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Author Topic: Removed the AA filter on my 5D MkII  (Read 28941 times)
jing q
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« on: May 14, 2009, 09:53:14 AM »
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just to share, I just removed the AA filter on my 5D Mk II and I see some visible improvement on the edge definition of my pictures. Will be testing more to see the effect

Take a look at the DVD near the center of the image and the magazine pages to the right of the image. There's abit of CA but each page has well defined edges.

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jing q
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2009, 09:53:57 AM »
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Quote from: jing q
just to share, I just removed the AA filter on my 5D Mk II and I see some visible improvement on the edge definition of my pictures. Will be testing more to see the effect

Take a look at the DVD near the center of the image and the magazine pages to the right of the image. There's abit of CA but each page has well defined edges.


BTW this was opened quickly in ACR and processed with a default 25 sharpening setting...
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chrismuc
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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2009, 03:25:52 PM »
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how did you remove the aa filter?
can you upload some pics at ISO 100 f8 or similar?
thx
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terence_patrick
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2009, 06:24:40 PM »
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There's also moire in the curled magazine pages. What do you normally shoot with your 5DII that would require you to remove the AA filter?
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jing q
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2009, 08:52:19 PM »
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Quote from: terence_patrick
There's also moire in the curled magazine pages. What do you normally shoot with your 5DII that would require you to remove the AA filter?

I shoot big groups with lots of details.
the mushiness issue really crops up when resized to about 4ft by 6 ft.
I know alot of people have questioned the point of removing the AA filter but for me I feel that it's a good investment.
I have no issues with moire, and I don't shoot alot of frames so removing moire is not a big deal for me.

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jing q
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2009, 08:52:55 PM »
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Quote from: EPd
Do you have before and after images of the same subject?

nope.
will post some when I can borrow a friend's unaltered 5dMkii
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schrodingerscat
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2009, 11:35:43 AM »
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Quote from: jing q
I shoot big groups with lots of details.
the mushiness issue really crops up when resized to about 4ft by 6 ft.
I know alot of people have questioned the point of removing the AA filter but for me I feel that it's a good investment.
I have no issues with moire, and I don't shoot alot of frames so removing moire is not a big deal for me.

Just wondering if you had tried other RAW processors before resorting to this. Also, did you have a clear glass replacement installed in it's place?

As an aside to others thinking along these lines, it should be performed by a qualified technician. The AA is not user removable and requires disassembly.  A clear replacement is strongly advised. The sensor itself is delicate and the dust removal feature is built into the filter. Cleaning the sensor itself can quickly lead to an expensive disaster.
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Plekto
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2009, 12:07:56 PM »
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http://www.maxmax.com/IRCameraConversions.htm

These guys do it right.  Other places are somewhere in-between worthless and barely adequate.  But he did say he had it removed, which means he went someplace to get it done.

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jing q
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2009, 02:41:31 AM »
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Quote from: schrodingerscat
Just wondering if you had tried other RAW processors before resorting to this. Also, did you have a clear glass replacement installed in it's place?

As an aside to others thinking along these lines, it should be performed by a qualified technician. The AA is not user removable and requires disassembly.  A clear replacement is strongly advised. The sensor itself is delicate and the dust removal feature is built into the filter. Cleaning the sensor itself can quickly lead to an expensive disaster.

done with Maxmax.so they replaced the glass of course.
no it's not a raw processor issue.loss of detail is noticable on upscaling beyond a certain dimension, which no amount of sharpening can bring back unfortunately
so I figured the tradeoff was no big deal for me.

although my prism did come back chipped from the shipment. Maxmax said it wasn't their fault. told me to call UPS.
oh well.shrugs. just a small chip. abit irritating that's all.
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beamon
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2009, 10:52:06 AM »
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Quote from: jing q
although my prism did come back chipped from the shipment. Maxmax said it wasn't their fault. told me to call UPS.
oh well.shrugs. just a small chip. abit irritating that's all.

Not so sure I'd buy their claim that it wasn't their fault. I can see a lot of other things happening with the camera in shipping, but a chipped prism? Even if it wasn't done during the AA removal procedure, and did, indeed happen in transit, then their packing comes into question.

Did the box look like it took a substantial hit?
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Roger
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schrodingerscat
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2009, 11:50:06 AM »
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Quote from: jing q
done with Maxmax.so they replaced the glass of course.
no it's not a raw processor issue.loss of detail is noticable on upscaling beyond a certain dimension, which no amount of sharpening can bring back unfortunately
so I figured the tradeoff was no big deal for me.

although my prism did come back chipped from the shipment. Maxmax said it wasn't their fault. told me to call UPS.
oh well.shrugs. just a small chip. abit irritating that's all.

By the prism, are you referring to the pentaprism for the viewfinder? If so, there would be no reason for the tech to disturb it in any way while working with the sensor assembly and the top cover would have to be smashed to damage it.

The only other scenario I can think of would be if the prism was loose in it's moorings and gets chipped rattling around, which would probably cause other damage as well. It's surrounded by plastic and circuit boards. It would take significant G forces to knock it loose, but not impossible, and the thing would rattle like a castanet.

All in all, a bit odd.
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Paul Roark
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« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2009, 01:16:02 PM »
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Comparison photos at http://www.maxmax.com/hot_rod_visible.htm do not, in fact, appear to be comparable.  When they are downloaded and examined carefully in Photoshop it appears there was a focus difference between the modified and standard 5D.  The standard 5D was focused slightly closer and has a forground that is sharper than the modified "Hot Rod" sample.  With respect to the apparent sharpness advantage they suggest in the parts of the image they've highlighted for comparison we may, in fact, be seeing nothing but a focus shift of the lens.  

