Earlier this year, I posted about using image stabilization with the Fuji 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 OIS Fujinon lens. Actually, I posted about how turning OIS on ended up creating softer images than hand-holding at moderate to fast shutter speeds. It’s frustrating to me because I really like the overall sharpness and versatility of this lens, but I was at the point where I’d only turn stabilization (IS) on when I was shooting at very low shutter speeds (slower than 1/60s).
Today I got a message from a friend asking if I’d tried setting stabilization to Mode 2, as he’d heard this might solve the softness issue we were both seeing with the Fuji 18-55mm lens.
Spring break is upon us, and that often means family vacations. I took my son to Seattle for a short weekend adventure, and I brought the Fujifilm X-T1 and two lenses; the 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 and 14mm f/2.8. Yes, a very small kit. Because I was with my son, I knew I’d be mostly taking snapshots, so I figured this very small kit would do. The first thing I noticed was how easy it was to put everything underneath the seat in front of me on the plane, which was a CR-J regional jet. Continue reading A weekend with the Fujifilm X-T1→
This is one of my favorite test subjects: Kindergarten Rock in Garden of the Gods. I wanted to try the 18-55mm kit lens again. Yesterday, I’d seen some soft results when compared with my Nikon 24-70mm. Of course, the Nikkor is one heck of a lens, and it wouldn’t have been surprising if the Fujinon wasn’t quite as sharp. But after reading many online reviews of the 18-55mm, I was wondering why my results were soft when others gushed about the sharpness. It turns out that the image stabilization system (OIS) can introduce softness at fast shutter speeds, just like Nikon’s VR system can.
I went back to Garden of the Gods, turned OIS off, and got this result. It’s pin-sharp and holds its own against my D4/24-70mm combo (I use this comparison because both are 16MP cameras).
So there you have it. The 18-55mm f/2.8-4 Fujinon is one heck of a lens for outdoor photography! Just be sure to only use OIS if you absolutely need it, like indoors with slow shutter speeds.
Fine art photography and instruction with Jason Odell