different and percentage of really good shots goes down as you would expect.

Gary
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Old 1st July 2014
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Re: Shake induced softness using the EM-1 + 75-300mk2

Phil I think weight of lens makes a difference to speed of shake. With heavier lens I find you end up with slower movements.
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Old 1st July 2014
brian1208 brian1208 is offline
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Re: Shake induced softness using the EM-1 + 75-300mk2

I think Gary has the answer Phil, I know that when I first moved to M4/3rds I found it almost impossible to get sharp BIF and the like at the longer focal lengths, because of the lack of inertial mass compared to my old canon system.

I had to learn a new way of holding the camera + lens and thought I cracked it (and generally have been getting good, sharp images)

Since picking up the 50-200 I have found that much easier to hand-hold and get consistently sharp results with, so I'm beginning to suspect my hand-holding technique with the 75-300 is slipping

This week-end seems to confirm it
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Old 1st July 2014
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Re: Shake induced softness using the EM-1 + 75-300mk2

Are you comparing 200mm with 300mm ? Different focal lengths.

1. 50-200 is heavier than 75-300. A heavy system will shake less.
2. 50-200 will always produce better details than 75-300 because it has better glass.
3. Shaking does not have a liniar variation with focal length. This means, 200mm it is much easier to stabilize than 300mm. If you need 1/400s to stabilize 200mm, you probably need 1/800s or 1/1000s to stabilize 300mm.

I noticed the same when I compared 50-200 vs 70-300.
With 50-200 hand-held I easily get sharp pictures.
With 70-300 hand-held very dificult to get sharp pictures. I had to put 70-300 in tripod to get good results. And 70-300 is soft at the end-zoom 250mm....300mm.
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Old 1st July 2014
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Re: Shake induced softness using the EM-1 + 75-300mk2

Brian Unless you use a tripod and remote release these tests are never conclusive.

With the way my hands shake this days I need a fast shutter speed even with IS.
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Old 1st July 2014
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Re: Shake induced softness using the EM-1 + 75-300mk2

I'm aiming to get shutter speed above 1/2000th for BiF shots using the 75-300 II closer to 1/4000th the sharper the image.
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Old 1st July 2014
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Re: Shake induced softness using the EM-1 + 75-300mk2

Brian, out of curiosity did you have IS on?
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Old 1st July 2014
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Re: Shake induced softness using the EM-1 + 75-300mk2

thanks for your interest in and comments on this subject.

I'm not interested in "proving" the effect (beyond satisfying myself that I now know why I was seeing the effect) so won't be bothering to fiddle about with tripods as I never use them for this sort of work (I did use the monopod on Sunday, but stuck with the 50-200)

Yes, I have looked at equivalent focal lengths and seen the same effect at 200mm.

Its interesting (to me) that your experiences seem to be in line with mine, particularly with the need for higher shutter speed to counteract the effect of increasing shakiness with age and lighter kit

Lets hear it for the excellent noise control in the EM's which allows us to use higher ISO to get faster shutter speeds, even in the usually poor UK light

Yes, I did have IS on, always do as I need it to stabilise the view through the EVF.
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Old 1st July 2014
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Re: Shake induced softness using the EM-1 + 75-300mk2

I have also noticed softness at long FL's with the 75-300 mk2, even at high shutter speeds. It is something that I very rarely see when using the Panasonic 100-300 & IBIS, which is my preferred wildlife lens even though it does suffer from lens creep!
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Old 1st July 2014
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Re: Shake induced softness using the EM-1 + 75-300mk2

That is interesting Dave, the 100-300 is a heavier and larger lens than the 75-300 so it may be down to the greater inertial mass?
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Old 1st July 2014
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Re: Shake induced softness using the EM-1 + 75-300mk2

Hi Brian, it might well be so. It is also a slightly faster lens.
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Old 1st July 2014
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Re: Shake induced softness using the EM-1 + 75-300mk2

Brian, I think it's the IS. It is still messing me about on the E-M10. Thos past weekend I was shooting pictures of a Heron, at 300mm, 1\1000+ on the shutter. IS off they looked a little soft, IS on they were blurred. So I can only guess that the rule for the IS remains the same, only use it for slow shutter speeds. I never had an issue with IS on the E-510 or E-30, BUT I didn't use it the same as on the M10.
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