Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: LR3 b2 - What's with the dithering?  (Read 7332 times)
RobertDowell
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3



WWW
« on: March 25, 2010, 02:44:25 PM »
ReplyReply

I have been using Lightroom for the last few years and have been very impressed with its workflow and improvements that not only help me as a photographer, but make it easy for me to show the clients what I am doing.  I have also been highly impressed with the image quality that helps bring out the best in my photos.  But recently I finally got around to using the LR3b2 software and found that it is now doing some strange things with the image quality.

At first glance it reminds me of the old 720dpi inkjets, with their uniform dithering patterns, and in comparison to the LR2.6 is in my opinion not as good.

I compared an image taken with my 1Ds3 and found that on the 1:1 in the develop module, the quality of the screen dither left a lot to be desired.  I have included a couple of images set at 2:1 and the one in LR3b2 is a lot rougher than the one in LR2.  Both have same settings, but to be honest the LR3 image seems to be noisier.

I am aware this is beta software, and before anyone asks I have tried it with the 2003 processing model, but this only makes it slightly worse.  I can get similar results by removing all the sharpening, but that seems to defeat the objective of improvements in software design.

Also there seems to be a problem with the slider under the sharpening.  In Lightroom 2, this would add sensible adjustments, but under lightroom 3 it seems to blow out the image with increasing saturation levels.  As an extreme example, if you run LR2 and push all the sharpening sliders to 100 %, and do the same in LR3, the LR2 image is usable, but the LR3 image is a complete mess.  In addition to this if you push the masking back down to 0 but keep all the other sliders up at full, (All the way to the right), the image is completely blow out and saturated.  Maybe they should never have activated this in the demo?

Has any one else seen this problem?  Have a look at these and judge for yourselves.

This is Lightroom 2.6 using an image of my son.  Minimal noise.



Where as in Lightroom 3b2 things are not quite so nice.



I also pushed the sharpening sliders all the way, except Masking, in both LR2.6 and LR3b2 as an experiment and the results in LR3b2 are nasty.

LR2.6 - Full blowout



LR3b2  - Full blowout



I hope they fix this, 'cos if they don't I shall be sticking with LR2. As they say, I didn't get a 1Ds3 so I could have noisier images...


Robert Dowell
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 02:50:07 PM by RobertDowell » Logged

wolfnowl
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5791



WWW
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2010, 03:41:33 PM »
ReplyReply

With admittedly only a little bit of playing with it I'd noticed that LR3 seemed to require less sharpening and in particular less Detail than LR2 - however, I've also noticed what you're showing here.

Mike.
Logged

If your mind is attuned to beauty, you find beauty in everything.
~ Jean Cooke ~


My Flickr site / Random Thoughts and Other Meanderings at M&M's Musings
Rory
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 174


« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2010, 05:42:41 PM »
ReplyReply

Robert

LR3B2 sharpening sliders are more sensitive, which can be handy for some looks.  You will have to back off.  BTW, have you tried the sharpening brush with neg sharpness?  It is now more of a blur tool.  It works fairly well in conjunction with sharpening and noise reduction.  However, I hope they add a noise reduction brush that works like the sharpening brush, allowing one to selectively erase noise reduction from parts of the image.
Logged
madmanchan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2110


« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2010, 07:38:25 PM »
ReplyReply

This is not "screen dithering". What you are seeing is the difference in baseline noise rendering between LR 2 and LR 3. At mid-to-high ISO, LR 2 will apply (sometimes significant) smoothing to the image even when Luminance is set to zero. (This is good in that if you prefer smoother results, then you get that by default.) LR 3 does not do this, so the inherent noise in the capture will show through more clearly. If you care about noise, you do not want to use the same slider settings for LR 2 and with LR 3. What is optimal for LR 2 may not (I would argue generally will not) be optimal for LR 3. By applying Luminance noise reduction in your example, and using a higher value of Masking for sharpening (and lower Detail), you should be able to get superior results compared to LR 2.

I understand you're trying to understand what the sliders do by adjusting them to extremes. That's not how they're designed to be used in practice. For example, it is quite rare that your portraits are going to look good if you crank sharpening Amount way up, unless you also turn Detail way down and increasing Masking.
Logged

RobertDowell
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3



WWW
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2010, 08:45:57 PM »
ReplyReply

I understand where you're coming from on this, but the examples I showed put forward that the workload is going to increase in a lot of cases where noise is more evident, as LR3 looks like it is going to make more evidence of noise in the image.  It seems that all camera manufacturers are trying to give us more smoothing and reduction of noise and Adobe have gone in the oposite direction.

