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05-05-2016, 07:38 AM   #1
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Need help with NIK output sharpener.

I just can't seem to grasp the concept of using this output sharpener. I know that output for prints need to be sharpened more than output for my display but if I sharpen for my display and then switch over to output for printer I have to back off the sharpening for it to look right. Should it not be just the opposite if I am sharpening for print? Should I not have to sharpen more? Any help would be appreciated Bob

05-05-2016, 08:36 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by robert Quote
I just can't seem to grasp the concept of using this output sharpener. I know that output for prints need to be sharpened more than output for my display but if I sharpen for my display and then switch over to output for printer I have to back off the sharpening for it to look right. Should it not be just the opposite if I am sharpening for print? Should I not have to sharpen more? Any help would be appreciated Bob
As far as I can tell, that sharpener is very strong. I usually dial it way down, less than half of what the default values are. And I use control points to sharpen some areas more than others (no need to sharpen the empty sky, as it only emphasizes noise or posterization). This is for RGB monitors. Of course, the photo itself is important - if it has a lot of little pebbles in the foreground, do you really need them to stick out like jagged, sharp details? Do you need clouds or bokeh to be sharp? Each photo needs its own consideration
For print, yes, usually you need more sharpening for print than for digital monitors. But I never tried using this software for print, so I can't help with that. I think your best bet is to do an experiment. Print A2, one with the default sharpening for Print, and one with the sharpening that you think should be right.
Its possible that as soon as you switch "monitor" to "print", it already changes values or sharpening algorithms without telling you
05-05-2016, 08:48 AM   #3
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My workflow consists of applying basic sharpening (usually minimal) when I import the RAW file into LR or Photoshop. After all post processing is complete I save the file as a PSD or Tiff master file. When I need to make a print, I copy the file, resize as needed, then sharpen for print. I perform those steps with a copy so as to not inadvertently make a mistake and accidentally save the changes to the master file (which should also be backed up on a separate HD).

If the print file is of a popular size that I sell repeatedly, I save the print file for future use. In my case I print primarily on canvas, so in NIK Output, I select Inkjet, canvas, and the resolution of my printer and then sharpen to taste depending on the resolution and subject matter of the file itself. FWIW, I don't find a need to overly sharpen for display. I do examine fine detail at 100% or more on the screen to check for focus, blur, etc. I do find that I tend to sharpen less for print than some photographers as I prefer a 'smoother' film look rather than detail that is obviously over sharpened to the point that it looks etched with halos and excessive contrast at light/dark transitions.
05-05-2016, 08:54 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by CDW Quote
My workflow consists of applying basic sharpening (usually minimal) when I import the RAW file into LR or Photoshop. After all post processing is complete I save the file as a PSD or Tiff master file. When I need to make a print, I copy the file, resize as needed, then sharpen for print. I perform those steps with a copy so as to not inadvertently make a mistake and accidentally save the changes to the master file (which should also be backed up on a separate HD).

If the print file is of a popular size that I sell repeatedly, I save the print file for future use. In my case I print primarily on canvas, so in NIK Output, I select Inkjet, canvas, and the resolution of my printer and then sharpen to taste depending on the resolution and subject matter of the file itself. FWIW, I don't find a need to overly sharpen for display. I do examine fine detail at 100% or more on the screen to check for focus, blur, etc. I do find that I tend to sharpen less for print than some photographers as I prefer a 'smoother' film look rather than detail that is obviously over sharpened to the point that it looks etched with halos and excessive contrast at light/dark transitions.
I understand the technique . What baffles me is that when I sharpen using the display setting and then switch to the printer setting the photo is much sharper than it was on the display setting and it has to be unsharpened to look right.Shouldn't it be just the opposite because prints need more sharpening than to view on the display?

05-05-2016, 08:54 AM   #5
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I don't use it. It is really prone to producing sharpening artifacts.
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