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Author Topic: Lightroom - still inferior sharpening  (Read 1254 times)

nemophoto

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Lightroom - still inferior sharpening
« on: August 06, 2021, 04:27:50 pm »

I have always felt Lightroom's sharpening to be inferior to many of the alternatives out there -- specifically C1, DxO Photolab. However, I prefer LR tone and color, especially since I use custom camera profiles. I know that I can sharpen later in post using plugins like Topaz Sharpen AI or the older Detail etc. However, for right out of the program, I feel LR is still inferior. My default is 85, .7, and masking between 10-25. I find any more than that tends to look like crap, so I do my final in PS.

Has anyone found a better way?
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digitaldog

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Re: Lightroom - still inferior sharpening
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2021, 04:33:22 pm »

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PeterAit

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Re: Lightroom - still inferior sharpening
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2021, 04:34:03 pm »

Don't use LR for sharpening. I find the sharpening that Topaz Denoise applies to often be all I need. If that's not enough I use the Photoshop plugin Focus Magic, which I find superior to Topaz sharpen.
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nemophoto

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Re: Lightroom - still inferior sharpening
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2021, 05:43:23 pm »

http://creativepro.com/out-of-gamut-thoughts-a-sharpening-workflow/
Defaults not ideal, use other settings.

Of course they are not ideal. That's why I've created my own, but It's still hit or miss I guess. Overall, improved with my R5. It was dismal with my old 5Ds.Thanks for the link.
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Alan Klein

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Re: Lightroom - still inferior sharpening
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2021, 08:43:02 am »

I only use Lightroom for sharpening digital and film scan files.  I like to keep it simple.    Too many editing programs is a complicated bore, for me.  I move the sharpening slider until the image looks right to my eyes. No defaults.  Film needs a lot of sharpening; digital not so much. I also use a calibrated monitor.  So maybe that helps.

Although I rarely use it, there is selective sharpening in LR using the Adjustment Brush.  Let's say you'd like to sharpen portrait eyes, for example.  Maybe that would help you in addition to overall sharpening of the entire image. Also, I use masking slider to keep the noise down in flat areas like the sky without effecting the edges which stay sharpened, especially when working with scanned film images.   

jrsforums

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Re: Lightroom - still inferior sharpening
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2021, 12:09:29 pm »

I find that ANY default (Adobe or preset) is not ideal….just a starting point.  Actually, in my use, just to use as a quick view to get an idea if it is an image I want to do further work on.

If I do, I will first turn off all sharpening to get a view of the noise status in the image and if any work needs to be done there.  I then quickly apply the sharpening sliders which will differ based on image.
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Chris Kern

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Re: Lightroom - still inferior sharpening
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2021, 02:54:48 pm »

I find that ANY default (Adobe or preset) is not ideal….just a starting point.  Actually, in my use, just to use as a quick view to get an idea if it is an image I want to do further work on.

I agree, both as general principle and in actual practice—especially since Lightroom now offers quite an array of "sharpening" tools.  In addition to the traditional Sharpening Amount, Radius, Detail, and Masking sliders, Texture and Clarity both affect edge acuity, as does Dehaze under some circumstances.  And there is the relatively new Enhance (Details) process, which I find works well when there are very fine details in the original raw that don't demosaic well.  I occasionally also enlarge an image with the Super Resolution option of Enhance, even when I don't need the increased dimensions: scaled back to the original size during export, the rendered version often appears crisper than it would have at the original resolution.

Needless to say, all of these tools are image-specific—and none of them can completely repair an image if you failed to nail focus in-camera.  But even with a well-focused capture, I don't think it's possible to devise a good formula for applying the optimal combination of tools that modify the perception of sharpness except to try them on a particular file and see what works.  Of course, if you have a series of shots of the same subject that are visually similar, you can then automatically apply the sharpening adjustments that worked for the one you tested to the rest.

headmj

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Re: Lightroom - still inferior sharpening
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2021, 12:53:34 pm »

I only use Lightroom for sharpening digital and film scan files.  I like to keep it simple.    Too many editing programs is a complicated bore, for me.  I move the sharpening slider until the image looks right to my eyes. No defaults.  Film needs a lot of sharpening; digital not so much. I also use a calibrated monitor.  So maybe that helps.

Although I rarely use it, there is selective sharpening in LR using the Adjustment Brush.  Let's say you'd like to sharpen portrait eyes, for example.  Maybe that would help you in addition to overall sharpening of the entire image. Also, I use masking slider to keep the noise down in flat areas like the sky without effecting the edges which stay sharpened, especially when working with scanned film images.

Of course its hit or miss because you are not adjusting your sharpening to the file.  Your defaults will be wrong for almost every file.  Is the file High or low fequency? That will have an immediate impact on the radius you use.  Depending where you set the detail slider different types of sharpening kick in. Got halos? If there are problems it is usually operator error.

I clearly do not agree with your assessment of lightroom's sharpening. 
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mcbroomf

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Re: Lightroom - still inferior sharpening
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2021, 01:44:34 pm »

Of course its hit or miss because you are not adjusting your sharpening to the file.  Your defaults will be wrong for almost every file.  Is the file High or low fequency? That will have an immediate impact on the radius you use.  Depending where you set the detail slider different types of sharpening kick in. Got halos? If there are problems it is usually operator error.

I clearly do not agree with your assessment of lightroom's sharpening.

I think you quoted the wrong person there ...
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nemophoto

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Re: Lightroom - still inferior sharpening
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2021, 02:12:26 pm »

Of course its hit or miss because you are not adjusting your sharpening to the file.  Your defaults will be wrong for almost every file.  Is the file High or low fequency? That will have an immediate impact on the radius you use.  Depending where you set the detail slider different types of sharpening kick in. Got halos? If there are problems it is usually operator error.

I clearly do not agree with your assessment of lightroom's sharpening.

I gather you were attempting to quote/respond to me. Obviously, there are always differences based on subject etc.  I have used Photoshop since v 2.5. I beta tested Lightroom and used the program upon which it was based (Pixmantec RawShooter). I understand sharpening and the many nuances. My comments on LR sharpening are based on comparative sharpening algorithms used by Capture 1 and DxO Photolab. Even matching these programs settings for capture sharpening, Adobe's results are inferior. That said, LR is still my preferred processing platform because i prefer color and other aspects of image processing. But for tweaking the most from an image, detail-wise and even noise-wise, Adobe is behind.
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Alan Klein

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Re: Lightroom - still inferior sharpening
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2021, 04:48:15 pm »

Of course its hit or miss because you are not adjusting your sharpening to the file.  Your defaults will be wrong for almost every file.  Is the file High or low fequency? That will have an immediate impact on the radius you use.  Depending where you set the detail slider different types of sharpening kick in. Got halos? If there are problems it is usually operator error.

I clearly do not agree with your assessment of lightroom's sharpening. 

You may be right about LR.  On the other hand, my photos are sharper than yours.

headmj

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Re: Lightroom - still inferior sharpening
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2021, 05:40:18 pm »

You may be right about LR.  On the other hand, my photos are sharper than yours.

They may well be.  I don't care.

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PeterAit

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Re: Lightroom - still inferior sharpening
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2021, 06:04:45 pm »

They may well be.  I don't care.

Well, this thread is sinking into infantile crapola.
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Peter

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digitaldog

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Re: Lightroom - still inferior sharpening
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2021, 06:07:39 pm »

You may be right about LR.  On the other hand, my photos are sharper than yours.
You walked right into this one  ;D
"There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept"-ANSEL ADAMS
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