The whole reason for going Lightroom in the first place was to reduce the in-out of Photoshop or other tools by helping us streamline our workflow.  I fail to see why a radical change in the way base line noise is handled is going to help me in any way.  When you have 200 hundred photos from a shoot and they are all taken with varying ISO settings, with varying levels of noise, the problems increase as it is not possible to sync the settings across large swaths of photos.

What's more, to make these changes and say, "Hey guys the quality is better" but fail to point out the reasons for the Dithering in the image, is not going to make me want to upgrade.  The reason I called this dithering is that in my eyes, (and at 1:1) it looks like a cheap 1995 inkjet output, which means that I will see poor visual output.  I also fail to see how they can have suddenly thought, "I know lets put more noticeable noise in the photos, at the default settings, yeah that sounds like a good idea."  

I am aware that we can adjust this slider to compensate for this problem, and that slider for that problem, but there is only so much time I want to spend messing with client images.  The photoshoots I do have multiple problems with lighting, and in most cases I am forced to abuse the settings on the camera, to get the image. Very rarely in my line of work is anything studio setup, so I have to work with what I can get.  This means that I don't like to have too much work after the shoot, which this will give me as I will be having to check all the images from now on.  I know that I can set a default base line that is softer and does not show this problem, but when I need to sharpen, I will see what I consider to be dithering and this will cause me to refuse to use it.  So before you point out about the masking or other sliders, this brings me back to more work and that is a no-no.

My reasons for increasing all the sliders, was to show the extremes of difference between one tool and another, where seemingly no outside evidence is visible in the UI.  Theoretically Lightroom 3 should work in a similar, if not exact same manner to Lightroom 2, but apparently it does not.  The problem I have is it is all very well and good, making an excuse for Adobe by saying that it is more sensitive, or that it works in a different way, but why do they use the same interface to facilitate an understanding of the function of the tool.  I would agree with you if the numbers where different with in the UI, so we knew that something different was going to happen, or something else gave me some feedback about the reasons behind the design.  But as usual with Adobe, nothing but the standard, "It's an improvement."

Rory -  I think that the sharpening brush will be a lost cause as the problem I see is not on this little area, but the whole image.  When I imported it I immediately noticed the darker spots in the image, which where not blended in with the other pixels.  Problem is that I believe that the rendering engines between LR2 and LR3 are so radically different that it is going to be a problem for many people.  They say that we can use the older 2003 processing engine, but even that does not hack it.  I know that I could make the brush massive, but have you tried to use a brush on a 21mp image.  Even the processing engine on lightroom takes a hit and stutters.

I get the impression that they will radically improve the image quality when the final version ships, as even they will see this as unacceptable.  My reason for asking the question was to find out if anyone else had seen this problem in image quality.  It is like my impression of the 1Ds2 against the 1Ds3, I personally prefer the 1Ds2, for image quality as it was nicer and more film like, but that's my perception.  Remember kiddies - Perception is nine tenths of reality...

On a positive note, I don't need to upgrade, as no one is forcing me.  But if they're claiming a better image quality then I would have to disagree at the moment.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 08:52:12 PM by RobertDowell » Logged

madmanchan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2110


« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2010, 09:34:12 PM »
ReplyReply

Robert, I disagree with the premise that you will have to spend more time editing your images. That is what custom defaults and presets are for. I propose that all that is needed is some experimentation with sharpening & NR settings to get results that are pleasing to your eye, then set them as your per-camera default or an import preset. For example, instead of leaving Luminance at zero, try setting it to 15, or 25. For portraits, try taking Detail down from 25 to 20, or 15, and increasing Masking from 0 to 30 or higher.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2010, 09:36:17 PM by madmanchan » Logged

BFoto
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 241



WWW
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2010, 10:42:48 PM »
ReplyReply

I have definitely seen a huge difference in the sharpening and noise reduction application to the images. I am going to have to review my entire catalogue, especially the ones for Web and Print and re-adjust acordingly. BUT this is a +ve not a negative. Nothing but great news IMHO. I played with one image last night that i though was soft and almost OOF, and pow i have a sharp image.

No need to go into a 3rd party application and lose the RAW pipeline is the point of LR, and finally i can see with sharpening and noise reduction this may now be the case.
Logged

Schewe
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5500


WWW
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2010, 02:21:24 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: RobertDowell
I am aware that we can adjust this slider to compensate for this problem, and that slider for that problem, but there is only so much time I want to spend messing with client images.

