Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm

Started Apr 4, 2013 | Discussions
FrankParis
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Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm
Apr 4, 2013

Posters have been telling me they can do this successfully because of the superiority of the E-M5 IBIS. So I've been experimenting with my 71 year old shaky hands to see what it takes. These images are my second attempt. All I did was walk out on my back deck, set the lens near 300mm and the ISO to 1000 (because it was overcast). I took 13 images, of which 6 did not show motion blur looking at the images 1:1. I used Photo Ninja to reduce noise, then Photoshop Elements 10 to batch process the full size images, using the sharpening function, which seems to do a gentle job, but it doesn't allow any controls over the parameters.

All these are of flowers I could get at from my backyard deck. The comellias were across our fence and bordering the fence. One of the problems I have with hand-holding this extreme focal length is cropping my subject properly and for a couple of the comellias I had to crop about half of the area out, maybe 2/3.

As a general practice, I'm afraid this is not for me. It just doesn't provide me with enough control. I have far greater success simply putting the E-M5/75-300mm on a carbon fiber Gitzo series 0 tripod (using an RRS BH-40 ball head). I like the control this gives me over careful framing. My hats off to those who don't need such crutches when using this camera. Ah, to be young again.

Let me repeat again that I am absolutely in love with the handling of this lens. And I don't find using the tripod the least bit of a burden.

A white hyacinth. I could lean my arms on the deck railing for this one.

Flowering tree from across the back fence.

Flowering tree from across the back fence.

Skylight was shining brightly on this one comellia so everything else is under expose. Weird lighting.

More even lighting on these commelias. The one in the lower middle is awesome.

This is the view of these comellias with no cropping, to give you an idea of what I did for the previous crops

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OniMirage
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Re: Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm
In reply to FrankParis, Apr 4, 2013

All nice photos. Question did you have half press IS enabled? This would enable the IS system while half pressed so you can compose the images with much higher accuracy. It's not on by default so you have to enable it yourself in the menu. Try again with that turned on and see if it makes a difference for you.

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FrankParis
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Re: Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm
In reply to OniMirage, Apr 4, 2013

OniMirage wrote:

All nice photos. Question did you have half press IS enabled? This would enable the IS system while half pressed so you can compose the images with much higher accuracy. It's not on by default so you have to enable it yourself in the menu. Try again with that turned on and see if it makes a difference for you.

Don't know what "half press IS" is. IS(1) is enabled. I presumed half press IS is something in addition. Can't image what it could be that would make a difference. Could you describe the behavior for me?

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tom60634
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Re: Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm
In reply to FrankParis, Apr 4, 2013

Bravo ! Sharp with little if any obvious camera/lens shake. The OMD's stabilization system seems to serve you well.

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OniMirage
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Re: Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm
In reply to FrankParis, Apr 4, 2013

It causes the IS system to be enabled while composing. As a result any shift, shake or rotation will be corrected in the live view as if your using a steady cam. It's an option in the menu that is turned on by the user because it uses additional battery power but the benefit is huge. Just having IS 1 turned on will not enable this behavior as it will only stabilize at the time of shot.

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Guy Parsons
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What to expect with 300mm.
In reply to FrankParis, Apr 4, 2013

The old rule about shutter speeds and hand-holding would have this effect....

"Normal" person, no stabilisation, a 300mm lens on M4/3 would need 1/600 sec minimum shutter speed. That's hand-held, standing, no wind buffeting.

The lesser Pen IBIS or Panasonic OIS on Pen E-PL5 (for me, extrapolated from my use of 150mm) reliably moves that to 10 times slower at 1/60 second. That's about 3 stops.

If the E-M5 IBIS manages 4 stops then that could be 1/30 second for 300mm.

If the E-M5 IBIS manages to get to the "claimed" possible 5 stops then that's 1/15 second at 300mm.

Some people can do better, some do worse, but this little 71 yr old Guy manages to reliably fit the normal pattern. Lean against a wall or tree and usually gain 2 or 3 stops without stabilisation, that's what I did in film days.

