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02-06-2017, 09:34 AM   #1
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What do they mean when they say Shake Reduction adds4 stops of performance?

I can hand hold a 50 mm lens at 1/30s. proven in dozens of film and digital images.

So, one stop better
1/15s

Two stops better
1/8s

Three stops better
1/4s

Four stops better
1/2s.

That would be just nonsense. I still can't hand hold better than 1/8s using any of my SR bodies. SO where does this 4 or 5 stop thing count?

02-06-2017, 09:37 AM - 4 Likes   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
SO where does this 4 or 5 stop thing count?
In the marketing boardroom?
02-06-2017, 09:49 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
That would be just nonsense. I still can't hand hold better than 1/8s using any of my SR bodies. SO where does this 4 or 5 stop thing count?
There is presumably a range in which it is effective, and below that it wouldn't help. That said, at 1/2s, it would make a statistical improvement in your ability to get that shot. I'm pretty sure I have taken photos with acceptable sharpness at 1/2s, though probably one good one out of many attempts.
02-06-2017, 09:50 AM - 2 Likes   #4
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This is a SR standard CIPA DC-011 Measurement and Description Method for Image Stabilization Performance of Digital Cameras: Home This shows pictures of the devices: Image Stabilization and Multi-Axis Patterned Motion Simulation – PI (Physik Instrumente) LP

You are right that it depends on how long the exposure is, our hands when holding the camera likely drift instead of hovering around a point. For me SR makes the greatest difference with slightly longer lenses which would look blurry at 1/80.

02-06-2017, 10:01 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
This is a SR standard CIPA DC-011 Measurement and Description Method for Image Stabilization Performance of Digital Cameras: Home This shows pictures of the devices: Image Stabilization and Multi-Axis Patterned Motion Simulation PI (Physik Instrumente) LP

You are right that it depends on how long the exposure is, our hands when holding the camera likely drift instead of hovering around a point. For me SR makes the greatest difference with slightly longer lenses which would look blurry at 1/80.
What they said ^ ^ ^

The CIPA standard makes for an interesting read, particularly in regards to the test jig. This blog post from the maker of a test system is very informative and include photos and video of how the testing is done:

Image Stabilization and Multi-Axis Patterned Motion Simulation – PI (Physik Instrumente) LP


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02-06-2017, 10:19 AM   #6
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I can do 1/8s handheld with a 50mm & Pentax's SR with a certain degree of repeatability... I think I can do something better if I try.
02-06-2017, 11:28 AM   #7
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I'm pretty skeptical on the 5 stop claims as well. I usually think of sr aiding me vaguely.
02-06-2017, 11:53 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
I can hand hold a 50 mm lens at 1/30s. proven in dozens of film and digital images.

So, one stop better
1/15s

Two stops better
1/8s

Three stops better
1/4s

Four stops better
1/2s.

That would be just nonsense. I still can't hand hold better than 1/8s using any of my SR bodies. SO where does this 4 or 5 stop thing count?
Allowing somewhere between 3-5 tries I was able to shoot 1/2 second on K-1/35mm an K-3I/DA16-85@16 with little difficulty.
I consider it a nice bonus to shoot a nightsky handheld at -4 EV ambient light (that still results in ISO 6400).

Generally it is true that below 1/8 sec it gets difficult, regardless of focal length. But if they use anything between 85 and 300mm the SR can be very, very effective.

02-06-2017, 11:58 AM   #9
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If you have steady hands, you can get fairly sharp pics at really slow shutter speeds. I've gotten decent results at 0.3 sec when doing tests with the FA 31mm.

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02-06-2017, 12:19 PM   #10
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What about long lens

You will appreciate 3.5 - 5 stop benefit depending upon model; when you are handholding a 300mm lens.
02-06-2017, 12:53 PM   #11
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SR is something that will grab attention, the more stops available, the more effective it is possible it might be.


(Just like fuel consumption in cars, (avoiding referring to the VAG cheat software) is. Having driven a diesel for nearly 7 years now, providing nearly twice the fuel economy of some of my previous similar performance cars going back 40+ years, I am happy with my fuel cost savings. I must point out that I usually get less than 80% of the rated economy though, I am not getting close to the maximum the car is rated at. I would say that most people cannot quite achieve those ratings in practice, some probably getting nearer 50% depending on their usual driving style or routes).


So it is with SR I will assume, on longer lenses. The steadier a shooter is the better SR will work.....except maybe for the people who are so steady they turn the SR off so as to not have it provide a problem. Just don't expect automatic maximum performance SR.


Now to admit having used a Sony Alpha 100 that has an indicator in the viewfinder that provides bars to show how much the camera is (or might be) affected by camera shake at low shutter speeds . Not especially effective perhaps but it did remind me that I needed to concentrate on trying to hold the camera as steady as I could.
02-06-2017, 01:09 PM   #12
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I think they likely market it from the perspective of 1.5 x focal length is min shutter speed to ensure no camera movement. 5 stop improvement from there is not so impressive for a pro but maybe huge for an amateur.
02-06-2017, 02:45 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
If you have steady hands, you can get fairly sharp pics at really slow shutter speeds. I've gotten decent results at 0.3 sec when doing tests with the FA 31mm.
I have never had steady hands. I have to brace for 1/30s with my 50 shooting film. That's part of the problem no doubt. I guess they should say 5 stops for some people.
02-06-2017, 03:33 PM - 4 Likes   #14
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I've always had shaky hands too - wish I knew why.
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02-06-2017, 05:06 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by 35mmfilmfan Quote
wish I knew why.
That's easy, quit using old manual typewriters! Banging on the keys for any length of time causes instability.
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