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Thread: Lightroom import presets

  1. #1
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Lightroom import presets

    Hi all,

    need some info on what lightroom presets people use. i shoot RAW so nothing done in camera, at the moment i import and convert to DNG in 1 hit but i dont do any sharpening i think i read on here that i should sharpen 3 times, 1 on import, 2 on local PP 3 on export.......

    I understand that sharpening is a matter of taste and need to do more reading to understand what im actually doing each time.

    any advice greatly received, thanks all.

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    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom import presets

    Hi Mark,

    1. Capture:

    Lightroom applies a default amount of sharpening to RAW images on import. Something like 25% at 0.5 pixels with no masking. I use the defaults to start with but often try a few different settings I have saved for different images (e.g. landscape, fine details, portraits). I will post up my different sharpening settings when I get home and can check them.

    I often find that adding a bit more sharpening helps my images. Capture sharpening is used to overcome the blurring at the pixel level introduced by the anti-aliasing filter in the sensor (i.e. the thing that smudges neighbouring green, red, blue and green pixels in a 2x2 configuration together so all coloured pixels get a bit of the light hitting only one colour). The strength needed is therefore dependent on the strength of the anti-aliasing filter. I use a Canon 7D. I don't know if all Canons are the same but Colin Southern has pointed out that Canon recommend 300% at 0.3 pixels. LR cannot do this since it only goes to 150% and 0.5 pixels. However I have not noticed the absence.

    There is no sharpening to TIFF and JPEG images on import since LR assumes these have been capture sharpened in camera.

    2. Local:

    The local sharpening options in LR are not very advanced. You can apply sharpening using the brush tool to areas. However the settings are limited. It you have a serious need for local tweaking (or background blurring) then you can export to Photoshop and do it there. This is something I expect to improve in LR 4 when it eventually comes out (i.e. better local adjustment tools).

    3. Output:

    Output sharpening in LR 3 is done using an advanced multi-pass system that optimises sharpening depending on the output format (screen or print) and size. The output sharpening module was developed in conjunction with Pixel Genius, a company that developed a sharpening plugin for LR 2. You can set the sharpening to low, medium or high and the output format in the export settings. I've always been happy with the medium setting for my screen output.

    This feature is powerful and much under-appreciated. It makes your images look good no matter what size and format you are outputting. It effectively removes a step from your workflow without you noticing. When I first moved to using Lightroom I really noticed an improvement in my downsized images.

    Regards,

    Alex

  3. #3
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom import presets

    thanks Alex brilliant info simply put, ill look up the nikon recommended settings and get to it as for sharpening in PS ive rescued my kelby how to book from its use as a door stop so i can get a grip on these things

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    Re: Lightroom import presets

    LR Sharpening settings given below are in the following order:

    Amount, Radius, Detail, Masking

    Amount - The amount of sharpening to apply, higher is more. Hold down the alt-key to see the sharpening on the luminance channel (i.e. grey scale image).

    Radius -The pixel radius used to define the sharpening effect. Higher for wide edges.

    Detail - Suppress the appearance of sharpening halos and concentrate on edges. 100 effects everything, 0 only targets high contrast (i.e. sharp edges). Use this to protect skin texture (low contrast detail).

    Masking - Create a mask of the image and only sharpen within the mask. O is off. Hold down the alt-key when sliding to see the mask.


    Default for raw files: 25, 1.0, 25, 0

    LR Presets:

    - Narrow Edges (Scenic) = 40, 0.8, 35, 0
    - Wide Edges (Faces) = 35, 1.4, 15, 60

    Taken from Martin Evening's book on Lightroom:

    - Fine details = 40, 0.6, 80, 10
    - Landscapes = 40, 0.8, 50, 10
    - Portraits = 35, 1.2, 20, 70

    Hope that helps,

    Alex

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    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom import presets

    Alex,

    As i understand this i apply this global sharpening after import under the develop menu? i was thinking that i had to have an import preset that did it for me but i cant find any reference to it in my kelby book.

    thanks for your help at least i know im not doing it wrong!

  6. #6
    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom import presets

    Hi Mark,

    You could do it as an import preset. If you have several adjustments that you want to apply to all your images then save it as a preset (selecting all the features you wish the preset to contain, in this case including sharpening). You can then apply this preset when you import your images.

    However since LR is non-destructive editing if you change your mind you can adjust the sharpening later.

    Alex

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    Re: Lightroom import presets

    Great thread guys. I've just switched to shooting raw (for most things anyway) and so am going through the growing pains (and stress) of things looking different in Lightroom after importing. Any suggestions on import presets other than sharpening? I see LR applies the following adjustments automatically, but I'm finding the Brightness a little too much and am wondering if I should be picking one of the Camera Profiles under Camera Calibration rather than the default Adobe Standard:

    Blacks 5
    Brightness +50
    Contrast +25

    I can and will play around with settings myself, but have been looking online for some basic suggestions to get the raws looking more like the jpegs out of the camera as a starting point. I thought I'd find something specific to my camera (D90), but no luck so far.

    thx, Dave

  8. #8
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom import presets

    Hi Dave, just play with them until you find one you like, remember they are all non destructive so you can change them if you dont like it, you can also make your own import preset if you want, so there is nothing to stop you making one thats not so bright!!. welcome to the forum by the way!!

  9. #9
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    Re: Lightroom import presets

    I use a lot of presets from Matt Kloskowski over at Lightroom Killer Tips.He has bunches of them. You can find them here: http://lightroomkillertips.com/category/presets/

  10. #10
    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Lightroom import presets

    Hi Dave,

    If you are having brightness issues then I immediately think about monitor calibration. Most monitors are set too bright. I run my monitor at 9% brightness and the factory default is 50%. Try turning the brightness down if you have not done so already.

    As a simple test set your camera to shoot raw and jpeg. Import into Lightroom and select them both. Then bring them up side by side using the compare view. You can zoom in to the image and move around and Lightroom will synchronise the two so you get a perfect comparison. If the brightness is the same for the jpeg then it is probably your monitor.

    Since Lightroom will not develop the jpeg you will have a good comparison for testing out develop options. You can try out develop settings to get the raw images looking as the familiar jpeg.

    You can do this by opening the develop module for your raw image and then opening a second lightroom window containing your jpeg for reference (lightroom supports two windows - just click the second window button in the filmstrip, it is the little '2' icon). You will need a big screen but you should be able to get the two windows side by side on the desktop.

    Hope this helps.

    Alex

  11. #11
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    Re: Lightroom import presets

    Thanks everyone, I'll play with it over the weekend.

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