But if you have the shakes from too many cigarettes and too much coffee, then the old rule goes out the window. In fact, everyone needs to take bunches of shots at all speeds and a selection of focal lengths without stabilisation to see what their personal limits are. My recommendation is to take 10 shots at each speed when testing, no burst, just 10 single shots and pixel peep later to check the amount of blur.

In doing that test for myself on my earlier E-PL1 I found that the IBIS was adding a tiny bit of blur to shots at safe speeds, it works better to leave Pen IBIS off as much as possible. The E-M5 IBIS is evidently better and does not seem to interfere at safe shutter speeds but I've never had a chance to test one of them.

Regards...... Guy

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FrankParis
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Re: Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm
In reply to OniMirage, Apr 4, 2013

Okay. That sounds good. In fact, it sounds amazing! Will definitely look into it.

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FrankParis
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Re: Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm
In reply to tom60634, Apr 4, 2013

tom60634 wrote:

Bravo ! Sharp with little if any obvious camera/lens shake. The OMD's stabilization system seems to serve you well.

Hmmm...only a 50% success rate at ISO 1000? On a tripod I have a 95% success rate at ISO 200.

Anyhow, I like your "bravo." Whether deserved or not.

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Pikme
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Re: Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm
In reply to FrankParis, Apr 4, 2013

FrankParis wrote:

I have far greater success simply putting the E-M5/75-300mm on a carbon fiber Gitzo series 0 tripod (using an RRS BH-40 ball head).

I much prefer to use a tripod when shooting with long focal lengths, but I've given up with this lens.  Because there is no tripod ring mount and there is some play in the lens, I get soft or OOF images when there is the slightest bit of breeze - and I live where it is generally always windy.

Also, when shooting birds or other moving wildlife, I like to use a tripod but without locking the lens down so I can pan or move as the animal moves.  Even though the lens isn't held still, the tripod gives me enough support to make a big difference compared to handholding.  But this technique does not work with this lens and my EM5.  I can't figure out why, but I've tried a number of times and gotten just about 100% OOF or blurry images (IS off and high shutter speed). If I shoot the same subjects handheld with this camera and lens and pan or move around as usual, my keeper rate goes back to normal.  So I don't know what I'm doing wrong or why, but I can't seem to use a tripod with EM5 and this lens.

So, after about 6 months of trying to force my old habits (tripod) onto new lens and camera, I gave up and just realized this is a lens that was designed for handholding.  I firmly believe that a tripod gives better results when shooting long focal lengths (especially if printing), but in this case, it just doesn't work for me.  I'm guessing the 'pro' version that will eventually come out will have a tripod mount, just hope it isn't so expensive I can't ever afford it.

BTW, it took practice before I could handhold this lens, partly because I was used to being a tripod shooter and partly because the camera and lens are both so small and lightweight.  But practice does make it much easier to do.

Roberto M.

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Pikme
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Re: Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm
In reply to Pikme, Apr 4, 2013

Pikme wrote:

I can't figure out why, but I've tried a number of times and gotten just about 100% OOF or blurry images (IS off and high shutter speed). If I shoot the same subjects handheld with this camera and lens and pan or move around as usual, my keeper rate goes back to normal.

Funny, but I think I just realized why.  When I shoot handheld, I am using one hand to support the lens and the other to hold the camera.  When I use a tripod, the lens just kind of waves around out there by itself - I think that is the issue.  It just isn't sturdy enough not to bend and sway with the wind and/or movement of the camera.

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FrankParis
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Re: What to expect with 300mm.
In reply to Guy Parsons, Apr 4, 2013

Guy Parsons wrote:

But if you have the shakes from too many cigarettes and too much coffee,

Not guilty on either score. I have zero caffeine daily input and have never smoked tobacco. I'm a strict water drinker and two cups of 2% milk daily. On the other hand, I've always been a Type A personality. I'm a pretty hyper buy, although my blood pressure is under control. Get lots of exercise, too, what with walking up and down steep hills with my camera all the time.

