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Author Topic: 3rd party noise reduction & RAW processing  (Read 2909 times)
walter.sk
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« on: July 27, 2008, 08:13:12 AM »
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I'm curious as to where in the workflow most people here do noise reduction, and how that affects what they do before converting from RAW.  I don't usually have noise problems except when using very high ISO, or with wide dynamic range images where detail has to be pulled out of the shadows.  Up to now, my workflow has been as follows:

I fully optimized my images in Camera Raw, with the "default" NR of 0 luminance NR and 25 for the color noise.  This includes pulling what detail I can out of the shadows, and optimizing contrast, saturation, etc.  Where there is much noise made visible by bringing up shadow detail, I then utilized external noise reduction after conversion.  I don't really utilize the NR in Camera RAW because I don't have much control over loss of detail.

I am thinking of changing the workflow for those images at high ISO where there is prominent noise, and with those where optimizing in Camera Raw will produce visible noise in the shadow areas.  My thinking is that optimizing tone and color in Camera Raw exacerbates the noise, making it harder to deal with at the post conversion stage.

What do people think of *not* optimizing the tone (other than white balance and highlight recovery), and waiting until after converting to address the lightening of shadow detail, in order to leave the image's inherent noise as unchanged as possible, to then do NR with, for me, either Noise Ninja or Nik Define 2.0?

I'm beginning to think that that might produce the best over-all compromise where high noise is a problem.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2008, 08:15:45 AM by walter.sk » Logged
Guillermo Luijk
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2008, 05:38:21 PM »
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I prefer to shoot maximizing SNR (ETTR, multiexposure blending).
Then reduce colour noise (preferrably in the RAW development stage).
Assume resultant luminance noise.

I discard any NR process that can destroy texture (i.e. information).
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Gordon Buck
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2008, 08:01:32 PM »
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I recommend that you do everything possible, including capture sharpening, in ACR with the exception of noise reduction.  I think most people will go along with that recommendation except for the sharpening in ACR.

These days, I'm shooting mostly with a Canon G9 which tends to be a bit noisy and I've tried many variations on work flow.  My preference is definitely to capture sharpen in ACR and do noise reduction afterward with Noiseware.  There is a discussion thread on this forum wherein this workflow was debated.  There is another discussion thread on the Noiseware forum in which the Noiseware support seemed to agree (soft agreement) with capture sharpening in ACR.

No doubt others will now join in and recommend that capture sharpening be done after 3rd party noise reduction processes.  You probably feel the same way but try the "wrong" workflow and see how you like it.
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Gordon Buck
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« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2008, 06:36:13 AM »
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Here are the links to the above discussions:

LL thread:   http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=25994

Noiseware:   http://www.imagenomic.com/forum/showthread.php?t=70

Adobe ACR:   http://www.adobeforums.com/webx/.59b56051/9


You'll see that any answer you prefer can be selected -- with references!
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nemophoto
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« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2008, 09:12:28 AM »
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I've never been that thrilled with Lightroom noise reduction, though I will usually set Luminance to at least "10". If I need more reduction, I use Dfine 2.0. I find it does an excellent "automated" job of noise reduction without softening the details. Try the demo and see if it works for you. Additionally, if you shoot many people, it has a skin softening brush that does quite a nice job.
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walter.sk
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2008, 10:10:48 AM »
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Thanks fo the reply.  I'll have to check out the threads on this, but so far, I have not been able to find them.


Quote
I recommend that you do everything possible, including capture sharpening, in ACR with the exception of noise reduction.  I think most people will go along with that recommendation except for the sharpening in ACR.

These days, I'm shooting mostly with a Canon G9 which tends to be a bit noisy and I've tried many variations on work flow.  My preference is definitely to capture sharpen in ACR and do noise reduction afterward with Noiseware.  There is a discussion thread on this forum wherein this workflow was debated.  There is another discussion thread on the Noiseware forum in which the Noiseware support seemed to agree (soft agreement) with capture sharpening in ACR.

No doubt others will now join in and recommend that capture sharpening be done after 3rd party noise reduction processes.  You probably feel the same way but try the "wrong" workflow and see how you like it.
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2008, 04:07:45 AM »
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Quote
I prefer to shoot maximizing SNR (ETTR, multiexposure blending).
Then reduce colour noise (preferrably in the RAW development stage).
Assume resultant luminance noise.

I discard any NR process that can destroy texture (i.e. information).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=211249\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I pretty much agree : as far as advanced NR tools go (NeatImage et al.), I still got to see one that smooths luminance noise without discarding fine textures as well (in french the saying goes like "throw the baby in the sewer together with the water of her bath", jeter le bébé avec l'eau du bain).
For me, the luminance NR in ACR/LR is the closest of my ideal.

But it's definitely a matter of taste : do you prefer a texture with L* noise interfering, or a smooth appearance at the expense of a loss of texture? I'm in the former case but won't start a religion war about it  .

NB : my answer stands for errrrrr moderately   noisy captures : my goodol'DRebel (300D), with which I try staying at ISO100 as much as possible, but I still have to do extensive fill light adjustments sometimes.
The plot would be probably different for cases with more noise (G9 or other compacts eg).
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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