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Author Topic: On1 Photo RAW image detail  (Read 917 times)

Bob Rockefeller

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On1 Photo RAW image detail
« on: October 08, 2017, 09:33:14 AM »

I've done a little experimenting with On1 Photo RAW (both 2017 and the 2018 beta) and find that image detail is poor for Nikon D750 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 mark II raw files when compared to Capture One Pro.

Sharpening helps some but seems to create way too much local contrast.

Has anyone else seen this problem or found a better way?
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Bob Rockefeller
Midway, GA   www.bobrockefeller.com

Remko

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Re: On1 Photo RAW image detail
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2017, 10:39:20 AM »

Hi Bob,

I find the sharpening in ON1 Photo RAW 2017 (latest version) to be very poor. I cannot get any (fine) detail out of a landscape photo. Both for  Fujifilm X-T1/T2 images and Nikon D800/D810 ones. And that is not even comparing it to Capture One, let alone Iridient Developer.

I tried  the software yesterday and have not used their beta of the 2018 version yet. I know that the sharpening has changed in that version. Reading your experience with the beta version though it looks like that the sharpening has not improved (much). That is a pity.

I did found something weird going on. When you click in the sharpening UI on one of the hard-coded presets (Default (= zero sharpening), Low or High), I expected the sharpening to change. Well it does AND so does the amount of Luminance and Color Noise reduction! In a D800 file this completely destroyed all the detail and the whole image as well. And in a very strange way: There were spots that were totally blurred, like if a gaussian blur was used selectively. Like someone painted it in with a mask but with different degrees of opacity of the mask on different parts of the image.
I did not see this ugly blur effect on a X-T1 image. But than there is not only a MP difference with the Nikon image but also the effect of X-Trans versus Bayer. But also on the Fuji file I could not get a reasonably sharp image, let alone an image were the fine detail was present.

I used the presets as it was easier to go back and forth to see what sharpening in ON1 was doing to get familiar with the sharpening. So I went from no sharpening to Low and or High.

It took some time before I understood what was going on. By not clicking on the presets but dialing in the sharpening myself after having zeroed out the noise reduction, those nasty effects were not there. But I could not get any real detail out of any file. And yes, way too much local contrast was applied, I agree.
Combining the sharpening with the structure slider did not help either. I found that the Structure slider increases contrast in areas larger than those of fine detail - and that's all. Not what I am looking for.

For a longer time I am under the impression that ON1's software is aimed at JPEG shooters who for the first time want to try out a RAW developer. And that the company choose to make it as easy as possible for them. I might be completely wrong here of course. With the Color Range Masks introduced in the beta version, among other new features, I had hoped that their focus had changed to include also the (more) experienced user. Alas ....

The best way - if you want to use their software - is to not apply any sharpening and noise reduction IMHO. Export as a 16 bit TIFF and use one of the great plugins that are available for Affinity Photo of Photoshop. I use Focus Magic a lot, also Topaz Detail. And with the new Topaz Studio you can use their Plugins without Photoshop or Affinity Photo! A nice solution if you do not have either of those software.

I do find the masking functionality of ON1 truly great.

Cheers,
Remko

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Bob Rockefeller

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Re: On1 Photo RAW image detail
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2017, 11:19:07 AM »

Solid points. It appears to me that On1 Photo RAW is not (perhaps, yet) in the class of Capture One or ACR. At least there is Capture One as a solid alternative to Adobe, for those that want such an alternative. But I still miss Aperture in its heyday. :(
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Bob Rockefeller
Midway, GA   www.bobrockefeller.com
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