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Author Topic: Which sharpening software?  (Read 7408 times)

D. King

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Which sharpening software?
« on: December 08, 2008, 02:41:40 PM »

Things seem to be improving with Adobe sharpening but my take on it is that it has a way to go to match third party sharpening.

If this is true then I'd like some input on some of the third party programs for use with XP Pro.  

Which one do you prefer and why?

Thanks.


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D. King

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Which sharpening software?
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2008, 12:26:57 PM »

Quote from: D. King
Things seem to be improving with Adobe sharpening but my take on it is that it has a way to go to match third party sharpening.

If this is true then I'd like some input on some of the third party programs for use with XP Pro.  

Which one do you prefer and why?

Thanks.


Never mind sharpening.  Keep your photos soft.  It hides the blemishes.
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whawn

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Which sharpening software?
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2008, 03:50:24 PM »

Quote from: D. King
I'd like some input on some of the third party programs for use with XP Pro.
Check the offerings of PixelGenius.com  They haven't done anything new in quite a while, but they've kept current on upgrades and so on.  I use Photokit Sharpener everyday, and Photokit nearly as much.
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Walter Hawn -- Casper, Wyoming

DarkPenguin

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Which sharpening software?
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2008, 03:57:55 PM »

The LR and ACR (5.2) output sharpening are courtesy Pixel Genius.  FYI.
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D. King

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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2008, 07:15:36 PM »

Quote from: DarkPenguin
The LR and ACR (5.2) output sharpening are courtesy Pixel Genius.  FYI.


I understand there is at least one sharpener that allows for local area sharpening.  Or is it a technique?  Sounds useful.
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JDClements

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Which sharpening software?
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2008, 09:09:34 PM »

Quote from: D. King
I understand there is at least one sharpener that allows for local area sharpening.  Or is it a technique?  Sounds useful.

Photokit Sharpener has "Creative Sharpening" which is localized sharpening.
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bill t.

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Which sharpening software?
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2008, 01:55:48 AM »

Quote from: D. King
I understand there is at least one sharpener that allows for local area sharpening.  Or is it a technique?  Sounds useful.
You can selectively sharpen in Photoshop by selecting a particular area, then sharpening it with say Smart Sharpen while the selection is applied.  Yes, it is very useful, for instance in landscapes sharpening that looks great on nearby grasses might look gross on a hazy, distant horizon.  If you want a lot of feathering, paint a mask then convert it to a selection for sharpening.  The catch is this can lead to multiple sharpenings of a particular area, the effect is more multiplicative than additive.

ACR sharpening is the least obtrusive really effective sharpening I know about.  It does not so readily create the high contrast edges and halos that plague most sharpening algorithms.  Has a much different look than Smart Sharpen and Unsharp Mask, the effect is that your image is not so much sharp as it is not soft like a completely unsharpened image.  The image somehow has more integrity, to my eye.  Careful though, it looks like posterization if taken too far.  Biggest drawback with ACR sharpening is that it is not so effective at increasing textural contrast, highly textured subjects can still benefit from the older sharpening algorithms.    Haven't tried ACR 5.2 yet, but I think you can even locally sharpen in that version.
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KeithR

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Which sharpening software?
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2008, 05:54:35 PM »

Quote from: bill t.
ACR sharpening is the least obtrusive really effective sharpening I know about.  It does not so readily create the high contrast edges and halos that plague most sharpening algorithms.  Has a much different look than Smart Sharpen and Unsharp Mask, the effect is that your image is not so much sharp as it is not soft like a completely unsharpened image.  The image somehow has more integrity, to my eye.  Careful though, it looks like posterization if taken too far.  Biggest drawback with ACR sharpening is that it is not so effective at increasing textural contrast, highly textured subjects can still benefit from the older sharpening algorithms.    Haven't tried ACR 5.2 yet, but I think you can even locally sharpen in that version.
The reason that ACR sharpening is "less obtrusive" is that it is designed(by PixelGenius) to be an input sharpener only. It is only supposed used to bring back the sharpness that is lost which is inherent to digital capture. ACR 5.2 does have selective sharpening via the adjustment brush. In both cases this sharpening is not output sharpening which is determined by output size/resolution and media chosen.
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snickgrr

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Which sharpening software?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2008, 06:16:34 PM »

Although I don't use it, Nik Sharpener uses their excellent U-Point masking to apply localized sharpening.
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lbenac

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Which sharpening software?
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2008, 06:52:11 PM »

Quote from: marcmccalmont
Try focus fixer
http://www.fixerlabs.com/EN/photoshop_plugins/focusfixer.htm
Marc


Yes it works great at every steps and it has an automatic setting that is perfect for within an action - coupled with PKS for creative sharpening and you are done.

