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Nikon and AA filters (Aka “Low pass” filter)
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Mar 15, 2019 12:11:05   #
billnikon Loc: Pennsylvania/Ohio/Florida/Maui/Oregon/Vermont
 
Architect1776 wrote:
Why does the Pro D5 have the filter?
Perhaps for maximum quality overall?


Not sure why. Never called them on it. The images are really great and I don't see any issues with it having the filter. But, you are right, maximum quality is out of the park.

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Mar 15, 2019 12:23:36   #
Rich1939 Loc: Pike County Penna.
 
speters wrote:
It really has nothing to do with the amount of mega pixels in cameras, but it does just make more sense to leave it out with cameras that do have a somewhat high amount, so people can "squeak" out the last bit of detail out of their sensors!


It certainly appears to have a direct connection to pixel size. Which is a result of density. Or how many pixels for sensor size. So yes it does seem to have a correlation to number of pixels.

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Mar 15, 2019 13:21:40   #
bkyser Loc: Fly over country in Indiana
 
Again, why does it cost MORE to not put the AA filter in a D-800 vs 800E?

Seems like less labor, less parts, less cost, right? NOPE!

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Mar 15, 2019 13:25:50   #
Architect1776 Loc: Williamsport Pa
 
bkyser wrote:
Again, why does it cost MORE to not put the AA filter in a D-800 vs 800E?

Seems like less labor, less parts, less cost, right? NOPE!


Marketing.
They know pixel peepers will pay more for a cheaper product.

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Mar 15, 2019 16:24:31   #
Murray Loc: New Westminster
 
jamesl wrote:
----------------------------
I believe that the Nikon D7100 and the Nikon D7200 both do not have the AA Filter and they are 24MP cameras. My understanding is that in the D800E the AA filter was still there but a second filter was added to counter the effects of the AA filter.


You are correct.

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Mar 15, 2019 19:39:54   #
ELNikkor
 
as for not having the filter costing more, probably same reason sugar-free, salt free, preservative free, fewer ingredients, less processing, fewer additive, more natural products all cost more...

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Mar 16, 2019 02:45:33   #
brrywill
 
aflundi wrote:
Architect1776 is right. AA filters are a good thing, and if anything are too weak. The dual-layer birefringent type filters we commonly call Anti-Aliias filters would be more accurately called Color-Preservation filters as they guarantee that any detail is presented to each of a R, G, and B photosite and is thus recorded with the correct color. Without this filter, a white detail that images onto a blue photosite is recorded as a blue detail, not a white detail. Thus sensors without this filter have high color noise. There's also the problem that information can be completely lost. For example, a blue detail that images onto a red photosite is complete lost from the image.

For the filter to work properly as a true Anti-Alias filter, it would actually need to be four layers and cover a 4x4 photosite area so that two photosites with the same color fitler would be covered in any linear direction. That would eliminate moire.

The rationale for leaving these filters off of high pixel density sensors is the idea that the lens's image being imperfect could provide enough blur compared to the tiny photosites to perform the function of an AA filter. That has been shown to be a bad assumption as even lenses known for their softness still produce aliasing artifacts including moire. Worse, most lenses today are astonishingly sharp with aggravates the problem.

BTW, DX sensors are smaller so the photosite size is smaller for the same pixel count compared to a larger FX filter. That's why Nikon tried leaving the filter off the D500, D7100, D7200, and D7500. The D5, however, as already pointed out above does have the filter. It would be a disaster otherwise. It's also Nikon's flagship body, so cutting corners by leaving off critical components such as this color-preservation filter would be very unlikely.

Architect1776 is also correct that these filters are left off because people buy them, and not for technical reasons. No competent engineer would think this is OK. I'm quite sure the Nikon engineering department has been at great odds with the marketing department over these decisions.
Architect1776 is right. AA filters are a good thi... (show quote)



Sorry, but I have to disagree. When I was shooting film I always used distant trees as a lens test. In the early days of digital, these trees were no longer even close to being sharp. In fact the word Mush comes to mind. I hated digital, thinking it was the technology itself responsible for the less than sharp results.

It was years later when I learned they had been intentionally adding a blur filter over the sensors to accommodate the wedding guys who have a problem with moire. Those of us who shoot commercial and landscapes, or anything other than weddings and fashion for that matter, should not have to suffer the side-effects of a blur filter in our cameras. We should be able to opt out of the filter, even on lower resolution cameras.

I realize it is cheaper for the camera companies to make all of a particular camera model one way or the other, either with or without the filter. Maybe it is time to consider which group of customers is in the majority and build the cameras accordingly.

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Mar 16, 2019 07:11:10   #
Architect1776 Loc: Williamsport Pa
 
brrywill wrote:
Sorry, but I have to disagree. When I was shooting film I always used distant trees as a lens test. In the early days of digital, these trees were no longer even close to being sharp. In fact the word Mush comes to mind. I hated digital, thinking it was the technology itself responsible for the less than sharp results.

It was years later when I learned they had been intentionally adding a blur filter over the sensors to accommodate the wedding guys who have a problem with moire. Those of us who shoot commercial and landscapes, or anything other than weddings and fashion for that matter, should not have to suffer the side-effects of a blur filter in our cameras. We should be able to opt out of the filter, even on lower resolution cameras.

I realize it is cheaper for the camera companies to make all of a particular camera model one way or the other, either with or without the filter. Maybe it is time to consider which group of customers is in the majority and build the cameras accordingly.
Sorry, but I have to disagree. When I was shooting... (show quote)


Were you doing the pixel peeping method that real people don't do?
Did you look at the photos a realistic viewing distances?

