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Mosaic VAF-5D2... B version.


Ty Harper
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Hey all :-)

Just wondering if anyone has had first hand experience with, or seen/heard any noteworthy reviews on, Mosaic's upgrade to their VAF-5D2

Was thinking up picking up a used one I found online, but not 100% sure it's even worth it at this point. 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

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Hey all :-)

Just wondering if anyone has had first hand experience with, or seen/heard any noteworthy reviews on, Mosaic's upgrade to their VAF-5D2

Was thinking up picking up a used one I found online, but not 100% sure it's even worth it at this point. 

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 

​i've sen lots of people on magic lantern forums talk about them and they all say that they do the job and reduce the moire. 

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​i've sen lots of people on magic lantern forums talk about them and they all say that they do the job and reduce the moire. 

@BrorSvensson, you've seen lots of people discussing the first version or the newer, B version?

I've only come across a couple mentions. I know the filter does those things, just interested in whether the new version is that much better, also interested in the claims they've made on the website regarding the newer version's wide angle performance:

"For the Canon 5D Mark II:  A solution for 1080p moiré and aliasing.
Now revised for excellent wide-angle performance!

This unique, precision optical accessory for the Canon 5D Mark II produces a profound correction of the 5D2's well-known 1080p video moiré and aliasing artifacts.

The revised design of the VAF-5D2b provides the same excellent anti-aliasing performance as our original VAF-5D2.  However it incorporate our newest and most advanced optical design: for excellent performance with wide-angle lenses, and minimal focus disparity."

http://www.mosaicengineering.com/products/vaf/5d2.html

 

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@BrorSvensson, you've seen lots of people discussing the first version or the newer, B version?

I've only come across a couple mentions. I know the filter does those things, just interested in whether the new version is that much better, also interested in the claims they've made on the website regarding the newer version's wide angle performance:

"For the Canon 5D Mark II:  A solution for 1080p moiré and aliasing.
Now revised for excellent wide-angle performance!

This unique, precision optical accessory for the Canon 5D Mark II produces a profound correction of the 5D2's well-known 1080p video moiré and aliasing artifacts.

The revised design of the VAF-5D2b provides the same excellent anti-aliasing performance as our original VAF-5D2.  However it incorporate our newest and most advanced optical design: for excellent performance with wide-angle lenses, and minimal focus disparity."

http://www.mosaicengineering.com/products/vaf/5d2.html

 

​They dont even sell the earlier version anymore so id say go for this, the 5d mark ii needs all the help for moire that it can get.

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I bought one for my 6D but had to send it back. It removed the hideous 6D moire very well, so it absolutely works. But it had a fatal flaw for me: it loses focus each time you change zoom. If you shoot with primes or don't zoom much, then this would be great; otherwise, you might want to think this through.

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I bought one for my 6D but had to send it back. It removed the hideous 6D moire very well, so it absolutely works. But it had a fatal flaw for me: it loses focus each time you change zoom. If you shoot with primes or don't zoom much, then this would be great; otherwise, you might want to think this through.

​Thanks @Sekhar, I shoot with mostly primes except for my 80-200mm f/2.8, but that's definitely being taken into consideration.

Aside from the positives of moire removal, how was the overall image quality for you? Also, did you have sharpness set at medium as suggested by Andrew Reid in his review of the original filter? Thx!

http://www.eoshd.com/2012/02/canon-5d-mark-ii-mosaic-engineering-vaf-5d2-anti-aliasing-filter-review/

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​Thanks @Sekhar, I shoot with mostly primes except for my 80-200mm f/2.8, but that's definitely being taken into consideration.

Aside from the positives of moire removal, how was the overall image quality for you? Also, did you have sharpness set at medium as suggested by Andrew Reid in his review of the original filter? Thx!

http://www.eoshd.com/2012/02/canon-5d-mark-ii-mosaic-engineering-vaf-5d2-anti-aliasing-filter-review/

​I thought it softened the image a bit, though it's possible I just felt that way after it got rid of all the moire. Still, using the filter + sharpening in post would give a better image than not using the filter. Even if softer, the image was more organic.

