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Leica S2

Moire and Aperture

Like most medium format digital backs, the Leica S2 does not have an anti-aliasing (blur) filter.

Normally, lack of an anti-aliasing filter has wonderful benefits in terms of outstanding per-pixel sharpness. The downside is that it can lead to unpleasant patterns of color or detail interacting with the sensor resolution: moiré.

Software can reduce or eliminate moiré, but sometimes moiré affects only a small portion of the image, and extra processing steps or settings are never a plus. However, moiré is a fact of life with cameras lacking an anti-aliasing filter, so it’s an even field out there.

Stopping down eliminates moiré

Stopping well down reduces moiré because diffraction (DAP) has an effect not unlike an anti-aliasing filter: diffraction (DAP) blurs the image by creating increasingly larger blur circles (airy discs) as the lens is stopped down. So stopping well down is one solution to eliminating moiré effects. On the S2, this means f/11 - f/16, but it’s a losing proposition in terms of image quality, see the Diffraction page.

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Diglloyd Medium Format covers medium format camera systems, including the Hasselblad X1D and Fujifilm GFX.

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  • In-depth lens evaluations covering behaviors not likely to be found anywhere else, based on real-world field shooting.
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  • Aperture series from wide open through stopped down, showing the full range of lens performance and bokeh.
  • Optical quality analysis of field curvature, focus shift, sharpness, flare, distortion, and performance in the field.
Variants f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22 available in full article

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