The growing interests for real-time applications of our amorphous silicon X-ray image sensors requires a better understanding of transient behavior in imaging characteristics. In our pixel structure, which consists of a p-i-n photodiode and an addressing thin film transistor (TFT), the image lag can stem from a number of mechanisms, including charge retention on the photodiode, TFT charge transfer efficiency, and data-line charge sharing. The exact prevailing mechanism depends on the array design and the operating conditions of the sensors. This paper describes the results of our systematic studies on image lag, and its dependence on various operating conditions of the image sensors, such as applied bias, light intensity, frame time, and applied gate voltages. We find that the charge retention in the intrinsic region of the photodiode is an important source of the image lag, and it is correlated to the forward transient characteristics of the diode. This correlation can be explained by the common underlying mechanisms leading to depletion region formation and charge transport through the diode. Furthermore, we notice that the time dependent decay of the image lag, originated mainly from charge retention in the diode, presents power-law time dependence, which is consistent with the release of trapped charges from a continuous distribution of defect states. We also find only a small variation in the image lag, <%3, for a wide range of gate on-periods, 10μs-80μs, and gate on-voltages, 15V- 30V, which indicates an efficient charge transfer by the switching TFT. These results demonstrate that in our devices, the image lag is controlled by the intrinsic defect levels in the a-Si:H photodiode.