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 Post subject: Sharpening in ACR
PostPosted: Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:42 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:31 pm
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Location: Maarssen, The Netherlands
Hello,

I've been working with ACR for quite some time now and the first thing I do in ACR is sharpening. I will set "Amount" to 100% and "Radius" to 0,6. Then I always leave "Details" at 25 and in the Noise Reduction section I also keep the "Colour" setting at 25.

Now I was wondering if this is the right thing to do?

Thanks in advance.

Twan

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 Post subject: Re: Sharpening in ACR
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 10:55 am 
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Hi Twan,

Interesting question and one that's really a matter of opinion as there are many different ways of sharpening. Your sharpening process is virtually identical to mine, I use 110% with a radius of 0.6 on the RAW file in ACR, but it's worth noting for some strange reason Adobe have changed the way the sharpening in ACR works on the latest version. On my iMac I have ACR 5.7, and 110%, 0.6 and Detail set to 25 works great but on my laptop I have ACR 6.0 and if I use the same settings the image is hugely oversharpened. I've found in 6.0 I need to pull Detail down to 2 to get clean results, but doing so works very well.

I also have a second sharpening stage. Basically I do as much as possible on the RAW file (sharpening, saturation, contrast, colour correction, etc), then open the image in PS directly as an 8 bit JPEG. Before resizing I'll apply noise reduction, then resize (usually to 1600 wide). After resizing I add another pass of sharpening using 60% at 0.3, which just gives a final kick of clarity. I've heard a lot of people talk about sharpening differently using different lenses and different cameras, but funnily enough I've found these exact settings to give very clean results on pretty much all the DSLR's and lenses I've had (ranging from an 8MP 350D to an 18MP 7D, and from the Canon 18-55 kit lens to the 70-200L).

Again, it's really a matter of opinion as to what the 'best' way to sharpen is, but there's certainly nothing whatsoever wrong with what you're doing at the moment!

Hope that helps :)

Paul

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 Post subject: Re: Sharpening in ACR
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:31 pm
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Location: Maarssen, The Netherlands
Thanks for your reply Paul.

I'm glad my methods are okay. I've cheated a bit by using the method you described on JP.net :oops: . Hope you don't mind.
I will experiment a bit on what "Detail" and "Colour" mean in ACR by trying different settings on the same photo and compare them.

I still use CS4 so I have an old version of ACR. The problem with my version is that I can't open .NEF's and there is no suitable update for the D5100 available for CS4. I use Adobe DNG Converter to open .NEF's in ACR. Do you perhaps know if there is any quality loss in converting .NEF to .DNG?

You mentioned you use noise reduction software. I don't use any noise reduction software at the moment. Can you perhaps tell me which software you use?

Thanks in advance.

Twan

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Regards,

Twan van Baaren
Editor Manufacturer News
Dutch Aviation Society - Scramble
------------------------------------
www.scramble.nl

Download the latest issue of Scramble Magazine from both the Apple Store or Google Play Store!!


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 Post subject: Re: Sharpening in ACR
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:47 pm 
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Hi again Twan,

Of course I don't mind! I write these things in the hope they may be of some use to someone, so if you find them handy then I'm a happy photo geek. :)

In theory you shouldn't lose any quality in converting from .NEF to DNG. The bit depth (how much information is stored in the image file) is preserved and you can process the DNG file exactly as you would the .NEF in ACR, so it should basically be the same as dealing with the original .NEF's.

For noise reduction I use a program called Noise Ninja. There's quite an important thing to remember about shooting RAW, because you're dealing with the raw digitised information from the sensor there's essentially no processing applied, making them quite different to deal with compared to JPEG. If you shoot JPEG then your camera naturally applies a degree of noise reduction in the compression process (all cameras do this), so the results look quite clean. This noise reduction is missing when shooting RAW, so needs to be added in post-processing. I say "needs" to be added, I shot RAW for a few years without using any noise reduction and I thought the results looked perfectly fine until I started noticing my images really weren't all that clean compared to other people's. I'd seen so many examples of poorly used noise reduction that I kind of turned my nose up at it for a while - what a mistake that was! Once I'd figured out how to use Noise Ninja I realised that noise reduction was the final missing part in my workflow; I couldn't believe how much cleaner it made my images look. I'd definitely recommend investigating it, and naturally, feel free to use these forums if there's anything we may be able to help with. :)

Paul

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