Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM APO

Lens Reviews / Sigma Lenses i Lab tested

Most people tend to think of image stabilization as being mainly for telephoto lenses. While it's true that their longer focal lengths tend to magnify the effects of camera shake, image stabilization can provde a very useful assist at wider angle focal lengths as well; anyone who's ever tried to blur the image of a waterfall, while keeping the surrounding landsape tack-sharp knows exactly what I'm talking about.

At the wider end (50mm), we see at least three if not three and a half stops of hand-holding improvement; as expected, shots are more or less stable at the 50mm end without stabilization on; with OS activated, we found we could shoot at speeds as slow as 1/8s and achieve excellent results.

Mouse over this chart to show results with IS activated.

At 150mm, we see two, almost three stops of hand-held improvement. Without the OS system activated, shots are pretty good at 1/125s (presumably, better at 1/180s, if you follow the one-over-focal length rule of thumb). With OS activated, we get consistently sharp images at 1/30s, with some good results at 1/15s and even at 1/8s. This is pretty great performance.

Mouse over this chart to show results with IS activated.

IS systems tend to provide more benefit to less-stable shooters than very steady ones, so most users will see the same or greater amounts of shake reduction as we measured here. You can read more about our IS test methodology here: SLRgear IS Test Methodology, v2.