Since this is a "BETA" that was released on Monday night, may I suggest you actually spend the time to learn how to use the controls before complaining about them?

Your examples are extreme and essentially useless...you really don't understand what you are looking at and you don't understand how to control the results...so, if you have questions, ask...otherwise, it would be useful to learn what the controls in beta 2 are designed to do and then learn how to easily incorporate the really, and substantial improvement in the image quality potential into your own work...

As mentioned it's pretty easy to create ISO adaptive "Defaults" so you don't even need to touch the controls for different camera ISOs...how is that harder...

Bottom line, the switch from Process 2003 to Process 2010 means you really need to learn how to use the new process and the controls, which you haven't done yet.
Logged
John R Smith
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1357


Still crazy, after all these years


« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2010, 03:28:04 AM »
ReplyReply

Someone (I think it might have been Eric, or is it in the release notes) did explain on Monday that the 2010 Process Engine in LR3 did little or no noise reduction by default, as compared to LR2. So all imported RAW files would look noisier by comparison with LR2, but the gain should be increased fine detail and more post-processing control over color and luminance NR. For someone like myself, this could actually be quite useful, because in B/W I could choose to have greater apparent acutance at the expense of a slightly grainier look, which in monochrome is generally OK. One thing which does strike me, though, is that although LR3 can read LR2 2003 Process XMP files, presumably the opposite is not true, and LR2 cannot read XMP files produced by LR3? In which case, upgrading to LR3 is going to be a one-way trip.

John
« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 04:11:08 AM by John R Smith » Logged

Hasselblad 500 C/M, SWC and CFV-39 DB
and a case full of (very old) lenses and other bits
John R Smith
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1357


Still crazy, after all these years


« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2010, 07:48:16 AM »
ReplyReply

I knew I'd seen it somewhere. From the LR3 beta 2 Release Notes pdf -

"Image Quality

Sharpening and Noise Reduction
The quality improvements in the first Lightroom 3 beta have been well received but incomplete without the
ability to utilize luminance noise reduction controls. Lightroom 3 beta 2 introduces a much more complete
solution that includes an outstanding luminance noise reduction control and we’re excited to hear your thoughts
on the improvements. Open the metadata filter in the Library module to filter down to your high ISO shots and
let us know if the combination of Luminance and Color noise reduction provide you with the quality you want. In
general the new processing technology should really bring out the best in your raw files. The details and
textures will be crisper and somewhat more naturally rendered. We are now applying minimal noise
suppression in the new demosaic method compared to earlier versions like Lightroom 2.6. This means that
surfaces will show more texture and have more "bite". For example, a photograph of a fruit or a leaf will display
extraordinary textured detail in the skin of the fruit and the crinkles in the leaf. It also means that very high ISO
images will -- by default, with Luminance set to 0 -- appear to have more grain. Much better looking grain, to be
sure, but if you're just going by an absolute number telling you how much of it there is, that number will be
higher."

« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 07:49:17 AM by John R Smith » Logged

Hasselblad 500 C/M, SWC and CFV-39 DB
and a case full of (very old) lenses and other bits
Jeremy Payne
Guest
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2010, 10:08:59 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Schewe
Since this is a "BETA" that was released on Monday night, may I suggest you actually spend the time to learn how to use the controls before complaining about them?

Ha!  Exactly ...

I have yet to find an image where I couldn't get an equal or better result with process 2010.

Did I have to re-learn to use the detail panel?  Yup.   Did it take some work?  Yup.

Did I mind?  Nope ...

I'm thrilled ... may favorite piece of software just got better ... MUCH better as I see it.
Logged
JeffKohn
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1671



WWW
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2010, 12:34:12 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
BUT this is a +ve not a negative. Nothing but great news IMHO.
I agree 1000%, and applaud this change. My biggest complaint with the Camera Raw 5.x raw pipeline was the hidden noise-reduction that could not be disabled. Even at moderate ISO's, the amount of detailed rendered by ACR 5.x6 is noticeably lower than with other raw converters because of this. I personally would rather have a bit of grain in the shadows on my ISO 400-800 shots, as opposed to a loss of fine detail over the entire image. Folks who like the over-processed, too-smooth look of noise reduction can always change their presets/defaults.
Logged

jmwscot
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 66



WWW
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2010, 01:46:47 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: madmanchan
What is optimal for LR 2 may not (I would argue generally will not) be optimal for LR 3. By applying Luminance noise reduction in your example, and using a higher value of Masking for sharpening (and lower Detail), you should be able to get superior results compared to LR 2.

