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Author Topic: Best software for noise reduction?  (Read 13631 times)
hassiman
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« on: May 18, 2008, 05:33:00 PM »
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I am looking for recommendations as to the best noise reduction software package.  I am scanning slides with SilverFast on a Nikon Super CoolScan 9000. Working on a Mac with OSX and Cs3 and LightZone.

I have heard good thing about Neat Image and Niose Ninja.

Thanks.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2008, 06:02:04 PM »
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Noiseware is pretty darn awesome.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2008, 10:17:53 PM »
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Lightroom 2.x
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hassiman
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2008, 11:37:11 PM »
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All-in-all how do you like LR 2.0?  I was thinking of buying it when it's released... the noise reduction is that good?  I heard it also has Enfuse HDR built-in...

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Lightroom 2.x
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196477\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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francois
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2008, 02:13:13 AM »
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Noiseware is pretty darn awesome.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196449\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I second Andrew's comment. Noiseware is very effective. Noise Ninja is a worthwhile alternative but I prefer Noiseware. Lightroom (current version) is fine for light to medium noise removal but it's not in the same league as Noiseware for demanding photos.

I haven't made any comparison between Lightrrom 1.4.1 and 2.0 beta.
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Francois
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2008, 02:19:52 AM »
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Noisware it is for me too  
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Andy M
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2008, 03:15:41 AM »
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Noiseware is pretty darn awesome.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196449\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

As an owner of Noise Ninja, would you recommend using Noiseware instead?

The reason I ask is that I sometimes encounter more noise than I would wish for post-sharpening when I have already used Noise Ninja.
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Plekto
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« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2008, 02:28:54 PM »
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If you can bracket your shots or even just take a second shot of the same thing, you can also use the blending software that there's a discussion about at this site to do amazing things.

http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....noise+reduction

This seems to do a very good job of cleaning up images without mangling the raw data much, if any.
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plugsnpixels
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« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2008, 09:03:07 PM »
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I've got licensed copies of many different noise reduction products and I use Noiseware first. See some samples here and here (bottom of chart, which I did over a year ago from a film scan sample).
« Last Edit: May 26, 2008, 10:06:53 PM by plugsnpixels » Logged

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nemophoto
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2008, 09:05:46 PM »
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I use to use Noiseware. (Still do occasionally.) But lately, I've started using Nik Dfine 2.0 quite a bit. It seems to do a good job of dampening noise while maintaining most detail. Plus, it does it's job on a seperate layer that you can then blend with opacity.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2008, 07:48:09 PM »
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I use to use Noiseware. (Still do occasionally.) But lately, I've started using Nik Dfine 2.0 quite a bit. It seems to do a good job of dampening noise while maintaining most detail. Plus, it does it's job on a seperate layer that you can then blend with opacity.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196690\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You can use a duplicate image layer for applying Noise Ninja and Noiseware. This allows you to adjust opacity, do masking and selective noise reduction, etc.

I use Noiseware Pro. It has the most options for global adjustment of what the program should count as noise and how much to reduce it, where. It is arguably the best at detail protection, though all these programs do sacrifice some detail in the process of reducing noise.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2008, 09:22:51 PM »
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Noiseware is pretty darn awesome.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=196449\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Since getting the Canon G9, I've experimented more with noise reduction than ever before.  I've used Neat Image in the past but based on some studies by Thomas Niemann found that ACR noise reduction was somewhat better.  With either of these methods, it seems to me that I can get an acceptable 8x10 print from the G9 at ISO400.

ISO800 is a different matter.

Interested by the comments on this thread, I've compared Noiseware and Noise Ninja to Neat Image and ACR.  To compare, I used all four noise reduction methods and overlaid them in Photoshop.  Neat Image, Noiseware and Noise Ninja were profiled automatically.  Comparison was at 50% magnification.  I turned various layers on and off and examined light and dark areas.  I compared ISO800 shots in good and poor light.

It seems to me that Noiseware is the best package for my needs (Canon G9); Neat Image had the poorest performance -- usually creates unsightly artifacts even if the strength is turned down to 50%.  Interestingly, of these packages, I am the most experienced with Neat Image although that experience must not translate into expertise.

Anyway, I think I'll be buying Noiseware.  It did not *always* produce the best noise reduction but then I haven't read the instructions yet either.

Oh yes, I can now sometimes get a decent 8x10 from G9 ISO800!
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plugsnpixels
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2008, 10:07:54 PM »
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I just noticed I had a typo in my Noiseware URL above--it's fixed now.
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gmitchel
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2008, 07:32:57 AM »
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I yanked the noise reduction software comparison from my eBook/Video on sharpening.