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FrankParis
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Re: Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm
In reply to Pikme, Apr 4, 2013

My success with this lens on a tripod is the same as any other lens I have, but I seldom ever choose moving targets. The E-M5 is well known for being unable to handle moving targets. But if the subject just sits there, I have no problem whatsoever with the 75-300mm II @ 300mm (or slightly less). With the E-M5, it balances and behaves beautifully on a tripod, so I can't imagine what you're talking about, unless you're only applying your criticism to a moving target. I like it much better than my Panny 45-200mm, although I get good results with it, too. And of course you need a very rigid tripod and a high quality ball head.

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FrankParis
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Re: Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm
In reply to Pikme, Apr 4, 2013

Pikme wrote:

When I use a tripod, the lens just kind of waves around out there by itself - I think that is the issue.  It just isn't sturdy enough not to bend and sway with the wind and/or movement of the camera.

This is the most bizarre thing I ever heard. The 75-300 II is perfectly rigid relative to the camera body. No slop whatsoever.

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Martin.au
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Re: Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm
In reply to FrankParis, Apr 4, 2013

FrankParis wrote:

Pikme wrote:

When I use a tripod, the lens just kind of waves around out there by itself - I think that is the issue.  It just isn't sturdy enough not to bend and sway with the wind and/or movement of the camera.

This is the most bizarre thing I ever heard. The 75-300 II is perfectly rigid relative to the camera body. No slop whatsoever.

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Frank Paris

He might have a lightweight tripod. I have a fairly heavy tripod and in windy conditions ill see vibration at 600mm.

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j.m.young
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Re: Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm
In reply to FrankParis, Apr 4, 2013

Would my photos be considered hand held? I have both lenses, old and new version and almost always use the lens handheld...i think. Do I really use it hand held as I don't carry a tripod but about 90 percent of the time I find something to prop the camera with. If I have to I will lay right down in the dirt and have my elbows on the ground  or use a fence or telephone pole maybe a tree anyway you all get the picture. Granted not as good as a tripod  but it gives me a good success rate. Would my photos be considered hand held?

http://scallawags.net/Mtn%20Bluebird.jpg

I don't know how far away this bird was but it was a rare bird for my area so the photo was taken for id purposes not to frame and display. The forum has been changed around so i don't know it the photo or link will even show up. But I love the lens because I can grab a photo long distance.

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Martin.au
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Re: Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm
In reply to j.m.young, Apr 4, 2013

j.m.young wrote:

Would my photos be considered hand held? I have both lenses, old and new version and almost always use the lens handheld...i think. Do I really use it hand held as I don't carry a tripod but about 90 percent of the time I find something to prop the camera with. If I have to I will lay right down in the dirt and have my elbows on the ground  or use a fence or telephone pole maybe a tree anyway you all get the picture. Granted not as good as a tripod  but it gives me a good success rate. Would my photos be considered hand held?

http://scallawags.net/Mtn%20Bluebird.jpg

I don't know how far away this bird was but it was a rare bird for my area so the photo was taken for id purposes not to frame and display. The forum has been changed around so i don't know it the photo or link will even show up. But I love the lens because I can grab a photo long distance.

It doesn't really matter does it? I'd describe them as handheld.

You can possibly find out how far away the bird was in the photo exif. I've noticed on some lenses - including the new 75-300 - the focus distance is included in the exif.

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j.m.young
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Re: Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm
In reply to Martin.au, Apr 4, 2013

Mjankor wrote:

j.m.young wrote:

Would my photos be considered hand held? I have both lenses, old and new version and almost always use the lens handheld...i think. Do I really use it hand held as I don't carry a tripod but about 90 percent of the time I find something to prop the camera with. If I have to I will lay right down in the dirt and have my elbows on the ground  or use a fence or telephone pole maybe a tree anyway you all get the picture. Granted not as good as a tripod  but it gives me a good success rate. Would my photos be considered hand held?

http://scallawags.net/Mtn%20Bluebird.jpg

I don't know how far away this bird was but it was a rare bird for my area so the photo was taken for id purposes not to frame and display. The forum has been changed around so i don't know it the photo or link will even show up. But I love the lens because I can grab a photo long distance.

It doesn't really matter does it? I'd describe them as handheld.

