Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Di MACRO 1:1 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 the Vibration Control system (VC) inactive, we see what we'd expect - 100% sharp images at 1/125 of a second, adhering to the "one over focal length" rule of thumb, as hand-holding shake impairs image sharpness at 1/60 of second. With VC active, we note sharp images down to 1/15s, and 60% sharp at 1/8s. It's worth noting that we see 10% unacceptably unsharp images in both the 1/30s and 1/15s categories, but whether that's the VC system or Rob having an extra cup of coffee that day is impossible to know.

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.