Lightroom/Camera Raw: Cutting edge sharpening and noise reduction

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Many, many Lightroom and ACR users rely on third-party products to add sharpening at various stages in the editing process and to remove noise.

These products are pricey and this generally tends to impede a smooth workflow.

While it's great that these others have capitlized on this niche for a number of years, I think it's time for Adobe to take back the cutting edge in the areas of sharpening and noise reduction.
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Photographe

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Posted 8 years ago

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john beardsworth

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At the risk of another "Thanks to the leadership of Comrade Napoleon, how excellent this water tastes!"..... Since Lightroom 3, many many photographers no longer need third-party sharpening or noise removal tools!
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Rob Cole

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Lightroom's color noise reduction is really, really good. Some of the others provide more control, but none produce any better results except maybe after a bunch of fiddling. I'm not quite as impressed with the luminance noise reduction as the color, but still, its very good, and integrates very nicely with Lightroom. I mean, besides being very convenient, I think the results complement the new process version very nicely. Also, Lightroom's sharpener is top notch.

Where Lightroom falls short of an external solution, is not in the quality of the algorithms employed, but unlike in Photoshop as example, Lightroom lacks the ability to apply noise reduction locally and lacks the ability to apply sharpening locally *with different settings*.

If you haven't compared Lightroom's noise reduction to noise ninja or some of the others - you should - I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. Likewise for 3rd party sharpening tools.

Nik and some others, have a sharpening paradigm that separates the sharpening into 3 types:

1. Capture
2. Creative
3. Output

Whereas Lightroom only has two:
1. In Lightroom
2. Output

But I don't think the results are any better, except that Nik's can be applied locally with different settings. (Both of Lightroom's sharpening types are excellent)

Summary:
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Some of the biggest effort that went into Lr3 was in improving the noise reduction and sharpening, and I think Adobe did an outstanding job. I think the only thing left in this regard now is to add NR to the locals, and allow different sharpen settings to be used locally. I mean, there is always room for improvement, but Lightroom is already at the cutting edge in this regard.

Final thoughts:
------------------
When I hear people say "I still use Lr2 - Lr3 just doesn't have enough features to warrant an upgrade", I just think to myself: "them poor, poor beastards...".
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PECourtejoie, Champion

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Rob, through develop settings applied in the import module, it is perfectly possible to add Capture sharpening, and apply creative sharpening with the clarity and sharpening adjustment brushes...
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Rob Cole

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I realize that people have defined the global sharpen settings (e.g. as set via import preset) as a "capture sharpening", and defined local sharpening as "creative sharpening" - in answer to the 3rd party packages having more types. But all of that is just a word game to me. A true capture sharpening is one that has different settings than the creative sharpener, and is applied before other settings. Local sharpening in Lightroom only allows one to vary the amount applied in painted regions, and Lightroom only applies sharpening in one stage of the rendering pipeline. Don't get me wrong - I adore Lightroom's sharpening - prefer it in fact over multi-step sharpening - its simple to use, fast, and works just as well, or better, IMO. I often wish I could vary the settings in the local application of it - but, one version at a time ya know...

PS - Lightroom's Clarity Rocks! - but I don't think of it as sharpening, despite being complementary... I realize too that some applications that allow extreme sharpen settings, emulate clarity using their sharpeners, but that's a kludgy work-around for apps that have not implemented true clarity like Lightroom has.
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Butch_M

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I whole heartedly agree that since the introduction of the improved NR capabilities in LR 3 ... My Nosie Ninja and other plugins have been collecting dust ... as far as output sharpening ... I have several PS actions using Photo Kit Sharpener in both full automated actions and some that allow me to fine-tune in a semi-automated process upon export from LR ...

The definition of "Cutting edge" can vary as much as the number of folks who use the term ... for me, while I would always welcome improvements ... what LR 3 currently in the area of NR and sharpening offers is quite sufficient for the vast majority of the images and the desired finished output I work with ... though I do understand other folks may have different needs and desires to that end ...
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Rob Cole

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Good point about output sharpening. I think Lightroom's is very good, but it doesn't afford much control... - How would you compare it to PhotoKit?

PS - Yeah, the term "cutting edge" is really marketing mumbo-jumbo.
Mine's cutting edge, yours isn't - nah-nah-na-nah-nah...
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Butch_M

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Well ... the sharpening algorithms in LR are from the folks at Pixel Genius that make PhotoKit Sharpener ... the big difference is ... especially with output sharpening ... there is not as much flexibility in the choices or creative application of the sharpening ... using the PK plugin in PS you can adjust the opacity, add/edit masks as to where and how the sharpening is applied ...

