Moire and Aliasing no more?! A solution for the 5DmkII. Full review now up!

Blog disclaimer: Although I did not pay for this filter, I was sent it for review, I have not been paid by Mosaic Engineering for this test nor do I receive any affiliate from them through sales.


EDIT: I have finally done my tests. It is in the form of a rather long video but it’s the best way to see how well it copes. Below the video are the key plusses and minuses. 

Mosaic Engineering 5DmkII anti moitr/ aliasing filter test and review from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Without Filter
With Filter

Be very careful with old Nikon lenses like the one below. It has a piece of metal, which was needed for film cameras, not needed any more that can hook onto the filter. If you want to use these lenses with the filter, remove the bit of metal.

Be careful of lenses like this old Nikon. The metal protrusion can hook onto the filter damaging it.

PLUSSES: Removes most of the visible moire, only the most stubborn stuff it cannot remove. Big success on aliasing. A massive improvement on image quality for video compared to shooting without it.

NEGATIVES; Not good with wide angle lenses. Some lenses work better with it than others. Not parfocal. Slight image softening. Close up focus changed. Be careful with old Nikon lenses with the bit of metal that sticks out. It can damage your filter and if you are not careful like me…your camera too!

SUMMARY: Well worth it! I wish it had came out 2 years ago!


I don’t normally do charts but I was at CVP today so I made use of the test room and knocked off some stuff. Here are two charts. One tests colour the other shows the improvement in moire and aliasing.

Colour shift? Image one is with filter out and image two is filter in…

Image one is filter out at 135mm on 70-200 F2.8 at f4. Image two is same lens

No filter
Filter in

A few months ago I got to test out an anti-aliasing/ moire filter designed and made by Dave Cubanski of Mosaic Engineering. The VAF-5D2. I am sure all of you who have shot with a DSLR know exactly what moire and  aliasing are. It’s the bane of shooting with DSLRs and the single biggest problem, much more than rolling shutter or sound. It’s all down to the way the camera downscales the image from its huge 21MP sensor to the much smaller 1920×1080 size of around 2MP. Line skipping, throwing away lines of information.

Below are the photos from March when I tested it out.


This line skipping causes these issues on fine fabrics, hair, bricks, water, lines. Especially when shooting with deeper depth of field. Shallow depth of field hides much of this but we can’t shoot like that the whole time. I have tried many solutions. Zeiss Softar filters, plug ins (only one that works well is the Marvels Moire one but all that fixes is the colour issues, not the moire or anti-aliasing)

The filter fits between the lens and the sensor. It pops in and out very easily. This is not a destructive fix. You put it in when shooting video (take it out when shooting stills as it lessens the quality of the stills) and as long as your lens is not wider than 24mm you will get more or less a moire and anti-aliasing free image…and it works.

When I tested it at 50mm and above it was perfect, 35mm was ok. At 24mm I had soft edges. Below is the test video I shot at 24mm on the 5DmkII. You can see the moire patterning of the carpet gone even when I turn the sharpness up to +4. I also showed how the Marvels DSLR moire post filter coped with it compared to the optical filter. As you can see the edges are soft at 24mm. This has now been fixed, so I can now talk about it!


Dr. David Cubalski and his game changer (for once a good use of that phrase!)

The VAF 5D2 filter consists of multiple layers of birefringent optical material including lithium niobate and crystalline quartz. How it exactly works and what it exactly does, well you will have to ask the inventor about that! But roughly the interference with details that is caused by the line skipping is removed, changing the pattern of the incoming image so whole lines are not whole lines any more…or something like that!

Director/ Cinematographer Glen Przybowski has shot some videos showing examples of it and how to install it. He has been testing it with Mosaic Engineering over the past 9 months.

Price wise it’s going to be around $385. Not cheap, but then again it suddenly cures your camera or its biggest issue in video mode and with no sign of the 5DmkIII yet this will give your beautiful full frame Canon a new lease of life! It is not properly for sale yet. A small test batch has been made. Then it will go into full production.

