Can VC/OS/IS in the lens compromise quality?

Started Apr 30, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Craigspc
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Can VC/OS/IS in the lens compromise quality?
Apr 30, 2011

Although I discuss my Sigma lens in this post, my question is primarily linked with observations/what I've read about stabilised and non stabilised versions of Tamron lenses and whether there's a benefit to them not including VC/IS/OS in sony mount versions.

Here we go (pleas bear with it)

I received a call from my mate who received his Tamron 18-270 today. We both have an A55, so I grabbed my Sigma 18-250 OS and went over to his place to take a few shots. Nothing scientific was carried out - just a few Side by side shots in his gearden with the same settings. Clearly the lens OS on my sigma made the shooting process a bit more pleasing in the viewfinder, but it's safe to say that in the test we did, the Tamron produced notably sharper images, especially towards the edges and universally accross the whole zoom range.

This was actually quite a surprise, because I personally owned the original 18-270 VC (used on a Canon 50D) and I've also used the 18-270 PZD VC quite recently too (also on a Canon body). Neither of those produced images as sharp as the Sony/PZD combo I used today.

Following on from that, I also picked up on a comment made by SLRGear.com in a review of the Tamron 17-50 f2.8. They were reviewing the VC (vibration control) version of the lens and they had the following to say in the conclusion:

"Tamron seems to have had to make some sacrifices to add Vibration Control to its popular 17-50mm ƒ 2.8. It's not bad with regard to sharpness, just not as good as the non-VC version, leading potential buyers to decide how badly they need Vibration Control."

So, based on my uncientific tests and the review on slrgear.com, I'd just like to ask this: Could there be an optical benefit to the exclusion of lens stabilisers in compact lenses or is it just a money saving scheme on Tamron's part?

It was just a thought...

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