For the most part ... PK Sharpener is pretty much idiot proof for global sharpening by offering great definition without creating unwanted halos and artifacts ... as long as you steer away from the extremes ... which is why I think it does such a good job in LR with the limited application of the effects ...
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Photographe

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"what LR 3 currently in the area of NR and sharpening offers is quite sufficient for the vast majority of the images and the desired finished output I work with"

This is exactly the problem. What do you mean by vast majority?

Let's say LR is good enough for 95% of your images. I have 50,000, so that means it's not good enough for 2,500? What would you say if the crop tool only worked on 95% of your images, or only 95% of your images got demosaiced properly?

I'm just asking, because I really don't know much about sharpening. I blindly use LR, which is why I want it improved so I don't have to buy PhotoKit, but I have a few more questions:

(1) Output sharpening in LR has only three levels: Low, Standard and High--Is that enough for your best images?

(2) Instead of having separate Capture sharpening and Creative sharpening, they've merged them into one (or maybe eliminated one). Not important for your best images?

(3) There are no meaningful presets; you're on your own figuring out the Amount, Radius and Detail. You don't need any help with that? (I do!)

(4) You don't want to apply different sharpening settings locally etc.?

If you answer in the negative to any of these questions, then you're going to have to go out and buy PhotKit or, dare I say, another cutting edge sharpening tool. Cutting Edge takes care of the 5% difficult photos and holds your hand with the confusing settings, among other things.

LR 3 is much better than LR 2 in this regard. You know what that reminds me of? Over here in the states ever since the 1980s or maybe even earlier, we've been bombarded by soap/tooth paste/detergent/rat poison--you name it--commercials that go along these lines:

New product X gives 700% shinier hair/whiter clothes/better teeth/fewer rats. And I always scratch my head, why didn't they tell me until now that Old product X was such junk? LR 2 is history. Long live LR 3 (or Napoleon).
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Rob Cole

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I'm gonna let Butch answer most of this, but my .02 regarding above items:

(1) Low, Med, + Hi is all I've needed so far, even for my best images. But, like so many things, somebody has taken it further, so you can fine tune, for different media, and what have you. Summary: The output sharpening quality is excellent, it just doesn't afford many options for fine tuning. Which most of the time is a blessing, but there is the 5% (or .1%, or...) when IF you knew how to operate the controls of that jet-airliner-of-a sharpener, you may get closer to pixel perfect for special requirements...

(2) The proof is in the pudding. I experimented with the Nik Sharpener, which retails for about 2/3 what the whole of Lightroom costs, and my results ranged from maybe a tiny bit better, to definitely a whole lot worse. Nik divides it into 2 because there needs to be two whacks at sharpening IF you aren't applying the sharpening in a fashion that is consolidated with the rest of the settings for optimal application. So, for Nik, having the "before settings are applied / after other settings are applied" tiers makes more sense than it does in Lightroom. Also, Lightroom's PV2010 process produces a very finely detail-sharpened image to start with...

(3) There are two presets:
1. Portrait
2. Landscape
I agree there should be more, but the problem is:
- Not all portraits are optimally sharpened using the portrait preset.
- Not all landscape shots are optimally sharpened using the landscape preset.
It really is a kind of thing that needs to be learned from experience, and is also subject to personal taste. Rough Guidelines (everybody disagrees with these):

- Crank up the radius to make up for photos shot with a crappy lens, not properly focused, having a little camera shake, or just seem to need it... Conversely, you can lower the radius if the picture is already very sharp to begin with, and/or you want a finer look...
- Down-throttle the detail on high-ISO shots, or when textural detail detracts instead of enhancing an image. Conversely, up-throttle to bring texture out of areas that would otherwise look too smooth.
- Masking: set to zero if everything is in focus and you want it sharp. Set it high if you want most bokeh smooth-n-creamy, and want to sharpen only critical subject matter / edges... Conversely, zero it to give everything a more uniform look. Or, somewhere in between...
- Amount: adjust to taste - balance with the other settings.

And last but certainly not least: set global setting to complement what you end up doing with local sharpen enhancement. i.e. you can down-throttle the globals, then hand-sharpen critical areas, or up-throttle the globals, then hand-attenuate some areas.

