First, the mods may want to move this to the Digital Post-Processing forum but, as the question is specific to handling D7100 files, I thought I would try here first.
I have recently bought a D7100 and am still experimenting with processing the RAW NEF files in Photoshop CS6 using the latest (non-cloud) ACR 8.1. Coming from a D700, handling the higher pixel count and the lack of low-pass filter, probably means I need new to use different settings.
My issue is I am finding the D7100 files a bit noisy (compared to the D700). If I try to remove the noise, I also lose some of the sharpness. So I am interested to see what input sharpening and noise reduction settings other people find works for them. Here is what I am using so far:
#1. "RE: D7100 Adobe Sharpening / Noise Settings" In response to Reply # 0
Colorado Springs, US
The settings should vary with the subject matter and the ISO. What kinds of subjects are you typically photographing and what ISO range do you intend for those settings to work? Just glancing through yours, those look like higher ISO ones in general. That means you'll lose detail at low ISOs.
#2. "RE: D7100 Adobe Sharpening / Noise Settings" In response to Reply # 0 Sun 28-Jul-13 01:50 AM by Rassie
I had the same problem as you when editing raw files of my D7000 in Photoshop CS5. Coming from the 12 MP D90 to the 16 MP D7000 I also noticed an increase in graininess. I don't know if it noise as such because noise reduction in PS CS5 does not seem to help much.
Someone mentioned in one of these forums that one needs to reduce the sharpening in ACR when working with the higher megapixel files. So I scaled back on sharpening in ACR and do more sharpening in the CS5 editor.
So my default ACR settings are: Sharpening 25 at radius of 1. Detail and masking both 25. Luminance 25. Luminance contrast, colour and colour detail are all set at 50. Not sure where these should be, but I have them at 50 because I have not seen much difference when moving these sliders from left to right.
Sometimes I vary these settings above a bit for individual pictures since they are all different.
When I then open such an edited raw file in the CS5 I often then sharpen between 40% and 60% more. This way I get less graininess.
#3. "Lens sharpness comparisons." In response to Reply # 0
Thank you both Rick and Rassie.
It is pouring with rain here, so an excuse to stay indoors and do some testing of the D7100 and lens. I had bought a secondhand 16-85mm VR and it appears this is very soft compared to my 24-70mm. This from doing a tripod mounted check side by side. Of course I knew it wouldn't be a match but I am quite surprised how poorly the 16-85mm is performing, so I suspect it needs a service or something because it really is soft. I think this is what has been causing me to be using higher sharpening, trying to make an unsharp lens sharp !!
I have uploaded some comparisons crops from my tests. All were taken at 70mm and f/5.6 with the camera choosing slightly different shutter speeds (VR off), and with no sharpening applied in ACR or Photoshop.
Top: Nikon 16-85mm VR Middle: Nikon 24-70mm Bottom: Lumix 35-100mm on my GH3
I think what most surprises me is how sharp the little Lumix m43 is, as good as the Nikon 24-70mm !! The banding on the last picture is because I used the electronic shutter rather than the mechanical shutter to reduce vibration.
I need to decide what to do with the 16-85mm. Although I am tempted to just keep the GH3 now, I had thought the D7100 would be a step up in IQ but apart from extra pixels, I am not sure that is the case.
#4. "RE: Lens sharpness comparisons." In response to Reply # 3
St Petersburg, RU
Are you using Live View for these test? That would eliminate the always present question of focusing. Sharpening is not going to fix that 16-85 image. At f/5.6 both are good but 5.6 is the widest the 16-85 offers and performs better at f/8. I would expect the 24-70 to be sharper since it is optimized for 2.8-5.6 where it is competitive to many primes at the middle focal lengths. If the test was at f/8 or smaller they might be closer but the 24-70 is a different class of lens. Normally the 16-85 is sharp so either the test introduced focus problems(shutter speed, shake or AF performance). Live view would some of the variables in the test. It might be simply a matter of AF fine tuning needed for the 16-85. Stan St Petersburg Russia
#5. "RE: Lens sharpness comparisons." In response to Reply # 4
I tried both live view and normal focussing, because originally I assumed the lens might be front/back focussing and needed some fine tuning. It turns out to make no significant difference, so it isn't a fine tuning issue, just a 'not very good lens' issue. Whether this is because the lens is faulty or this is just its normal performance, I am not sure.
You are right, though, and it does sharpen up a bit as I stop down to f/8 or f/11 but never reaches near the same sharpness as the 24-70mm wide open.
I used to have another 16-85mm with my old D300, and don't recall it being this soft, but then that was a 12 MPx camera. I since traded to the D700 but found I preferred a lighter kit, hence the foray back to DX.
Having spent the weekend testing and comparing the GH3 against the D7100, I am coming to the conclusion there is very little difference between the two, which surprises me. Here is one from yesterday (and a crop) with the D7100 and 16-85mm @ 40mm, f/7.1, 1/320s handheld at a distance of around 5m (both unsharpened). This would be too soft to sell to a stock agency IMO. Also another (bottom one) from the GH3, which seems sharper (look at the lace curtain) even though there were fewer pixels to crop from due to its smaller sensor and lower pixel count.
#6. "RE: Lens sharpness comparisons." In response to Reply # 3 Sun 28-Jul-13 01:37 PM by walkerr
Colorado Springs, US
We're really mixing together two completely different subjects. I would agree with Stan that you need to do some tests to determine what's really happening with your new camera and lens.
First, realize that LR or ACR adjusts the sharpening amount to the camera body. A D7000 receives more sharpening than a D7100 when set to the same settings, so there's already some compensation going on that you don't need to worry about.
Regarding sharpening settings, I'd really need to know what I mentioned in the first note: what are the primary subjects you photograph (not the only ones) and do you primarily work at base ISO or are you almost always at an elevated one. BTW, your settings aren't too high given the amount of NR you're applying, which is essentially reversing some of the sharpening effects.
Here's a starting point for finely detailed subjects at low ISO:
Raise the masking value to 50 and then start increasing the Luminance value as you get to 800 or higher, but don't go crazy. Start with 10 or 15 and watch what happens with the image. Masking obviates the need for noise reduction in many situations and is a much better way to work with the image. Raising the masking value restricts sharpening to areas lacking detail (blank walls, surfaces, skies) so you're not just sharpening noise. Also, don't try to eliminate every trace of noise. It's not necessary with cameras with higher pixel counts and is often counterproductive.
These settings are solely for capture sharpening. When you output the image (screen, print), you'll need to apply the appropriate sharpening for that step.