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Author Topic: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic  (Read 3220 times)

John Hollenberg

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LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« on: March 11, 2018, 11:51:05 AM »

The best capture sharpening I have run across is using Focus Magic on TIFF files.  I am wondering if anyone can suggest sharpening settings in LR that will get as close as possible to the quality of Focus Magic while still working with the RAW file.  This is for landscape photos exclusively.
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Mark D Segal

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2018, 12:03:59 PM »

Hi John,

Perhaps it would be useful to define what you mean by "the best capture sharpening" in specific, tangible terms and post an image of it? That may help answering this question. Generally I find LR's Scenic Preset to be fine for landscape photos, and by "fine", I mean it strengthens edge contrast to create the appearance of sharpness without visible halos at least up to 13*19 inch prints from a 24 MP raw file.
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John Hollenberg

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2018, 01:16:22 PM »

I didn't even know there was a Scenic Preset!  Obviously I haven't been paying much attention after using LR for a number of years.  :-[ I will have a look and post a section of an image with Focus Magic sharpening compared to the Scenic Preset.  Thanks!
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2018, 01:38:41 PM »

The best capture sharpening I have run across is using Focus Magic on TIFF files.  I am wondering if anyone can suggest sharpening settings in LR that will get as close as possible to the quality of Focus Magic while still working with the RAW file.  This is for landscape photos exclusively.

Hi John,

Use a radius setting in line with the actual aperture that you used. At the lens optimum (usually around f/4 - f5.6), a radius of 0.7 or 0.8 would come closest. At narrower apertures that gradually grows to something like a radius of 1.1 @ f/16, depending on the lens quality. Wider apertures also require larger radii than at the lens optimum, but depend on how good the lens is, which varies (even between copies of the same design).

Then try finding a setting for the other controls that doesn't create too much artifacting (e.g. Detail halfway).

The most important is an Aperture driven radius setting. Don't let the size of image detail misguide you into using other radii. Capture sharpening is Physics driven. Creative sharpening is something totally different, and should be handled as such.

Cheers,
Bart

P.S. I've attached an example of my EF 100mm f2.8 Macro lens to give an idea.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2018, 01:50:14 PM by BartvanderWolf »
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jrsforums

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2018, 03:13:03 PM »

Hi John,

Use a radius setting in line with the actual aperture that you used. At the lens optimum (usually around f/4 - f5.6), a radius of 0.7 or 0.8 would come closest. At narrower apertures that gradually grows to something like a radius of 1.1 @ f/16, depending on the lens quality. Wider apertures also require larger radii than at the lens optimum, but depend on how good the lens is, which varies (even between copies of the same design).

Then try finding a setting for the other controls that doesn't create too much artifacting (e.g. Detail halfway).

The most important is an Aperture driven radius setting. Don't let the size of image detail misguide you into using other radii. Capture sharpening is Physics driven. Creative sharpening is something totally different, and should be handled as such.

Cheers,
Bart

P.S. I've attached an example of my EF 100mm f2.8 Macro lens to give an idea.

Hi Bart...

How do you go about determining best radius setting?  I, for example, use a G9 m43 20mb sensor with variety of lenses.

On detail, do you determine artifacting using Ďaltí key masking while adjusting detail?

John
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PeterAit

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2018, 03:50:05 PM »

Hi Bart...

How do you go about determining best radius setting?  I, for example, use a G9 m43 20mb sensor with variety of lenses.

On detail, do you determine artifacting using Ďaltí key masking while adjusting detail?

John

I have never been able to get sharpening from LR as good as that provided by Focus Magic. The coders at FM must be very sharp indeed (pardon the pun) to have written code that analyzes the image so accurately and gives such great results. Don't worry that it's a TIFF, just do your basic editing first so you know you have all the shadow and highlight detail you want.

I have called the FM people and suggested a LR plug-in, but so far no soap.
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John Hollenberg

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2018, 04:34:42 PM »

I have never been able to get sharpening from LR as good as that provided by Focus Magic.