It compares NeatImage, Noise Ninja, Nik! Dfine, and Power Retouche Reduce Noise.

http://www.thelightsrightstudio.com/review...tionPlugins.pdf

I live NeatImage, Noise Ninja, and Nik! Dfine 2.0 a lot. I use NeatImage more than any. Vlad's customer service is the best of any add-in. No real complaints about Noise Ninja on customer service, but Vlad goes out of his way to notify about upgrades (which have been free for several years), etc.

Cheers,

Mitch
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2008, 07:47:07 AM »
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Mitch,

I read your extract. I don't know when it was written, hence whether or not Noiseware was available when you did this work. Have you since tried Noiseware and compared it with Noise Ninja?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
gmitchel
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« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2008, 08:23:21 AM »
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Mitch,

I read your extract. I don't know when it was written, hence whether or not Noiseware was available when you did this work. Have you since tried Noiseware and compared it with Noise Ninja?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=198295\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I completed the eBook last fall. That chapter was done last spring, if memory serves.

No, I have not yet reviewed Noiseware. The reason is that I have not yet purchased a copy. I only review software that I purchase.

It is on my list to purchase soon.

One thing that I will add is that I do not find the noise reduction in ACR4 or LR1 to be even close to equal with NI/NN/Dfine. Same with the Reduce Noise filter in PS. Even in CS3 it needs improvement.

The other consideration about noise reduction in the RAW processor is absence/control over surface masking. I agree with Andrew and Jeff Schewe and others that there's good reason to do global adjustments to WB and tone in RAW, and I do make those adjustments in RAW.

Noise reduction really benefits from using a surface mask to keep it away from the edges. ACR4 could be used for capture sharpening, but I avoid it there precisely because noise reduction needs to come first or it will likely clobber any capture sharpening when done after capture sharpening.

Cheers,

Mitch
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2008, 08:41:05 AM »
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Mitch,

No need to purchase it to review it - they've had free trials available for a couple of years. Now that you've done all the other major contenders, adding this one could be of interest.

I think the main advantage of these tools over doing noise reduction in ACR is the considerable fine-tuning features they offer for selecting what is noise and how much to reduce it. Neat Image, Noise Ninja and Noiseware all provide many similar such features. The key item of interest for me is how well they compare in terms of their (and the user's) ability to separate noise from detail and preserve the latter while mitigating the former. It is in this respect that I find Noiseware particularly strong.

As for the use of capture sharpening in ACR, of course it depends on whether or not noise reduction is needed. If one needs to reduce noise, and if one decides that using a PS plug-in is the preferred approach, then right - one wouldn't want to sharpen the noise in ACR and then try reducing it. As you say, it kind of defeats the purpose of sharpening, but it also makes noise reduction more difficult. On the other hand, where no noise reduction is needed (increasingly the case with today's high-end DSLRs up to pretty high ISOs) capture sharpening works well either in ACR or in PS.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
digitaldog
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« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2008, 08:49:47 AM »
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Mitch,
No need to purchase it to review it - they've had free trials available for a couple of years. Now that you've done all the other major contenders, adding this one could be of interest.


Further more, just asking the company for a copy would result in a NFR as the Noiseware people are quite accommodating for those reviewers of reasonable credentials. But as you point out, there's a fully functional demo (albeit with watermarking).
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Andrew Rodney
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gmitchel
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« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2008, 08:59:33 AM »
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Further more, just asking the company for a copy would result in a NFR as the Noiseware people are quite accommodating for those reviewers of reasonable credentials. But as you point out, there's a fully functional demo (albeit with watermarking).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=198307\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


LOL. You know me better than that, Andrew.  I don't solicit or review copies. I know they'll give me a copy.

I also don't review demos. I find that to be really risky, especially since demos night not be as current as production copies.

Aside from paying for the Web hosting, the money from donations to my site is used to pay for software to review. It all does back to the DP community.

I sure don't *NEED* four different noise reduction packages (five, when I buy Noiseware)! LOL.

Cheers,

Mitch
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Ray
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« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2008, 09:00:28 AM »
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What I like about Noise Ninja is the facility to selectively remove the noise reduction effect after it has been applied, using a variable size brush. This is useful for areas where retaining full resolution is more important than the slight but inevitable softening that always results from noise reduction. For example, a slight softening of resolution of pores on skin might be desirable, but not on eyebrows and eyelashes.
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