Sony E 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS SEL1855

Lens Reviews / Sony 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.

On the wide end, the 18-55mm OSS produces about 1.5 stops of image stabilization at 18mm; you generally don't see a practical need for image stabilization on wide-angle lenses, but it comes in very handy when shooting movies. Using the 'one over focal length' rule, you should normally see sharp images without image stabilization at around 1/15 of a second, so it's no surprise that the most notable improvement is found at the 1/8 second mark. There's some notable improvement at 1/4 second, too.

Mouse over this chart to show results with IS activated.

Image stabilization is more noticeable at the telephoto end, in this case 55mm; here, we note around 2.5-3 stops of stabilization, notable at 1/30, 1/15 and even 1/8 second.

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.