I was really happy with the raw conversion of Lr 2.6. At high ISOs I could comfortably produce printable images from my Canon 1Ds MkIII right up to 3200ASA. However with Lr3 beta2 this is no longer the case.

What was a somewhat grainy effect at 1600 and 3200ASA in LR2.6 has now been replaced with, in film terms, reticulation. If I back off the sharpening from 40% to 10% the reticulation subdues but the image is soft. If I leave the sharpening at 40% and apply Luminance noise correction of 40% the image is soft and faces take on that terrible plastic look common to most noise correction programs. If I increase the detail in the Luminance noise reduction white speckles appear and the sharpness is still inferior to Lr2.6.

I have tried all sorts of combinations of sharpness amount, masking and noise reduction but at high ISOs I cannot get the quality of Lr2.6.

Lightroom is a fantastic program and have used it daily professionally for the last 3 years but the results from the new conversion with the Canon camera are disappointing.

John
Logged
barryfitzgerald
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 607


« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2010, 02:23:12 PM »
ReplyReply

Adobe are on the right track here. There were many complaints about pre enforced NR processing going on without any way to actually do it all yourself.
I've only had a brief chance to play with LR3 beta 2 (awaiting some replacement ram!)

I'm getting vastly better results with this new beta then I was with previous versions. It takes a bit of time to play about and work things how you like, but at least we now have a choice which was not there before. You can strike a nice balance between details and NR which is always a compromise. In my view it's unwise to try to remove all noise traces as printed the results are simply not as good.

Very pleased with Adobe on this one.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 02:25:06 PM by barryfitzgerald » Logged
Schewe
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5500


WWW
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2010, 02:57:55 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: jmwscot
I have tried all sorts of combinations of sharpness amount, masking and noise reduction but at high ISOs I cannot get the quality of Lr2.6.


Try adjusting the Detail slider...

Since the noise reduction is now out of the demosiacing, the detail slider is much, much more sensitive....

In fact, the details slider is the one you really need to watch out on for switched from Process 2003 and 2010.
Logged
Jeremy Payne
Guest
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2010, 02:59:15 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Schewe
Try adjusting the Detail slider...

Since the noise reduction is now out of the demosiacing, the detail slider is much, much more sensitive....

In fact, the details slider is the one you really need to watch out on for switched from Process 2003 and 2010.
Any chance you guys would make a short video JUST on the new details panel?
Logged
DarkPenguin
Guest
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2010, 10:00:49 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Jeremy Payne
Any chance you guys would make a short video JUST on the new details panel?

That would be really helpful.
Logged
Schewe
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 5500


WWW
« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2010, 12:00:02 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Jeremy Payne
Any chance you guys would make a short video JUST on the new details panel?


Not any time soon...I start Monday in "Book Hell™" to get the Real World Camera Raw for CS5 done...and to do a video on a "beta" version of software is bound to be extremely short lived...
Logged
Jeremy Payne
Guest
« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2010, 07:58:07 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Schewe
Not any time soon...I start Monday in "Book Hell™" to get the Real World Camera Raw for CS5 done...and to do a video on a "beta" version of software is bound to be extremely short lived...
I hear ya ...

I wasn't 100% clear ... what I meant was ... when v3.x is released commercially, I think a lot of us would really benefit from a short video that covers ONLY the new Details Panel - i.e. the new sharpening and noise reduction.

I think there are probably a lot of people who are comfortable with 2.x, but who would like to get a primer simply on the important changes to the processing engine.

I know you are going to ultimately make a v3 video ... and when you do, maybe you can hive off a short portion just for such people ...

I'd gladly pay $10-15 for a brief video covering just the details panel ... but am unlikely to shell out for the whole tutorial at this point.
Logged
jmwscot
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 66



WWW
« Reply #19 on: March 27, 2010, 09:36:38 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Schewe
Try adjusting the Detail slider...

Since the noise reduction is now out of the demosiacing, the detail slider is much, much more sensitive....

In fact, the details slider is the one you really need to watch out on for switched from Process 2003 and 2010.

Jeff thank you for your help. As you suggested reducing the default landscape sharpening detail setting of 50 to a lower value has solved the problem. I've tried this with the 1Ds Mk3, 1Ds Mk2, G10 and G9 at ISOs of 800 - 3200ASA and found a detail setting of 10 about right. I now see the improvements in Lr3. Image quality is equal or better than Lr2. Colour noise is much better controlled and, if one requires it, the luminance noise reduction slider works really well.

I have become so dependent on Lightroom that without it photography would be very difficult.

Regards,
John  
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad