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Author Topic: New NIK Sharpener Pro 2 vs FocalBlade  (Read 4889 times)
Hermie
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« on: September 06, 2005, 05:03:03 AM »
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Gave Nik Sharpener Pro 2 a try some time ago and found its sharpening very aggressive. When applying the filter(s) the luminosity histogram just jumps to the right.
I haven't tested it on paper though and know that the ultimate proof is in the pudding/print, BUT:

I have however extensively tested PK Sharpener on a D-lab printer. I've sent numerous pictures to a lab with different sharpening settings.

My conclusion was that anything BEYOND PK Sharpener setting is TOO sharp (I've printed images with sharpening settings beyond PK Sharpener). It just doesn't look natural anymore. Nik Sharpener Pro goes way beyond PK Sharpener setting.

What bothers me is the difference in sharpening between Photokit and Nik. Nik is so much more aggressive. How is it possible that those 2 pieces of software, both created for media specific sharpening, behave so differently. I mean both companies probably used a lot of real world data to set their sharpening parameters and yet there's such a difference.

Most of the time I use Uwe's Steinmueller's (www.outbackphoto.com) EasyS sharpening, but as a target point I use Photokit Sharpener.

I set the media specific sharpening in Photokit and try to get the same sharpeness in EasyS by changing the layer's opacity.

Herman
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Hermie
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2005, 01:17:00 AM »
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My only minor quibble with it is that on some images it can brighten the subject matter a bit - not sharpening halos, but just some brightening from "speckles" that are noticeable on dark surfaces. I've managed this where really annoying by black painting in the layer mask for the Light Contour, and it helps - but also slightly reduces the sharpening impact, which on these kind of surfaces is often not important anyhow. I'm curious whether you've experienced this issue and what you do about it.
I think I know what you mean. Take one of those "problem" images and use the demo version of Uwe Steimueller's EasyS on it (demo is limited to 2000 x 2000 pixels).
 
For output sharpening (inkjet/lab printer) use the "normal" sharpening action "Sharpen (halo control, new layer with Mask) N", and set the sharpening layer's opacity to something like 70-80% (about the same level of sharpening as PK Sharpener).

Let us know your findings !

See:
http://www.outbackphoto.com/workflow/wf_66/essay.html
http://www.outbackphoto.com/filters....emo.zip

Herman
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Hermie
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2005, 05:23:16 AM »
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Hey guys, how about keeping to my topic: NIK Sharpener Pro 2.0 vs Focalblade.
Bud,

I gave you my opinion on Nik.

I did use Focalblade in the past. It's one of the most flexible and best sharpening tools out there. For me personally, too many tweakable sliders & stuff. I really like the "simplicity" of PK Sharpener and Uwe's EasyS. You just change a layer's opacity to tweak the outcome.

Please note that Nik takes a somewhat different approach compared to Focalblade. Both Nik and PK Shapener come with lots of presets to sharpen for specific output. Compared to Focalblade, there's not that much to tweak.
Nik and PK also do capture sharpening, but again I find Nik's default setting for capture sharpening way too sharp.

Herman
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budjames
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« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2005, 04:35:44 AM »
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As a FocalBlade user, I'm curious if other users have any experiences to compare to the latest from NIK, Shapener Pro 2.0?

Bud
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Bud James
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www.budjamesphotography.com
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2005, 08:16:30 PM »
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Hermie, I'm with you - I think Photokit Sharpener Pro is the greatest thing since sliced bread for sharpening. Phenominal flexibility and control in a totally non-destructive mode - what more could one ask? Adobe should make a deal with PixelGenius to bundle a copy in every Photoshop box.

My only minor quibble with it is that on some images it can brighten the subject matter a bit - not sharpening halos, but just some brightening from "speckles" that are noticeable on dark surfaces. I've managed this where really annoying by black painting in the layer mask for the Light Contour, and it helps - but also slightly reduces the sharpening impact, which on these kind of surfaces is often not important anyhow. I'm curious whether you've experienced this issue and what you do about it.
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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
budjames
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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2005, 04:21:51 AM »
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Hey guys, how about keeping to my topic: NIK Sharpener Pro 2.0 vs Focalblade.

Thanks.

Bud
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Bud James
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www.budjamesphotography.com
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2005, 07:49:42 AM »
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Thanks for the suggestion Herman. As soon as time permits and I come accross the next such problem I shall give it a try and let you know what happens.

Mark
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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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