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Author Topic: PK Sharpener Still Relevant?  (Read 1869 times)

mikewolf1127

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PK Sharpener Still Relevant?
« on: November 01, 2017, 05:19:12 AM »

Is PK Sharpener still a top of class product or has the in-built Photoshop toolset surpassed it?
-Mike
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Mark D Segal

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Re: PK Sharpener Still Relevant?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2017, 08:09:13 AM »

It's still a top of class product providing far more options and far more control than available from the sharpening toolset in Photoshop. That said, these days I do almost all my image editing and printing from Lightroom, whose sharpening tools were developed in collaboration with Pixelgenius, the developers of Photokit Sharpener.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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mikewolf1127

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Re: PK Sharpener Still Relevant?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2017, 07:22:16 PM »

OK, thanks. So how does LR handle output sharpening when changing the size of the print? Does it formulate the sharpening the same way PK does?
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Mark D Segal

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Re: PK Sharpener Still Relevant?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2017, 07:29:13 PM »

OK, thanks. So how does LR handle output sharpening when changing the size of the print? Does it formulate the sharpening the same way PK does?

LR output sharpening takes the print size and resolution into account when applying output sharpening, (as does PK Sharpener in Photoshop). I would assume the technical approach being used in LR is very similar to what PK Sharpener does in Photoshop, but I don't know the codes of either application. Jeff Schewe would know a lot more about this than I do.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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DougDolde

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Re: PK Sharpener Still Relevant?
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2017, 07:41:59 PM »

I love PK Sharpener and PhotoKit as well.  Every photographer should own these tools.
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Schewe

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Re: PK Sharpener Still Relevant?
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2017, 09:03:06 PM »

OK, thanks. So how does LR handle output sharpening when changing the size of the print? Does it formulate the sharpening the same way PK does?

Well, PixelGenius licensed the goodies to Adobe for output sharpening and I consulted with the implementation into the Print module so I can tell you that as it relates to Lightroom it's every bit as good as and arguably a bit better output sharpening in LR vs PKS. But, if you are stuck in the old ages and print out of Photoshop, then you'll still need PKS. As for the sizing/sharpening, that's all done automagically.

:~)
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mikewolf1127

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Re: PK Sharpener Still Relevant?
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2017, 01:40:25 AM »

Thanks Jeff-

No, not stuck in PS but I still use it for a lot of things. Less and less with even the latest features introduced in LR last week.

But the PK Sharpener is so comprehensive that I thought it worth asking if it is now dated. It came to market, what 15 years ago? It seems the math used to create the algorithms for Capture, Creative, and Output sharpening stages won't have changed, as it was based on pixel dimensions and not necessarily any camera, computer or printing technologies, which have advanced considerably even in the last 5 years.

OK, for Capture Sharpening there are proven overall image sharpening parameters based on pixel dimensions, which I can replicate with good control in the LR Sharpening Panel. Parameters which you incorporated into useable automation in PK Sharpener-Capture sharpening in Photoshop.

And for Creative Sharpening, overall and targeted, that's pepper to taste. There are many available tools for this, including PK Sharpener, but LR does well here.

As for Output Sharpening, it is mostly dependent on a few variables: size, paper type, and ink. In LR I have two variables to use: Amount-High/Standard/Low and Media Type-Standard/Glossy, two of the major variables in the Output Sharpening equation. So based on those two variables we have 6 options in total. That seems quite limited when compared to the many, many options and fine-tuning that PK Sharpener offers.

One more thing- we all know the mantra to 'resize your image to the output size before applying Output Sharpening', because the Output Sharpening needs to be calculated and applied at the explicit pixel dimensions going out to the printer and down on the paper. However, in a LR workflow, we just print to a size, the image pixel dimensions are never 'physically' changed. So it seems that even Output Sharpening is happening before it gets resized in the print driver. Which is not good, no? Or is this 'old thinking'?

So, my question is twofold.

First, is the entirety of the capability of PK Sharpener for Output Sharpening, and all it's options and fine-tuning, it's myriad Modules, Sets, and Effects, the light and dark contour options (hundreds of not thousands of combinations), effectively duplicated in LR Output Sharpening while being reduced to 6 combinations of High/Standard/Low and Matte/Glossy?

And Second, how is the relationship of Output Sharpening vs Print Pixel Dimensions being handled? Is something happening in the print pipeline where the image is resized to print dimensions and then sharpened before it hits the printer?