Hot tip - Use a local of exactly -50 to completely mask all sharpening, but without blurring. Then when Lr comes out with lum. NR for locals, replace the -50 sharpening with NR, or just add some NR to those strokes too.

Another tip for sharpening detail in high-ISO shots: bring out as much detail as you can with the NR settings first, before you start cranking up the sharpen detail slider.

Personally, I default to 35 amount, radius 1.1, detail totally dependent on ISO (the others a little dependent on ISO too), ranging from 0-25. If I peep for very long at the pixels, I often end up cranking amount to 40 or 50, sometimes more but usually not much more. Maybe adjust the other settings too...

A surprising tip for bringing out ultra-fine detail:
Set detail to 0 (you heard me).
radius to .5 (lowest)
then crank amount most of the way up (if not *all* the way up).

Although, its counter intuitive to lower detail when what you want is more detail, the detail slider tends to sharpen coarser detail than the combination of smallest radius with exaggerated amount. Coarser if the radius is higher.

(4) You got me there. I do want to apply local sharpening with different settings... - That and the ability to fine tune the sharpen mask a bit and I'd be happy as a lark. Well OK, I'd need local NR too to be really happy, but de-sharpening at -50 is a surprisingly good substitute.

"Good enough for most of my photos..." - I hear ya, not very comforting when you're striving for total excellence. But truth be told, you can probably get better sharpening results by honing your skill with Lightroom's present toolset, than by buying a 3rd party tool that you don't really know how to use either... Put another way: until you've found the limits of the Lightroom sharpener, there's hardly much point in using another sharpener which has different limits.

Summary:
------------
Lightroom's sharpener is excellent, top-notch, cutting edge. Most of what you get by going outside is more control / more flexibility - the ability to fine tune... But if you don't know what to do with more control, it won't help...
More control of the Lightroom sharpener would be a welcome improvement, but an overhaul (of the sharpening algorithm) it does not need (it just had one).

Recommendation:
----------------------
Practice, practice, practice, ...
If you find the limits of sharpening in Lightroom, *then* buy a 3rd party plugin, and use it instead on "problem photos".
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Photographe

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Thanks for the tips Rob!
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Rob Cole

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You bet!

PS - I do think it would be good for Adobe to have better help for the sharpen controls. Not only are the explanations a tad brief, but even books and online info usually fall short, often resorting to: "adjust to taste" or "increase detail for more detail" type statements.

Update: I just looked at the Lightroom help for the sharpen controls, it has improved since Lr2.0 - worth a read.
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Rob, the online help files can be enhanced by user feedback. If you have some tips techniques, or links on the topic that you think deserve to be added, do so, and add a comment in the online (or AIR) help files!
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Rob Cole

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After poking around some more, I have to say: there really is a wealth of help info for Lightroom (including sharpen settings). I wish I used these resources more when I was first learning. Note to self: Remember to use (and contribute to) Lr 'Help'. Note to others (especially newbies): Remember to use Lr 'Help'...

Tnks,
R
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Scott Mahn

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I agree wit the OP. While LR's sharpening is "good," it's strength and single radius limitation can be barely adequate for creative needs.

Take a look at Topaz Detail to see what creative sharpening can be.

Would love to have something approaching that kind of power and flexibility in LR.
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Rob Cole

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"...single radius limitation..."

I miss not being able to adjust detail differently for different things too.
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Rob Cole

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Topaz Detail is one of my all time favorite plugins.

But, Lightroom has some strong detail enhancing abilities too.

Lightroom has the best "midtone clarity" enhancement tool of any I've tried - it does its job of "coarse sharpening" without exacerbating noise. Granted, its a "one-size-fits-all" design (no controls).

I *wish* Lightroom supported the tone curve as a local (and fill-light/highlight-recovery), but one can bring out intra-shadow detail with a local that sets brightness way down (maybe even all the way down), and exposure as high as necessary to compensate.

Similarly, intra-highlight detail can be enhanced simply by lowering contrast locally in highlight areas (adjust exposure to compensate if need be and maybe drop brightness down a tad too).

Don't get me wrong - I'm not opposed to more/automated/better detail enhancement controls in Lightroom - quite the contrary. And, I'm sure Adobe is familiar with Topaz Detail. I'm just sayin' "until then, its worthwhile knowing how to get the most from the present toolset..."

These "extreme" techniques can sometimes make a photo look artificial, but so can Topaz Detail...
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I think the point here is ... for those +/- 5 % images that are going to need a bit of TLC in final output sharpening ... are more than likely also going to be candidates for other steps in the process as well that are currently not available in LR ...

