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Author Topic: Noise reduction for beginners  (Read 5608 times)
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« on: September 25, 2007, 09:02:04 PM »
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I've been wondering about various noise reduction software including NeatImage, Noiseware, Noise Ninja, etc.--specifically, which one would best complement or work with CS2 on .jpg and .tif files. I know that at least NeatImage has a freeware version, I could try, and that CS2 also has a noise reduction filter (which seems rather perplexing to me).

Also, where in workflow should one apply such a filter? (I always work on a copy never the original). Should it be applied before or after resampling / resizing? before sharpening, levels, etc.?
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Richowens
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« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2007, 11:42:57 PM »
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Hi Kevin,

 In CS2 I try to apply any noise reduction first in the workflow, at least before any sharpening. In Lightroom I just follow the steps and do any noise reduction before sharpening and export to Photoshop.
 
 All three programs have trial versions, might as well try them all. I tried Noise Ninja and Neatimage, this was before Noiseware, and chose Noise Ninja. To me it was easier to get the results I wanted.

 Some thoughts and ramblings.

 Rich
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santa
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« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2007, 02:01:58 AM »
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I have not tried a variety of software but I have used and like Noise Ninja. Applying it first, then using lightroom for sharpening is quite effective. Lightroom allows you to mask the image so you only apply sharpening to areas you choose (to some degree) and I find it very useful in limiting sharpening to areas I want sharpened while leaving larger areas untouched.
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« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2007, 11:14:23 PM »
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Thanks guys. Rich, I sent you an e-mail.
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Philmar
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2007, 10:53:01 AM »
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I have been trying to adhere to Bruce Fraser's 3 pass sharpening technique.
As such, I do noise reduction in ACR4.1.
Is there any place for NR tools in such a workflow? Isn't NR after initial capture sharpening a bad idea?
Or is the ACR NR ability limited, thus forcing one to use a NR tool later on in the Photoshop workflow.
If the file is particularly noisy would one be better off forgoing NR and capture sharpening in ACR in order for a more effective NR program in Photoshop?
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Richowens
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2007, 06:05:42 PM »
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Before I got Lightroom I used ACR 3.7. I found the noise reduction not really effective so I did no NR or sharpening in ACR. I also use CaptureNX and RSP for conversions. NX noise reduction is so-so and only slightly better in RSP. With LR I will use NR and sharpen lightly and send it to PS. I have not used ACR4.1 so I don't know how effective the NR and sharpening are but I would think it is equal to LR.

 My workflow then was to do no NR or sharpening in the raw conversion and use Noise Ninja in CS2 for NR first, then capture sharpen with PKSharpener, do any edits such as curves, dust removal, etc., apply any creative sharpening and save the file as a master file.

 HTH

 Rich
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2007, 11:33:24 PM »
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Convert RAW, de-noise, sharpen. I don't use NR or sharpening in RAW, third-party tools like Neat Image, Noise Ninja, PK Sharpener, Focus Magic, etc. work better than what's inside ACR and other RAW converters.
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bjanes
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2007, 07:15:01 AM »
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Quote
Convert RAW, de-noise, sharpen. I don't use NR or sharpening in RAW, third-party tools like Neat Image, Noise Ninja, PK Sharpener, Focus Magic, etc. work better than what's inside ACR and other RAW converters.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=142563\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

That is generally true, but Bibble Pro has Noise Ninja built in to the converter. Basic functions are available without buying a Noise Ninja license, but full functionality requires a license for Noise Ninja. According to Jim Christian (developer of Noise Ninja), there are advantages of giving the NR program first crack at the raw data before any image manipulations are performed. For example, changes in exposure made in the raw converter have a major effect on the noise profile.

Bill
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2007, 07:41:04 PM »
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Just downloaded the plug-in version of Noise Ninja. After tring it on a few images, it does seem to work quite well, but causes the image to look softer; hence I see the rationale behind people's comments about applying it before sharpening. I need to learn all about the different settings, but a couple guys at our local camera store told me that the defaults are rather too strong. Also, I need to figure out how to add the noise profile for my camera.

Any thoughts on those filter settings?
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Peter F
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« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2007, 05:26:09 AM »
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I have never tried to reduce any noise (perhpas because my camera are 3.3, 4.3 and 6 megapixels *grin*) becuase there doesn't appear to be anything.

But aren't the tools within PS adequate for this purpose.  I have looked at the tool in PSE5.0 and it looks pretty cool and complete.  ??  When I move into this aspect of processing, I would prefer not to buy another software tool as I like the all-in-one approach I thought I was getting with PSE5.

BUT, I don't want to be at a disadvantage either.

Peter F.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2007, 09:26:52 AM »
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I have never tried to reduce any noise (perhpas because my camera are 3.3, 4.3 and 6 megapixels *grin*) becuase there doesn't appear to be anything.

But aren't the tools within PS adequate for this purpose.  I have looked at the tool in PSE5.0 and it looks pretty cool and complete.  ??  When I move into this aspect of processing, I would prefer not to buy another software tool as I like the all-in-one approach I thought I was getting with PSE5.

BUT, I don't want to be at a disadvantage either.

Peter F.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=143968\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Very few of my photos from either my Canon 5D (13 MP) or (previously) 10D (6 MP) have needed noise reduction, but my pocket Canon S60 (I think it's 5 MP) needs it often.

A lot depends on your choice of subject matter, the ISO speeds you use (higher need noise reduction much more often), and how fussy you are as a dedicated pixel-peeper. When I do need noise reduction I use Noise Ninja, which is easy to use and seems effective.
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