There is a 1/8th stop of light loss and the flange distance is altered, meaning the focus measurements on the lens are no longer accurate. Also the minimum focal distance is a tiny bit longer but infinity is reachable which is key.  Changing focal lengths on a zoom lens will mean refocusing every time too.

An APS-C version for the 7D is being worked on now. I don’t know it that will be usable in say a 60D, but I will find out soon.

I am hoping to get a production version soon to test out. As soon as I do, I will do a full series of tests, with and without. I am very curious to see how well it works at different f-stops. In the meantime check out Glen’s videos including two commercial spots he shot with the filter in.

You know one day, maybe 20 years down the line we will be downloading plug ins for our edit systems to emulate that much missed moire and anti-aliasing look of old…like we do now for Super 8…actually we probably won’t…the sooner it’s gone the better!!!


  1. This is great, except all the new cameras are coming out soon from Sony, Nikon and maybe even…. gasp… Canon. So the Moire issue probably won’t be an issue anymore. Wish it came out 2 years ago or so.

  2. Hi Philip,
    nice to read about tihs !
    My feeling is that this filter produces smoother images, with less detail, and suggests that, as the inventor wrote on the site, it becomes necessary to add sharpness in postproduction (which is not good for me).
    It’s worth losing sharpness to remove moire? Or rather that is “always” worth it?

      1. From looking at the footage it seems sharp to me too, but the Caprock filter makes the image a lot softer.

        The DP of house said that H.264 has its benefits of having a soft image. He says makeup people hate sharp cameras because it shows every small detail in a persons face.

        I know you can soften a image in post but for people that want a soft image to begin with Canon has what you need. Fixing every clip in post is a pain.

        The Great Camera Shootout Part 2: Sensors & Sensitivity….Check it out and my thoughts…

        By Philip Bloom

  3. Reason enough why video cameras should stick to video and still cameras stick to stills. I think shooting video with an SLR is ludicrous. You cannot possibly be superb at both with one body and there will always be shortcomings. Personally I think they dumb down the SLR by integrating video with it. I won’t own an SLR that has video, I can say this with 100% assurance than I would never use it even if I shot video. Every professional I know says the same thing. Now what WOULD make sense, is if Canon or Nikon (or Sony or whoever) would offer a Video Camera body for existing SLR lenses – not one that looked like an SLR, but one in a form factor more conducive to shooting video. That, I would buy.

    1. Thanks for your thoughts but you clearly have never shot with the 5DmkII so don’t understand how incredible a creative and affordable avenue it opens.

      Yes we have had to deal with the shortcomings since the camera came out. But the positives outweigh the negatives many times over.

      You also do realise that the current video cameras that have large chips in, the FS100, AF101, F3 have atrocious form factors? Worse than DSLRs!!

      1. There’s still trolling in 2011? Odd, this.

        Anyway, thanks for this Philip. It’s keeping from thinking too far ahead about new gear and focus more on what I currently have/use. Any idea what the ETA is?



      2. the story is, that the videofunction is implimented BECAUSE the professional broadcastingindustrie asked for it!

        the purist photographers use laica or film (with old or selfmade cameras)!

        the dslr started a whole new era for independent filmmakers! a look has become possible, that outweigh any crazy codec or whatever (and if you want a realy good output, you realy needed to invest in external recorders even with a pro camcorder). if you don´t see that, it´s probably not to bad that you wont pick a dslr to shoot.

        i think, that the videofunktion doesn´t harm the stillsfunktion. the issues are the same and the pressure rises to remove rolling shutter and noise. it will also better the focusproblems, but we will see that with generation 2, i guess. stillphotographers will praise the videofunktion for that!

        and think about the millions of consumers – they get everything in one body for almost nothing.

    2. Oh please… that’s ridiculous. Tell that to the journalists that daily shoots video with their dSLRS, to the skateboard kids that now can pack lighter gear, to the amateur filmmakers that now has the ability to have a shorter depth of field and super sharp videos for a very low price…

      …or why not tell it to the people behind House M.D. that shot an entire episode with the Canon 5D Mark II? Or to all the people in Hollywood that uses the 5D Mark II on a regular basis because it’s so small so they can easily mount it in cars and use multiple camera systems.

