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Old 12/02/12, 09:50   #1 (permalink)
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Frage Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

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Hello all,

Sorry to barge in on your forum. My first post here and hoping to get some real world input from M9 users. As I understand it, the M9 is an 18MP full frame camera without an anti alias filter. Leica also makes some great optics to take advantage of the resolution, but I'm wondering if the combo yields problems, specifically moire.

I'm planning to get the new Nikon D800, and I'm just not sure between the normal D800 and the D800E which doesn't have the AA filter. Some have said, 'if you have to ask get the D800', but that is not good enough for me. I have no issue learning better technique and expanding my post processing skills if needed.

The D800 will be my only camera, and I mostly like to shoot landscape, architecture, and nature. I shoot people, pets, and other things at times. The way I see it, moire is not going to be present in every image. I *think* I would rather process out moire in some of my shots than sharpen 100% of my shots out of the D800.

I'm planning to use some of Nikon's better lenses, most of them I already own: 14-24, 24-70, 105micro, 50 f/1.8 G. Need to add the 70-200 and I have the majority of my shooting covered.

I'm hoping the members of this forum can offer advice on how a high end camera without the AA filter fares in daily life.
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Old 12/02/12, 10:15   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

Phase One's Capture One Pro has moire removal that works perfectly and is extremely effective
No real problem either with my former M8 or present M9.
LR4 beta has moire removal that I find slightly less effective but still pretty darn good
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Old 12/02/12, 10:22   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

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Phase One's Capture One Pro has moire removal that works perfectly and is extremely effective
No real problem either with my former M8 or present M9.
LR4 beta has moire removal that I find slightly less effective but still pretty darn good
How often do you find moire a problem in your photos?
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Old 12/02/12, 10:27   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

I'm a M9 user and have ordered the 800E (and will be also keeping my D3s.)

MF users also learn to deal with no AA filtering. And as already mentioned, Phase One Capture One has a decent moire tool as does the LR4 beta.
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Old 12/02/12, 12:34   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

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How often do you find moire a problem in your photos?
Rarely in nature ... occasionally in fabricated objects (e.g. architectural exteriors) ... easy to mitigate in post
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Old 12/02/12, 14:03   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

Yes moiré is a problem with my M8.2. Occurs when you don't expect it generally. This D800/800E dilemna reminds me of my 5D1 when one could have it w/o AA filter. With a bit of sharpening and max magnification, i could not tell which camera was used actually. Did it again with D800/800E pics and i found that both needed some sharpening anyway. A bit more for the D800 that's all. I did not try them in person though, and not with Leica lenses anyway.
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Old 12/02/12, 14:21   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

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How often do you find moire a problem in your photos?
Very, very seldom.
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Old 12/02/12, 14:41   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

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How often do you find moire a problem in your photos?
Moiré is quite present in my photos. I do mostly cityscape, architecture and street photography, and the repetitive patterns abound in the human environment.

But this "often-being-present" dosn't mean always a problem, quite the contrary. Very seldom I feel the need of retouching the moiré. In most cases I let it be.

One thing is sure: software improvement is allowing things that a couple of months ago were unsurmountable.
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Old 12/02/12, 15:34   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

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Very, very seldom.
What Sander said.

Many of us here on the Leica forum also shoot Nikon or Canon DSLRs. I'll be buying a D800e myself for those odd occasions when I need a DSLR. The specs on the D800 are very enticing (I admit to being disappointed at the raw specs of the D4 - not much there to compel an upgrade over my D3). And thousands of images, of all kinds, with my M9 has confirmed that Leica made the right choice in dismissing the AA filter.

Get the D800e.
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Old 12/02/12, 15:36   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

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How often do you find moire a problem in your photos?
very rarely
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Old 12/02/12, 16:17   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

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It's a pretty rare occurrence but does happen from time to time. Capture One Pro, as mentioned - does a pretty good job on it, though it's not perfect. It really depends on your subject matter most of all, and the resolution/sharpness of your lenses. Fine detail with a pattern will show it most readily (e.g. fabrics, fences and bricks at a distance, etc.).

Never really bothers me since it's relatively rare. What's more important to me for the 99% of shots that don't show it is the markedly sharper images. AA filters work, but they only do so by slightly (sub-pixel) blurring the details. Coming from Canon DSLRs, the first time I peeped an M8 (and later an M9) DNG file... It was night and day.

Even though I shoot Leica and Canon (among others), the Nikon D800E impresses me. If I didn't have such an investment in other systems, I'd totally check one out. It's a body that I wish Canon would produce. Something between the 5D and 1Ds (that's not crippled like the 5D but has more pro features).

