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RAW sharpening and image libraries

PhotoMorph 9 12 1 United Kingdom
1 Oct 2011 7:54PM
Some image libraries request that images have no sharpening added otherwise they will reject, but RAW files leave images flat and soft if there is no sharpness done at conversion, left like this they then get rejected for sharpness (eg not having any)
Can anyone shed some light on this for me, thanks.

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User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
1 Oct 2011 9:36PM
Some image libraries don't know what they are talking about and need to update their rules. The rules were probably written when people were scanning transparencies and some would sharpen in Photoshop.

Digital cameras sharpen and people now shoot digitally but the libraries haven't bothered to update the rules. Along with their mainly nonsense rules about 300dpi the sharpening rule remains.

Ignore it and be sensible with your sharpening. (eg 7 in DPP on a full size raw)
saturns 13 51
1 Oct 2011 9:57PM
Occasionally I do a small sharpen in raw, but mostly I don't. I wouldn't sharpen a jpeg for library submission. Generally I use primes so images are mostly sharp, possibly you are having a lens issue if images are overly soft ?
User_Removed 8 4.6k 1 Scotland
1 Oct 2011 10:03PM
I use Alamy.

Never had an image rejected.

I always submit them with the default sharpening that Lightroom adds on import plus that which it adds "for screen" on exporting to a Tiff.
BigRick 12 2.1k 3 United Kingdom
1 Oct 2011 10:07PM

Quote:Occasionally I do a small sharpen in raw, but mostly I don't. I wouldn't sharpen a jpeg for library submission. Generally I use primes so images are mostly sharp, possibly you are having a lens issue if images are overly soft ?
that must mean that I have a lens issue with every raw picture I take then.... the camera does not process a raw image and the result is a soft looking picture.... jpegs are all processed in camera by varied amounts, including sharpening so you wouldn't/shouldn't need to re sharpen it.
User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
1 Oct 2011 10:33PM
I agree Rick. I think Saturns is forgetting that depending on the camera and raw file and depending on the software you may find some default sharpening is turned on as soon as you load the image. I've never seen a raw file from any camera and lens that is sharp at 100 per cent when the sharpening is turned down to zero.
cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
1 Oct 2011 10:37PM
There was me thinking that optically sharp and software sharpened where two completely different animals.....Grin

Oh! Hang on a minute....Smile

They are .....Wink

Heck! That means my Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens is not that bad after all.....Tongue

Awesome as its my favourite too....!!!
GlennH 13 1.9k 1 France
2 Oct 2011 1:40AM
There are still two schools of thought regarding sharpening for libraries. One is that the sharpening should be done in a single pass for a specific output size, and therefore contributors to libraries shouldn't sharpen at all. You'll find people like Guy Gowan saying the equivalent of that, and try looking up the website of Dave Pattison - former leader of Alamy QC.

The other popular theory, championed a few years back by Bruce Fraser, suggests three possible stages of sharpening - capture, creative, and output. So if you morphed this theory into library submission you'd apply some capture sharpening, and maybe creative sharpening if appropriate. This is a much linked-to web page on sharpening. The UPDIG website also provides some solid image prep guidance.

Default sharpening in Lightroom 3 noticeably accentuates noise unless it's tempered with some luminance noise reduction. This is because older versions of ACR and LR used plenty of noise reduction during demosaicing, but latter versions don't.
saturns 13 51
2 Oct 2011 9:27AM
Interesting post Glenn. To the OP it's unlikely images will be rejected by a library if you apply a minimum sharpening in raw. Samples I've seen of images that have been rejected, the sharpening was completely obvious and overdone.
User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
2 Oct 2011 10:12PM
saturns, what camera and software do you use? I'm intrigued by your earlier post in which you suggest most of your raw files don't need any sharpening. Would love to see such a file too.

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