      …or perhaps the people who love to fish but had to choose between bringing a still camera or a video camera?

      It’s one of the most revolutionary advancements in digital cameras and you’re throwing it down the drain without even blinking.

    3. Reason enough why video cameras should stick to video and still cameras stick to stills. I think shooting video with an SLR is ludicrous. You cannot possibly be superb at both with one body and there will always be shortcomings.

      Hmm, probably this website is not the best outlet for you.

    4. I agree with Philip, you must have never shot with one. The things creatively you can do with a DSLR camera are amazing. You should not knock it till you try it. Also, the Red Camera has a rolling shutter issue as well.

    5. @ Why video cameras should stick to video and still cameras stick to stills. I think shooting video with an SLR is ludicrous.

      well: do not believe me, search for your selve and come back when you found out;

      a bigger chip than a professional f35 flagship of sony (thats super35mm)
      a 5dmkii has the size of a vistaprint…..

      less noise in darkness than video digital or harddisk based video camera’s

      great lenses that fit to the 5dmkii how many? perhaps dozens instead of just a few

      technicolor not a name thats unknown to many… has the great video lut… not for nikon … just for the 5dmkii

      zeiss which stopped producing lenses for film for a wile arri who sold them under arri superspeeds has started production again …. great compact primes to fit the canon 5dmkii

      great rigging from many suppliers such as zacuta and redrock….

      well after 20 years of filming these are just a few things that come in mind…


    6. Six, just a thought for ya.

      All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.

      Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher (1788 – 1860)

      While the world of video is in the last phase of being self-evident with the 5D Markii, I do believe sir you are still first phase of this with these cameras. I have never shot video professionally, but have been able to shoot some amazing video with this camera, and with the help of this blog.

      Thanks for all your hard work with these cameras Philip, its been amazing learning so much.

  4. Six…how incredibly shortminded,

    Every camera has a disadvantage no matter what you pay, DSLR has really opened up film making for alot of indie film makers. It can produce a wonderful image, and you dont have to take my word for that mate, They have shot episodes of ‘House’ as well as numerous other high budget productions (seen the Red Tails trailer yet?????)

    It can produce such a wonderful image. We all wish we had Alexa cameras but you make do with the tools you have and make those tools work for you the best you can.

    I have to say shooting with dslr has made me think so much more about what im shooting than alot of other cameras.

    Form factor alone should convince you to try it.

  5. Hope they released version for other DSLR such as: 550D/7D (canon APS-C cropped DSLR) and 4/3 system or NEX system (for VG-10). Is there any news of progress getting there?

              1. My English level is maybe not enough for what I can to explain… So that it works in both camera it is necessary that the dimensions inside the 60D, in front of the sensor, or similar to the 7D. So that the filter does not move and so that he can enter inside.. I don’t know if it’s more clear..

                  1. Yes if the inside of the 60D is different from the inside of the 7d in this case we need two different filters… I don’t have the two camera to verify, and it could be difficult to measure them inside..

                    1. If the characteristics of the sensor are identical between the 60D and the 7D it seems logical that the same filter has to work… Except the problem of physical size of the filter. The photosites of the sensor of the 5D are bigger than on the 7D thus it is normal that filters should be different to work correctly..

  6. To Six, lots of us LOVE shooting video with SLRs. I personally really like the form factor of DSLRs over traditional video and motion picture cameras. Plus, DSLRs have a huge range of lenses and incredible shallow DOF that you cannot get on most video cameras. The whole idea that you use a camera to shoot photos and camcorder for video is so dated and antiquated. Time to look into the future. Until the iPhone came along, people probably thought why would I need a phone to talk, text, check email, run apps and take pictures? Convergence.

    As for “every professional who says this,” not sure who you are talking to but I work in Los Angeles in TV and tons of stuff (granted more low budget projects) are shot on DSLRs.

    As for the 5D3 not coming out in a year, I personally think and from what I’ve read, it will be sooner but probably not soon enough! 🙁 Canon is quickly falling behind and with Sony set to release some new cameras at the end of month which is rumored to have amazing video, Canon needs to act really soon.