You can possibly find out how far away the bird was in the photo exif. I've noticed on some lenses - including the new 75-300 - the focus distance is included in the exif.

Thanks I will check the exif for distance.

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FrankParis
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Re: Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm
In reply to OniMirage, Apr 4, 2013

OniMirage wrote:

It causes the IS system to be enabled while composing. As a result any shift, shake or rotation will be corrected in the live view as if your using a steady cam.

Okay, I tried it. It is amazing! It helps to compose, but of course not to hold the camera steady. So one of my problems is solved. In the 6 images below, the first five were shot at ISO1000 under fairly bright but overcast skies. I was getting such high shutter speeds that I tried lowering the ISO to 200 and fired off several shots and all but one had camera shake blur and that one picked the wrong plane of focus for he subject, but I included it anyhow.

In these images, I tried to center the camillia I was interested in, and was fairly successful at that, although one or two are not precisely centered. If I were trying to make show-off images, I would have cropped, but that would have defeated my purpose in making this post.

It's an option in the menu that is turned on by the user because it uses additional battery power but the benefit is huge.

I seldom take more than 200 shots in an outing and I always take a spare battery, so hopefully it won't drain so much that this won't be adequate.

Just having IS 1 turned on will not enable this behavior as it will only stabilize at the time of shot.

I wonder why I never heard of this function before? Maybe posts I've read talked about it but sometimes if the text doesn't make sense to me (because of a new concept maybe) my impatience doesn't allow me to explore further and I go on to something else.

The last shot tries to take this subject at ISO 200, but I missed the focus on it!

I just love this camillia

Ha, ha. Ordinarily I'd never show such a poorly situated subject, but we have a different purpose here.

Here's the image I went to ISO 200 and failed to hold the camera steady enough to avoid motion blur on all at 200 except this one, then missed the focus! Added: Actually, in looking at this again at 1:1 I see that it has motion blur, and probably not focus blur.

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OniMirage
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Re: Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm
In reply to FrankParis, Apr 5, 2013

FrankParis wrote:

OniMirage wrote:

It causes the IS system to be enabled while composing. As a result any shift, shake or rotation will be corrected in the live view as if your using a steady cam.

Okay, I tried it. It is amazing! It helps to compose, but of course not to hold the camera steady. So one of my problems is solved. In the 6 images below, the first five were shot at ISO1000 under fairly bright but overcast skies. I was getting such high shutter speeds that I tried lowering the ISO to 200 and fired off several shots and all but one had camera shake blur and that one picked the wrong plane of focus for he subject, but I included it anyhow.

The only other thing I could suggest is turning off the IS and find out where at 300mm you are starting to falter on your own by taking shots at progressively shorter shutter speeds starting at 1/4000. This should give you a mental note as to where your limit is then setting it to half that speed and turn IS back on.

In these images, I tried to center the camillia I was interested in, and was fairly successful at that, although one or two are not precisely centered. If I were trying to make show-off images, I would have cropped, but that would have defeated my purpose in making this post.

IS at half press is an incredibly useful option it should serve you well especially for flowers.

It's an option in the menu that is turned on by the user because it uses additional battery power but the benefit is huge.

I seldom take more than 200 shots in an outing and I always take a spare battery, so hopefully it won't drain so much that this won't be adequate.

Just having IS 1 turned on will not enable this behavior as it will only stabilize at the time of shot.

I wonder why I never heard of this function before? Maybe posts I've read talked about it but sometimes if the text doesn't make sense to me (because of a new concept maybe) my impatience doesn't allow me to explore further and I go on to something else.

It's seldom talked about because it's one of those set it and forget it options. The super control panel can turn IS on or off so going back to the option is something most don't ever consider.

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sderdiarian
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Re: Hand-holding the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75-300mm F4.8-6.7 II near 300mm
In reply to FrankParis, Apr 5, 2013

I'm surprised how much noise you're getting at ISO 1000.  Do you have noise reduction turned entirely off?  Just curious.  Also, its been noted by David Busch that use of the OM-5's IBIS can introduce a bit of noise on its own when shooting stills.

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