Many of the images I use the PK sharpener plugin (or sometimes Topaz Detail) within PS, also need CMYK or Lab conversion ... extensive skin retouching, masking, and/or extensive localized corrections for color, tone, texture, etc. ... that LR currently cannot do as well as it be accomplished in PS ... so it makes sense not to do the final output sharpening within LR ...

I was merely pointing out ... that while maybe not as infinitely controllable as other options ... the sharpening glass in LR is more than half full vs. half empty or lagging behind ... and in it's own way already IS cutting edge ...

Sometimes for a great many images ... less is more ... all too often if a tool doesn't have extravagant options and a myriad of sliders and settings ... it can be perceived as inferior ... I just don't think that is the case in this instance ...

Don't get me wrong ... I am sure sharpening tools will improve with LR in versions to come ... I also encourage the development and will welcome those improvements ... though I don't see that I am being short changed by what is included in the current iteration.
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"I think the point here is ... for those +/- 5 % images that are going to need a bit of TLC in final output sharpening ... are more than likely also going to be candidates for other steps in the process as well that are currently not available in LR..."

Sure, but because of the limitations on Creative Sharpening and Cloning, that percentage is far higher for me.
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Photographe

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Butch-do you ever do your output sharpening in LR?
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Butch_M

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Sure do ... for the vast majority of images that are standard color prints and/or online usage ... I use other methods as per the destined output as in CMYK offset printing, canvas wraps, etc.
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Photographe

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The 5% number is just a number I threw out because Butch said LR is great for the vast majority of images. I was being generous assuming that meant 95%. And frankly, I only care about maybe the top 1% of my images, so LR needs be on target just about all of the time. Plenty of people don't have access to Photoshop and want to get the best results out of LR.

For me LR hasn't delivered because (i) not enough guidance is provided; I do feel that I am shooting in the dark, even after reading the help files and (ii) there is no preview for output sharpening--and only three levels--more shooting in the dark.

Maybe by the time I've mastered it I'll come to a conclusion that I don't need Nik or any other plugins. What I do know right now is that many photo editors I respect rely on something else--for both sharpening and noise reduction.

Btw, noise reduction really depends on the camera and the ISO. At ISO 200, LR is fine. I am not crazy about the high ISO noise reduction of LR 3, and believe it or not, when editing JPGs from my digicam that I took in 2002 I switch to LR 2 for much better results. Odd.
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Rob Cole

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"For me LR hasn't delivered because (i) not enough guidance is provided..."

Come again? - There is *tons* of guidance provided for Lightroom - what the heck you talkin' bout?

"What I do know right now is that many photo editors I respect rely on something else--for both sharpening and noise reduction."

My guess: mostly people who developed their workflow in Lr1 or Lr2.

Which software do you prefer over Lr3 for NR?
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Photographe

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No, those folks are not using LR1 or LR2, although I sure would have a lot of respect for anyone with the confidence to do that :)

I am experimenting with Topaz Denoise.

I still want a good Capture Sharpening tool and a good Output Sharpening tool. Maybe Nik?

(PS: I'm still not sure whether the conventional LR sharpening sliders are Capture or Creative...)
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Rob Cole

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"No, those folks are not using LR1 or LR2" - I didn't mean *still using*, I meant they developed their workflow before Lr3 (when lightroom did *not* have such good nr/sharpening), then kept using their pre-existing workflow/toolset along with Lr3. - It was a guess based on the fact that I think Lr3 NR + Sharpening is very good.

I compared Lr3 to Topaz DeNoise and Noise Ninja (I own both), and both are now gathering dust... YMMV (I used to use external processing for most high-ISO shots that I cared about).

Likewise, I've compared Lr sharpening to a number of expensive 3rd party tools - didn't buy any of them:

1. Results on average weren't much better.
2. To achieve better results required a lot more fiddling.
3. Workflow more complicated and big tifs.

Dont get me wrong - there are plenty of people who learned what they like and are willing to endure more complicated workflows and big files to achieve their goals. - more power to them, and more to you too if thats what works for you.

PS - I am not an Adobe fanboy/defender. I truly believe Lr NR/sharpening is great, the main drawbacks being:

- NR is global only (local de-sharpen as a work-around).
- You get only one set of sharpen controls to work with for the whole photo (but you can up/down-throttle locally).
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Rob Cole

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"I still want a good Capture Sharpening tool and a good Output Sharpening tool. Maybe Nik?"