  7. hi philip , what is the thing with 1280 x 720 crop of 1080 P mean i.e the subtitle in the last video clip . Does this filter work only in 720 p mode only ? – or it works in full hd mode (1920 x 1080P mode) as well?… a bit confused please clarify .. and thanks a ton for sharing !!!!!!!!!

  8. Well well well,very impressed.

    Dr David is about to become a seriously rich man.
    It will probably take months before your average “Fred” will be able to buy one of these.
    On back order everywhere, endless waiting lists, Another 400 buck + 60 bucks post cost to europe.
    Its allready a must have for DSLR shooter’s and its not even released.

    Something for my Christmas stocking I hope.

    Looking forward to your review Phillip.

  9. Hey Phillip,
    If you some how get your hands on several of these filters in the near future,
    Can you bring me 1 over to the Amsterdam IBC Meet up, Save me some money on post costs.
    Thanks mate.

  10. What happens when a wider than 24mm lens is used? Such as a 20mm or 21mm..I’m assuming extremely soft edges. I’d love to see a test sequence with wider that 24mm lenses. Regardless, this is epic!

  11. Thank’s great.
    Thank you Philip to share this.

    Little off-topic question: anybody know a book or a web resource that explain how to manage corrections to have the ‘tv spot’ look colors ? the kind of colors of the eat’npark ad above ?

  12. I really don’t agree with Six!

    But don’t agree that the FS100 is atrocious. I think that’s a little strong. I own both a 5DMKII and an FS100 and like them both for very different reasons and applications.

    Can’t we just all get along!? 😉

  13. I think people thinking there going to get their hands on a 5d3 in feburary are getting fed some really bad info. (canon rumours website?)

    Canon is in no rush to compete with other video dslrs. One thing people seem to always forget is that 95% of people that buy a 5d mark II are ‘photographers’ not indie film makers. The sale of these cameras to film makers is minute and not enough for them to rush it out in feburary to compete with any other video enabled dslr.

    5d3 will not shoot raw video, will not be released in feburary (announcement at best in feburary) and will have a few extra features like a slightly better codec and 60 fps, but canon are aiming to make the best photographic camera, not make a camera that pleases the film makers enough to push the release forward.

    There are video cameras made by canon, maybe they might release something to compete with fs100 or panasonic camera? but that wont be the 5d3….

  14. Very professional video demos. I like how they used the cheese grater idea but refined it to the point of perfection.

    I still however can’t get over the fact that t looks so soft compared to the GH2. Frankly after using the Hacked GH2 on production material I cant say I’ll be excited about using my 7D on critical shoots even with this filter on.

    However that doesn’t detract from the fact that this elevates the Canons to a higher place in documentary, commercial and narrative shoots. Two less things to worry about, Ive had many shots totally ruined by these artifacts on the 7D and paid with time and money to get a fix or re-shoot.

    What’s the deal with the mirror? It seems its supported or blocked from closing with the adapter. Could this damage the mirror motor in some way?

    Great product that will probably still be needed to some degree in the future Canon cam releases. I don’t see them curing Moire/Aliasing 100% on the next generation.

  15. Mr. Bloom,

    Any chance you could post a clip of you filming with a 17mm lens so we can see how “soft” it actually is? I like to go really wide with my Glidecam, and I’m not opposed to soft corners unless it is excessive and draws attention to itself.

  16. So its the old birefringent optical material including lithium niobate and crystalline quartz trick. So I just pop that in behind the flux capacitor right? This looks so good I checked my calendar to make sure it wasn’t April

  17. I think its totally worth the money considering the few very minor issues with it.

    I hate the fact that shooting a short film on 5d effects what the actors wear and what the set design is.

    But with this its freedom again 🙂

  18. This is pretty huge. One of the reasons I switched to shooting mainly on the FS100 was the awful aliasing (and the audio). This filter seems to induce less edge to edge/corner sharpness, but not too bad. Certainly this is going to be a must-have next to the Zoom H4n! Wouldn’t surprise me a bit to see this tech bought by Canon and incorporated into new cameras.

