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Silver efex pro 2 - 'Noisy' results

derekhansen Plus
9 210 24 United Kingdom
7 Jan 2012 1:15PM
I have recently started using this software for mono conversions but have noticed that after converting some colour files that start out noise free, the processing introduces a lot of noise or grain. My initial thougft was that I might be pushing the processing too much. However having looked at a couple of web seminars on the Nik software site I dont seem to be doing anything excessive.
I havn't raised this query with Nik software yet. I thought I would see if anyone here had some thoughts first.

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miptog 12 3.5k 61 United Kingdom
7 Jan 2012 1:28PM
Several of the filters have default pre-sets. Check the value under the film types / grain option, and agjust to taste.
Ganto 11 769 2 Ireland
7 Jan 2012 1:35PM
The main point of Silver FX is to simulate film grain, which some people these days would compare or equate to noise. Just try reducing the grain effect in the "film type " dialogue.
Nick_w Plus
10 4.3k 99 England
7 Jan 2012 1:50PM
Derek are you using the Blue filter? And/or are you pushing the structure. There is far more noise in the blue channel than the red or green channel (green is the cleanest). If you underexposed at all this will also have an effect.

Is the noise consistant or just restricted to the shadows? If just the shadows maybe your pushing the brightness of the shadows too much.

Also check you haven't introduced noise from the add noise feature by mistake ( or via the preset).
Daffy1 9 360 Ireland
7 Jan 2012 4:25PM
I use Silver Efex for my monos and I sometimes like "noise". To increase the noise I push up "structure" and use a high ISO film setting . Remember the higher the Film ISO the greater the grain /noise. Damian
derekhansen Plus
9 210 24 United Kingdom
7 Jan 2012 5:26PM
Thanks guys I have picked up a some interesting points from your replies. I have been using the structure function in selected areas which might be part of the problem.
I also shoot a lot of low light landscapes and I will keep an eye on pushing the blue channel tpp much.
Thanks again.
Dave_Canon 11 1.3k United Kingdom
7 Jan 2012 9:30PM
An interesting point in any case about whether to add "grain" or not. When using film there was limited choice in that you always had grain but the amount related to film speed and processing. Using a DSLR you do not have grain and, if you stick to good exposures with lowish ISO, you will see little noise.

So we are now used to seeing most images with little or no noise/grain. The problem is that if you introduce a small amount in many images, you just end up with a noisy image that might be seen as a mistake and thus a poor image. I thus always turn off the film grain with the Topaz B&W Effects Plug-in (similar to Nik's). I would only be inclined to use grain intentionally for a moody image where I thought it would enhance the overall effect,; I have only a very few such images.

SlowSong Plus
9 7.0k 30 England
7 Jan 2012 9:35PM
I tend to add noise to b/w images because I always liked the grain when I used film, but lower noise with colour images as you sometimes get colour artifacts which are not attractive. Personally, I'd never think noise was a fault with a mono image.
dandeakin 10 209 3 England
7 Jan 2012 9:42PM
The only time I get unwanted grain in Silver Efex is when I adjust the colour channels excessively. I never seem to use any of the presets, as I'd rather make my own. I've stopped adding any grain when making a conversion as once youve saved the TIFF file it can't be reversed if it's too much. I'd rather reopen the file when ready to upload/print, resize it as necessary and then add grain. A couple of times I've overdone the grain, and the only answer to process it again in SE.

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