Go for it. You can always sell it.
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Old 12/02/12, 18:42   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

All, thank you for your comments. It seems like most of the time it's not a problem, when it is visible it may not need fixing, and for those cases where I do need to fix it there is software out there that will help me out. All good to know, and make me feel better about getting the D800E.

I found a page showing a test chart taken with a D700 and one with an aftermarket removal of the AA filter (diglloyd - Lloyd Chambers Blog).
If yo mouse over the target you can see that the detail is obviously better without the AA filter. Further, and I think the more important point, is that you can't ever get to the no-AA image by sharpening the one shot with the AA filter. Obviously detail is lost and can never be recovered. This may not be visible when downsampled and viewed online but if printed at any decent size I think it would be.

In the end, I think the D800E is the way to go for me. Thanks for the input.
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Old 12/02/12, 18:45   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

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What Sander said.

Many of us here on the Leica forum also shoot Nikon or Canon DSLRs. I'll be buying a D800e myself for those odd occasions when I need a DSLR. The specs on the D800 are very enticing (I admit to being disappointed at the raw specs of the D4 - not much there to compel an upgrade over my D3). And thousands of images, of all kinds, with my M9 has confirmed that Leica made the right choice in dismissing the AA filter.

Get the D800e.
Done, D800E on order

Raw specs on the D4 are incremental improvements over the D3s and also a D3. I think low light performance and dynamic range on the D4 will be the best ever from Nikon, but a D3 is no slouch and still a capable performer.

There are improvements to the autofocus and metering systems, bigger LCD, more resolution, but none of these make the D3 obsolete.

The one BIG change is video. It's the best on the market in a DSLR package and if someone wants that they will have little option other than to get the D4. If video is not a driver, the upgrade is less compelling.

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Old 12/02/12, 21:23   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

This may be late, but:

I am currently a Leica (M9, M8) and Nikon (D3x, D700) user.

I have personally had no moire issues with Leica's at FF 18 mpx, though I could construct circumstances to trigger it ( a/c grates, herringbone suits etc.).

I have just ordered a D800E since it has a smaller pixel pitch than the M9 and is even less likely to trigger artifacts.

I will be keeping the D3x, and use it for weddings and other occasions where 36 mpx is too much and I am likely to run into wedding veils, Herringbone and direct flash.

Nikon has not yet discontinued the D3x since neither the D4 or the D800 really replace it.

Nikon has also stated that they will handle moire in firmware prior to writing RAW files.

If I could only keep one Nikon, it would probably be the D800E because of it's weight and versatility.

Good Luck ... Harold
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Old 12/02/12, 21:36   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

The nice thing about Leica is that the pictures require less post than others, including Nikon. I always do work on my D700 raws, including sharpening in NIK. Leicas much less so and often no sharpening at all. I don't attribute this only to the lack of AA filter, most likely lens quality is more important.
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Old 12/02/12, 22:08   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

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Originally Posted by CalArts 99 View Post
I'm a M9 user and have ordered the 800E (and will be also keeping my D3s.)
Ditto, except it's a D3 I'll keep for when I need high iso (rarely) or when shooting auto racing.

I've seen moire or color shifts with the M9, but have never "lost" a photo as a result.
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Old 12/02/12, 22:09   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

Maybe this article will help, hot off the presses...

"Anti-Aliasing Filter Primer"
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Old 13/02/12, 08:18   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

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Maybe this article will help, hot off the presses...

"Anti-Aliasing Filter Primer"
Thanks for that, handy indeed. I think I made the right choice with the D800E.
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Old 13/02/12, 13:57   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real world M9 Moire problems

Moire is a real issue to be managed with the M9, in my experience. These pics illustrate how much of a problem it can be and whilst the colour can be removed the pattern can only be cloned away. I have many similar shots. Capture One, Lightroom and RAW Developer will not correct it.

I've shown some consecutive images because these cannot easily be repeated during a moving event. The car shots can be repeated and are not important to me as such, but a product photographer might have his shoot ruined by these results.

Clearly, these types of materials can be a problem with the M9 and my solution is to exchange the M9 for a film MP when I come across shiny silver suits.

If you've not suffered it, that's not evidence that it doesn't exist, I'm afraid.
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Old 13/02/12, 14:29   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help needed: real-world M9 moiré problems

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Moiré is a real issue to be managed with the M9 [...] and my solution is to exchange the M9 for a film MP when I come across shiny silver suits.
Ever tried shooting shiny silver suits (or any moiré-prone subject) with the M9 in JPG or DNG+JPG format? If not then try it, you might get surprised.
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