    1. H4n sucks so much ass. I can’t begin to say how much I hate it. I try not to rely on it much, but when I do, it always lets me down. A mic on the hot-shoe may not sound as good, but has saved me from the Zoom H4n perils many, many times.

      1. Second that, sent my H4N straight back to the shop. WAY too much pre-amp noise. Boom mics out of the question. Only ok if you have a big input signal, like a radio pack for example. Awful preamps! Shame, they look nice.

        1. The H4N sounds downright useable when paired with a SoundDesign Mix-Pre 2 channel mixer as the pre-amp. Just make sure you go into the H4N through the phono plugs located inside the XLR plug on the bottom of the unit. This bypasses the H4N’s internal pre-amp (or seems to mostly bypass it) and relies on the superior Sound Devices pre-amp. Sounds great. You will still need to do some testing to find your optimum Record Level setting on the H4N. It will have a slight effect. I know this is getting pretty off topic but there are probably plenty of H4N users that haven’t figured this out yet. I spoke with someone at Sound Devices and was told the following about how to set audio levels on the Zoom with a MixPre:
          1. Turn on 1KHZ tone on MixPre
          2. Adjust H4N’s levels until tone reads at -16 (because tone on MixPre is at 0 and MixPre goes to +16 before clipping/distorting). This will insure that H4N will not clip before MisPre does. Don’t worry about numbers on meters. They are kind of arbitrary. Basically the H4N clips at 0 because that is as far as it will read. MixPre clips at +16 as that is as far as it reads.
          3. Once H4N level is set, turn off 1KHZ tone on MixPre and adjust channel specific gain until signal is reading about +8. This should leave enough headroom in case of a change in volume. For more potentially dramatic shifts, set levels on MixPre lower.
          Even though MixPre’s LED’s go into the red they will not clip until +16.

          Make sure you test everything though and verify that it’s working for you. Good luck.

        2. My H4n tests tend to confirm this. If you use an ME 6x series mic with the phantom powered K6, then you have a hot output and this works better with the H4n than an dynamic mic for noise issues.

  19. Really interesting. Looking at the demo videos, I can’t see any softening of the image from the original. But hard to see at web resolution. Is this really still as sharp with the filter installed? If so, this could be must for DLSR shooting. Thanks for sharing Philip, great find.

      1. Thanks for the raw image link. So looking closer at the images (resoultion chart) and taking 1080 stills, i do see a ‘slight’ softenting of the image with the filter in place. Also, seems to be a very slight colour shift from white. But to be honest, its pretty minor compaired to the gain you get by almost loosing the moire and aliasing completely. Very interesting product.

  20. Six: good luck finding a stills camera that doesn’t shoot video in the near future. Guess you’ll be stuck with gear from 2008. Whether you use it or not, video on DSLRs is here to stay.

      1. That could be risky, right? What if somebody accidentally presses the shutter button and the mirror flips? What would happen than? The mirror or the filter could be damaged?

  21. Yeah, this is a “game changer.” Especially if the 5Dm3 doesn’t fix aliasing.

    REQUEST: When you run tests, please evaluate extreme wide angle performance.

    One of my star performers these days is the thirty year old Nikkor 20mm f/3.5 AI-S. If this can work with a new, aliasing-free 5D Mark 2 — the world has changed.


  22. So I am wondering, if Mosaic Engineering created an infrared/high pass filter, could you take out your built in infrared/high pass filter and switch from infrared to normal?

    And actually, this would keep dust from getting to the sensor as well.

  23. While this is cool and all. It doesn’t make the image any sharper does it? It just gets rid of moire right?

    Will a 1080p landscape look just as sharp as a 1080p landscape shot from an HV30 or EX1 or something? Specifically wide shots of trees and such. The poor downscaling makes trees and such look blocky, will this make them look more natural/sharper, or just potentially get rid of any moire?

    On my T2i (there goes all my credibility lol), I keep sharpness all the way down, and I haven’t ran into a shot where I’ve noticed any moire in a looooong time, not since I first got the camera actually. Moire doesn’t seem to be as big of a problem as aliasing or lack of sharpness.

