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Author Topic: Photokit Sharpener and Lightroom 3  (Read 7487 times)
GarethJolly
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« on: August 01, 2010, 07:12:38 AM »
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I've traditionally used Photokit Sharpener and like it a lot - particularly the simplicity of the capture sharpen (where I can select wide, medium, narrow or superfine edge sharpen).  Also, with output sharpen, I have a range of options re inkjet sharpening according to the printer resolution (e.g Inkjet 480 Matte, designed for Epson printers with 2880 dpi).

I'm aware LR uses algorithms from PKS and I've seen Jeff Shewe on this forum recommending simply using LR.

I have a few questions about this.

First, I'm not sure how the simplicity of the PKS capture sharpening (wide, medium, narrow or superfine edge sharpen) translates into Lightroom (with its amount, radius, detail and masking settings).  What settings should I use (at least as a starting point) in LR for wide, medium, narrow or superfine edge sharpen?

Second, can I adopt a hybrid workflow?  i.e Using Lightroom for capture sharpening (with the advantages of parametric adjustments to the DNG file, instead of memory hogging layers), then Photoshop for output?  Given most of my final editing is done in PS, it's easier for me to print proofs from PS (rather than dropping back to LR)

Finally, LR's print output sharpening simply distinguishes between matte and glossy, but there is also an entry for print resolution (set to 240ppi by default).  If I simply set this to (say) matte with 480 ppi, is this the same as Inkjet 480 Matte on PKS?  Or is this setting unrelated to sharpening?

Thanks in advance
Gareth
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jarnold439
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« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2010, 10:27:53 AM »
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Quote from: GarethJolly
I have a few questions about this.

First, I'm not sure how the simplicity of the PKS capture sharpening (wide, medium, narrow or superfine edge sharpen) translates into Lightroom (with its amount, radius, detail and masking settings).  What settings should I use (at least as a starting point) in LR for wide, medium, narrow or superfine edge sharpen?

Second, can I adopt a hybrid workflow?  i.e Using Lightroom for capture sharpening (with the advantages of parametric adjustments to the DNG file, instead of memory hogging layers), then Photoshop for output?  Given most of my final editing is done in PS, it's easier for me to print proofs from PS (rather than dropping back to LR)

Finally, LR's print output sharpening simply distinguishes between matte and glossy, but there is also an entry for print resolution (set to 240ppi by default).  If I simply set this to (say) matte with 480 ppi, is this the same as Inkjet 480 Matte on PKS?  Or is this setting unrelated to sharpening?

As far as your first question is concerned I don't think there is any kind of direct correlation between PKS "wide, medium, narrow and superfine edge sharpening" and the sharpening settings in LR. In LR amount, radius, detail and masking are somewhat interactive in that adjusting any of the sliders can cause you to revisit your settings on the others. If I understand correctly, the default sharpening settings in LR are optimized by camera model to provide you with the best starting point for your capture sharpening. I think you just need to play with the sliders in LR until you become familiar with them. To some degree sharpening in LR is more complex because of the interactive nature of the sliders, but ultimately I think it gives you a lot of control to really tweak the settings for the specific image you are working on.

Yes you can adopt a hybrid workflow by just sending your image to Photoshop and printing from there, but I don't think you need to. You can send an image to Photoshop for editing and still print from LR. If I understand correctly, the output sharpening in LR emulates the PKS output sharpening that you would use in Photoshop. The one disadvantage that I can see in printing directly from LR is that it has no soft-proofing. What I do is soft-proof my image in Photoshop and then print from LR because I find it so much more convenient to print from LR.

With regard to your 3rd question I "think" that the settings in LR for output sharpening, for example  Matte 480 ppi provide the same results as Matte 480 ppi from Photoshop. However, that's just a guess.

Hope that helps.

John
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madmanchan
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« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2010, 10:49:42 AM »
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Yes, in general you would need to experiment a bit with the settings in LR. There are a couple of presets there in LR 3 to get you started (Sharpening - Narrow Edges (Scenic), and Sharpening - Wide Edges (Faces)). To adjust the narrow/wide aspect of the sharpening, tweak the Radius slider. To bring out more texture (and skin anomalies!), bump up Detail. To adjust the "volume" or "amount" of sharpening, tweak the Amount. Hope this helps!
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jarnold439
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« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2010, 12:34:01 PM »
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Quote from: madmanchan
Yes, in general you would need to experiment a bit with the settings in LR. There are a couple of presets there in LR 3 to get you started (Sharpening - Narrow Edges (Scenic), and Sharpening - Wide Edges (Faces)). To adjust the narrow/wide aspect of the sharpening, tweak the Radius slider. To bring out more texture (and skin anomalies!), bump up Detail. To adjust the "volume" or "amount" of sharpening, tweak the Amount. Hope this helps!

