Sony FE 70-200mm f/4 G OSS SEL70200G

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 provide 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 landscape tack-sharp knows exactly what I'm talking about.

At 70mm, we see what we'd expect with the OSS system disengaged - 100% sharp images at 1/60s, and it degrades from there. With OSS engaged, we get steady, sharp images all the way to 1/15s - and even 70% sharp at 1/8s. The equates to a hand-holding improvement of around two and a half stops.

Mouse over this chart to show results with IS activated.

Zoomed in to 200mm, we see that we've achieved 100% sharp images at 1/60s - Rob, doing the test images, must have not yet had a few cups of coffee in him, as with the one-over-focal length rule of thumb, we'd expect to only get 100% sharp images at 1/200s. Here we also get 100% sharp images down to 1/15s, and 80% sharp at 1/8s, so again, we get around two and a half stops of hand-holding improvement.

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.