When I first heard the Sony A7R would be released with a 36mp sensor without an anti-aliasing filter I was immediately excited about the prospect of capturing medium format detail with a small camera – yet prepared for moiré – the the flip side of fine detail.
I still have painfully vivid memories of tediously fixing pattern moiré during my medium format digital days. I don’t think I did a shoot with the 22mp Leaf Aptus digital back that didn’t require fixing moiré to some degree. It got better with the 33mp Leaf Aptus backs, but when it did show up, it was a bear to fix.
So along with my glee for the A7R capturing the finest detail, I was patiently waiting for the other shoe to drop…waiting…and waiting…and waiting…for moiré…
Well it took over four months of non-stop shooting with A7R to come up with an example, but I finally found a bit of moiré that needed fixin’. Quite naturally, it showed up on a portrait cover select while on deadline. Ain’t that always the way?
Moiré from medium format backs is usually pesky pattern moiré and it’s a bear to fix. But A7R moiré proved to be it’s milder cousin – color moiré. I wondered if the Lightroom selective adjustment moiré brush would be enough to do the trick.
When you zoom in to 300% you can see moiré in the shirt. Moire is distance dependent. When I moved closer or father from the subject it disappeared, but as luck would have it, there it was in the cover select.
And here’s the finished shot:
Moire is most likely to appear in fabrics with extremely fine thread counts like a silk wedding dress or the $5,000 suit on the CEO you’re photographing. From my experience, chances are actually pretty good that you’ll never even see an example of moiré. But if you do, now you know that it’s easy to fix.