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scott_mahn's profile

174 Messages

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3.8K Points

Sat, Apr 16, 2011 11:21 PM

8

Lightroom: Stronger, more flexible sharpening.

I find Lightroom's sharpening Strength (limited Amount) and Flexibility (single radius) insufficient.

I'm attaching two screen shots comparing LR to Aperture as means of example.

The first is the After result. As you can see on the right, in LR I have the amount maxed out at radius 1.3 with no masking or NR applied. On the left, Aperture allows me to stack additional doses for greater effect. Attempts to do similar with the Brush tool in LR are ineffective. I suspect there is no getting above Amount=150 by any means. Note that Aperture also allows sharpening at multiple radii. They also include an Edge Sharpen function that I've barely even explored yet. The strength, combinations and possibilities are staggering.

Can we get similar in LR?

And lest one think the effect might be of starting at a point of greater Clarity or Contrast in Aperture, the second shot shows the settings all kept as they were but with Sharpening turned off.

Responses

947 Messages

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13.9K Points

10 years ago

Why did you turn detail off?

Also, LR does use multiple radii, it just does it automatically.

174 Messages

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3.8K Points

10 years ago

"Why did you turn detail off?"

Because, IMO, it causes more digital artifacting than it's worth. Use detail in LR then add additional sharpening in PS (which I often find necessary) and you'll see the unpleasant effect.

"Also, LR does use multiple radii, it just does it automatically. "

As a matter of intellectual curiosity I'd love to hear more about this, but it doesn't lessen my wish for increased strength, flexibility and control.

947 Messages

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13.9K Points

The number of images I've taken that require more than 100 on the sharpening scale is really small, and none have ever needed 150. When you shoot super low-contrast objects, my opinion is that you don't need more "capture sharpening", you need an entirely different sharpening approach. In astrophotography, we often have to deal with exactly this issue, and we use deconvolution or wavelet sharpening for such images, sometimes on top of regular capture sharpening (something like 40/1/25/30 in Lightroom). If these objects you are shooting are in this category, I suggest you look into those approaches. I use Focus Magic for deconvolution and Registax for wavelets.

947 Messages

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13.9K Points

By the way, your Aperture image (top-left) is an absolute train wreck, in my opinion.

174 Messages

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3.8K Points

10 years ago

Here's LR vs Capture One. This time I gave LR a fair dose of Detail in the event that omitting it was a disadvantage. I'll also include a shot without Detail for comparison.

947 Messages

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13.9K Points

Well, obviously I don't have the image to play with, but first-cut suggestion would be as follows:

Sharpening: 60/1/25/30
L-NR: 30/75/0
C-NR: 10/75

Then export the image without resizing and with export sharpening set to screen-standard. Then look at that image.

174 Messages

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3.8K Points

10 years ago

"By the way, your Aperture image (top-left) is an absolute train wreck, in my opinion. "

That may be, but that's how I like to "dial in" the right amount, by exceeding it and then backing down. It's an approach I don't get to take as often as I'd like to for sharpening in LR.

Champion

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221 Messages

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4.1K Points

10 years ago

Scott, I might be missing something here as I don't deal with or speak the tech stuff. But, in my view the most satisfactory sharpening is the Lightroom setting in your first post. The others are all a little soft or oversharpened.

174 Messages

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3.8K Points

10 years ago

Geoff, I've not attempted to present the "best" that can be attained from each application. What I'm trying to show is that LR, at a radius of 1.3 and maxed out on the amount at 150, is just about getting there for me but can go no further. For comparison I've shown that both Aperture and Capture One can (if so desired) go further at the same radius (and Aperture can do it several times over and at additional radii). All other controls were zeroed for the purpose of control. There's been no finessing, this is about how much volume and power is available.

One can easily back down from too much, but when max is not enough you've got to go outside the program.

I don't see people settling for insufficient control over exposure, contrast, hue, saturation, etc, so why settle for a relatively (compared to the competition, if nothing else) paltry amount of sharpening? I don't hear Aperture and Capture One users asking their developers to reduce the amount of sharpening available. One wants "too much," there might be times they can use it.

947 Messages

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13.9K Points

"I don't see people settling for insufficient control over exposure, contrast, hue, saturation, etc, so why settle for a relatively (compared to the competition, if nothing else) paltry amount of sharpening? I don't hear Aperture and Capture One users asking their developers to reduce the amount of sharpening available. One wants "too much," there might be times they can use it. "

Actually, that's the reason the 101-150 range is in there. This team (the Camera Raw team) doesn't seem all that interested in "giving people enough rope to hang themselves". Thus, even getting any range above what was deemed the likely range for most images (0-100) is a bit of a victory for those that want to have plenty of "rope". Note that no other sliders have such a range.

I'll stick with my earlier comment. This sharpening is designated as capture sharpening, there primarily to compensate for the AA filter and, to a lesser degree, the demosaicing. The export sharpening is there to compensate for the media and for the differing sizes we chose on export. We don't have an effective creative sharpening in LR yet. If you want it, and it has to be strong, use an outside tool for that. I mentioned two I use for astrophotography. There are others for other purposes.