Eric,

In the second edition of Jeff Schewe's Image Sharpening book, he suggested experimenting with re-setting the default for the Detail setting to 50. I followed his advice and for my purposes I found that it seemed like a better starting point with the average image. In Lightroom 3 that definitely seems too aggressive. So it appears that in general the detail slider has been changed to apply more aggressive textural sharpening at lower settings. Is that correct and would you say that the Lightroom Detail setting default of 25 is a better starting point?

Also, I am trying to get my head around the new noise reduction sliders. Clearly even at the defaults the noise reduction in Lightroom 3 is vastly superior to Lightroom 2. But since I really want to understand the optimal approach to using the new sliders, I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of any internet links or writings that suggest a workflow where the new noise reduction capabilities are concerned.

Thank you.

John
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Schewe
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« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2010, 12:43:56 PM »
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Quote from: GarethJolly
Finally, LR's print output sharpening simply distinguishes between matte and glossy, but there is also an entry for print resolution (set to 240ppi by default).  If I simply set this to (say) matte with 480 ppi, is this the same as Inkjet 480 Matte on PKS?  Or is this setting unrelated to sharpening?

Frankly, I much prefer to print out of Lightroom even if the image has to do a round trip from LR>PS>LR to do so. Why? Because I will only ever need to spawn off a single rendered image and set the print dimensions I want in Lightroom and let it automatically output sharpen for the resolution I send it.

In terms of output resolution, there is no "default" resolution. If 240ppi is entered, you must have entered it. Generally, I don't actually set a fixed resolution but un-check the resolution so the image will be the correct size and the resolution will be the natives for that print size and then let Lightroom do the output sharpening...

The only time I would override the native resolution is when I have a high rez file (like from a Phase One P-65+ back) where I want to lock in very high resolution. Then I would enter in 720ppi in the resolution entry. (I use 720ppi because I use Epsons, for Canon and HP the number would be 600ppi). You may also find that some images will render better with less aliasing artifacts in high contrast diagonals, circles and super high frequency textures by taking whatever your native resolution is and upsampling to 720ppi in Lightroom. Your milage may vary, something to test.

Bottom line, I find it a vastly superior workflow to be able to set up and make efficient use of Lightroom's output sharpening as well as the ability to save templates for all my printers and paper sizes...then to make a print, I select the correct template, select the images and hit Print. The only thing I need to worry about is making sure there is paper in the printer :~)
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Photo Op
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« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2010, 01:04:03 PM »
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Quote from: Schewe
Bottom line, I find it a vastly superior workflow to be able to set up and make efficient use of Lightroom's output sharpening as well as the ability to save templates for all my printers and paper sizes...then to make a print, I select the correct template, select the images and hit Print. The only thing I need to worry about is making sure there is paper in the printer :~)

Jeff-from previous threads, would I be correct in assuming these are images (tiffs) you have soft proofed already in CSx?
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David
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2010, 01:32:18 PM »
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Quote from: Photo Op
Jeff-from previous threads, would I be correct in assuming these are images (tiffs) you have soft proofed already in CSx?


Yep...I send the raws to Photoshop for retouching and soft proofing, and save the layered TIFFs back into Lightroom for printing...I specifically DON'T do output sharpening in Photoshop because that is too restrictive...
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Photo Op
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« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2010, 06:41:08 PM »
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Quote from: Schewe
Yep...I send the raws to Photoshop for retouching and soft proofing, and save the layered TIFFs back into Lightroom for printing...I specifically DON'T do output sharpening in Photoshop because that is too restrictive...

Thanks. That's what I thought.
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David
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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2010, 12:55:25 AM »
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Jeff,

In "Camera to Print" you mentioned that 480ppi was the upper limit for output resolution with the printers available at the time... indicating (if I recall correctly) that printer drivers would to some degree "choke" on anything higher.   What has changed so that that upper limit is now 720ppi?  Does this apply to certain Epson printers, or all including say, the 3800 on up?

