Why turn off the Image Stabilizer?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Peter Jason, Nov 23, 2012.

  1. Peter Jason

    Peter Jason Guest

    I have an Olympus E5.

    The manual says to turn off the image stabilizer
    when using a tripod.

    Why? Does the I.S. use camera resources that
    detract from image quality?

    Peter Jason, Nov 23, 2012
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  2. Peter Jason

    M-M Guest

    and it will shoot faster
    M-M, Nov 23, 2012
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  3. Peter Jason

    Rob Guest

    Put your ear to the lens when the IS is switched on.
    Rob, Nov 23, 2012
  4. Peter Jason

    nick c Guest

    You have asked what appears to be a simple question. Hoping, I think, to
    get a readily available simple answer but the answer is not so simple to
    give. Rather than attempt to answer your question and possibly bungling
    the explanation effort, I thought it best to offer a site where you can
    read the answer and draw your own conclusions.


    nick c, Nov 23, 2012
  5. Peter Jason

    PeterN Guest

    Yep! When shooting birds I typically turn VR off. I am shooting at such
    a high shutter speed that it is not really needed.
    PeterN, Nov 23, 2012
  6. I didn't see anything about when or why to turn it off in that article.
    Maybe I missed something.

    As I understand it, the main reason to turn it off on a tripod is that image
    stabilization can move the lens elements or sensor during exposure, which is
    something you do not need or want during tripod stabilized exposures. So if
    the vibration of the focal plane shutter or mirror slap or anything else
    could cause unwanted "compensation" in the image stab system, you could
    induce some camera shake blur that is caused by the system rather than the
    actual camera shake. Leave well enough alone, and there should be no shakin
    goin on when on a tripod, so nothing to compensate and possibly make things

    Gary Eickmeier
    Gary Eickmeier, Nov 23, 2012
  7. Peter Jason

    Savageduck Guest

    You seem to have a pretty good grasp of the issue.

    Others have their say on the subject, which at times can add to the confusion:
    http://www.shutterbug.com/content/image-stabilization-tripods-picture-isn’t-always-clear< http://digital-photography-school.com/image-stabilization-on-tripods >
    < http://www.dlcphotography.net/TripodAndIS.htm >
    < http://photonaturalist.net/when-not-to-use-lens-stabilization/ >
    Savageduck, Nov 23, 2012
  8. Peter Jason

    nick c Guest

    Offhand, I read this portion in Wikipedia.

    "Most manufacturers suggest that the IS feature of a lens be turned off
    when the lens is mounted on a tripod as it can cause erratic results and
    is generally unnecessary."
    Some time ago, I read the following information which I will endeavor to
    express in my words.

    When tripod mounted, lenses that are sensitively active (vertical &
    horizontal) in stabilization mode are in somewhat of a free floating
    condition. Therefore, when tripod mounted, the sensitivity of the
    stabilization design may detect vibrations emanating from any source and
    when active, light passing through the lens may be shifted in such
    manner as to create a degrading effect to bokeh although the centered
    image itself may appear to be unaffected.

    nick c, Nov 24, 2012
  9. Peter Jason

    otter Guest

    A few other points, in addition to what others have said:
    - Some lenses are able to detect that they are on a tripod (i guess by
    lack of shake) and don't need to have IS turned off. This may not
    apply to the Olympus E5, but it does to some Canon IS lenses, at
    - If you have a mediocre tripod, or if it is windy to the point that
    your lens vibrates despite being on a tripod, you may be better off
    leaving IS on.
    - If your lens is on a good tripod and isn't vibrating, and the lens
    was not designed to automatically detect this, it may hunt for
    movement, which could cause poorer results than if IS were switched
    off. This is where the advice comes from to switch off IS while on a
    tripod. But as I mentioned above, it is not always necessary or even
    otter, Nov 24, 2012
  10. Peter Jason

    PeterN Guest

    I'm sure our engineer friends here will correct me but, I think
    everything has some degree of oscillation. The only issue is whether the
    oscillations are sufficient to move the lens outside the circle of
    PeterN, Nov 24, 2012
  11. Peter Jason

    Eric Stevens Guest

    The point is that the IS actually moves the circle of confusion.
    Eric Stevens, Nov 24, 2012
  12. Peter Jason

    PeterN Guest

    I understand that. But, it is my understanding that you cannot eliminate
    oscillation. It is likely that VR, and/or IS do in fact move the circle
    of confusion, hopefully in synch with the oscillations.
    PeterN, Nov 25, 2012
  13. Peter Jason

    Peter Jason Guest

    Thanks for the replies. I'm doing some tripod
    tests with a 600mm (4/3) lens and will report
    Peter Jason, Nov 25, 2012
  14. Peter Jason

    PeterN Guest

    PeterN, Nov 25, 2012
  15. Peter Jason

    RichA Guest

    There are no 600mm 4/3 rd lenses, unless you are talking about some
    Sigma zoom that might have appeared. Likely you mean 300mm because
    Olympus is still pretending that 4/3rds 2x equivalence still matters.
    Which is doesn't, once you have an APS or FF sensor with more pixels
    than the 18MP Panasonic m4/3rd sensor.
    RichA, Nov 25, 2012

  16. Don't be ridiculous. The 2X focal length multiplier is critically
    important because of the effect sensor size has on angle of view.
    Anthony Polson, Nov 25, 2012
  17. Peter Jason

    Peter Jason Guest

    Gee, I dunno. It says 600 on the side of the

    and I use this gadget for time lapse
    (that came with a faulty LED screen requiring a
    change over.)
    Peter Jason, Nov 25, 2012
  18. Anthony Polson, Nov 25, 2012
  19. Peter Jason

    Savageduck Guest

    Savageduck, Nov 25, 2012
  20. Peter Jason

    Peter Jason Guest

    Well it does. Maybe it's because it's eq to 600mm
    in the 4/3rd system, that allows smaller lenses
    Peter Jason, Nov 25, 2012
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