Thoughts on the vertical banding in some SD1M images

Started Jul 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Thoughts on the vertical banding in some SD1M images
Jul 11, 2012

To me, SD1M is very much the same old story all over again - a camera of both exceptional merits and fatal faults, like its elder siblings. While the older SD's are good at resolving details, the latest SD is phenomenal like no Bayer except the most capable FF can. It has even improved on the previous models where they failed most. In spite of the much greater pixel density of the sensor, colour blotches in shadows is much less of a problem, for example, and low light images are cleaner, too, by one stop or so. On the other hand, the old Foveon look that we like so much is largely gone. Colours do not have the same density and appeal, and its images often look “dry”.

But worst of all though is the vertical bandings in the sky.

After many attempts at “restoring” the Foveon look and supressing the vertical bandings in pp, it finally occurred to me that it is actually these vertical “cracks” that make the image look “dry” and ruin the Foveon look. They are the culprits. I reckon that if there are bandings in the sky of a picture, they must also be elsewhere all over that picture. They are just more visible against smooth background like skies. Where there are great amount of details, the bandings are pretty much camouflaged and can even be falsely perceived as details. They are, however, not real, and images with a lot of these false details won’t look right, as they don’t match our memory that well.

There are remedies, the simplest being leaving NR to its default 0 value. As far as you do not apply excessive processing later on, it’ll take care of much of the vertical banding problem, at very little cost to fine details. So my suggestion is not to lower the default NR setting in SPP, unless you really need that last bit of details, and do not mind the trouble of further processing the image discriminatively, in another program, of course.

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