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Old Monday 9th October 2017, 16:53   #1
Retrodaz
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Good processing pics for sharpness

I've been tinkering around in lightroom 5 and I feel my shots are never quite sharp enough. Does anyone have some good universal settings they use?

In general I tend to whack shadows up to around 50-80 on the slider, go for masking of around 70, detail of around 80 and sharpness of 50.

I'll also typically got for flash on the white adjustment and will up brightness and contrast a little.

I used a Canon 7D MKII with a Canon 600mm USM L IS (carrion crows and kestrel are with 400mm f.56).

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Old Monday 9th October 2017, 17:15   #2
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Before and after processing versions are useful when judging post-processing but there is no magic universal settings. Only you know what the scene actually looked like and what you want to achieve in the final image, plus every image is "wrong" in its own way. Plus the level of sharpening and the black/white points will need to be different for different uses, if you are printing at home, commercial printing or for on screen display.
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Old Monday 9th October 2017, 17:25   #3
Retrodaz
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Before and after processing versions are useful when judging post-processing but there is no magic universal settings. Only you know what the scene actually looked like and what you want to achieve in the final image, plus every image is "wrong" in its own way. Plus the level of sharpening and the black/white points will need to be different for different uses, if you are printing at home, commercial printing or for on screen display.
I guess what I mean then is do the above shots look sharp enough. I think they're okay, but I always feel I should be getting more detail out of my lens than I should.
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Old Monday 9th October 2017, 19:56   #4
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Originally Posted by Retrodaz View Post
I guess what I mean then is do the above shots look sharp enough. I think they're okay, but I always feel I should be getting more detail out of my lens than I should.
To my eye, they look to have excellent sharpness except for the crows and kestrel. But I expect atmospheric issues/distance are responsible there.
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Old Tuesday 10th October 2017, 10:00   #5
Retrodaz
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To my eye, they look to have excellent sharpness except for the crows and kestrel. But I expect atmospheric issues/distance are responsible there.
Both of those are probably cropped by 40-50 per cent of the original image I reckon.
Also all the other shots were probably less than 16 feet away, which probably helps as well.
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Old Tuesday 10th October 2017, 21:14   #6
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Originally Posted by Retrodaz View Post
I've been tinkering around in lightroom 5 and I feel my shots are never quite sharp enough. Does anyone have some good universal settings they use?

In general I tend to whack shadows up to around 50-80 on the slider, go for masking of around 70, detail of around 80 and sharpness of 50.

I'll also typically got for flash on the white adjustment and will up brightness and contrast a little.

I used a Canon 7D MKII with a Canon 600mm USM L IS (carrion crows and kestrel are with 400mm f.56).

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Hi there you've got a good camera there but do you shoot in Raw. This will give the ability to adjust for sharpness clarity vibrancy etc . Nb Jpg,s can be opened in the Raw filter in light room to give some of the above functions
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Old Wednesday 11th October 2017, 03:09   #7
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For every picture I take (and keep ), I always adjust sharpness and contrast (up).
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Old Wednesday 11th October 2017, 08:55   #8
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apart from the crows and kestrel the others are excellent. I have neither photoshop or lightroom. I just lighten or darken as nec. getting close and holding still is my answer.
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Old Wednesday 11th October 2017, 11:58   #9
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Hi there you've got a good camera there but do you shoot in Raw. This will give the ability to adjust for sharpness clarity vibrancy etc . Nb Jpg,s can be opened in the Raw filter in light room to give some of the above functions
I do shoot in Raw, thanks :)
It was one of the first recommendations made to me when I started taking pictures and it makes a huge difference :)
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Old Sunday 22nd October 2017, 23:59   #10
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The shots look good to me eye as well.

There are a lot of sharpening and noise reduction articles and methods out there as they are two sides of the same coin. You might find use of layer masks and adjusting sharpening and noise in key areas could help. In Photoshop there are also ways to make layer masks that pick out the sharp edges to sharpen then or to exclude them from noise reduction passes (search for making sharpening/noise reduction layer masks - there's a range of methods and whilst I've tried a few I've never dedicated myself to a method to be able to explain it).


Also don't forget that higher MP cameras often look softer as we oft judge sharpness at 100% views or thereabouts. So sometimes you have to stick to print/web display etc... or whatever your output size is to get an idea of how good your sharpness is.

Also something I've always done is to resize for web display in stages. Typically fullsize gets the strongest pass of sharpening/noise reduction. Then I resize to around half size and sharpen a little; then resize again (that' typically the last to 1000pixels on longest side for online display) nd on that last one sharpening a tiny bit if anything (depending on the shot).
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Old Wednesday 1st November 2017, 14:53   #11
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The shots look good to me eye as well.

There are a lot of sharpening and noise reduction articles and methods out there as they are two sides of the same coin. You might find use of layer masks and adjusting sharpening and noise in key areas could help. In Photoshop there are also ways to make layer masks that pick out the sharp edges to sharpen then or to exclude them from noise reduction passes (search for making sharpening/noise reduction layer masks - there's a range of methods and whilst I've tried a few I've never dedicated myself to a method to be able to explain it).


Also don't forget that higher MP cameras often look softer as we oft judge sharpness at 100% views or thereabouts. So sometimes you have to stick to print/web display etc... or whatever your output size is to get an idea of how good your sharpness is.

Also something I've always done is to resize for web display in stages. Typically fullsize gets the strongest pass of sharpening/noise reduction. Then I resize to around half size and sharpen a little; then resize again (that' typically the last to 1000pixels on longest side for online display) nd on that last one sharpening a tiny bit if anything (depending on the shot).
Thanks, some interesting stuff there.
I took some photos of some bearded reedlings the other day but I'm not massively happy with them. I'll post them up later tonight if I remember.
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Old Wednesday 1st November 2017, 15:03   #12
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Hi everyone,

Something I've wondered about for a while ... is there a tool to assess sharpness?

When trying to improve pictures for sharpness, I would like to start with the sharpest of what is usually a series of pictures with varying qualities. Picking out the best ones by eyeballing them is a process that I personally don't enjoy at all, so I would love to see that automated.

My camera actually has an option to cross-hatch the sharp areas of a picture in the live view, so I'd think something like that should be possible for still pictures as well ...

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Old Wednesday 1st November 2017, 16:23   #13
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There is no perfect amount of sharpness. If you are sharpening for web size pictures or for physical printing you will need a very different level of sharpness. What will print perfectly will often look very over sharpened on screen.
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Old Tuesday 7th November 2017, 11:55   #14
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Mono's right here.

Too many people over-sharpen in an effort to cover up bad technique.

Sharpness is dictated by the enlargement factor x resolution and the media used – print, web, etc.

Ideally if you know the finished size of your image, you size to 100% then sharpen. The complications that arise then are due to resolution, with the web you can almost get away with murder, but high-end printing shows up the faults.
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