Removing Moiré on Sony A7R with Lightroom Moiré Brush

It took me four months to come up with an example of moiré from the Sony A7R, but only six seconds to fix it. Here’s how to quickly clean-up moire in Lightroom or Photoshop Camera Raw.

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 Рyet prepared for moir̩ Рthe 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.

how to remove moire using lightroom moire brush
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.

removing moire in lightroom
Step One: Use the Lightroom selective brush tool to paint an adjustment over the the affected area with Moiré adjustment set to 100% to be certain you paint it all out.

how to remove moire in lightroom
Step Two: Dial back the adjustment back a bit to the point where moiré disappears. And Voila you’re done! The Moire is gone in six seconds…

And here’s the finished shot:

miami portrait photography cover shoot
Sony A7R / FE 24-70mm F4 ZA lens at 24mm / ISO 100 / 1/160sec / F9

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.

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6 thoughts on “Removing Moiré on Sony A7R with Lightroom Moiré Brush”

  1. Pingback: Removing Moiré on Sony A7R using the Lig...

  2. Brian,
    That’s amazing that it took you 4 months to find moire from the a7r….it took me about 4 minutes!
    Everything I shoot I’m dreading the moire, and it’s happening all the time. I photograph interiors and architecture and am constantly finding it it wallpaper, sofas, fabric, props (e.g. on the side of a book on a coffee table where you see the fine pattern of the pages…).
    Very frustrating, but I’m going to try the LR removal technique.
    Thanks.

  3. I’ve tried using the moire brush adjustment in LR Classic CC (2018) on a moire pattern (no color problem, apparently) effect I’m trying to eliminate on a distant field of croprows seen from above and it has zero effect at 100%. This is the first time in my many years of Lightroom Development Module work that a tool has demonstrated no effect, though it is my first time using the moire tool. This attempt is on an unmodified raw file (Fujifilm RAF, X-T2). Screenshot available. My website link (at the time of this writing, 3/22/2018) is direct to the subject image.

    1. Moire brush is designed for Color Moire that appears in rare instances with Sony a7R (I only saw it once). If a camera produces Pattern Moire – that’s an entirely different beast.

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