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02-17-2013, 08:04 PM   #16
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Zdwagner are you able to upload the original raw file somewhere so others can have a look at it.

02-17-2013, 09:38 PM   #17
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I'd suggest reprocessing the file without Adjust. Just Camera Raw or Lightroom Develop Module. Do your sharpening there and see if the problem persists. There is no way to fairly judge a camera or lens when you use so much extraneous processing. You can add back in other filters and such after you isolate the problem.
02-17-2013, 09:38 PM   #18
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Hrm... I'm not sure where I'd do that, Dr who (great name by the way... I used to watch that show with my mom as a kid. Loved it). If you have a suggestion, I'm open. I max out at 900k on this space unless I do a donation, which I have yet to do (not saying I won't in the future).
I don't really have time tonight to do another upload of examples, but I did go back and mess with the file some more in Adjust and in B&W Effects, in addition to comparing a similarly processed file with similar areas of shadow from my E-M5.
I can confirm that, past a certain point of processing, usually around 2.00 Detail slider, 1.15 Detail Boost slider, in addition to about .30 on the Adaptive Exposure, 10 Regions, the dots begin to show up in shadow areas. It's not like the general color noise I get from the E-M5 file, which acts like any other file I've ever put through Adjust. The dots are very specific, white/off-white speckles. If I do sharpening in Topaz Adjust beyond the detail enhancements, or if I sharpen in FX Lab at all after I do Adjust, it is worsened instantly and considerably. Lightroom sharpening after using Adjust doesn't seem to have quite the same effect, though it will still enhance the dots. No matter what I did to the E-M5 file, it simply would not display the same characteristic, only an increase in general color noise.
I did try to re-create the phenomenon with just Lightroom, by slamming the Sharpening and Detail sliders all the way, and raising the shadows, but couldn't get it to react the same at all. No speckles.

I also tried a different photo from the ones I had already processed previously today, and can confirm that it happens in shadow areas (and eventually over the whole photo if I push sharpening further) regardless of the photo. The same phenomenon happens in B&W Effects, though of course the speckles are merely white.
I'm not quite sure what to make of it, to be honest. It's not a huge deal as I normally don't push the processing quite so far on my photos. But it's also something I'm a little annoyed that I have to worry about at all. I did try utilizing the noise suppression in Adjust after they showed up, and it did get rid of them for the most part (in some areas they stayed, if faintly), but I had to push it so that it was basically pointless to raise the detail in the first place.

If you guys with Topaz Adjust are willing to throw a file in and push the limits on it a bit just to see if your files react the same at all, I'd be forever grateful. If you don't have time no worries.

Cheers.
02-18-2013, 12:15 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by zdwagner Quote
... I did try to re-create the phenomenon with just Lightroom, by slamming the Sharpening and Detail sliders all the way, and raising the shadows, but couldn't get it to react the same at all. No speckles....
This tells me the problem is not with the camera but rather with the Topaz software. It is possible they haven't introduced an upgrade for the K-5ii. They are pretty good about responding to user problems. You might ask them.

02-18-2013, 08:11 PM   #20
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Thanks, abmj, it's a good idea, I'll give it a shot.
03-26-2013, 08:28 AM   #21
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So this thread has been down a while, but I thought I'd give everyone an update. I have continued to experience this issue in every single file I process with Topaz, so I got in touch with them and sent them multiple (differently processed) versions of a file. Their conclusion was that it was not the software that was causing the issue, but that it was in the original file (though to my eyes I cannot see it in the original file, though I've yet to go back and scrutinize that particular file; been too busy to do so as yet).
So I'll have a look at the original file probably tonight and see if I can see what they're talking about. If not I'm at a bit of a loss. Utilized the pixel map on the camera before I shot a hockey game last night, and in my initial look at the originals from that event, I can't see any white dots (but I never have seen the white dots in an original file, as Topaz states there are).
At any rate, this is an ongoing problem that is incredibly, incredibly frustrating.