Comparing Focus Magic with the LR Scenic Sharpening at 100% (photo taken at f8) the LR sharpening is very close to Focus Magic.  I doubt one would be able to tell the difference even on a pretty big print.
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aderickson

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2018, 04:41:11 PM »

I have never been able to get sharpening from LR as good as that provided by Focus Magic. The coders at FM must be very sharp indeed (pardon the pun) to have written code that analyzes the image so accurately and gives such great results. Don't worry that it's a TIFF, just do your basic editing first so you know you have all the shadow and highlight detail you want.

I have called the FM people and suggested a LR plug-in, but so far no soap.

It's the same with me. I readily concede that I am no LR expert but I have read everything Schewe has on the subject of LR sharpening and still fall back to FM and NeatImage after the file is rendered. I find that sharpening and noise reduction are interrelated.

Allan
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nma

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2018, 04:53:16 PM »

to Peter Ait. Reply #5.

Based on your post, I looked at www.focusmagic.com. I could not see any mention of capture sharpening. The whole site seemed dedicated to reversing motion blur of one sort or another. Capture sharpening attempts to reverse blurring due to digital sampling. I am using M43 for landscape and nature photography. Usually my images are in good focus. Do you know of a tutorial or post that discusses how to use focus magic  for capture sharpening and or creative sharpening?

Thanks
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2018, 08:44:13 PM »

Hi Bart...

How do you go about determining best radius setting?  I, for example, use a G9 m43 20mb sensor with variety of lenses.

Hi John,

Long story short, I take shots of a Slanted Edge (actually two edges, one near horizontal and one near vertical) and based on the edge profile(s) I fit a blur function that tells me how much blur radius is required for a perfect edge to achieve the same blur as observed in the edge profile. The Slanted Edge shots are from a series taken on a focus rail that allows me to find the perfect focus for the chosen aperture (the focus rail shot with the smallest blur in the series is used for analysis).

After analyzing a number of lenses, the same pattern emerged, the best lenses come close to 0.7 radius blur in the image center for the optimal aperture, and the blur radius (to compensate for in Capture Sharpening postprocessing) grows on either side of the Aperture range, but with a good lens diffraction takes a heavier toll with narrower apertures than residual aberrations do at wider apertures, similar to the example chart I've shown. There's more to the story, like close focus changing the magnification factor, and thus the blur radius to compensate for, but I don't want to complicate things too much.

I've since become better at visually judging edge sharpening effects (like halo artifacts) to allow visual correction that correlates with the numerical analysis. I also use Capture One Pro as my main Raw converter, and they've introduced an automatic (deconvolution based) Diffraction control that's very effective for improving narrower aperture shots. So the diffraction blur induced loss of sharpness is much less in my Raw conversions, and I can use Capture sharpening in postprocessing that's pretty much the same for any Aperture. FocusMagic usually only requires a blur radius setting of 1 pixel for ultimate sharpening.

Quote
On detail, do you determine artifacting using Ďaltí key masking while adjusting detail?

No, in Lightroom I look for exaggerated / ugly artifacts in predominantly low detail areas, but I have to admit that I've grown an allergy for such artifacts (because I now know what good sharpening looks like), so it has become easier to spot them. Lightroom's implementation of deconvolution is pretty quick and dirty and when the detail control is set too high, the 'dirty' part kicks in. Only then, if there is noise amplification in e.g. mostly featureless sky regions, I reduce (not eliminate) the noise amplification by masking (which admittedly is a nice feature as it is implemented in LR, unlike the sharpening workflow as a whole).

Of course, Capture One also has a similar feature nowadays, although implemented differently and more geared at suppressing halos from post Raw conversion sharpening with a more USM-like type of sharpening (which I only use when in a rush, or replace by its output recipe sharpening after resampling, for which it offers a proofing preview). For better quality output I take the additional time and effort to post Capture sharpen with FocusMagic, followed by Creative Sharpening using TopazLabs Detail at the intended output resolution.