Luc.
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Luc Benac
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bill t.

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Which sharpening software?
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2008, 08:46:48 PM »

Quote from: KeithR
The reason that ACR sharpening is "less obtrusive" is that it is designed(by PixelGenius) to be an input sharpener only. It is only supposed used to bring back the sharpness that is lost which is inherent to digital capture.
Which is all I usually want from sharpening!  In looking at some high resolution panos in a gallery today, the ones using only ACR sharpening look "better" or "more photographic" or at least "less digital" to me than earlier ones that use relatively modest overall Smart Sharpening.  Sharpening exacts a price on tonality by always increasing micro-contrast, sometimes for the better but too often for the worse.  Depends on subject matter of course, but for classic style landscapes I now prefer mainly ACR sharpening, with at most localized touches of Smart Sharpening to bring up textures that are important to the image.  I'm speaking of 80 to 400 megapixel images here, perhaps I would do things differently for smaller images.

One should try a few comparison prints, put them away for a few days, then look again.  In the heat of trying to pull a good print there is a tendency to crank up the sharpening a little too much.
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ErikKaffehr

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Which sharpening software?
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2008, 01:30:48 AM »

Hi,

I don't see a big difference on FocusMagic, FocusFixer and CS3's SmartSharpen. Iridient RAW developer with Richardson-Lucy deconvolution is probably the combination that can extract most detail.

I'd suggest that the capture sharpening built into ACR/LR is pretty good, as it allows for sharpening edges and avoiding halos.

Unsharp masking does improve rendering of edges, but does not extract extra detail, which deconvolution type tools can. I used FocusMagic on PC but it doesn't work on Intel Imacs in CS 3, unless Rosetta emulation is used. I tried out Focus Fixer a couple of times, but I feel that I can achieve similar results with SmartSharpen in CS3. I'm still consider buying Focus Fixer, however.

Technically, deconvolution is only possible if the Point Spread Function is known. The PSF may be known for the anti aliasing filter (FocusFixer has a database) and estimated for defocusing.

Best regards
Erik


Quote from: D. King
Things seem to be improving with Adobe sharpening but my take on it is that it has a way to go to match third party sharpening.

If this is true then I'd like some input on some of the third party programs for use with XP Pro.  

Which one do you prefer and why?

Thanks.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2008, 01:39:53 AM by ErikKaffehr »
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D. King

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« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2008, 07:38:54 PM »

Excellent information.  Thanks gang.
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Paul2660

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Which sharpening software?
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2008, 12:15:07 PM »

I would recommend you also go to www.outbackphoto.com and look at Uwe's various tools.  

His most current is detail resolver, I am not sure which version is up to date for CS4.  Excellent tool when used in conjunction with his easy sharpening actions.  
Both are now scripts.  

Paul Caldwell
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Paul Caldwell
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mbalensiefer

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Which sharpening software?
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2008, 05:37:17 PM »

There was a decent L*A*B* sharpening procedure I turned into an Action that was listed somewhere on LuminousLandscape. When I switched to CS4, I lost it.

Michael
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Schewe

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« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2008, 05:47:18 PM »

Quote from: mbalensiefer
There was a decent L*A*B* sharpening procedure I turned into an Action that was listed somewhere on LuminousLandscape.


Converting a perfectly good RGB image to Lab for the purposes of sharpening is, well, silly these days. If you want to sharpen the luminance data just duplicate the layer and set to a luminance blend and sharpen that. Seriously, you don't want to go from RGB>Lab unless there's color corrections you need that ONLY Lab offers.
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