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Author Topic: Thinking about having my AA filter removed on my D3x  (Read 4898 times)

kuau

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Thinking about having my AA filter removed on my D3x
« on: January 22, 2010, 12:56:06 am »

I have read the early threads on removing the AA filter from maxmax.com but...
was wondering if anyone has any real world experience with the D3x and no AA filter?
I am seriously considering sending my D3x into maxmax.com to have the AA filter removed. I like to shoot landscape and as you can see by my signature I am using all the best lenses.
Thanks
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Thinking about having my AA filter removed on my D3x
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2010, 10:47:12 am »

Quote from: kuau
I am seriously considering sending my D3x into maxmax.com to have the AA filter removed.

Why?

Do you hope to gain resolution? You won't gain real resolution, because resolution is determined by the sampling density of your camera's sensor array (and Bayer CFA). You may gain a sensation of a little more detail if it involves very low contrast features, with a similar effect to downsampling with the nearest neighbor method. The pixels will appear to snap into the nearest pixel location, instead of distributing themselves partially across pixels, more similar to how the human eye see detail. Why not just  sharpen your images correctly, and avoid false color artifacts and jaggy branches/twigs?

Cheers,
Bart
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HarperPhotos

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Thinking about having my AA filter removed on my D3x
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2010, 01:18:29 pm »

Quote from: BartvanderWolf
Why?

Do you hope to gain resolution? You won't gain real resolution, because resolution is determined by the sampling density of your camera's sensor array (and Bayer CFA). You may gain a sensation of a little more detail if it involves very low contrast features, with a similar effect to downsampling with the nearest neighbor method. The pixels will appear to snap into the nearest pixel location, instead of distributing themselves partially across pixels, more similar to how the human eye see detail. Why not just  sharpen your images correctly, and avoid false color artifacts and jaggy branches/twigs?

Cheers,
Bart

Hello Bart,

If you donít mind telling. As I have a Nikon D3x, I would be interested to know what Photoshop settings would you use to correctly sharpen the Nikon D3x images.

Regards

Simon
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Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Thinking about having my AA filter removed on my D3x
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2010, 02:46:26 pm »

Quote from: HarperPhotos
Hello Bart,

If you donít mind telling. As I have a Nikon D3x, I would be interested to know what Photoshop settings would you use to correctly sharpen the Nikon D3x images.

Hi Simon,

Books have been written about the subject, and sharpening is sometimes treated as an almost religious/dogmatic subject. One thing most people can agree upon is that optimal sharpening depends on the intended output. Sharpening for web publishing has significantly different requirements than sharpening for, say, LF inkjet output.

The best sharpening application I have found is FocusMagic, and it comes as a Photoshop plugin. FocusMagic is different from most edge contrast enhancers in that it actually increases sharpness by removing blur (also motion blur). As such it is excellent for "Capture" sharpening, removing the effects of the anti-aliasing filter and the demosaicing process. By overdoing the amount it can even serve as an "Output" sharpening tool, especially with huge enlargements (which creates blur).

FocusMagic is in urgent need of an update for 64-bit systems, although it seems to run fine on a 64-bit Windows 7 sytem of a friend of mine (using the 32-bit  Photohop CS4 version).

Cheers,
Bart

P.S. I have a large 21MB (!) sample image available at this link (from my Canon 21MP camera) which was sharpened with FocusMagic. You can see that distant grass still looks like grass, trees are sharp and yet smoothly blend into the background sky, and that man-made structures are razorsharp but without (jaggy) artifacts.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 03:05:23 pm by BartvanderWolf »
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jasonrandolph

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Thinking about having my AA filter removed on my D3x
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2010, 03:52:25 pm »

Don't forget to consider warranty issues that I'm sure would go along with removing the AA filter.  Now, I don't have a D3X and probably never will due to my budget, but even if you can easily afford one, I would be worried about voiding the warranty, especially considering the outstanding results people get without removing the filter.

ErikKaffehr

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Thinking about having my AA filter removed on my D3x
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2010, 04:45:08 pm »

Hi!

You should probably not use Photoshop settings to sharpen images. The reason is that much better tools are available in Lightroom or ACR. That said sharpening is of course possible in Photoshop, it's just that much effort went into developing sharpening in ACR/Lightroom so optimum sharpening can be achieved easily. In addition there is some "halo suppression" in Lightroom/ACR which simple is not available in  in PS tools.

Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe have written an excellent book on sharpening. They say that sharpeing consists of three phases:

- Capture sharpening restores what's lost in capture, the AA filter belongs to this

- Creative sharpening is than selectively applied to the image

- Finally there is some sharpening for output

My recommendation for capture sharpening for an AA-filtered camera would be:

Very small radius (0.3 - 0.4)
A large amount (300-500%)
An edge mask is recommended to sharpen contours but not increase noise

In Lightroom I would start with "Landscape preset", decrease radius increase amount and some masking. But I would really recommend the "Sharening book":

Real World Image Sharpening With Adobe Photoshop, Camera Raw, And Lightroom
by Fraser , Schewe , Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe

The Focus Magic tool that Bart mentions doesn't work on CS3 on Mac/Intel (the last time I checked), it would run if PS was running under Rosetta. Fixer Lab's Focus Fixer may be an alternative.

Best regards
Erik



Quote from: HarperPhotos
Hello Bart,

If you donít mind telling. As I have a Nikon D3x, I would be interested to know what Photoshop settings would you use to correctly sharpen the Nikon D3x images.

Regards

Simon
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Scott O.

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Thinking about having my AA filter removed on my D3x
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2010, 12:04:49 pm »

The removal of the AA filter, which several companies are now doing, is somewhat interesting.  Although I really doubt if I would ever consider doing this.  It would be interesting to hear from someone who has had it done.  A couple of negatives that I know about.  1.  It voids your camera warranty.  2.  It deactivates any built in sensor cleaning your camera may have.  As someone mentioned, import sharpening (Photokit or Lightroom) is designed to minimize the effect of the AA filter on sharpness.  The companies who do this mod show pictures with and without the filter in place.  It would be more interesting (and I suspect a lot less impressive) to show images taken without the AA filter and with the AA filter using import sharpening.

Bart_van_der_Wolf

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Thinking about having my AA filter removed on my D3x
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2010, 03:30:38 pm »

Quote from: ErikKaffehr
The Focus Magic tool that Bart mentions doesn't work on CS3 on Mac/Intel (the last time I checked), it would run if PS was running under Rosetta. Fixer Lab's Focus Fixer may be an alternative.

I suggest one tries if Focusmagic works on a particular OS+hardware platform, because it is much more affordable than "Focus Fixer" and, from what I've seen, much more effective with less noise amplification. Even more affordable, since it's free, is the built-in Richardson Lucy sharpening in RawTherapee, which not only does Raw conversion, but it also reads TIFF files.

Cheers,
Bart
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