However, I'd actually oppose your feature request. The capture sharpening is plenty effective enough already. What we need is a flexible creative sharpening solution, and I'd personally love that solution to include a flexible deconvolution system like that used in Focus Magic.

174 Messages

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3.8K Points

The dividing line between capture vs creative sharpening is rather arbitrary. I think it's a failing to make a user go outside the program for heigthened sharpening. It's no more valid than needing to leave the program to gain heightened exposure, contrast or saturation.

But If you want to call my plea a plea for LR to include "creative" sharpening, so be it. I just want the control, you can call it whatever you like.

174 Messages

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3.8K Points

For what little it's worth. From a month ago:

http://forums.adobe.com/thread/800641...

Not great support for more "rope" there either.

947 Messages

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13.9K Points

LR 1 had capture sharpening but no export sharpening. LR 2 added export sharpening. LR 3 added new demosaicing and noise reduction. I'm hoping that the missing link (creative sharpening) will be added in LR 4. I think it's a good time since the lens profiles correct for geometric distortions, luminance aberrations and CA but not for sharpness falloff which I think required deconvolution. Again, I'm hoping that they'll add deconvolution there and use the opportunity to add creative sharpening that uses and independent parameter set on the current approach as well as has access to flexible deconvolution approaches. Of course, this is just a hope - I don't know what they'll actually do.

174 Messages

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3.8K Points

It appears we're on the same page after all!

Cheers.

947 Messages

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13.9K Points

Well, I'd post the feature request not as a change to the behavior of the existing controls (which I think work quite well for their intended purpose - capture sharpening), but rather as a request for an additional layer of controls (creative sharpening), and I'd point out that it would be good if they had the flexibility to be quite powerful and also have the ability to be localized.

I'll post a separate example of a shot I couldn't sharpen in LR. I used Focus Magic with a mask in PS to sharpening this shot:

http://photos.imageevent.com/sipphoto...

174 Messages

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3.8K Points

Beautiful moon shot.

I'm gonna leave your recommendations to you, this was already my attempt at improving another person's attempt. I'm pretty tired of being told to walk on eggshells to get a desire across. I'm from the managerial school of "tell me what you want, not how to do it." (My approach in talking to Adobe) but I've already stated elsewhere that I think Aperure is on the right track with stackable adjustments each of varying character. For instance, a sharpening layer of 80/5 on top of one of 100/0.7, each turnoffable with a click, and with the ability to be applied locally.

But seriously, you have great ideas and insight, I implore you to express them powerfully for the rest of us.

Champion

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221 Messages

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4.1K Points

10 years ago

Thanks for your answer Scott. I would suggest putting the request in a more concise manner such as: Could we have the sharpening range and methods of application extended as the amount I see available in competing products has more power. Attached screen shots show the amounts and results from......
I can see merit in what you are asking for!!

174 Messages

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3.8K Points

10 years ago

"Well, obviously I don't have the image to play with, but first-cut suggestion would be as follows:

Sharpening: 60/1/25/30
L-NR: 30/75/0
C-NR: 10/75

Then export the image without resizing and with export sharpening set to screen-standard. Then look at that image. "

Thanks for that Lee Jay, and I fully respect the travails of suggesting numbers without having the image to play with. Attached I show the result on the left in PS compared to LR with the Detail panel turned off.

My feelings: at 100% view I actually prefer the unsharpened version on the right because of how much I dislike the artifacting created by the Detail slider. It's not a good tradeoff, IMO.

At reduced viewing sizes I'd prefer even more sharpening. I'd like a higher Amount (without the detail artifacts) with some masking, and NR only if needed, and/or applied selectively to the non-detailed areas. I'd love the ability to apply NR to the inverse of the sharpening mask. Might be wrong for some applications, but for instance it'd be nice to apply sharpening to diamond edges and NR to the smooth metals. I'd settle for painting my own masks, but it does no good if I can't progressively exceed an amount I already find insufficient.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

10 years ago

Scott,

I now understand your comment in the other thread (about having had enough...) (this is my first viewing of this thread).

I gave this FR my vote - two thumbs up...

I definitely would like more control over sharpening, specifically the ability to have local pins with different detail and radius, and even masking too, although that would be secondary.

Although I've never needed an amount greater than 150 myself, I have no objection to raising it for those who would use it. And, I have cranked it all the way up a time or two.

PS - the gems are a perfect example of a case where detail really should be zero - no textural detail sharpening of the flat surfaces whatsoever. And in fact, it would be an example where substantial noise reduction to take away detail might be in order - its all about the hard edges...

PPS - Have you tried setting output sharpening to 'High'? (since you seem to like things sharpened more than average...)

Rob

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

10 years ago

Scott,

I now understand your comment in the other thread (about having had enough...) (this is my first viewing of this thread).

I gave this FR my vote - two thumbs up...

I definitely would like more control over sharpening, specifically the ability to have local pins with different detail and radius, and even masking too, although that would be secondary.

