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Thread: Sharpening issues

  1. #1
    Daniel Salazar's Avatar
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    Sharpening issues

    Hi all, I know that this has been really discussed, however I've some questions regarding sharpening.

    My workflow is:
    1. convert RAW files into TIF using DxO and apply some lens corrections and color rendering.
    2. import the TIF files into Aperture for general correction.
    3. use of some Nik plugins in case of need.
    4. if necessary playing with layers in PSE 6.0

    Here I've been comparing the sharpening capabilities of Aperture, Nik Sharpener Pro and PSE, however I've some questions regarding these:

    PSE: after reading a lot I got to the conclusion that the USM is not the best sharpening tool even using luminosity as blending mode. I tried almost always between 80%-100% for amount, a radius of 0.3 and a 0 thereshold.

    According to some, the adjustment sharpness is a better option in PSE, using a 60% amount, a radius of 1.0 pixels and as remove mode lens blur and selecting the more refined option, could get a better sharpness.

    My question is, what are you using in Photoshop? what are your usual values?

    For the one who use Nik SHarpener, is there a point of comparison with Photoshop? what would be the equivalent values for the structure, local contrast and focus?

    I know that I'm the only Aperture user. The program has a sharpening tool, which I like because gives me the option to change easily the values when printing or displaying. Aperture has 3 options for sharpening, intensity to control the strength of the effect, edges to control how strong a contrast change must be before Aperture considers it an edge and falloff to control how the effect transitions between sharpened and non-sharpened areas.

    According to the information provided, do you have any idea what values will be equivalent in aperture for a 100% amount, 0.3 radius and 0 thereshold?


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  2. #2

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    Re: Sharpening issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Salazar View Post
    My question is, what are you using in Photoshop? what are your usual values?
    I'm afraid that that this is one of those "how long is a piece of string" type situations, and no one set of values are going to suit all images.

    Optimal sharpening requires at least 3 passes ...

    1. Capture sharpening (for RAW images) - Canon Recommend 250-300%, 0.3 pixel radius, and a threshold that varies according to the amount of noise present,

    2. Content/creative sharpening is going to depend on the image and your desired interpretation, and

    3. Output sharpening is going to depend on the output device (monitor / printer) - resolution - size - viewing distance.

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Daniel Salazar's Avatar
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    Re: Sharpening issues

    thanks Colin, I'm also aware that is like the wine, everybody swears that the one they like is the best one. The issue here is how can you compare all these programs even they've different approaches.

    Sometimes so much terminology makes difficult to compare, everybody wants to name the apple with a different name, however at the end, it's an apple.

    Maybe what I need is a better tutorial, do you have any idea where I could learn about sharpening but without the product orientation?

  4. #4

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    Re: Sharpening issues

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Salazar View Post
    Maybe what I need is a better tutorial, do you have any idea where I could learn about sharpening but without the product orientation?
    Real World Image Sharpening with CS2 - although product specific - also contains a LOT of information on the fundamentals of sharpening and noise management; that's about the best printed resource that I can think of. There's also an ACR / LR edition due out in a couple of months.

    Sorry, but love em or hate em, it's the Adobe products that have the lion's share of the enertia when it comes to supporting books.

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