Moiré interference patterns happen when two similar, regular arrays are not quite aligned properly. In early television, Moiré patterns would show up a lot when cameras pointed at presenters wearing pinstripe suits or even finer-lined patterns. The interference came from the interaction between the clothing and the 525 lines in the TV camera. In color TVs the interference patterns had a lot of color burst associated with them as well.
|Example image courtesy Wikipedia.|
Over the last few years as part of my explanation of this feature in my books, I tried very hard to actually create an image where such induced Moiré occurs, and, try as I might, I have never been able to create such an example. (And so I always ended up using exaggerated examples from companies like Foveon which you would never actually see in the real world.)
Then last month I received an email from a reader:
due to your great eBook about the Sony a7R2 I’m confident you know a lot of about the camera and how the camera works. [...] To cut a long story short, I’m living in Beijing and made some pictures of the Forbidden City while I was on the Jingshan Park behind it.
I used a Sony a7R2 and a Zeiss 16-35mm lens. I took some pictures of the Forbidden City and recogized some serious image quality issues in the area of the roof of some of the buildings. I would like to ask you if you could tell me why the roof looks that bad and how I can avoid these kind of effect.
You are the only one I know who understands how this camera works and probably can explain to me what happend. The Sony feedback service proposed me to clean the lens
Thank you very much in advance! D. Winkelmann, from Germany
I had a look at his attachment, and was gobsmacked - the worst case of Moiré I had ever seen in a modern digital camera. The red rectangles show off the problems pretty nicely (click on this or any other image to see it larger):
But how was he able to get such a great example when I had tried and failed to get examples like this for years? The answer came later when he sent me the original, uncropped image:
So there's a very good chance you'll never see this problem in your images. But what can you do if you’re unlucky enough to have it? Well, the Sony guy's recommendation of "clean the lens" certainly won't help (although in theory making the lens dirty might fuzzify the image a little bit, emulating the effects of the anti-aliasing filter). In the real world, Adobe Lightroom has a tool for reducing the rainbow artifact and you can see examples of how to use it here. Getting rid of the actual interference pattern is more complex and you need a stronger tool such as Photoshop.
In the Pipeline
An earthquake in Japan which damaged one of Sony's sensor production facilities has made for a quiet summer. I used the time to work on other projects - a new website for Xaphoon.com, and another project I'll talk about in a few months. And now things are going to get busy again as Sony has announced 3 new cameras, all of which will have their own e-books: The A99 II (the new A-mount which varies slightly from the prediction I made more than a year ago), the A6500, and the RX-100 V. (Send me an email at Gary at Friedman Archives dot com if you'd like to be on the notification list and have pre-release access.)
Of the three cameras, it is the recently upgraded RX-100 V that might have people scratching their heads. Significantly more processing power and a new sensor with phase-detect autofocus built right in, shooting 24 images per second? Sure, it's yet another engineering marvel, but what point-and-shoot owner needs that kind of power?
My guess is "very few"; however Sony needed to develop this improved sensor in order to make the upcoming-but-not-yet-announced RX-10 IV a powerhouse. Recall that the existing RX-10 III is just an RX-100 with a really big 24-600mm lens slapped in front, and at such long focal lengths the contrast-detect autofocus makes it a weak choice for shooting sports. But with this new PDAF sensor and powertrain, this humble little do-everything camera will be a serious contender for all but the most highly-paid sports photographers and videographers. No longer will you have to spend $5-10K on high-end equipment to shoot close-ups of moving athletes and have publishable images! Although I have no knowledge of Sony's future product plans, the RX-10 III was the camera that was in need of PDAF the most and it's clear to me that the new sensor and engine was designed with that camera in mind. I truly believe that camera will be a game changer when it's announced.
The Fujifilm X-T2
Tony Phillips is typing his fingers off in order to get the X-T2 ebook finished. Tony is my equal in terms of having the rare combination of writing skill, technical prowess, and the ability to explain complex things in an approachable way, and his books are so good that even Fuji has taken notice and have helped him get early access to cameras. (Trust me when I tell you that not all companies do that. :-) ) Here is one of his latest videos showing the highlights of the X-T2:
If you're a Fujifilm fan, you can help Tony and me by helping to spread the word about his ebooks online. Word-of-mouth from extremely happy customers is our only form of advertising!
A6300 in French!
A6300 in French!
Un autre Archives Friedman Premières - mon ebook sur le Sony Alpha 6300 a maintenant été traduit en français! S'il vous plaît aider à répandre le mot. Vous pouvez acheter votre propre copie ici.
Seminars – Arizona, Colorado Springs, Edmonton
Seminars – Arizona, Colorado Springs, Edmonton
The Friedman Archives Seminars schedule is shaping up for 2017. Here's what we have so far:
- Tuscon, Arizona - February 14-15. (Photo club members only. If you want to attend, you have to join their club. :-) )
- Colorado Springs, Colorado - February 18 - 19.
- Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) - sometime in May.
We will do two more seminars in the 2nd half of the year to any photo club that requests it. If you're a member of a photo club, please ask me to send you an introductory packet. And if you're interested in attending any of the above, please fire off an email.
Can't make any of the above? You can intuitively understand and untangle the complexities of digital photography in a fun and enjoyable way, no matter where you live in the world, via the streaming version of the seminars. These are, truly, the shortest path to "Wow!".
You've heard me talking about f2 Cameracraft for a long time. The current issue might not make it past the censors in Dubai, but you can get yours by subscribing now.
f2 Cameracraft is designed in the tradition of Minolta Mirror and National Geographic magazine - perfectly executed printed editions that are so good you can't bear to throw them away. (Well, the National Geographic comparison is a bit unfair - our print quality is WAY better than theirs. :-) ) Not sure if these bi-monthly collector's magazines are for you? Have a free look at the previous edition and decide for yourself!
The shots below were taken from a recent trip to Ferndale, California.
|The shortest lighthouse I ever saw.|
Until next time,
Yours Truly, Gary Friedman