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Sharpening D800e images with CNX2

mklass

Tacoma, US
7437 posts

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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Mon 25-Mar-13 10:47 AM

I'm curious what your sharpening settings are as owners of D800e who use Capture NX2 for processing. While I will vary the sharpening to suit a particular image, I have always found with most cameras that there is a good base setting that will work for most images.

First off, I shoot with a modified Standard picture control with contrast boosted to +1 and sharpening set to 6. (As opposed to the unmodified Standaard picture control with contrast at 0 and sharpening at 3.)

What I have found works for me is to apply USM in CNX2 at 100% intensity, with a radius of 1 and threshold of 1. This is much different thatn my D3s or D300s (or even D700 or D700 when I had them), where a much lower intensity (35-65%) and higher radius (3-5) and threshold (1-3).

What do you use?

Mick
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gpoole

Farmington Hills, US
4132 posts

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#1. "RE: Sharpening D800e images with CNX2" | In response to Reply # 0

gpoole Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundrasing Campaing 2014 Writer Ribbon awarded for his article contributions for the Articles library and the eZine Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004
Mon 25-Mar-13 12:15 PM | edited Mon 25-Mar-13 12:18 PM by gpoole

I use Jason Odells recommendation of using a combination of High Pass and USM for my D800e images. It works great for me.

Mick, do you turn off the in camera sharpening in the Camera Settings section of CNX2, or are you just adding the USM step to what you have set in camera?

Gary in SE Michigan, USA.
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mklass

Tacoma, US
7437 posts

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#2. "RE: Sharpening D800e images with CNX2" | In response to Reply # 1

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Mon 25-Mar-13 12:38 PM

Gary,

What are your typical settings for High Pass and USM when you use them together?

I generally leave the in camera picture control setting in place in CNX. The pretty we approximate what I want to end up with anyway. If I was just going to turn them off in CNX, I wouldn't bother with them in camera. So, anything I apply in CNX is usually additive.

Mick
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gpoole

Farmington Hills, US
4132 posts

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#3. "RE: Sharpening D800e images with CNX2" | In response to Reply # 2

gpoole Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundrasing Campaing 2014 Writer Ribbon awarded for his article contributions for the Articles library and the eZine Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004
Mon 25-Mar-13 01:00 PM

I usually leave the settings at Jason's recommendations

  • High Pass: Radius 1, Opacity Overlay blending mode at 85%.
  • USM: Intensity 100%, Radius 1, Threshold 5.
This works fine for landscapes and other nature. For portraits I would probably soften this a bit by backing off on the USM intensity.

From what I've read you would be better off setting the sharpening to zero in the develop section. This sharpening is just a USM step where you are changing the intensity without being able to control the radius or threshold. I leave the picture control settings normal in the camera to be able to better judge the image on the LCD. In CNX2 Camera Settings I change the Picture Control from "Unchanged" to the one I want for the image. Usually I select the same picture control as I used in the camera. Doing this allows me to change the in camera sharpening under the "Advanced" arrow point. I move the slider to zero. Now I have full control of the image sharpening in my edit steps.

Gary in SE Michigan, USA.
Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera.
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walkerr

Colorado Springs, US
16971 posts

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#4. "RE: Sharpening D800e images with CNX2" | In response to Reply # 3

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Mon 25-Mar-13 01:15 PM

Those settings look good to me when I apply them in NX2. Using a Picture Control setting of "6" looks pretty overcooked to me, with or without additional USM sharpening, presuming this is capture sharpening.

Rick Walker

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gpoole

Farmington Hills, US
4132 posts

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#5. "RE: Sharpening D800e images with CNX2" | In response to Reply # 4

gpoole Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Awarded for his very generous support to the Fundrasing Campaing 2014 Writer Ribbon awarded for his article contributions for the Articles library and the eZine Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004
Mon 25-Mar-13 01:23 PM

Yes, it's only capture sharpening that I'm writing about.

Gary in SE Michigan, USA.
Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera.
D4, D810, D300 (720nm IR conversion), D90, F6, FM3a (black), FM2n (chrome)
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jamesvoortman

Durban, ZA
1479 posts

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#6. "RE: Sharpening D800e images with CNX2" | In response to Reply # 5

jamesvoortman Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Sep 2004
Mon 25-Mar-13 04:28 PM | edited Mon 25-Mar-13 04:32 PM by jamesvoortman

I normally shoot with the standard picture control but sharpening quite low at 3. This gives nice enough results for the snapshots and documentary pics that will be kept but not worked up further. I find that when using high sharpening settings in-camera (6 to 9 range) it tends to accentuate high ISO noise and also makes subesquent sharpening more tricky.
For the keepers that I will work up and print or publish to the web I remove the in-camera sharpening altogether in the "camera settings" menu. Then, after making all other changes I use USM on a selection mask (soft brush) and sharpen only the bits I want. This avoids texturing of the out-of-focus areas and softly toned areas (like sky and clouds) but leaves a crisp emphasis on the subject. On the D800 I normally use intensity 40% to 60% with a radius of 3 and threshold of 0 - seems to work for me. On the D300 I used to use intensity about 40% to 80% and radius 4 or 5 - also with a selection mask. Must try Jason's recommendations sometime

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