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Mar 17, 2019 00:29:23   #
brrywill
 
Architect1776 wrote:
Were you doing the pixel peeping method that real people don't do?
Did you look at the photos a realistic viewing distances?



Actually yes, I did peep. But for what I was doing, that was the idea, to know my limitations. And in those days the limitation was the lens, not the medium. I knew if I chose the right lens I could get the best quality that camera could offer. I knew the pictures would pop. Too much of a perfectionist, perhaps, but for commercial clients you had to know you were using the best equipment available.

I am sure you are right in that the average person won't notice the difference, especially if viewed from a distance. In fact if I hadn't seen the sharpness possible with film myself, I probably wouldn't have noticed the little blur that came with digital either.

I shoot mainly with medium format, so I don't have to deal with AA filters. Neither of the cameras I shoot use them. But my favorite 35mm camera is a Nikon Df, and I do admit I often wish it had that little extra something that comes from losing the filters.

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Mar 17, 2019 09:15:04   #
Architect1776 Loc: Williamsport Pa
 
brrywill wrote:
Actually yes, I did peep. But for what I was doing, that was the idea, to know my limitations. And in those days the limitation was the lens, not the medium. I knew if I chose the right lens I could get the best quality that camera could offer. I knew the pictures would pop. Too much of a perfectionist, perhaps, but for commercial clients you had to know you were using the best equipment available.

I am sure you are right in that the average person won't notice the difference, especially if viewed from a distance. In fact if I hadn't seen the sharpness possible with film myself, I probably wouldn't have noticed the little blur that came with digital either.

I shoot mainly with medium format, so I don't have to deal with AA filters. Neither of the cameras I shoot use them. But my favorite 35mm camera is a Nikon Df, and I do admit I often wish it had that little extra something that comes from losing the filters.
Actually yes, I did peep. But for what I was doing... (show quote)


Do you consider the SI photos less than sharp?

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Mar 17, 2019 19:16:59   #
brrywill
 
Architect1776 wrote:
Do you consider the SI photos less than sharp?



Architect, I just noticed you are from Williamsport. My wife was just there on Wednesday to see Art Garfunkel. Great concert. Allentown here.

Not sure what you mean by SI photos? Sorry.

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Mar 17, 2019 20:40:38   #
Architect1776 Loc: Williamsport Pa
 
brrywill wrote:
Architect, I just noticed you are from Williamsport. My wife was just there on Wednesday to see Art Garfunkel. Great concert. Allentown here.

Not sure what you mean by SI photos? Sorry.


Sports Illustrated

Too bad we didn't know.
We enjoy entertaining new guests here.
Perhaps if you come this summer let us know and we can have a great BBQ in our pavilion and bar by our pool. My wife caters and loves to entertain.
Just PM me any time.
We are well known here so our address is no secret and we do get visitors.

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Mar 17, 2019 23:11:31   #
brrywill
 
Architect1776 wrote:
Sports Illustrated

Too bad we didn't know.
We enjoy entertaining new guests here.
Perhaps if you come this summer let us know and we can have a great BBQ in our pavilion and bar by our pool. My wife caters and loves to entertain.
Just PM me any time.
We are well known here so our address is no secret and we do get visitors.
Sports Illustrated img src="https://static.uglyh... (show quote)


That sounds good. Thank you for the invitation.

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Mar 18, 2019 00:04:18   #
Thomas902 Loc: Washington DC
 
I actually like the AA filter in my Nikon D3x...
Although it is the same megapixel size as my Nikon D7200 the images are vastly superior especially fashion renderings where textile artistry is being captured in high detail... moire issue unfortunately are very real especially with many satin weaves... although moire is pretty much entirely absent in knits

btw, the native pixel dimension of a D3X image is 6,048 x 4,032, (Resolution: 24.50 Megapixels) and the pixel size is 5.94 microns - down from 8.45 microns in the D3. Yep, the size of the pixels seems to play into the moire mix...

For those of you who don't work with fashion designers: "satin weave is characterized by four or more fill or weft yarns floating over a warp yarn, four warp yarns floating over a single weft yarn. Floats are missed interfacings, for example where the warp yarn lies on top of the weft in a warp-faced satin. These floats explain the high luster and even sheen, as unlike in other weaves, the light reflecting is not scattered as much by the fibres. Satin is usually a warp-faced weaving technique in which warp yarns are "floated" over weft yarns..."

Where do I see the moire issue the most? Silk Satin Wedding Gowns... loving the D3x here, it does a stellar job at calming moire to a civilized level... my D7200 is not up to the task of doing silk satin wedding gowns without moire...

thanks all for sharing...

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Mar 18, 2019 00:26:49   #
larryepage
 
I have not seen any visible moire in any of my images since shooting a 6 MP Fuji S3 Pro more than 13 years ago. It was really poor at rendering high contrast lines which appeared at an angle in images...like power lines against the sky. Still have some images demonstrating that. Early Samsung HDTVs were similarly poor rendering angled lines...many times the shafts of golf clubs would completely disappear as the player was setting up for a shot. In that case, though, their early DSPs (Digital Signal Processors) were not up to par, but the results were much the same. This effect could also sometimes be seen when attempting to copy halftone images on a copy machine. That's why many of them had special settings for copying anything other then text.

I do not know the answer to the question of why some sensors don't have AA filters, but in looking at the table of pixel pitches above, I suspect that the answer may be that it has nothing at all to do with need or desirability. Rather, I suspect that it may be simply too difficult to fabricate reliable AA filters with proper geometry at the smaller pixel sizes, at least right now. Many years ago, when I was working in the semiconductor manufacturing industry, the design and product engineers had an inside joke around integrated circuit design. It was simply, "If you can't fix it, feature it." I later heard stories about the same attitude being prevalent in the design of early PCs.

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