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Remove Nikon D800/e Moiré in Lightroom 4 and Photoshop

I have been using the Nikon D800e for a little over a week now, with a little less than 500 images in my Lightroom catalog, with over 90 percent of them from a marathon my wife ran in. It was my first day with the Nikon D800e and I wanted to take a ton of pictures to see how sharp the images truly were. Many have asked if I have seen any of the dreaded moiré that dominates so much of the conversation when talking about the Nikon 800e. The simple answer is yes, but very, very little of it.

Example of Moire

Example of Moire

NIKON D800E, AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
exif : @200.0 mm, f/2.8, 1/500, 180

In fact, during my first pass of the images while imported I didn’t notice anything. On the second pass, I noticed two images that show very light moiré. See it in the above image? I didn’t either until I looked closer. Click the image to see a larger view of it.

Now lets take a Closer look at the shirt right above the numbers. Here larger view of it.

Moire, A Closer Look

Moire, A Closer Look

NIKON D800E, AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
exif : @200.0 mm, f/2.8, 1/500, 180

It’s ever so slight, but it’s there. The good news is that Adobe’s Lightroom handles it with ease. I selected the brush tool and selected Moiré from the drop down menu (starting at +25). After a couple passes over the spot in question, I slowly moved the slider up until the image was free of the Moiré artifacts.

Removal of Moire

Removal of Moire

While going through all of my images I noticed that there where many, many images from that day where tight patterns on the gear of the runners did not produce the moiré effect. This is to be expected, after all, moiré is caused when an extremely fine pattern on the target/subject matches the pattern of the imaging chip. In this case, Pattern 1 is the fabric, Pattern 2 is the imaging chip, resulting in moire.

NikonUSA's image on how Moire is formed

NikonUSA's image on how Moire is formed

The image after the moiré has been removed looks identical, although, if I where to print this at any significant resolution, you’d need to remove the moiré first. If this is what I should expect, no worries, 30 seconds in Lightroom and it’s gone.

Moire Removed

Moire Removed

NIKON D800E, AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
exif : @200.0 mm, f/2.8, 1/500, 180

Don’t use lightroom? Photoshop only? No problem the exact same techniques works in ACR (Adobe Camera Raw), if you shot using JPG (shame on you) or have an old JPG laying around, Open Photoshop first, then File->Open, select your jpg and change the “format” in the open dialog box to “Camera Raw” and you are all set. Although, you will see JPG artifacts depending on the image.

ACR – Technique

ACR - Technique

Comments

  1. Wesley,

    Great explanation of moire and how to correct it. Thanks.
    Congrats to your wife on the marathon.

  2. Nice Explained. Thank you. I keep going back and forth between the 800/800E. One question if you don’t mind ….. was your camera handheld during this shoot?

    • Hi Susan,

      Sorry for the late reply, yes, all of these pictures where handheld. I highly recommned the Nikon D800E, its is an amazing camera.

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