IBIS test on Sony A6500 and Tamron 70-180/2.8

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voronspb
voronspb Senior Member • Posts: 1,941
IBIS test on Sony A6500 and Tamron 70-180/2.8
4

My Tamron 70-180/2.8 has just arrived. I've made quick-n-dirty IBIS test on Sony A6500, and it ensured about 1 EV efficiency at 270 mm equivalent.

Test conditions: shade, ISO up to 1600, relaxed sitting position, normal handheld shooting in AF-S mode, refocusing after each shot, OOC JPEG. I've utilized embedded shutter speed presets, where "normal" equals to 1/320 s, and others are apart from each other by 1 EV.

I've made only 10-11 shots per each setting, therefore my findings aren't scientifically accurate, but still they give you general idea about what can you expect (as you won't find yourself shooting 50 times to get one sharp photo).

Examples of photos (all of them were shot at 1/80 s with IBIS on, which is Slower setting):

"Sharp" - by pixel level

"Okay" - generally fine, but at pixel level there's some softness

"Soft" - barely usable

I also own the 18-135 mm OSS lens, so I can make a similar test tomorrow for comparison between OSS and IBIS. Spoiler: I wasn't really happy with OSS on 18-135, as sometimes it makes soft photos at 1/125 s.

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Vladimir Gorbunov
«Often the difference between a good and a bad sample of the same lens is bigger than that between two different lenses» — Bastian K.

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voronspb
OP voronspb Senior Member • Posts: 1,941
First hand impressions from 70-180

I've got some mixed impressions: the lens itself is obviously very sharp, lightweight, focusing quickly, et al. But its AF is a bit more noisy than I expected!

The lens constantly generates a faint whirling sound on both of my bodies (like image stabilizer on some older lenses). Also fast focus racks make some faint scratchy sound and vibration.

In video the AF noises are next to unnoticeable (even while using the internal mic in complete silence), except for two cases:

  1. The camera has lost any idea, where to focus (like you've pointed it closer than MFD, or on object without any texture). In this case it may violently rack focus with noticeable sound.
  2. You're aggressively using the "Fast" focus speed in video, while shooting in complete silence.

Overall it's not bad (in all cases much quieter than zoom operation), and with external mic there's zero possibility to hear the AF sound.

Also while doing these 120 shots in a row, the camera has got a small glitch 3 times. It's like the lens suddenly loses communication with camera (screen blinks, and momentarily I see focus peaking colors), and then re-establishes it.

I'll be looking forward for the updated FW: https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4488462

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Vladimir Gorbunov
«Often the difference between a good and a bad sample of the same lens is bigger than that between two different lenses» — Bastian K.

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voronspb
OP voronspb Senior Member • Posts: 1,941
Re: IBIS test on Sony A6500 and Tamron 70-180/2.8

I've tested IBIS on Sony A7III with 70-180, and results appeared way better than those of A6500 - around 2-3 EV versus 1 EV. The same goes for OSS in 18-135.

Also the problem with sporadic glitches in A6500 + 70-180 combo persists. I think that in present FW there's some degree of incompatibility between them, will wait for June update.

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Vladimir Gorbunov

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Euell Veteran Member • Posts: 4,475
Re: IBIS test on Sony A6500 and Tamron 70-180/2.8

Thanks for posting.  IBIS, I have read, loses efficiency as focal lenth increases, which is why Sony includes OSS in its longer FE lenses.  So, if your finding estimates 1 EV at 180mm, I wonder whether the A6500 IBIS would yield better results at, say 100mm or 135mm focal length.  That you were able to obtain a majority of reasonably sharp photos at 1/80 racked out seems impressive to me.

One question: is there a difference between APSC and FF when it comes to the amount of compensation required of IBIS for a lens of the same focal length.  In other words, does the A6500/6600 IBIS have to work harder to compensate for a 180mm lens than an A7xx?

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voronspb
OP voronspb Senior Member • Posts: 1,941
Re: IBIS test on Sony A6500 and Tamron 70-180/2.8

Euell wrote:

Thanks for posting. IBIS, I have read, loses efficiency as focal lenth increases, which is why Sony includes OSS in its longer FE lenses. So, if your finding estimates 1 EV at 180mm, I wonder whether the A6500 IBIS would yield better results at, say 100mm or 135mm focal length.

In theory - yes. In practice - I see how the magnified EVF image behaves, and I believe that there's something wrong with the lens communication with A6500 camera. At 70 mm in AUTO IBIS mode the amount of erratic movement is noticeably bigger than in Manual mode.