Although I've never needed an amount greater than 150 myself, I have no objection to raising it for those who would use it. And, I have cranked it all the way up a time or two.

PS - the gems are a perfect example of a case where detail really should be zero - no textural detail sharpening of the flat surfaces whatsoever. And in fact, it would be an example where substantial noise reduction to take away detail might be in order - its all about the hard edges...

PPS - Have you tried setting output sharpening to 'High'? (since you seem to like things sharpened more than average...)

PPPS - I think Adobe set 150 as the maximum because its at the limit of the algorithm - more than that and the algorithm starts to fall apart (quality of result starts to decline). I agree with Lee Jay on this point: If you need greater than 150, you probably need a different algorithm, e.g. deconvolution - maybe a good idea for a separate thread. I use Focus Magic too if its really "out of focus", Topaz Labs came up with a competing product recently too, but unlike Topaz other products - its not very good.

Truth betold, I would prefer to see sharpness fall-off correction over a general deconvolution feature or the like, since its a frequent occurrence to see wide angle shots that are sharp in the center but decrease in sharpness toward the edges. If something is really out of focus, the delete key usually fixes it, or focus magic, or Photoshop... - sorry for getting a tad off-topic.

Rob

242 Messages

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9.1K Points

10 years ago

"I'll stick with my earlier comment. This sharpening is designated as capture sharpening, there primarily to compensate for the AA filter and, to a lesser degree, the demosaicing."

If sharpening in LR is meant to be capture sharpening, then that explains a lot. Capture sharpening is meant to be just the minimum amount required to compensate for the AA filter. Less is more when it comes to capture sharpening.

That makes the omission of creatie sharpening poignant.

Also, I maintain that more control over output sharpening, along with an ability to preview, would be welcome. In theory, output sharpening would depend on the output media and the size of the print.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

Lr's sharpener does a beautiful job of overcoming lack of lens sharpness too. To say its mainly for compensating for AA filter and demosaicing is selling it way short, in my opinion. Granted, its not for trying to overcome camera shake or motion, or for correcting out-of-focus shots...

And of course, it does not offer the ability to be applied with different settings - which is its biggest limitation as a "creative" sharpening tool, in my opinion.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

Personally, I don't like getting too hung up on the distinction between capture and creative. The point of all this stuff is to crispin' up a soft photo. How much of the softness is due to lens and how much due to AA filter / demosaicing is not necessarily important. I truly believe the Lightroom engineers have taken all this into consideration in coming up with the present algorithm.

Even so, having the sharpener available as a local falls squarely in the category of "creative" sharpening - its just too limiting still for some of our tastes...

174 Messages

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3.8K Points

10 years ago

I also use Leaf Capture at a catalog studio I work at.

Aperture, Capture One, and Leaf Capture, provide "industrial strength" sharpening. I suspect the same for the slew of Raw converters I've yet to try.

LR provides "capture sharpening".

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

"LR provides capture sharpening".

If by "capture sharpening" you mean strictly AA filter + demosaicing, then I strongly disagree. - because it does an excellent job of compensating for lens softness too, and obviously, local sharpening is not capture sharpening.

Still, I think I agree with the spirit of the statement if not the letter - Lr sharpening is relatively light handed, and locals don't afford much control.

PS (Scott) - I voted for this FR.

174 Messages

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3.8K Points

10 years ago

Thanks Rob. Yes, the spirit of my statement. I'm slighting it's slight handed approach.

And just so you know...this *is* that other thread. ;-)

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

10 years ago

Right-O, and PS - I don't think the selective focus is working to your advantage for the example gem shot. The only thing that's going to fix those gems on the left side is a new picture - maybe shoot it with a compact, or stop down and add light... I realize this was just an example for illustrative purposes, but definitely the scope of Lightroom sharpening is to take pictures that are already shot with a relatively sharp lens, and in focus..., and crispin' them up a bit, not to bring out-of-focus regions into focus, or other such extreme sharpening... Also, 'Clarity' is Lightroom's "Coarse Sharpener".

174 Messages

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3.8K Points

10 years ago

That was an outtake...for good reason. ;-)

The other converters have their version of Clarity too. But really, I can do Clarity in PS too, and if the concept is to use LR minimally with the expectation of doing anything "creative" in PS, why draw the line at sharpening, lets make all the tools tepid.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

I think you've made your point.

174 Messages

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3.8K Points

Hey Rob, Sorry if I got obnoxious. It's a point of frustration for me.

But you're my guy: always supportive of improvements, and you certainly do all you can via forum participation and plug-ins, etc. So please forgive.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

Your frustration is understood, Scott.

Personally, I tend to go pretty easy on the sharpening, so I don't have the same issues with the amount slider that you do, but I understand not everyone has the same proclivities. And what kind of sharpening makes sense also depends on viewing distance. I mean something that has oversharpening artifacts when viewed up close may look really good from further away...

Have you tried tapping into the output sharpening plugins for Lightroom? - Might be a way to get extra sharpening out of Lightroom, without having the big photoshop'd tifs *in* Lightroom - eh?