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05-05-2012, 06:49 AM   #1
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Sharpness - How?

To begin with, I am a little stuck on image sharpness.

While using the nikon d90 I cranked it to 7-8 over 10 in the camera while shooting JPEG, or cranked it in the PP when shooting RAW.

Since coming to Pentax I realized that images (and even jpegs) of the K-5 can be sharpened up very well. At default image control settings I found the images not sharp as to my taste (using FA* 85 and FA35/2), so again sharpening in PP.

The current situation is I am shooting JPEG most of the time (which let's please not discuss here). To get sharp images I set 3 or 4 sharpness in the camera, and then I'll add some more sharpness in Photoshop after all processing. But sometimes I just flip out and use the Extra Sharpness at 2 or 3 in the camera, to get a crazy sharpness. I know it isn't healthy, and I know that sometimes I oversharpen while unable to see that the whole image is blown. And also the OOF areas getting smeared, losing that beautiful smoothness and softness.

An example of a blown image (I think) here;





In Photoshop I generally use on a resized image, which is often 900x600 or 1200x..., Smart Sharpen, Radius: 0.1 or 0.2 and sharpening 80 up till 500 according to the image.


The problem with me is that I would like sharp images but I'd like to be optimal about it. I just can't balance it sometimes. So, a little help here please How do you sharpen in the camera or in PP? Since I am also shooting RAW (but not nowadays) I would also love to hear your RAW processing about sharpness too.

Thank you.


Last edited by Crosshair; 05-05-2012 at 06:54 AM. Reason: addition
05-05-2012, 07:09 AM   #2
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To be honest I use the default sharpness settings all the way. When I prepare an image to print, or resize for web, I do sharpen with USM or Focus Magic, but always as the very last step. If I'm doing 'remedial sharpening' (rare!) I resize in steps and do a sharpen on each step.
05-05-2012, 07:12 AM   #3
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Use selective sharpening and you wont have so much of these problems/
05-05-2012, 07:15 AM   #4
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Crosshair,

It seems to me that if you use no sharpening or maybe just +1 sharpening in camera (that's what I do ... +1 in camera), and leave the rest for post-processing, you will have better control in PP. There is no technical advantage to using in-camera sharpening vs. PP sharpening.

Also, I recommend that you not save the PP image back to the original file name, but save it to a separate folder (if you're not already doing that). In case you are not happy with the result, you will still have the original to go back to. I only shoot raw, and that prevents me from messing up the original (one of the reasons I shoot raw). When I first started using my DSLR shooting jpeg, several times I messed up the original and am forever without it. So I started saving all edited content to a sub-folder called "processed" and that mostly solved the problem.

-Joe-

05-05-2012, 07:17 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Anvh Quote
Use selective sharpening and you wont have so much of these problems/
Second that!
You can't beat selective sharpening. Whether it be in RAW or JPG. IMO. the best outcome will always be to shoot conservatively and sharpen afterward.

PS. I really like the adjustment brush in ACR /LR for this type of thing. But if you really want to take control of your sharpening, I'd recommend something more advanced like Focal Blade or Topaz detail. However, focal blade is the only advanced sharpening tool that works on a single color channel which I believe to be very powerful(SEE: red channel weakness etc).

Hope this helps.
05-05-2012, 11:48 AM   #6
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Original Poster
@ihasa with "in steps" do you mean applying a little sharpening, and then repoening the dialogue and applying some again?

@k0og thanks for the advice, I always leave the originals alone, always did

@Anvh & @JohnBee thanks for the advices, I tried selective sharpening some time, but I am simply not good enough at using things with the brush. I botch it every single time.

Maybe I try those extensions. Or maybe try to give up the urge for sharp images Because seems it requires much more time in the PP.
05-05-2012, 01:13 PM   #7
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You dont need to be that preciese.
Foun the easiest way of working was with a new layer you sharpened and then mask the layer.
You then start to take away the mask where you want things to be sharp and you can correct your mistake by adjusting the mask.
05-05-2012, 03:57 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Crosshair Quote
@Anvh & @JohnBee thanks for the advices, I tried selective sharpening some time, but I am simply not good enough at using things with the brush. I botch it every single time.
I think it might have been helpful of me to explain a little more what or how this is done. The problem is however that when I think selective sharpening, I mean either in Adobe Camera Raw or Photoshop.

Having said that, using a brush to mask-in sharpeness with these applications is as easy as painting. And removing it is as easy as pressing x. ie. paint-in sharpness, press X and paint-out sharpness(bringing back the original). It's all very easy once you get the feel for it and most of all, veeeery easy to control. And of course, impossible to mess-up

Same goes for the more advanced methods using Focal Blade or Topaz Detail. Mask-in detail, mask-out detail as needed without ever touching the original image.

PS. let me know if you'd like to see an example of this, I think I can make a video of the processing with Adobe Camera Raw, and Photoshop, using the different sharpening solutions(Focal Blade etc).

JohnBee

05-05-2012, 07:41 PM   #9
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mask

bit more advance
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