I'll make a video illustrating that.

One question: is there a difference between APSC and FF when it comes to the amount of compensation required of IBIS for a lens of the same focal length. In other words, does the A6500/6600 IBIS have to work harder to compensate for a 180mm lens than an A7xx?

I don't think so. 24 MP APS-С sensor is basically a central part of 54 MP FF sensor. IBIS either keeps the image steady (thus making sharp picture), or it fails, and image twitches, and there's blur.

The only difference is that on tightly packed sensor there's less tolerance to blur amount.

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Vladimir Gorbunov

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Euell Veteran Member • Posts: 4,475
Re: IBIS test on Sony A6500 and Tamron 70-180/2.8

voronspb wrote:

Euell wrote:

Thanks for posting. IBIS, I have read, loses efficiency as focal length increases, which is why Sony includes OSS in its longer FE lenses. So, if your finding estimates 1 EV at 180mm, I wonder whether the A6500 IBIS would yield better results at, say 100mm or 135mm focal length.

In theory - yes. In practice - I see how the magnified EVF image behaves, and I believe that there's something wrong with the lens communication with A6500 camera. At 70 mm in AUTO IBIS mode the amount of erratic movement is noticeably bigger than in Manual mode.

I'll make a video illustrating that.

Well, that's interesting and likely requires a firmware update for the lens. However, that, of course, doesn't change the basics respecting IS and focal length.

One question: is there a difference between APSC and FF when it comes to the amount of compensation required of IBIS for a lens of the same focal length. In other words, does the A6500/6600 IBIS have to work harder to compensate for a 180mm lens than an A7xx?

I don't think so. 24 MP APS-С sensor is basically a central part of 54 MP FF sensor. IBIS either keeps the image steady (thus making sharp picture), or it fails, and image twitches, and there's blur.

The only difference is that on tightly packed sensor there's less tolerance to blur amount.

There is at least some authority for the proposition that for APSC you should calculate the minimum handheld shutter speed not at the reciprocal of the focal length, but as the reciprocal of the focal length that would produce the same field of view on a FF sensor. See, e.g., https://improvephotography.com/37091/minimum-shutter-speeds-for-handheld-shooting-the-definitive-answer-to-how-slow-can-you-go/

If that proposition is accurate, then the minimum hand-held shutter speed for a 180mm lens on the A6500 is not 1/180th of a second, but rather 1/270th of a second. And, it would seem there are implications for image stabilization as well.

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voronspb
OP voronspb Senior Member • Posts: 1,941
Video with IBIS operation on Sony A6500 and Tamron 70-180
2

Here's a video displaying the IBIS operation in various modes:

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Vladimir Gorbunov
«Often the difference between a good and a bad sample of the same lens is bigger than that between two different lenses» — Bastian K.

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voronspb
OP voronspb Senior Member • Posts: 1,941
Re: IBIS test on Sony A6500 and Tamron 70-180/2.8

Euell wrote:

If that proposition is accurate, then the minimum hand-held shutter speed for a 180mm lens on the A6500 is not 1/180th of a second, but rather 1/270th of a second. And, it would seem there are implications for image stabilization as well.

Sure thing, the 1/F rule for APS-С would be 1/270 s.

But! The 1/F rule is very old, it was invented in time period, when everyone shot film. And there you had not 24 or 50 or 61 MP, but closer to 5 MP, and you didn't examine each photo under a loupe, but printed it and watched as a whole.

In the present the situation has changed, and 1/F rule is very optimistic. Now, if you want a razor-sharp photo at 100%, you must either utilize a MUCH faster shutter, like 1/2F to 1/4F, or use stabilization.

And actually, while examining a photo under 100% mag, the 24 MP cropped sensor would require exactly the same "safe" shutter speed as 54 MP FF sensor. Because their pixels are the same.

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Vladimir Gorbunov
«Often the difference between a good and a bad sample of the same lens is bigger than that between two different lenses» — Bastian K.

 voronspb's gear list:voronspb's gear list
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snapa
snapa Veteran Member • Posts: 4,625
Euell

Euell wrote:

There is at least some authority for the proposition that for APSC you should calculate the minimum handheld shutter speed not at the reciprocal of the focal length, but as the reciprocal of the focal length that would produce the same field of view on a FF sensor. See, e.g., https://improvephotography.com/37091/minimum-shutter-speeds-for-handheld-shooting-the-definitive-answer-to-how-slow-can-you-go/

If that proposition is accurate, then the minimum hand-held shutter speed for a 180mm lens on the A6500 is not 1/180th of a second, but rather 1/270th of a second. And, it would seem there are implications for image stabilization as well.

