About OSS degrading image quality

Started Apr 29, 2013 | Questions thread
cptrios Senior Member • Posts: 1,352
Re: About OSS degrading image quality

Is anyone really saying either "IS always causes problems" or "IS never causes problems?" I think there's a perfectly satisfactory middle ground here. IS can degrade image quality, and it can dramatically improve the ability to take images in low-light. There. Another breathtakingly insightful, earth-shattering revelation by yours truly! No thanks necessary.

Personally, while I don't currently own any stabilized lenses, I really do love stabilization. I don't often take shots of quickly-moving subjects, and do often take shots of stationary scenes in low light, so I definitely wish I had a few of them at the moment.

However, I have to recognize that IS/OSS/VR/whatever definitely poses design challenges. For example, I used to own a Canon 24-105L (one of Canon's "elite" lenses, if on the affordable end of the line). Mine had kind of a funky issue where, if IS was turned on, one out of every few shots at 24mm would exhibit either harsh vignetting in one of the top corners (as though someone had their finger in front of the lens) or decentering sharpness-wise. The IS would basically move its optical group into and out of a problem area, and if I happened to catch it at the wrong moment, I'd be punished for it. Clearly I had an imperfect copy, but it does highlight some of the added complication brought on by IS. See also Fuji's new 18-55 lens - it's by all reports a fantastic piece of glass and among the best of its kind, but it seems like a pretty large number of people are having to return their copies due to decentering. That issue hasn't really affected Fuji's other X lenses, none of which have IS - though the discrepancy can also be chalked up to it being their first zoom as well.

As an aside, I also often wonder how the IBIS-enabled FF Sony cameras handle some older lenses. Surely the IBIS must move the sensor into softer parts of the lens' image circle?

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