(And BTW... can anyone tell me why the LR3 Print module does not display the output resolution when the "Print Resolution" box is UNchecked?  Or, how do you turn this on?  I've looked, searched the help but can't seem to find it)
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Schewe
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« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2010, 01:03:42 AM »
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Quote from: englishm
What has changed so that that upper limit is now 720ppi?

60MP camera backs and printers like the Epson 9900 that have 360 nozzles/inch...(in other words, the world changed)

When we made Camera to Print, we weren't even at LR 2.x with built in automatic output sharpening. Once we started testing LR 3 with really big files and really high resolution output, it was decided (ok, I decided) that we needed to go past the 180-480ppi rez.

If you print on Canon or HP, the number is 600ppi not 720ppi.

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can anyone tell me why the LR3 Print module does not display the output resolution when the "Print Resolution" box is UNchecked

Unless you check the option to show Dimension in the Guides panel, you won't see the size and resolution of your images...you really wanna check that option.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2010, 01:08:02 AM by Schewe » Logged
jgbowerman
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« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2010, 08:05:23 AM »
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I use a Canon printer (6100 and now the 8300), and want to mention the Canon printer plugin is simple and effective (although still only available in 32-bit mode). Canon's latest print plugin (x300 series) allows for convenient soft proofing where I determine rendering intent. I do apply PhotoKit output sharpening prior to activating the print plugin, but to go to Lightroom from the Canon Plugin seems an extra unnecessary step in the workflow. That said, I never have printed out of Lightroom and I am not all that familiar with Epson or HP printers. But it seems to me this choice of whether one chooses to print out of LR or out of PS has to do with the brand of printer. For Canon users, I vote for printing out of PS.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2010, 08:18:05 AM by peninsula » Logged

Schewe
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2010, 12:19:14 PM »
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Quote from: peninsula
But it seems to me this choice of whether one chooses to print out of LR or out of PS has to do with the brand of printer.

Not at all...it has EVERYTHING to do with your workflow and the ease of printing from Lightroom with considerably less chance for error. Say you print from Photoshop and you want to make prints from 5 different images. How would you do that in Photoshop? You would have to open each image, set the size and resolution. If you changed from the saved file state, you may need to re-run output sharpening. If you wanted to alter the size, you would need to do that and decided whether or not you wanted to spawn off another saved file. Then for each image you would need to properly set up all of Photoshop's print parameters and all of the driver parameters–for EACH of the files you want to print.

Here's how you would do it in Lightroom, select the 5 images, select the printing template and hit print.

So, you decided, how many prints do you make? How many times do you want to open and maybe save new files to keep track of? How many times do you have to properly set each and every settings in Photoshop and the print driver (plug-in)?

Now, not to mention that Lightroom has automative on the fly output sharpening, can save you from having to resize images simply to make different size prints and the fact that the "images" are already in Lightroom so you don't have to "open" anything to make prints. Just select the images, the template and print.

If you haven't printed out of Lightroom, surely you don't know the benefits...
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jgbowerman
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2010, 12:32:28 PM »
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Quote from: Schewe
Not at all...it has EVERYTHING to do with your workflow...

If you haven't printed out of Lightroom, surely you don't know the benefits...

I have no argument with the points made. I only print one file at a time, so for me, PS works fine in this regard. I like the precise control of parameters when printing out of photoshop. Kind of like my camera, I like keeping the automated settings Off for the most part. I don't even like auto-focus. I guess it is a matter of habit to some degree, having more say about what is going on instead of letting someone more brilliant than my self handle things like sharpening behind the scene. Old style, stubborn, call me whatever fits. I like what I'm getting... it works for me.

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jarnold439
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« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2010, 12:40:10 PM »
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Quote from: Schewe
If you haven't printed out of Lightroom, surely you don't know the benefits...

Jeff,

This is off topic but rather than start a new thread and since it's a question directed to you I will just post here. Having recently upgraded to LR3 and wanting to get up to speed as quickly as possible I was wondering if you could suggest any existing sources for information on how to approach the new noise reduction sliders. I have purchased the LuLa Lightroom 3 tutorial and am looking forward to your coverage of the develop module. In the meantime, I was wondering if you could suggest any existing sources of information.

John
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englishm
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« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2010, 03:06:28 PM »
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Thanks, Jeff.

Quote from: Schewe
...you really wanna check that option.

I did.  Thanks again
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Schewe
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« Reply #15 on: August 02, 2010, 10:36:48 PM »
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Quote from: jarnold439
In the meantime, I was wondering if you could suggest any existing sources of information.