I don't think you (or anyone else) can make blanket statements like that. Not everyone has the same hand holding technique or experience. I shoot with an a6300 (with no IBIS) & 70-300 lens at 300mm very often. I took a shot last week at 300mm @1/60 sec. f/5.6 and was able to come away with a decent shot. I was sitting down and steadying the combo with my knee.

So, all these charts, graphs, articles, opinions are very interesting, but in practice, none of them are conclusive and probably never will be.

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voronspb
OP voronspb Senior Member • Posts: 1,941
Re: Euell

snapa wrote:

So, all these charts, graphs, articles, opinions are very interesting, but in practice, none of them are conclusive and probably never will be.

Not quite true. Plotting two charts with and without stabilization is a legit way to measure the stabilizer efficiency. In such way you compare your own hands with same hands, improved by stabilizer. Depending on your skill, both graphs will be affected, but difference between them is that matters.

CIPA test protocol probably utilizes more or less the same technique, the difference is that the "hands" are mechanical.

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Vladimir Gorbunov

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snapa
snapa Veteran Member • Posts: 4,625
voronspb
1

voronspb wrote:

snapa wrote:

So, all these charts, graphs, articles, opinions are very interesting, but in practice, none of them are conclusive and probably never will be.

Not quite true. Plotting two charts with and without stabilization is a legit way to measure the stabilizer efficiency. In such way you compare your own hands with same hands, improved by stabilizer. Depending on your skill, both graphs will be affected, but difference between them is that matters.

CIPA test protocol probably utilizes more or less the same technique, the difference is that the "hands" are mechanical.

That is the problem with your testing procedure, all hands are not identical in the shake they have. Even the same hands vary in the way they shake on every shot. That is a huge variable in any hand held test. Doing a hand held test for stabalization will never give you the same results more than one time.

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voronspb
OP voronspb Senior Member • Posts: 1,941
Re: voronspb

snapa wrote:

That is the problem with your testing procedure, all hands are not identical in the shake they have. Even the same hands vary in the way they shake on every shot. That is a huge variable in any hand held test. Doing a hand held test for stabalization will never give you the same results more than one time.

The more shots you take at each setting, the better they converge.

Besides, it's like an argument about which photos shall be in the lens review: real life or test targets in controlled conditions. Or may be just MTF charts? While the latter are interesting, many people are also interested in lens behavior in hands of living photographer.

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Vladimir Gorbunov
«Often the difference between a good and a bad sample of the same lens is bigger than that between two different lenses» — Bastian K.

 voronspb's gear list:voronspb's gear list
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Euell Veteran Member • Posts: 4,475
Re: IBIS test on Sony A6500 and Tamron 70-180/2.8

voronspb wrote:

Euell wrote:

If that proposition is accurate, then the minimum hand-held shutter speed for a 180mm lens on the A6500 is not 1/180th of a second, but rather 1/270th of a second. And, it would seem there are implications for image stabilization as well.

Sure thing, the 1/F rule for APS-С would be 1/270 s.

But! The 1/F rule is very old, it was invented in time period, when everyone shot film. And there you had not 24 or 50 or 61 MP, but closer to 5 MP, and you didn't examine each photo under a loupe, but printed it and watched as a whole.

In the present the situation has changed, and 1/F rule is very optimistic. Now, if you want a razor-sharp photo at 100%, you must either utilize a MUCH faster shutter, like 1/2F to 1/4F, or use stabilization.

And actually, while examining a photo under 100% mag, the 24 MP cropped sensor would require exactly the same "safe" shutter speed as 54 MP FF sensor. Because their pixels are the same.

My comment was really meant to critique your comparison of the A6500 IBIS to full frame. It would appear that for any given focal length and shutter speed, image stabilization for APSC is significantly more demanding than for full frame. It seems to me that in making such comparisons, the field of view, rather than focal length is appropriate. So, for example, in comparing relative IBIS efficiency at 24mm for full frame, the correct comparison for APSC would be 16mm, assuming the same shutter speed.

