Tamron 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD SP AF

Lens Reviews / Tamron 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 70mm, the lens offers a fairly crisp 2.5 stops of improvement. This is similar to some other lenses we've seen, holding strong and then giving out all at once, in this case, with our technician / tester Rob, at 1/8 second.

Mouse over this chart to show results with IS activated.

On the telephoto end (300mm) it's maybe 2 stops; possibly a bit more. In this case, it degrades more gradually at slower shutter speeds, producing 50% acceptable shots at 1/100, and 10% at 1/50.

Mouse over this chart to show results with IS activated.

So while IS performance is evident, it doesn't quite reach the four stops of stabilization claimed by Tamron.

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.