Nik is well respected and has the distinction that it can be applied via U-point selection. - But I'm really no expert...

"(PS: I'm still not sure whether the conventional LR sharpening sliders are Capture or Creative...)"

These are mostly buzz-words - I wouldn't get too hung up on them if I were you. Lightroom consolidates all settings and applies in an optimized fashion. Since other sharpeners can't do that, they tend to let you have a whack in the beginning, then again at the end - could be considered a limitation masquerading as a feature.
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Rob Cole

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Bottom line (for me):
-------------------------
- Could NR & Sharpening be improved? - Yes, in the ways I've mentioned, and probably others.

But to say its 2nd class technology is just not true, IMO.

I would be very surprised if NR is not available locally in Lr4, but ya never know. Whether sharpen controls will be available locally or not, I couldn't guess.

I suggest issuing a more specific FR, once you identify, specifically, what it is about Lr sharpening that you find lacking. And another FR to remedy shortcomings in NR, once you can describe them. This FR is too general to vote for.

Cheers,
Rob
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Photographe

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"Since other sharpeners can't do that, they tend to let you have a whack in the beginning, then again at the end - could be considered a limitation masquerading as a feature. "

AFAIK, Capture sharpening serves a purpose: it counteracts anti-aliasing, and that's why it needs to be done at the beginning. But I'm just repeating what I've read. Maybe LR does it all in one step. If I knew this, I would probably quit my day job and make a million bucks selling software.

As far as making suggestions: you are absolutely right. Specific suggestions are more likely to be incorporated. But at the end of the day, LR are big boys. They know that sharpening is important and don't need little old me to tell them that, or how to make it better. My guess is they'll devote exactly as many resources to it as they feel they need to sell software.
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Rob Cole

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I'm no expert either, but I have done a fair amount of comparing results.

Yeah, I don't know whether this site is just a way for us to keep busy, while they do whatever they'll do or if we really make a difference, but if we are to make a difference, it might pay to be clearer...

PS - Eric Chan hangs out on the ACR forum, not much here, and he is the one who writes the sharpening software for ACR/Lightroom.

Jeff Schewe also knows a lot about the sharpening software in Lightroom, and is generally willing to share more than Eric, although you may need to put up with some abuse to get the info...
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Scott Mahn

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At this point I'd settle for just a stronger Amount control.

I *have* to take an image into PS to get the degree of sharpening I need. And I really dislike the Detail effect of LR, especially with additional sharpening applied on top, it creates a very coarse anything-but-analog looking demosaic pattern.

So in LR I typically use a lowing radius (.7 - 1.6) the Amount maxed out, Detail 0, and masking at 1/3 - 2/3 max.

This yields a relatively clean but insufficient degree of sharpening, to the extent that more and more I'm simply using LR sharpening for in-program use, and upon Export I null the sharpening to do it all in PS.

Capture One, in contrast, provides sufficient sharpening Amount that further sharpening in PS is purely optional.
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Rob Cole

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I struggle with sharpening detail and masking as well. Detail seems to mostly sharpen noise, and if used with masking creates a detail sparkling around the edges of things - not all programs with masking / edge-threshold features have that anomaly. I don't know whether the answer is in NR or sharpening, or a mod to the algorithm that can distinguish sand/noise from linear edge detailing, but I do think there is still room for improvement - how about a new very well thought out thread for this? Although more control is craved by all us control freaks, I don't know whether that constitutes a separate issue or not...
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Rob Cole

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Scott, - How do you sharpen in Photoshop to get the degree of sharpening you need? - If you wouldn't mind sharing your secrets...
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Scott Mahn

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Rob, no secrets or recipes, really. It's a constant exploration. I typically sharpen locally on duped/masked layers, and I'll name the layer for the settings used. So for a portrait, I'll make a layer for the eyes, sharpen it, and label the layer as the settings used, for instance: USM 155/1.5/3. This allows me to know where I was if I need to redo it. I tend to go a little too far on the amount and then back it off by adjusting the opacity of the layer.

I also find that some items, like diamonds and gemstones, can benefit from being sharpend at more than one radius, in whch case I'll make my sharpening layer a Smart Object and apply USM at ultiple settings. This is great because each dose can be turned on or off or have it's opacity adjusted via it's smart filter. I also like Topaz adjust for this, with it's small, medium, large detail adjustments, but it's really slow, and if one uses it as a Smart object one has to suffer that slowness at every crop, resize, transformation, etc.