    1. No, it will not make the image sharper. it will just help with the moire. It will allow you to turn your sharpness up (a little bit) and not notice moire on clothing as much etc. When shooting landscapes, I haven’t really ran into moire issues very often, even with the sharpness turned up a little (outside of water shots as I almost always get moire if there is even a little bit of rippling…).

  24. Much like color noise, it appears that moiré affects picture quality even when it doesn’t scream out at you. In the examples,e.g. the pouch, the clean version looks much better even in the parts where a casual glance might not have noted the moiré. I do think I will be buying this.

  25. Fantastic product. Cannot wait to get one. But I am wondering if my Contax lenses will fit with the filter in place.

    Hope you can check non Canon lenses when you get the filter Philip.

    Thanks and greetings from Amsterdam.

  26. I agree with six, give me a real video camera any day and I don’t have to put up with the pain in the butt that it is to shoot with a DSLR.

      1. mhh,

        many people don´t understand why something is good. they just buy stuff because someone is hyping it. you realy need to know what you want. things don´t suit anyone. if you don´t want to have shallow dof and you don´t care about timelapse, if you don´t feel liberated by manual control and if you don´t want to shoot with natural light, a dslr might not be your thing… so don´t by it! that´s ok. art is freedom.

    1. lol. Who said you have to use a DSLR in the first place? This is hilarious.

      So many people feel threatened by DSLRs these days… I don’t get it. Use traditional camcorders for events/news and use DSLRs for narrative/creative films. Just because you personally cannot make cinematic images with a DSLR (most likely the root of your resentment) does not mean you get to annoy the rest of us by voicing your jaded opinions.

  27. Thanks for this Phil. Great insight.

    I shoot on the 1dmkiv and the 5dmkii. I love shooting full frame for my wide shots on a 16-35mm but on all other accounts my 1d significantly outperforms.

    Love the fact that its seems to be so undiscovered because of its price but I’m all over the 1d. And you?

    Any info on when something for the 1d might be available?

  28. I avoided shooting some video projects on the 5D MKII for the very reasons that this filter fixes. It breaths new life into a classic camera so $385 seems like a reasonable price.
    I’m not holding my breath for a 5D MK3 especially as I doubt moire and aliasing problems will be improved considering it may have a higher pixel count.

  29. Can’t wait for my 7D… another camera that doesn’t have moire problems is the Red Epic; when will you have an update for us on that cam, Philip?

  30. I’m waiting for the $15 Hong Kong version. I’ve done some googling on the material, And other than the mounting/holder, this glass already exists in the microscope sector. It’s just being re-purposed for DSLRS.

    1. there is always someone who says this about anything! I challenge you to make it! it will make a lot of people happy!! In the meantime the rest of us will shoot aliasing/ moire images whilst you daily check ebay to see if there is a knock off yet!

      Could you imagine if we all had that attitude where we would be? If it was not for people like David taking it upon themselves to research and develop this there would be nothing to knock off! Let’s encourage plagiarism rather than entrepreneurial individuals!

      1. I’m not referring to a knock off, like someone in India copying a Redrock design. I’m not in favor of that. Just, we may be led to believe that some groundbreaking discovery has been invented here. But in reality, this is a waveplate glass, which comes in different specs. It is used in microscopy and with lasers. It is kind of like a polarizer, but twists certain wavelengths, acting like an anti-prism. That is why it changes the focus plane a bit.

        Usually the first company which puts these things out charges a lot. Then as other companies join in (ala the Variable ND arena) you see costs going down. No one company can claim a patent on a Variable ND, because using two polarizers (circular and linear) has been used scientifically for years.

        Just if anyone is interested in what is happening with this filter they should read up on Waveplates.

        “Waveplates (retardation plates or phase shifters) are made from materials which exhibit birefringence. The velocites of the extraordinary and ordinary rays through the birefringent material varies inversely with their refractive indices.”

        1. Then why almost 3 years later is this the first one if it really is that easy? Personally when it comes to optics i don’t scrimp

          The good variable Nds still cost. The cheap ones you get what you pay for. Am all for competition but not blatant copying.

  31. Just reading the comments here,
    Its going to be a long wait before the supply
    of this filter will meet the demand for it.

    God I hate waiting.