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What is the best order to complete noise reduction?

adonetok

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Most time I use Lr Detail function to reduce noise.

There are so many controls:

1) Sarpening, including amount, radius, dtail and masking sliders
2) Noise Reduction, including luminance, detail, contrast, color, detail, smoothness sliders.

Every time, I just radom select a slider to move from left to right or right to left.
 
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I prefer to reduce noise before I sharpen. Playing around will help you see how the sliders impact the image, but this is one set of controls where a video tutorial or two helps a lot. There are a lot of tips depending on the subject matter that can help. I would recommend a quick YouTube search.

--Ken
 
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You may prefer a certain order of things because it suits you best, but do remember that Lightroom is a parametric editor. That means that Lightroom will determine the order of the editing process, regardless of the order you used when changing the sliders. So to answer the title of the thread: there is no ‘best’ order. Any order will do fine and the results will not be different.
 

Woodbutcher

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I have an ISO dependent develop preset that I apply as part of my import preset. It sets sharpening, mask, detail, NR based on image ISO. So my starting point for sharpening and NR is done immediately. Now, that is just a starting point and I work the rest of the image manually then may tweak those later. In fact, I have another preset that resets them to defaults if I decide I'm going to use Topaz DenoiseAI to clean up the image instead of my LR settings.

Forgot to mention that about the only thing I've heard that should be done late in the process is clone/healing. If I remember correctly it has something to do with those being recalculated every time the image gets update (like a slider change, for example). Pretty sure that was the reason.
 
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The edit adjustment will be applied in the order determined by LR. For that reason, it does not matter what order you do adjustments in LrC. Do all of your adjustments edits in Lightroom Classic. If you are still not satisfied with NR, consider an external editor on an exported finished derivative. If using a Thord party NR tool you might consider not doing NR in LR before you use the external editor. Although I have not seen much difference whether LrC NR was applied to the derivative or not.
 

PhilBurton

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So, if I want to use a third party noise reduction program that exports a TIFF, is this the best workflow?
  1. Import my RAW file.
  2. Change color balance and related settings.
  3. Immediately do the noise reduction operation.
  4. Use the resulting TIFF for the balacnce of DEVELOP work.
Phil
 
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So, if I want to use a third party noise reduction program that exports a TIFF, is this the best workflow?
  1. Import my RAW file.
  2. Change color balance and related settings.
  3. Immediately do the noise reduction operation.
  4. Use the resulting TIFF for the balacnce of DEVELOP work.
Phil
This does not seem practical for me. Complete ALL adjustments in LrC. Then and only then, if you need a 3rd party NR tool would you create a intermediate derivative TIFF. Both the RAW original and the NR adjusted TIFF represent finished products. You only need for LrC to manage each as a finished image and not keep track of what adjustments are associated with which image


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So, if I want to use a third party noise reduction program that exports a TIFF, is this the best workflow?
  1. Import my RAW file.
  2. Change color balance and related settings.
  3. Immediately do the noise reduction operation.
  4. Use the resulting TIFF for the balacnce of DEVELOP work.
Phil
As said earlier, the order of things is not important as long as you do stuff in Lightroom. As soon as you send an image from Lightroom to an external editor, that obviously changes however, because that creates a new file. Noise reduction is best done as early in the process as possible, and before you do any sharpening. So yes, if you know that the image needs a specialised noise reduction plugin, then it makes sense to send it to that plugin before you do most of the other work. Just make sure you have removed any highlight or shadow clipping before you send the image to the plugin, because clipping cannot be undone on an RGB image. You may also consider to zero out the default sharpening settings, so you can do all the sharpening on the image that comes back.
 
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Use the resulting TIFF for the balacnce of DEVELOP work
Personally, I do all develop work in LR before using Topaz DeNoise or Sharpening for finishing. External editor is the last step. I have started zeroing out the default sharpening in LR before sending it to Topaz.
 

Jimmsp

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Personally, I do all develop work in LR before using Topaz DeNoise or Sharpening for finishing. External editor is the last step. I have started zeroing out the default sharpening in LR before sending it to Topaz.
I am almost like you - except I do apply what is generally called "capture sharpening" in LR before I send it to Topaz. I have also found that on most images with my Canon 90 D that if I apply a little noise reduction in LR before sending to Topaz that I get a better result from Topaz. That "little noise reduction" is consistent with the levels I would use on a ISO 100 or ISO 200 shot which is probably mostly shot noise.
 

PhilBurton

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Clee01 and Johan,

There seems to be a difference of opinion. Can you discuss further, for the benefit of everyone who reads this thread.

Phil [who is NOT trolling here]
 
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I wrestle with detail control as well and have evaluated third party NR/denoise apps as well, but never have pulled the trigger on additional apps on top of my Lightroom Subscription. Taking this discussion in a different direction, I think it is important to recognize sitting in front of a monitor with my face 18” to 24” from the screen and viewing the image to fit screen or 1:1 for noise adjustment - is this the way we will ultimately view our photos? I am hardly ever satisfied while viewing images in this manner. Are we going to print them? If “yes,” wouldn’t that require test prints to review the effect of detail adjustments? Are we posting on social media at 600 dpi or 1,000 dpi (width )? How are we ultimately viewing the final product to determine if any detail adjustments matter at all? I guess what I am trying to say is the order of ANY image adjustments is not as critical as how the final image will be enjoyed.
 
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The same set of adjustments will give the same result whatever the order in which they were applied. However, a given order can lead to make different decisions (based on what you currently see after the first adjustments) and thus may lead to a different adjustment set. That's why it is recommend to follow the "natural" (or logical) order suggested by the LR UI.
 
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Clee01 and Johan,

There seems to be a difference of opinion. Can you discuss further, for the benefit of everyone who reads this thread.
I think that the difference is mainly what priority you have. Do you want the most practical solution, then I would say that Clee’s suggestion is more practical than mine. Do you want to get the best possible image quality, then I believe my suggestion does that. I already explained my reason to believe that. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so anyone should try for themselves what suits them best.
 
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Clee01 and Johan,

There seems to be a difference of opinion. Can you discuss further, for the benefit of everyone who reads this thread.

Phil [who is NOT trolling here]
Actually the only difference of opinion is when to call the external editor. My preference would be to ALWAYS perform LR edits before exporting to an external editor.
There are several reason for this:
When converting RAW to RGB, it is not possible to get to RGB without applying SOME develop settings like WB, tone adjustments, sharpening and minimal noise reduction. Having done that, it would be not possible to send an unedited RGB image to the third party editor like DeNoise.
The other option and the only one that meets Johan’s requirement to edit in LrC after DeNoise, would be to send the RAW file to DeNoise. And then edits the by LR on the finished DeNoise TIFF.
I have always maintained that LrC should get every advantage to maximize its editing capability on the file before calling an external editor. Whether you apply LRs NR before the external editor is subjective and for this I could go either way. Personally, I have seen little difference in sending a file to DeNoise that has has LrC NR already applied.
Another reason to work with the RAW file to its maximum is that the edit adjustment sliders are different for RGB files and RAW files. One big example is WB. WB can be fine tuned while working with the RAW data. When converted to RGB, the WB is fixed and further adjustments are relative to the fixed WB set when converted to RGB.

I find having to manage intermediate TIFFs in the LR catalog in addition to the original RAW file to be troublesome . For this reason I avoid external editors as much as possible


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