Tamron 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD SP

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 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.

With Tamron's VC (Vibration Control) system disengaged, we need to shoot at 1/125s to get 100% sharp images, which is in keeping with the "one-over-focal-length" rule of thumb. With the VC system engaged, we can shoot as slow as 1/30s and get 100% sharp, hand-held images, and 70% sharp at 1/15s. This is an improvement of almost three stops.

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.