Thoughts?

Appreciate your time-
Mike
« Last Edit: November 02, 2017, 01:59:58 AM by mikewolf1127 »
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digitaldog

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Re: PK Sharpener Still Relevant?
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2017, 11:11:01 AM »

But, if you are stuck in the old ages and print out of Photoshop, then you'll still need PKS.
OR you need other output sharpening than LR provides (ink jet/display only) that PKS II actually does provide (halftone, contone etc).
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Andrew Rodney
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mikewolf1127

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Re: PK Sharpener Still Relevant?
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2017, 01:23:36 AM »

Well, well, well. The answer was hiding in plain sight. Mr. Schewe, I just read pages 99-132 in your book The Digital Print. Answered every question I had. Seriously great stuff in there.

Most important thing for me being critical discussion about using the ‘Print Resolution’ option in the LR Print module to resample on output. And for two enlightening issues.

First, being to match the desired resolution of the printer (wow, totally new info for me!) instead of sending the actual pixels. Who knew!?! Um... I guess you did.

Secondly, and the cherry on top, is- “The advantage of Lightroom and Camera Raw is that the interpolation is seamless and automatically applies output sharpening based on the resampled size of the image.” Hallelujah!

That was actually the last sentence in the section. Kinda like finding the prize at the bottom of the cereal box!!

Good stuff. Thanks Jeff.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2017, 01:26:45 AM by mikewolf1127 »
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Mark Lindquist

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Re: PK Sharpener Still Relevant?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2017, 11:45:37 AM »

Well, PixelGenius licensed the goodies to Adobe for output sharpening and I consulted with the implementation into the Print module so I can tell you that as it relates to Lightroom it's every bit as good as and arguably a bit better output sharpening in LR vs PKS. But, if you are stuck in the old ages and print out of Photoshop, then you'll still need PKS. As for the sizing/sharpening, that's all done automagically.

:~)

Interesting.  "stuck in the old ages"?  LOL.  All these systems are tools - sometimes there are advantages or preferences to print from one or the other, I think.
As for PK Sharpener... Well that frigging program has changed my printing life.  As far as I'm concerned it's as good as it gets.  But hey, I guess I'm "semi-stuck" in the old ages- hahahahahahah.

-Mark
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Mark Lindquist
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Sharon VL

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Re: PK Sharpener Still Relevant?
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2017, 12:53:17 PM »

Yeah, me too, I guess.  ;D I don't use it for output sharpening anymore but I do use it for some of it's creative effects and adding grain etc. I find it very useful. But I still use photoshop everyday.

Garnick

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Re: PK Sharpener Still Relevant?
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2017, 07:56:57 AM »

Yeah, me too, I guess.  ;D I don't use it for output sharpening anymore but I do use it for some of it's creative effects and adding grain etc. I find it very useful. But I still use photoshop everyday.

Hi Sharon,

I commiserate with your elegance to Photoshop, an app I use eight days a weeks, and have done for a very long time.  My business, even though it's slower now that I've moved it to my home location, mainly consists of printing for others, and occasionally my own photography projects.  I've been doing this since the late '60s and have seen a lot of changes over that period of time.  I suppose you could say I too am stuck in the OLD ages, but having recently hit 71 head on I feel I have the right to be "stuck".  My business also consists of retouching, restorations and fine art reproductions.  Due to the variety of work I have found that Photoshop suits my printing workflow quite nicely.  I do use LR for some of my own work, such as RAW processing and some printing, but PS is still my main app for a variety of reasons.  I've been using PS since version 3, when I started experimenting, after purchasing my first Power Mac.  Getting back to the this thread, I also use PKS daily in various ways, mostly output sharpening, and I would not want to be without it.  The control and depth of the app fits my workflow perfectly, and as a Schewe follower I too have read his books and offerings here on LuLa.  An excellent source of digital information.

And to Mark L., a big +, right on! "Interesting.  "stuck in the old ages"?  LOL.  All these systems are tools - sometimes there are advantages or preferences to print from one or the other, I think.
As for PK Sharpener... Well that frigging program has changed my printing life.  As far as I'm concerned it's as good as it gets.  But hey, I guess I'm "semi-stuck" in the old ages- hahahahahahah.
" :)

Gary 

« Last Edit: December 12, 2017, 08:04:36 AM by Garnick »
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