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Thread: Help with sharpening

  1. #1

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    Help with sharpening

    I've read through the tutorial, still stumped. some of my problems can be attributed to my fundamental impatience with PP. My question : should I use in-camera sharpening and how much. One reads all kind of things on line, many apparently don't use at it all. I am using an OMD and it supposedly has a weak AA filter.I await your comments.
    thanks ! K
    Last edited by movielvr; 24th March 2013 at 05:20 PM.

  2. #2

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    re: Help with sharpening

    Do you use any post-processing software, like Lightroom? I didn't even know that cameras did sharpening.

  3. #3
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Help with sharpening

    Hi Kevin,

    Are you shooting RAW or jpg?

    All cameras will sharpen their jpg images.

    Anyone with a camera that doesn't have a RAW file output AND if they want to Post Process their pictures, it is a good idea to turn the in-camera jpg sharpening down to minimum, or off (if possible), because the halos it can produce cause problems with later PP.

    Any RAW data files produced will not be sharpened (although the embedded jpg, which we preview from, probably will be).

    The next question I need to ask is; what do you use your images for; e.g. printing or web display?
    You should always sharpen after downsizing for web display.

    Welcome to the CiC forums from ...

  4. #4

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    Re: Help with sharpening

    Sharpening can get technical and sound complicated if you want to achieve the optimum results.

    For example this tutorial which is in 7 parts http://ronbigelow.com/articles/sharpen1/sharpen1.htm

    Personally, I normally shoot Raw (where no adjustments are made) then individually sharpen each photo as required during editing. On the rare occasions when I shoot Jpeg, I turn all auto 'enhancements' off and edit as I would for Raw images.

    That puts me in full control instead of having to rely on auto settings which do the same thing for all shots.

    But it might come down to how you want to work, as Dave mentioned. Most of my friends simply take their point and shoot cameras to a local shop and get 6 x 4 ins poor quality prints just like they did with film cameras. They would give up photography if they had to do any editing themselves!

  5. #5

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    Re: Help with sharpening

    see below, ty for reply

  6. #6

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    Re: Help with sharpening

    hi Dave, ty for the warm welcome...i shoot both fine and raw, figure this covers all bases. here is whats so confusing, when i read the sharpening tutorial on CIC for instance it suggests USING in cam sharpening as part of the work flow...as for your 2nd question, my goal is to always produce a printable image, also something i need to learn a lot more about.
    thanks!

  7. #7

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    Re: Help with sharpening

    hi Geoff, ty for reply. i would like to develop a quick, routine workflow...im not a big pp guy, i totally understand your friends..but since accepting low quality or quitting are not options...i need to improve my skills. I own an epson r3000 now I need to learn how best to use it. but I digress...

  8. #8
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Help with sharpening

    Kevin - If you are shooting jpegs, you can set up sharpening in the camera and can get reasonable results. I would say 95% of the images I post on websites, this shows off the image well enough for most people.

    If you shoot RAW, sharpening is a 3-stage process and does take time in PP worl:

    1. Import sharpening - the AA filter causes a tiny bit of softening, so the recommended process is to to a tiny bit of sharpening to compensate for this.

    2. Process sharpening - this is localized sharpening done for compositional / artistic purposes.

    3. Output sharpening - this sharpening tweaks the appropriate level of sharpness based on final output size and type (for instance print or computer screen).

    To some extent the first and third sharpening types can be automated, but in-process sharpening will vary from image to image.

  9. #9

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    Re: Help with sharpening

    Kevin. The simplest option for reasonable quality with minimal editing would be to either shoot Raw or set any jpeg shots to minimum in camera sharpening (or none).

    Ignore the Input and Output recommendations given by Manfred, for now, unless you are doing a substantial size change when some output sharpening is preferable. But some Raw conversion software may auto set a default first stage sharpen.

    For main sharpening, I normally use something like Unsharp Mask around 80 to 200% with 1 or 2 pixel radius and 1 or 2 threshold levels. Try to avoid over sharpening.

    My usual workflow however, follows Manfred's suggestions. This does involve a couple of extra steps but usually doesn't take much extra time.

    Input Sharpening (Capture Sharpening) usually involves a fairly high percentage setting and small pixel value. For example 200 or 300% with 0.3 to 0.5 pixel and 0 threshold.

    For Output Sharpening after a substantial size change, for example when resizing for internet use, I tend to use 50 to 80% with 0.4 to 0.6 pixel and 0 or 1 threshold.

    But these are just my average settings for Unsharp Mask sharpening. For maximum quality these need to be adjusted to suit each photo, which requires a little bit of experience; and then there are alternative sharpening methods.

    Something I sometimes do for example is to vary the amount of sharpening over an image by using layers and masks. But let's not get over complicated at this stage.

  10. #10

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    Re: Help with sharpening

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    Kevin. The simplest option for reasonable quality with minimal editing would be to either shoot Raw or set any jpeg shots to minimum in camera sharpening (or none).

    Ignore the Input and Output recommendations given by Manfred, for now, unless you are doing a substantial size change when some output sharpening is preferable. But some Raw conversion software may auto set a default first stage sharpen.

    For main sharpening, I normally use something like Unsharp Mask around 80 to 200% with 1 or 2 pixel radius and 1 or 2 threshold levels. Try to avoid over sharpening.

    My usual workflow however, follows Manfred's suggestions. This does involve a couple of extra steps but usually doesn't take much extra time.

    Input Sharpening (Capture Sharpening) usually involves a fairly high percentage setting and small pixel value. For example 200 or 300% with 0.3 to 0.5 pixel and 0 threshold.

    For Output Sharpening after a substantial size change, for example when resizing for internet use, I tend to use 50 to 80% with 0.4 to 0.6 pixel and 0 or 1 threshold.

    But these are just my average settings for Unsharp Mask sharpening. For maximum quality these need to be adjusted to suit each photo, which requires a little bit of experience; and then there are alternative sharpening methods.

    Something I sometimes do for example is to vary the amount of sharpening over an image by using layers and masks. But let's not get over complicated at this stage.
    sounds like good advice, thank you for your time, ill get back to you soon
    K

  11. #11

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    Re: Help with sharpening

    Hi Kevin,

    I wrote a bit of a primer / explanation of sharpening here:

    Sharpening and Noise Reduction Sequence

    You might find it useful.

  12. #12

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    Re: Help with sharpening

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Kevin,

    I wrote a bit of a primer / explanation of sharpening here:

    Sharpening and Noise Reduction Sequence
    ty Colin!
    You might find it useful.
    ty Colin

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