It all depends on what you want to do. If you do docs and events and can't control what's in the scene, then yes moire will be an issue, and you'll need this filter with 5D2. But then, why stick to 5D2 when you have much better options today? I got NX1 a month back, and the 4K video from that makes my 6D video look like garbage...with or without a filter. IMO even a $700 NX500 would be better for video even if it isn't FF. Also, if you plan to go back/forth between video and stills, you'll have a problem because you'll need to remove the filter to shoot stills.

Bottom line, ff you're doing narrative work and can control what's in the scene, then getting the filter doesn't make much sense I think. I was using CineStyle with the corresponding settings on my 6D, and those alone did a great job in reducing moire/aliasing from the defaults. So either that with your 5D2 or a different camera would work better for feature stuff.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Are you going to be shooting H.264? 

If so, then no don't get the filter and get a cheaper-yet-better video camera. It's not worth it anymore to shoot on the 5D MKII and buy an expensive filter to remove the hideous moire. 

Going to be shooting raw? 

Absolutely, if the 5D MKII does support shooting raw properly and it fits your work then a 5D MKII + the filter are going to be a very powerful combo. 

How does ML RAW do on the MKII? The MKIII is the only one that does 1080p continuously, but even if the MKII does somewhere between 720 and 1080p reliably it's be great. 

My advice, get the filter only if you're going to be shooting raw. If not, buy another camera. 

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I bought one a couple months ago and I absolutely love it.  I got a 5d2 around a year ago (mainly for work) and wanted to start shooting RAW so I picked up a VAF on eBay for a very fair price.  I switch between video and stills a lot and the biggest problem is remembering to take the thing out when I take pictures.  When I first got a card fast enough for ML RAW, I figured I could "shoot around" the moire and aliasing, but I quickly realized that I NEEDED the VAF if I wanted an acceptable image with RAW on the 5d.  I know some people don't need or use a VAF with a 5d because they use the crop mode which essentially removes the problems.  I don't want to shoot everything with a 3x crop since I use mostly tighter lenses.

Here's my first ML RAW test video with my 5d and the 5D2b, I think it turned out decent (note, I'm not very good at the workflow/color grading) - 

 

-Tom

 

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Are you going to be shooting H.264? 

If so, then no don't get the filter and get a cheaper-yet-better video camera. It's not worth it anymore to shoot on the 5D MKII and buy an expensive filter to remove the hideous moire. 

Going to be shooting raw? 

Absolutely, if the 5D MKII does support shooting raw properly and it fits your work then a 5D MKII + the filter are going to be a very powerful combo. 

How does ML RAW do on the MKII? The MKIII is the only one that does 1080p continuously, but even if the MKII does somewhere between 720 and 1080p reliably it's be great. 

My advice, get the filter only if you're going to be shooting raw. If not, buy another camera. 

Thanks @Ebrahim Saadawi :-) 

Yes, I shoot raw exclusively with the 5D Mark II and hope to pick up a Mark III once the price hits the sub $2000 range. Eventually I'll likely grab something from the A7 series, but till then I'm totally cool being a step behind the whats-hot-now-curve.

Anyways, I really just needed more feedback on the B version as there isn't that much out there. My main concerns are the tradeoff in softness, whether Andrew Reid's suggestions to increase sharpness in-camera as opposed to in post have been tried by others, and whether wide angle lenses are still an issue with this new version. 

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I bought one a couple months ago and I absolutely love it.  I got a 5d2 around a year ago (mainly for work) and wanted to start shooting RAW so I picked up a VAF on eBay for a very fair price.  I switch between video and stills a lot and the biggest problem is remembering to take the thing out when I take pictures.  When I first got a card fast enough for ML RAW, I figured I could "shoot around" the moire and aliasing, but I quickly realized that I NEEDED the VAF if I wanted an acceptable image with RAW on the 5d.  I know some people don't need or use a VAF with a 5d because they use the crop mode which essentially removes the problems.  I don't want to shoot everything with a 3x crop since I use mostly tighter lenses.

Here's my first ML RAW test video with my 5d and the 5D2b, I think it turned out decent (note, I'm not very good at the workflow/color grading) - 

 

-Tom

 

Thx Tom, and great video. This was actually one of the few examples I came across prior to posting. Do/did you boost sharpening in-camera at all? Also, have you tried with wide lenses (past 28mm)?