Martin Evening's The Lightroom 3 Book
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madmanchan
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« Reply #16 on: August 02, 2010, 11:15:49 PM »
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Quote from: jarnold439
Eric,

In the second edition of Jeff Schewe's Image Sharpening book, he suggested experimenting with re-setting the default for the Detail setting to 50. I followed his advice and for my purposes I found that it seemed like a better starting point with the average image. In Lightroom 3 that definitely seems too aggressive. So it appears that in general the detail slider has been changed to apply more aggressive textural sharpening at lower settings. Is that correct and would you say that the Lightroom Detail setting default of 25 is a better starting point?

Also, I am trying to get my head around the new noise reduction sliders. Clearly even at the defaults the noise reduction in Lightroom 3 is vastly superior to Lightroom 2. But since I really want to understand the optimal approach to using the new sliders, I was wondering if you could point me in the direction of any internet links or writings that suggest a workflow where the new noise reduction capabilities are concerned.

Thank you.

John

Hi John, I do think 25 for Detail is a good starting point for LR 3's sharpening. I would say that I tweaked the baseline in LR 3 (and various internal parameters) specifically so that a Detail setting of 25 would work well in many cases, out of the box. For portraits, skin, etc. you will probably not want to go above that, and may want to bring it down to 15 or 10. For finely-detailed landscapes and anything with considerable texture, you will likely want to increase Detail to bring out that extra bite. (As an example, skin itself has texture, and if you crank up Detail you will bring out that texture in the skin ... the good and the bad!!)

For the NR sliders, in my experience you can just deal with the Luminance and Color sliders (i.e., the ones we had before) -- these are the "volume" controls -- in many cases. Where the other sliders (Luminance Detail, Color Detail, etc.) become more interesting and visible is when you have extremely noisy images, usually the last couple of ISO settings available on the camera. For example, on the 5D Mark II this would be about ISO 6400 and up. Don't bother trying to muck with the Luminance Detail, Luminance Contrast, and Color Detail sliders for low-to-moderate ISO settings.

If I do have an excessively noisy image, then I will generally set Luminance and Color sliders both to 25 as a starting point and tweak from there. I use Luminance Detail and Color Detail to refine the handling of color speckles. The lower values you use, the smoother the results (and the less fine detail retained, as the names suggest).
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jarnold439
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« Reply #17 on: August 03, 2010, 12:12:22 AM »
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Quote from: madmanchan
Hi John, I do think 25 for Detail is a good starting point for LR 3's sharpening. I would say that I tweaked the baseline in LR 3 (and various internal parameters) specifically so that a Detail setting of 25 would work well in many cases, out of the box. For portraits, skin, etc. you will probably not want to go above that, and may want to bring it down to 15 or 10. For finely-detailed landscapes and anything with considerable texture, you will likely want to increase Detail to bring out that extra bite. (As an example, skin itself has texture, and if you crank up Detail you will bring out that texture in the skin ... the good and the bad!!)

For the NR sliders, in my experience you can just deal with the Luminance and Color sliders (i.e., the ones we had before) -- these are the "volume" controls -- in many cases. Where the other sliders (Luminance Detail, Color Detail, etc.) become more interesting and visible is when you have extremely noisy images, usually the last couple of ISO settings available on the camera. For example, on the 5D Mark II this would be about ISO 6400 and up. Don't bother trying to muck with the Luminance Detail, Luminance Contrast, and Color Detail sliders for low-to-moderate ISO settings.

If I do have an excessively noisy image, then I will generally set Luminance and Color sliders both to 25 as a starting point and tweak from there. I use Luminance Detail and Color Detail to refine the handling of color speckles. The lower values you use, the smoother the results (and the less fine detail retained, as the names suggest).

Eric,

Thanks for the thorough answer! It's very helpful.
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jarnold439
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« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2010, 12:13:28 AM »
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Quote from: Schewe
Martin Evening's The Lightroom 3 Book

Thank you.
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Mike Louw
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« Reply #19 on: August 03, 2010, 04:53:36 PM »
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I don't use Lightroom much (I produce too few images), but currently use it for output sharpening and then printing using ImagePrint, as Photokit Sharpener is not available in 64-bit for Mac. I understand the LR sharpening is based on the Photokit sharpener algorithms; it looks like it anyway.

However, I'd prefer to use PKS in 64-bit CS5 on my Mac, as this would suit my workflow better. Jeff, can I coax you into hinting at a possible release date for PKS 64-bit for Mac?.........
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