For Raw converters, of the one's I've tried, Aperture has the lead in the most Layer-like approach. You can keep stacking one iteration of an adjustment on top of another, turning them on or off at will, and brush them in or out. And that applies to all adjustments, not just sharpening.
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Rob Cole

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Thanks Scott. I wasn't after a secret recipe per se - just wondering whether its the USM algorithm that is the key for you - which doesn't exhibit the undesirable "Detail" phenomenon that Lightroom does, or whether its the layered settings. Sounds like its both. If so, maybe 2 new threads: "Suggested improvement to the underlying sharpen algorithm", and "Independent sharpen settings for the "layer pins". I think this thread is doomed to fail because of the title... - too general and Adobe just overhauled the sharpening and noise reduction...
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Scott Mahn

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Rob, far be it from me to take the Detail slider away from those who like it, so I'm not proposing rewriting the algorithm. I simply want the ability to sharpen at more than one radii, the capacity to exceed the current amount of 150 (all locally, of course,) and whatever additional ideas others may propose.

But I give up on trying to express it any better than I already have. I've given it my best shot on more than one forum. I'll leave it to better persons than me to take it the rest of the distance, or jump products as need be.
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Photographe

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Scott--this thread is not going to get any traction. Your idea is probably a good one, so I would suggest a new thread for it.
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Rob Cole

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Good point. Adobe just spent a huge amount of effort overhauling the noise reduction and sharpening to bring it up to "cutting edge" status. I think for them to listen to suggestions for improvement, they will need to be very specific, backed by use cases and examples, and be in a thread with a different title. Also, make *sure* to post in ACR too, not just Lightroom.
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Photographe

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I honestly never thought that anyone would be arguing about whether LR sharpening was cutting edge. Better than LR 2 doesn't mean good enough.

Output sharpening, which is much more important than capture sharpening, has only three levels and doesn't let you preview what you're doing. How can that optimal, unless LR can read your mind and know how large you intend to print/display and how you want the output to look?

+ all of the issues you've identified with the other sharpening module (which may or may not be capture sharpening, who knows) means that many people are going to be doing their sharpening with other software thereby (i) spending more money, (ii) spending more time and breaking their workflow and (iii) spending more time to research and learn other software.

The underlying sharpening engine might or might not be fine, but the implementation needs work. And by the time LR 4 rolls around, both the engine and the UI may be well behind.
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Rob Cole

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Photographe - I think you need to really figure out in what way its not good enough, then issue separate threads. I mean, for me:

- Color Noise Reduction is as good as any I've seen. The fact that it works so well *without* 9 different sliders is a feature. I have Topaz DeNoise if I want to correct color noise one channel at a time... - but I haven't used it since Lr3.

- Luminance Noise Reduction is also very good, and the controls don't matter except for high ISO, in which case they are simpler than most. Again, I haven't used Noise Ninja since Lr3.

- Sharpening: Underlying algorithm is really top-quality, IMO, and the controls are very sensible and the UI is excellent. I have issues with balancing detail and noise, and masking, but I have difficulties like that with every sharpener...

But I really would like to be able to sharpen different things with different settings, and in some cases, the same things with different settings (overlapping pins/layers).

In order to bring about improvements, I think its essential to identify the present shortcomings.

Scott has mentioned problems with what "Detail" does. I see what he means, but I'm not sure what to say about it - its tough to tell the difference between true detail and noise detail, so they both get sharpened. But if I could use multiple detail settings, I might set it to zero globally, then hand sharpen things with textural detail, and if NR were available locally, I might sharpen everything with some detail, but hand NR the over gritty areas... So for me, simply having local NR and the ability to apply local sharpening at different settings would be enough.

PS - Output sharpening works great. I have presets to export with the different output sharpening levels then add to catalog for previewing, which I used frequently while evaluating effects of low, medium, & high. Now I know which setting to use for what and no longer preview them. - Its just not difficult at all to preview the effects. I wouldn't know what to ask for improvement - maybe Butch would... - how about you?

Rob
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Rob Cole

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I went ahead and added my vote to this, despite the fact that I think Lr noise reduction is great, and sharpening algorithm already *is* cutting edge, because:

- Noise reduction needs to be locally applyable, especially luminance. Its not "cutting edge" to not have some control over how much is applied where.

- Sharpening parameters need to be locally applyable too. Its not cutting edge to have to get by with the same sharpen parameters for everything.

I encourage all folks lobbying for better sharpening (or more control) to vote on the other similar FR/Ideas too.