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Martin_99 Senior Member • Posts: 1,086
Re: voronspb
1

voronspb wrote:

snapa wrote:

That is the problem with your testing procedure, all hands are not identical in the shake they have. Even the same hands vary in the way they shake on every shot. That is a huge variable in any hand held test. Doing a hand held test for stabalization will never give you the same results more than one time.

The more shots you take at each setting, the better they converge.

Besides, it's like an argument about which photos shall be in the lens review: real life or test targets in controlled conditions. Or may be just MTF charts? While the latter are interesting, many people are also interested in lens behavior in hands of living photographer.

Thank you Vladimir for you work. I agree, that test have its value - the comparison at the same condition (in the same hands and using the same method) roughly show the stabilisation effectiveness.

I tried the OSS in 18-135 some time ago in similar way, just standing. I noticed, that even the test show very nice numbers (low SS), it's highly dependable on my concentration on steadiness. During test was much higher then on usual trip shooting. So in reality, shutter speed needs to be significantly higher than numbers in graph suggest ( at least for me :-)).

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voronspb
OP voronspb Senior Member • Posts: 1,941
Re: IBIS test on Sony A6500 and Tamron 70-180/2.8

Euell wrote:

My comment was really meant to critique your comparison of the A6500 IBIS to full frame. It would appear that for any given focal length and shutter speed, image stabilization for APSC is significantly more demanding than for full frame.

It's very true for sensors of similar resolution, or, alternatively, for reviewing the full-screen pics on display or print of fixed size.

But I personally examined 100% crops. And in this case, if comparing A6xxx versus A7RIV at 100%, the latter one will be more demanding with very same lens, as its pixels are smaller. And imaginary 100 MP camera will be even more demanding (at pixel level, of course).

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Vladimir Gorbunov

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Euell Veteran Member • Posts: 4,475
Re: IBIS test on Sony A6500 and Tamron 70-180/2.8

But, the pixel pitch of A7iv is only slightly greater than the pixel pitch of the A6xxx, so there shouldn’t be much difference on that score.

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voronspb
OP voronspb Senior Member • Posts: 1,941
Re: IBIS test on Sony A6500 and Tamron 70-180/2.8

Euell wrote:

But, the pixel pitch of A7iv is only slightly greater than the pixel pitch of the A6xxx, so there shouldn’t be much difference on that score.

Right.

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Vladimir Gorbunov

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Euell Veteran Member • Posts: 4,475
Re: Video with IBIS operation on Sony A6500 and Tamron 70-180

Because I am not planning to upgrade my A6500 at least until the A6700 is available, this thread has been quite valuable to me personally.  I am looking at the Tamron 70-180 as a basic telephoto zoom, in lieu of a Sony 70-200, but will wait until the issues the OP has pointed out are resolved by Tamron.  Spacebo, Vladimir !

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paul wassermann Senior Member • Posts: 1,636
Re: Video with IBIS operation on Sony A6500 and Tamron 70-180

voronspb wrote:

Here's a video displaying the IBIS operation in various modes:

Thank you!  I found the comparisons very interesting.  In each case, to my old untrained eyes, in each case the manual setting seemed significantly better than relying on auto?  Is that something I should take away from this presentation?

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voronspb
OP voronspb Senior Member • Posts: 1,941
Re: Video with IBIS operation on Sony A6500 and Tamron 70-180

paul wassermann wrote:

Thank you! I found the comparisons very interesting. In each case, to my old untrained eyes, in each case the manual setting seemed significantly better than relying on auto? Is that something I should take away from this presentation?

You're right. The first one, who mentioned this phenomenon, was Mr. Abbott , on A9 and A7RIII:

What is odd is that I didn’t much better results at 70mm than what I did at 180mm, though I did find that I got a little better results when I manually selected the correct focal length in SteadyShot.

Then, the Tamron itself acknowledged this issue , but they were talking about A7II only:

A malfunction of Inner body image stabilizer occurs when used at about 70-85mm focal length and at more than 5.5m of object distance.
Applicable camera models: α7 II
Please turn the inner body image stabilizer function “OFF” when you use this lens at less than an 85mm focal length.

And now, it's clearly visible on my A6500.

Most probably, it's caused by some miscommunication between lens and camera, as the lens passes the focal length to camera correctly (as seen in EXIF), but for some reason it's incorrectly translated to IBIS setting.

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Vladimir Gorbunov
«Often the difference between a good and a bad sample of the same lens is bigger than that between two different lenses» — Bastian K.

 voronspb's gear list:voronspb's gear list
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