Small issues with gradients (banding?) on A7III, unrelated to usual e-shutter banding

Started 4 weeks ago | Discussions thread
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TheAthenA714 Junior Member • Posts: 43
Small issues with gradients (banding?) on A7III, unrelated to usual e-shutter banding

Hey everyone!

A couple of months ago I decided to upgrade my gear and went from a Pana GH5 to a Sony A7III. I do concert photography, so I'm constantly battling with weird lighting situations, and unfortunately with the sony I'm struggling with issues of banding (I think it's the proper name?) on gradients. Like this, on the background to the right:

(I'm posting JPEGs in this post but the raws are here: )

As far as I can tell, it only appears on gradients, not on the whole frame, the face of the dude here appears completely fine, the left side of the background also looks fine. It also seems to be pretty random, here's another shot taken just 5 seconds after, lighting conditions almost the exact same, same settings in camera:

On first glance there isn't an issue, but if I push it in lightroom I get this:

We can clearly see that something is here, although it's subtle enough to be usable.

Here's what I can tell you about what I've learned so far:

  • I shot at 3 different venues, it happened at those 3 venues. One of those venues I've shot at for a year now with the GH5 and never had any issues likes this.
  • I tried developing the RAWs in Lightroom, Capture One and Luminar so far, same issue everywhere. So I'm guessing the problem is baked into the RAW.
  • Sometimes it's pretty subtle and sometimes it's much more pronounced, it's pretty random overall.
  • I have no idea how to reliably re-create it, so it's hard to experiment. At this point I can't even guess if it's gonna happen or not before taking the shot.
  • It happened at plenty of different camera settings, although it's always wide-open (f2.8), at a shutter speed between 1/100 and 1/800, with ISO ranging from 100 to 6400.
  • It was shot with a Tamron 28-75mm f2.8. Unfortunately it's the only lens I have for now.
  • There's a Hoya UV filter on my lens, which is the same one I put on all my GH5 lenses with no issue.

As for camera settings, the first thing I did was turn off Electronic Shutter (since it creates a lot of banding, same as the GH5), I also turned off e-front curtain shutter, I switched my RAWs to uncompressed, and I also tried turning off Steady Shot. None of those had any impact on this specific problem. E-front curtain shutter turned on does create banding in certain situations, but it's a different type of banding.

One of the only thing I can think of is trying another lens or without the UV filter, but it seems absurd that it could cause this kind of very specific issues just on the gradients. If there was an issue with the lens/filter surely it would affect the whole frame consistently right?

I'm posting this thread because I'm not sure where to go next, and I feel like I missed something glaringly obvious. I have plenty more RAWs that display that issue (or the lack of that issue, a lot of them are fine) but I don't want to dig too deep if it's something simple that I missed.

So, anyone knows what's happening? What should be my next step? Any help would be very appreciated!

Sony a7 III Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 III
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