E-M1Mk II: IBIS vs OS effectiveness at 400mm (not Synch IS)

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Messier Object Veteran Member • Posts: 6,688
E-M1Mk II: IBIS vs OS effectiveness at 400mm (not Synch IS)

I use long Focal Length adapted Olympus 4/3 and EF lenses (at and above 300mm) and I've become used to the fact that IBIS gives a  jerky view in the EVF.

But now I suspect that the sudden jerks (as seen in the EVF) are more than just an annoyance and may be a cause of many a soft image I get when using long lenses (such as the Olympus ZD300mm F2.8) that don't have OS, especially when working at 600mm with a 2x.

Thanks to the Metabones adapter I'm able to shoot my optically stabilised EF lenses with the E-M1.2, however there is an incompatibility that causes the lens OS to run continuously, so I've only been switching it on when I really needed it. But after looking at some controlled video test results today I'm going to leave IBIS switched OFF when using OS lenses

For the tests I shot some short low-res video clips of a target at about 10m distance using the Canon EF100-400mm IS. I was shooting from a sitting position with my back against a brick wall and my elbows resting on my knees - about as stable as a hand-held shoot could be, but still with enough jiggle at 400mm to see how well the IBIS/OS performed.

At 400mm IBIS while far better than no stabilisation compared poorly with the in-lens OS.  IBIS + OS was much better, but still not as good as OS on its own. IBIS appeared to be adding a bit of jerkiness to the EVF view and that seemed to be triggered by my physical movement

So my conclusions for long lenses (>300mm) are:

If your long lens supports Synch IS with the E-M1.2 use it in Synch mode.
Otherwise If your long lens has OS then use the OS and keep IBIS OFF.
If your long lens is not stabilised then IBIS is far better than nothing.

I'm happy to hear other/contradictory views and suggestions


 Messier Object's gear list:Messier Object's gear list
Olympus E-5 Canon EOS 5D Mark III Canon EOS 7D Mark II Olympus E-M1 II Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200mm 1:2.8-3.5 SWD +11 more
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