Cheers,
Bart
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2018, 08:58:55 PM »

to Peter Ait. Reply #5.

Based on your post, I looked at www.focusmagic.com. I could not see any mention of capture sharpening. The whole site seemed dedicated to reversing motion blur of one sort or another. Capture sharpening attempts to reverse blurring due to digital sampling.

Hi,

That's correct, but Capture Sharpening is quite similar to isometric (i.e. similar in all directions) camera shake, even though diffraction blur is different from camera shake (or motion blur, or defocus blur). FocusMagic is pretty good at pulling in the detail that was spread over multiple neighboring pixels, back to the source pixels. The process is called Deconvolution, but FocusMagic achieves doing it without exaggerating noise. It effectively increases the signal to noise ratio as it sharpens blurred detail.

Quote
I am using M43 for landscape and nature photography. Usually my images are in good focus. Do you know of a tutorial or post that discusses how to use focus magic  for capture sharpening and or creative sharpening?

FocusMagic is not the proper tool for Creative 'Sharpening' (something like TopazLabs Detail (or nowadays TopazStudio Precision Detail) is what is better used for that).

Cheers,
Bart
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aderickson

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2018, 09:51:59 PM »

Bart, this is new (and exciting) information to me. Up to now I had thought that sharpening radius was primarily defined by image detail and camera resolution (sensor pixels or film grain).

I would be interested to see this written up in further detail, especially how it relates to sensor pixel density, presence or lack of an AA filter, and lens quality.

Best,
Allan
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John Hollenberg

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2018, 12:30:12 PM »

FocusMagic usually only requires a blur radius setting of 1 pixel for ultimate sharpening.

When I Auto Detect in Focus Magic I always get a setting of 2 pixels.  Tried 1 pixel, wasn't as sharp as LR or Focus Magic at 2 pixels (used in comparison I posted earlier in the thread).  I can't see any halos in the LR or Focus Magic at 2 pixels.  Thoughts?
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2018, 12:51:01 PM »

Bart, this is new (and exciting) information to me. Up to now I had thought that sharpening radius was primarily defined by image detail and camera resolution (sensor pixels or film grain).

I would be interested to see this written up in further detail, especially how it relates to sensor pixel density, presence or lack of an AA filter, and lens quality.

Hi Allan,

There have been several threads where the principles have been described in more detail. I'll try and find some links, to avoid having to redo it all again.

EDIT This is where it started (but unfortunately some of the links are not valid anymore, due to migration to another service provider, and lack of time to update everything):
http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=68089.0

What FocusMagic and other Deconvolution methods basically do, is restore the sharpness of the original input signal, before camera shake, optics, diffraction, AA-filter if any, sensel size and effective aperture, and demosaicing take their toll. Those various types of blur tend to produce a somewhat Gaussian blur which can be easily modeled in a formula. This is similar to many natural phenomenae which, when combined in a cascade, tend to produce something that looks Gaussian. These blurs together are all related to the Capture process, and thus a good candidate for Capture sharpening.

Products like Capture One now offer an automatic Diffraction Correction, so the need for a complete Capture deconvolution has been reduced (although there is still room for it due to lens aberration losses and perhaps camera shake, in addition to differences in fill factor or effective sensel aperture).

The effect of the sampling density or sensel size is a bit harder to fathom, because things somewhat cancel each other out. Smaller sensels suggest that a fixed size blur would be imaged larger (expressed in pixels), but at the same time smaller sensels pull more resolution out of a lens, and they can be downsampled more for the same size output. So while a larger blur radius would be expected, in practice it can be hardly the case.

But the principle that we need to correct the (remaining) capture blur itself during the Capture sharpening phase of postprocessing stands. Boosting different sizes of image detail is typically better addressed by Creative 'Sharpening'.

Cheers,
Bart
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2018, 01:01:32 PM »

When I Auto Detect in Focus Magic I always get a setting of 2 pixels.  Tried 1 pixel, wasn't as sharp as LR or Focus Magic at 2 pixels (used in comparison I posted earlier in the thread).  I can't see any halos in the LR or Focus Magic at 2 pixels.  Thoughts?

