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Default Sharpening in Lightroom 4

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    Gundog
    Gundog  1624 forum posts Scotland
    3 Apr 2013 - 12:36 PM

    For Raw files from both my Nikon D800 and D800E I appear to be getting great results with my default sharpening in Lightroom 4 set to:

    Amount 60, Radius 0.6, Detail 40, Masking 10, Luminosity NR 10.

    However, the pundits seem to be suggesting that there should be a difference between the two cameras but, frankly, I can't see any discernible difference in the results at the above default settings.

    What settings to other users of either camera have as their defaults?

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    JJGEE
    JJGEE  96284 forum posts England18 Constructive Critique Points
    3 Apr 2013 - 12:48 PM

    I do not have the cameras mentioned but I have all those settings defaulted to zero.

    I then judge each shot individually to assess what I think are the best settings.

    Of course, if you have several shots taken of the same subject in sequence then you can just set one then copy the settings to the others.

    mikehit
    mikehit  56298 forum posts United Kingdom9 Constructive Critique Points
    3 Apr 2013 - 12:58 PM

    Every review I've read says that the difference is subtle so maybe you are expecting too much ?

    Matt Kloskowski is one of the LR gurus and here is his verdict:
    http://www.mattk.com/2012/10/02/my-nikon-d800-vs-d800e-comparison/

    Last Modified By mikehit at 3 Apr 2013 - 12:59 PM
    cats_123
    cats_123 e2 Member 104009 forum postscats_123 vcard Northern Ireland25 Constructive Critique Points
    3 Apr 2013 - 1:33 PM


    Quote: Amount 60, Radius 0.6, Detail 40, Masking 10, Luminosity NR 10

    thanks for those settings. I've tried a number of sharpening presets, but never been completely happy. I've always felt a touch of Luminosity helps...your settings seem to work well SmileSmile

    Nick_w
    Nick_w e2 Member 73846 forum postsNick_w vcard England99 Constructive Critique Points
    4 Apr 2013 - 8:17 AM

    Surely the NR settings will depend on what ISO your at, and sharpening on what lens you are using.

    GlennH
    GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
    4 Apr 2013 - 9:17 AM

    Those settings are geared towards a high frequency photo - one with lots of fine edges. The very low radius setting in particular would indicate that. Obviously other factors come into play, but a single sharpening preset would be of limited use unless you habitually shoot the same type of subject.

    iancrowson
    iancrowson e2 Member 4211 forum postsiancrowson vcard United Kingdom128 Constructive Critique Points
    4 Apr 2013 - 10:11 AM

    Interesting info. I only have the D800.
    I use ACR and CS6 not Lightroom so settings I use are not totally relevant.
    I follow Scott Kelby and his team's advice with very little sharpening in ACR and output sharpening using the CS6 unsharp mask filter according to the picture content.

    A different topic which most people will know about is that before posting on this site, some additional sharpening may be required after resizing and saving to jpeg.

    Gundog
    Gundog  1624 forum posts Scotland
    4 Apr 2013 - 10:39 AM


    Quote: Those settings are geared towards a high frequency photo - one with lots of fine edges. The very low radius setting in particular would indicate that. Obviously other factors come into play, but a single sharpening preset would be of limited use unless you habitually shoot the same type of subject.

    Sorry Glenn, I should have been more specific.

    Yes, I use those settings as my import default for each of those cameras but then make adjustments, if required, according to the needs of the individual image.

    I tend to do this in most of my photo-processing software - e.g. Lightroom, Silver Efex Pro, etc., etc. - i.e. try to find the default settings that meet the needs of most of my images, thereby reducing the frequency and amount of subsequent adjustment that is necessary.

    My normal LR workflow is to import the images with those defaults, then apply the Lens Profile, and then take it from there, starting at the top of the "Develop" panel and working downwards.

    Rainnpx
    Rainnpx  1 United States
    14 Apr 2013 - 6:20 AM

    I always keep camera's auto sharpening at 0 as if I like the shot most likely I will be resizing it and that's when I start worrying about sharpening. Btw mostly using Photoshop's High Pass on a duplicate layer in the overlay blending mode which gives very good results every time vs the standard sharpen effect.

    GlennH
    GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
    14 Apr 2013 - 1:16 PM


    Quote: I always keep camera's auto sharpening at 0 as if I like the shot most likely I will be resizing it and that's when I start worrying about sharpening. Btw mostly using Photoshop's High Pass on a duplicate layer in the overlay blending mode which gives very good results every time vs the standard sharpen effect.

    FWIW Lightroom doesn't use any standard sharpening effect (usually meaning USM) - it uses luminance sharpening on a raw capture with linear gamma; you can use the masking slider for refining edge contrast and the clarity slider yields a high-radius/mid-tone sharpening effect whilst protecting shadows and highlights. You can fine-tune that more using the high pass filter in Photoshop, but overall the appeal of high pass sharpening has, I think, been diminished.

    Lightroom accommodates a 3-pass sharpening process, for anyone that accepts the theory behind that (first defined by Bruce Fraser yonks ago).

    Rainnpx
    Rainnpx  1 United States
    17 Apr 2013 - 6:56 PM

    Interesting, thanks! But then again, why do you sharpen huge RAW images that you can't see in your monitor in full size without auto-fitting on the fly in your software that ruins it, or plan to permanently resize them anyways at which point you still have to sharpen? Unless it goes to print but that's rare..

    Last Modified By Rainnpx at 17 Apr 2013 - 6:58 PM
    GlennH
    GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
    19 Apr 2013 - 10:26 AM


    Quote: Interesting, thanks! But then again, why do you sharpen huge RAW images that you can't see in your monitor in full size without auto-fitting on the fly in your software that ruins it, or plan to permanently resize them anyways at which point you still have to sharpen? Unless it goes to print but that's rare..

    Raw capture sharpening replaces the in-camera sharpening of a JPEG, theoretically enabling the photographer to optimise the amount of sharpening and noise reduction simultaneously according to content. It's meant to counter the softening effects of the anti-aliasing filter and demosaicing process, whilst still allowing leeway for creative sharpening, resizing and output sharpening. Not everyone subscribes to the idea, but it was first sold to the masses by Bruce Fraser in 2003 here. Lightroom is designed around that theory, whilst obviously allowing scope for all sharpening to be switched off for those that prefer things that way. Other links here and here.

    So at that stage you're treating the file - doesn't matter that you can't see it all on your screen. Because the sharpening sliders in Lightroom are essentially for capture sharpening their effect is suppressed - there's a limit to how much damage you can do by comparison to treating a rendered image with the sharpening tools in Photoshop. Because all the sharpening in LR is done at luminance level you don't get shifts in colour, which are easily possible to introduce when trying high radius sharpening in Photoshop, for instance (can be countered with a color blending mode on a separate layer).

    About the 'auto-fitting' that you mention - interestingly Adobe has removed 'Print Size' view in latest cloud editions of CS6 (so I hear - I don't subscribe), and seem to be cooking up a better way to preview image sharpness. Until now a lot of people have just used a 50% view to get a decent idea of how a print might turn out—which works quite well in my experience—but something more tailored might be on the horizon.

    Last Modified By GlennH at 19 Apr 2013 - 10:29 AM
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