I will update further as things progress if anyone here is interested. I don't really understand how I could be the only one experiencing this issue, and a look on google only returns the results of this particular thread. *sigh*
03-26-2013, 12:37 PM   #22
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I would have a good look at the RAW file with Rawdigger to see if there is anything unusual about the spotty areas - clipping etc. If not, then it must be a bug in whatever noise reduction algorithm Topaz uses.
03-26-2013, 01:18 PM   #23
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Thanks, I will definitely do that later. However, I'm not sure it could be their particular algorithm in relation to the K-5 IIs files, as no one else using Topaz seems to be having this issue, and I have not had it with files from any other camera (and I have raw files from quite a few cameras). It's a separate issue from regular noise, too. If you use Adjust to push the file, and then sharpen, you can see all the regular noise levels rise as they would with any other file. The white dots seemingly appear 'above' all the rest of the noise and are a distinct and separate entity.
That said, noise reduction does work on them, albeit to a much more limited degree than other noise.

03-29-2013, 08:59 AM   #24
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Hey everyone. Would someone be kind enough to send me a .DNG file from their K-5 IIs so I can try processing it and see what happens? I would really, really appreciate it. It would have to be a very low ISO, 80-100 if possible. Some shadow areas would be good, as that's where the dots are easiest to see and are most prevalent.

My email address is dirragon@gmail.com.

Again, thanks so much if you can.
04-06-2013, 06:26 PM   #25
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Well, since this doesn't seem to be an issue to anyone else, I won't keep this thread going. However, I would like to end with this synopsis:

No one offered to send me a DNG file (well, one person did offer, never sent one), which is fine. So I took the liberty of finding some raw files online, which is what I should have done a long time ago. My conclusion is that this problem is not relegated to my particular camera. I found a tiff from another K-5 IIs, as well as a DNG from a K-5 II, both of which, after processing in Topaz, displayed the dots. It seems that, for whatever reason, K-5 II/IIs files don't play very nice with Topaz plugins. I now own the Nik software collection, which doesn't cause the problem, but is also not as fine in its detail enhancement, so the differing algorithms obviously have something to do with it.

There is one other person on Pentax Forums who I've found who has had an experience with the white dot issue. I've been back and forth with Topaz about it, having sent them various examples of processed versions of a raw file, and the raw file itself, from which they say they cannot reproduce the issue. I find that difficult to believe.

After all this research, I've come to terms with the issue and while it's a bummer, it's certainly not a dealbreaker by any stretch. I love my camera and will continue to, and though I'm used to using Topaz for most of my post-processing endeavors (and still can, albeit extremely carefully), the Nik plugins work fairly well. In combination, I'm sure I'll find a happy medium.

At any rate, I wish everyone still paying attention the absolute best.
04-06-2013, 09:05 PM   #26
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I have some unexplained white dots and line in some of my K5iiS images. I have not sharpened them but I use Aperture and part of the import process includes some light sharpenning. I will have a closer look at them tomorrow and post some examples. This happened when I was shooting in a dark shaded area.
04-07-2013, 07:43 AM   #27
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Interesting. The ones I've experienced only show up after utilizing Topaz Adjust or B&W Effects (have not tried Detail, but I'm sure that would do it too), then sharpening in either FX Lab or Lightroom afterward. They are very easy to see if you push your settings farther than you normally would, say 2.3-2.5 Detail, 1.15 Boost, 30 (or higher) or so on Adaptive Exposure. Then when you start sharpening in either FX Lab or Lightroom, they appear 'en masse', especially in the shadows, but eventually all over the shot. They are apart from the noise normally induced when heightening detail.
I have noticed that (probably due to the inherent noise in higher iso's, which probably serves to mask the issue) it's hard to see them on higher iso shots. But they are very easy to find on lower iso shots.
Once you notice them, the unfortunate fact is that you start realizing that they are there even if you use a lighter application of detail/sharpening, which was what prompted me to download the Nik collection to try other software.
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