When I get a suggested 2 pixel width of blur, it is usually caused by some lack of sharpness that could have been avoided by using a tripod and live view focusing with a loupe, but that's not always practical. On my sharpest shots with the best lenses at their optimum aperture, I more regularly get a suggestion of 1 pixel, especially after already first correcting for diffraction blur at Raw conversion time. A Raw converter like Capture One also extracts more resolution out of the same file compared to Lightroom. It's also very hard to avoid camera shake or mirror slap induced blur.

But then FocusMagic only uses integer increments of blur width, so maybe a lower width with a higher amount would work better. Anyway, if a blur width of 2 works better, then I'd say, by all means, use that.

Cheers,
Bart
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t6b9p

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2018, 02:12:52 AM »

Hi Bart
I was interested to learn that Capture One has a built in diffraction correction.....I don't suppose there is an option to tune it further for wavelength as I assume it is based around 530nm. I shoot IR 830nm where diffraction is almost twice as bad so I have found Focus Magic to be helpful for these shots..
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2018, 09:24:04 AM »

Hi Bart
I was interested to learn that Capture One has a built in diffraction correction.....I don't suppose there is an option to tune it further for wavelength as I assume it is based around 530nm. I shoot IR 830nm where diffraction is almost twice as bad so I have found Focus Magic to be helpful for these shots..

Hi,

The current implementation of C1 does not offer controls other than on/off. There is a trick that allows to increase or decrease the effect, by manually changing the Aperture value on the Lens Correction tool's 'Movement' tab. So, although we do not have control over individual channels, it might still be worth a try with manual override.

Of course, FocusMagic can be tuned more easily because it's a dedicated sharpening tool, but it needs another (PS plugin aware) Image editing application as a host.

Cheers,
Bart
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PeterAit

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2018, 09:53:59 AM »

to Peter Ait. Reply #5.

Based on your post, I looked at www.focusmagic.com. I could not see any mention of capture sharpening. The whole site seemed dedicated to reversing motion blur of one sort or another. Capture sharpening attempts to reverse blurring due to digital sampling. I am using M43 for landscape and nature photography. Usually my images are in good focus. Do you know of a tutorial or post that discusses how to use focus magic  for capture sharpening and or creative sharpening?

Thanks

As far as I am concerned, sharpening is sharpening. Capture sharpening isn't a different type of sharpening, AFAIK, it just refers to the basic sharpening that all digital images benefit from due to the sampling. So my practice has been to leave LR's sharpening settings at the default - what I consider capture sharpening - and then use FM for the final sharpening. BTW, FM has two functions, one relates to motion blur and the other to focus blur. Totally separate.
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Peter
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PeterAit

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2018, 09:58:32 AM »

Comparing Focus Magic with the LR Scenic Sharpening at 100% (photo taken at f8) the LR sharpening is very close to Focus Magic.  I doubt one would be able to tell the difference even on a pretty big print.

Thanks for turning me on to that LR preset - I had not been aware of it. I will have to experiment with it - I would not mind skipping the round-trip to photoshop just to use FM.
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Peter
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jrsforums

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Re: LR Sharpening Settings Closest to Focus Magic
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2018, 07:18:18 PM »

Thanks for turning me on to that LR preset - I had not been aware of it. I will have to experiment with it - I would not mind skipping the round-trip to photoshop just to use FM.

Peter, I had not looked at that preset before, but just did.

The radius is 0.8, which is close to the 0.7 which BART recommended.  The detail is below 50 and strength moderate.

I would expert going to 0.7 might improve it.  Take Bartís suggestion about adjusting detail and strength.  Depending on image and flat areas, such as sky, increase masking to block out sharpening created noise.

Worth a try.  I am definitely not an expert, but have got good results, even if it is sometimes a lot of trial and error, as I donít do it enough.  Snapshots can get presets or a quick lick on the sliders. 😀
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