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Did not try the newer version, just the original one so I can't comment much about it. But since you seem to be concerned with the resolution trade-off, there is actually none, only slight resolution loss on wide angle lenses' extreme corners I noticed in the old version.

The filter not globally blur the image in order to remove moire it just blocks out the over-the-top frequencies that are otherwise just represented as aliasing and moire, and since the image is scaled down to less than 2mp in the end, there's is practically no resolution/sharpness trade off using it, just eliminates aliasing for all practical purposes.

This was with the old filter, so with the newer they claim even higher quality and I believe them, the older one was pretty great, and having no loss in wide angle corners is good.

Don't worry about ''resolution loss'', it will not change that, your images will be as sharp as your 5DII images now just minus the aliasing and moire.

So onto sharpening techniques:

You say you shoot raw, when shooting raw, you're recording a 14bit colour uncompressed, un-touched data off the sensor, meaning no Picture Styles are applied to the final result. Picture Styles are only applied to JPEGs and H.264 video. So internal sharpening is not an option for you here. The only way to sharpen you raw images is in post, which with raw files. After seeing the ML advances in 5D MKII, I think the 5D MKII + VAF-5D + ML RAW is a better looking video camera that most of all the other new cameras including the GH4/A7s that are all internally compressed 8bit 4:2:0 with traces of video sharpening artefacts. Now I understand why Andrew always advise people on this forum to get a 5DII + VAF + RAW even in the age of GH4/A7s. 





 

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Yes, as Ebrahim said; when shooting raw, internal sharpening is useless. You make it in the post.

Back to the question Ty: I´ve had the same question, a few years ago (VAF-5d or newer version) and also don´t found informations or reviews about it.
My advice: If you can get a VAF used, regardless of the version - buy it! It´s worth the money!

I think, the overall image quality of both versions are the same but if you like to use wider lenses then 24mm here the b-version is the better one. I have the original version and when I shoot 24mm with my Canon 24-70 the corners are less sharp, but no problem for me: looks a bit like anamorphic shooting:). My Minolta 24mm on the other hand is sharp even in the corners. 

In short: regardless of the version - the VAF is worth the money. it eliminated the 5dmk2 issues very well!
if you want to shoot wider then 24mm - the b-version should be your choice.

I have a lot of tests on my vimeo site. Here is one for example:

 

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@Ebrahim Saadawi and @michaelfilm, thanks for the input. Have you read Andrew's review of the Mosaic filter where he talks about sharpening in post? 

"I recommend putting sharpness to medium or high with the VAF-5D2 and avoiding the soft zero sharpness image that we’ve put up with to date. The amount of real detail is definitely closer to 1080p at this setting with the anti-aliasing filter to soften the images than using the internal processing alone to soften the image."

http://www.eoshd.com/2012/02/canon-5d-mark-ii-mosaic-engineering-vaf-5d2-anti-aliasing-filter-review/

Just needed clarity on the sharpening bit, because what I get from Andrew's stance (at least at the time that he wrote that review, was that sharpening in-camera first was the better option.

Thanks again for your thoughts on this!

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

That's regarding h.264. The camera does not alter the image in any way when shooting raw, the picture style process is bypassed entirely therefore sharpness, contrast, saturation and color tone have no effect on the resulting raw file. 

If you're shooting H.264, I always advice against zero sharpening and believe the image benefits greatly from +1, maximum +2, from +2 to +7 it starts heavily degrading video image quality as you're sharpening a low resolution image. When shooting stills, I actually exclusively shoot +7 sharpness JPEGs, there is enough resolution to take heavy sharpening without looking cartoonish. 

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That's regarding h.264. The camera does not alter the image in any way when shooting raw, the picture style process is bypassed entirely therefore sharpness, contrast, saturation and color tone have no effect on the resulting raw file. 

If you're shooting H.264, I always advice against zero sharpening and believe the image benefits greatly from +1, maximum +2, from +2 to +7 it starts heavily degrading video image quality as you're sharpening a low resolution image. When shooting stills, I actually exclusively shoot +7 sharpness JPEGs, there is enough resolution to take heavy sharpening without looking cartoonish. 

Aaah ok makes sense.. thanks for clarifying!

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