(In addition to the foreground being sharper in the stock 5D, the stock 5D features are slightly larger -- which is consistent with the lens being focused closer.  Focusing closer has the effect of increasing the focal length.  You can precisely measure the distance between features on the frames to see this slightly higher magnification in the stock 5D sample.)

Paul
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feppe
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« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2009, 01:19:18 PM »
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Quote from: Paul Roark
Comparison photos at http://www.maxmax.com/hot_rod_visible.htm do not, in fact, appear to be comparable.  When they are downloaded and examined carefully in Photoshop it appears there was a focus difference between the modified and standard 5D.  The standard 5D was focused slightly closer and has a forground that is sharper than the modified "Hot Rod" sample.  With respect to the apparent sharpness advantage they suggest in the parts of the image they've highlighted for comparison we may, in fact, be seeing nothing but a focus shift of the lens.  

(In addition to the foreground being sharper in the stock 5D, the stock 5D features are slightly larger -- which is consistent with the lens being focused closer.  Focusing closer has the effect of increasing the focal length.  You can precisely measure the distance between features on the frames to see this slightly higher magnification in the stock 5D sample.)

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com

You're assuming the shots were taken from exactly the same location, on a tripod. What's more likely is that they used the same camera, on different days, from roughly the same location. If that's the case, the focus difference might just due to this.
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Paul Roark
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« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2009, 02:46:53 PM »
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You can pull up the information from the raw files and see that they were shot with different cameras.  The dates are way different, but this appears to be due to one of the cameras being inaccurate.  The location of parked vehicles indicates it was taken close to the same time.

Paul
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Paul Roark
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« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2009, 03:31:55 PM »
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You can also copy and paste the central section of the stock 5D image over the modified image and see that the stock image is slightly more magnified, indicating the lens was focused closer.  (Put the copied layer at 50%.)  A slight movement of the tripod would not affect the relative sizes of the distant objects significantly.  At 200% the misalignment of the images is obvious.  

These are not comparable images.  The test images on the web page appear to give us NO information about how much sharpness we can gain from removal of the AA filter.

Paul
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markhout
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« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2009, 08:39:22 AM »
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Quote from: Paul Roark
These are not comparable images.  The test images on the web page appear to give us NO information about how much sharpness we can gain from removal of the AA filter.

Great analysis! So how much sharpness / edge definition / other goodness would we gain from removing the AA filter?

Thanks.
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Paul Roark
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« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2009, 11:02:55 AM »
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How much, if any, sharpness we can gain from removing the AA filter needs better testing than I've seen so far.  It may be a different issue than the sharpness difference between a camera that has an AA filter and one that is designed not to have one.  I can imagine, for example, that there could be a software component in the processing -- pre-raw file -- that affects the bottom line.  Then, of course, the quality, thickness, index of refraction and other characteristics of the replacement for the AA filter have to be very closely matched to the OEM design.

I have a 5d2 and mostly shoot landscapes and other subjects that would not appear to benefit from the AA filter.  So, if there is a way to squeeze more sharpness out of the 5d2 I'm certainly interested.  

However, so far, I simply have not seen the rigorous testing that is going to be needed to show a clear net benefit.  A piece of glass over the sensor is a very important optical component of the system.  A net negative effect is easy to imagine if the modification is not very well designed and executed.  (Some of the Canon mount conversions that look great in casual tests but do not allow the, e.g., Zeiss Contax, lens to focus to infinity come to mind.)


Paul
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markhout
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« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2009, 11:19:46 AM »
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Quote from: Paul Roark
However, so far, I simply have not seen the rigorous testing that is going to be needed to show a clear net benefit.  A piece of glass over the sensor is a very important optical component of the system.  A net negative effect is easy to imagine if the modification is not very well designed and executed.  (Some of the Canon mount conversions that look great in casual tests but do not allow the, e.g., Zeiss Contax, lens to focus to infinity come to mind.)

Agreed. I'm still on the fence to remove the AA from my D300 by way of relatively inexpensive upgrade. But I have yet to see compelling before/after examples for my way of shooting (landscapes, cities etc - where I would like to gain acuteness / detail, particularly in the infinity focal range).
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free1000
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« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2009, 01:16:53 PM »
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Moire and other aliasing problems can crop up when you least expect it. At least with an MF like the Leaf there are anti moire tools built into Leaf Capture to handle the occasional times this happens.

I nearly blew a very large job because of Moire on the Aptus 75, only Leaf Capture could save these critical images, none of the other suggested solutions worked.

At 33Mp aliasing effects are far less noticable than on the Aptus 22, so I guess, size of pixels is important, maybe the 5D2 will be OK it will be interesting to hear about results further down the line.

I'd say to test thoroughly before a critical shoot, and watch out for the wonderful 'greek patterns', they are impossible to get rid of, unlike regular moire. When I get those patterns it usually means 4 hours in photoshop rebuilding part of the image with a paintbrush. I've even had this on the 1DsII with a very sharp lens like the 90 TS-E, so I guess it is possible with the 5D2 especially if the AA filter is removed.


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KevinA
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« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2009, 04:28:43 AM »
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I have an old Kodak SLR/n which does not have a AA filter. The moire was such a problem in a few months I bought a Canon 1DsmkII, problem solved. Yes penny for penny sharper but not enough to go through all that pain again. As for moire removal techniques I tried most non removed the luminance moire one bit.
Often you would end up blurring sections to remove the moire so much it lost more detail than a filter would have. Large groups of people will get moire in clothing and hair, not pretty when blown up big, I think it was a bad idea for your subject. Sounds like the P60 was made for your subject or LF film.

Kevin.
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