Sharpenning in Lightroom

MarathonMax

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This will sound oh so stupid but reading Mark Evening's book on Lightroom, I just discovered the Sharpen command.


I shoot RAW with my Nikon D90 and I have up to now never used any sharpening.


So, the "oh so stupid question" is:


- Should I sharpen and if so by how much?
- Also, should I apply sharpening on import?


Tkx


Max


--
Max
maxphotoblog.net
 

Happy Haggis

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it's certainly not a stupid question, sharpening is nearly as bad as colour management in terms of the differing opinions on the subject! There's the 'old school' attitude that no sharpening should be carried out until the end of the editing process and at the other extreme are those that advocate 2 or 3 lots of sharpening at different stages of the process. Personally, I do a light sharpen at the start of my edit and then another for output. It really depends on the image - there's no magic formula. LR does come with some presets for capture sharpening and you may find them a good starting point. :)
 

Brad Snyder

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If you're familiar with the cooking recipe instruction, 'season to taste'; that pretty much describes sharpening.

Current conventional thinking is that sharpening is to be performed in 3 stages.

1. Capture sharpening. Most digital cameras contain a 'low-pass' optical filter in front of the sensor to reduce aliasing at the sensor sites. This has the unwanted side effect of 'filtering out' sharp edges. Post processing software needs to restore this information, which can sort of be determined mathematically from the sensor matrix data. Lr has this built into the 'camera calibration profiles'. That's why the sharpening setting in Lr defaults to 25, so you can reduce it if you choose to.

2. Creative sharpening This is the 'season to taste" part, Lr provides both global and local tools to allow you to adjust the image to your sensibilities.

3. Output sharpening This is another round to adapt the image to the idiosyncrasies of the particular output mechanism. Display screens are different from printers, and matte paper is different from glossy, and yada, yada. Like capture sharpening, this is pretty well characterized, and deterministic. Once you know what the output channel will be, Lr can automatically match it.

Most of this derives from a seminal paper authored by the late Bruce Fraser and Jeff Schewe in conjunction with the rest of the folks at Pixel Genius who developed sharpening software . A google search will turn it up. The good news is the Pixel Genius technology forms the basis of Lr's sharpening methods.
 

Roscoe17

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So, how do you globally sharpen (to taste) without affecting the capture sharpening that was done with the Develop|Detail section?
 

MarathonMax

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Having recently switched to LR4 I have noticed that on pics imported using the new process (LR 4 2012?) the default sharpening settings are something like +25 as opposed to +0 with LR3. This refelct reality better, ie that LR4 does automatically apply some sharpening on input.
 
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I don't actually think there's a difference between LR3 and 4....default import sharpening at 25 on both, I think.
 
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There's a difference between raw and JPEG defaults - JPEGs set sharpening to 0 by default as it assumes that the camera will have applied sharpening.
 

mhilbush

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1. Capture sharpening. [snip] Lr has this built into the 'camera calibration profiles'. That's why the sharpening setting in Lr defaults to 25, so you can reduce it if you choose to.

I want to make sure I understand what you are saying here. Does the camera calibration profile get applied automatically by Lr (assuming Lr can detect the camera type)?

Mark
 
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