I use sharpening 70, radius 1.3, detail 25, and masking 0 as a starting point in Lightroom. I don't recall if this was my modification of the default settings, or if I got it from a web site, but I can say that it works fairly well. That said, I see images that benefit from Smart Sharpening when I go into Photoshop to finish my images and print them.
I would like to eliminate the sharpening step in PS, especially for images that I won't pull into PS. For example, over the next week or so I will process about 2,000 images from a large event that I covered, and I don't intend to pull each image in PS to finish sharpening.
So, my question to our distinguished BB members is this: What detail settings have you had success with in converting RAW D800 files into JPGs? Is your sharpening finished with those settings?
While not a requirement, sharpening is frequently considered to be a three-part process: capture sharpening, creative sharpening, and output sharpening.
Capture sharpening is meant to compensate for inherent softness caused by the anti-alaising filter on top of the sensor (and other causes). This is the sharpening applied by the Detail panel. The settings in the Detail panel are somewhat image and ISO dependent, though there are some starting points. Here are mine: for lower ISOs I use Amount 50, Radius .7, Detail 35, and Mask 10; for higher ISO (800 and above) I use Amount 35, Radius 1.2, Detail 20, and Mask 50.
Creative sharpening is the subjective use of local sharpening or blurring techniques. Some folk to a bit of this; many do not.
Output sharpening compensates for the loss of sharpness of the output medium (paper or screen). When you export JPGs from Lightroom, near the bottom of the Export window there's a pop-up choice of Glossy Paper, Matte Paper, or Screen; and another pop-up for Low, Standard, or High.
The settings you are using are a bit more aggressive than mine, but YMMV. I do recommend that you add the output sharpening when you export and see if those results are more to your liking.
Jon Kandel A New York City Nikonian and Team Member Please visit my website and critique the images!
Just to add to what Jon mentions (which I agree with), his higher ISO sharpening is also good for photographs of people. His normal sharpening is great for landscapes, cityscapes, ... anything with lots of fine detail. If you choose to sharpen more than these settings, you'll probably want to back off on output sharpening and use a low setting. Similarly, if you go with lower sharpening intensities, you'll want to use higher output sharpening. Capture sharpening and output sharpening need to be complementary to each other.
BTW, the downside of higher capture sharpening settings is that the image can be more "brittle" in further post-processing you might want to do, with a greater chance of artifacts showing up. You want just enough so that the image looks nice and clear on your monitor and no more than that.
>Here are mine: for lower ISOs I use Amount >50, Radius .7, Detail 35, and Mask 10;
My typical settings are similar: 50/0.7/70. But my mask is way different: I usually have it at 70 or so. I may go as low as 50 at times. You use 10, wow! When I try that, it sharpens all the grain and noise in the image.
In case anybody does not know:The effect of the mask can easily be observed by holding down the option key (in Windows it may be Alt), then moving the mask slider. The image now turns black, with white spots showing the areas where sharpening is applied. I.e. at 0, the entire image is white, meaning sharpening is applied everywhere. At 100, no sharpening is applied. Somewhere in the middle (around 50-70 in my experience) there is a good balance where sharpening is applied to eyes, large edges etc, in other words where you want it, but not to noise, microscopic fabric patterns and such.
10% masking at low ISOs causes zero problems for me, even at very large print sizes. Raising it higher can work well for certain subjects, but you can also lose texture and smaller details. A lot depends on what your principal subjects are.
>A lot depends on what your principal subjects are.
I agree with that! It's mostly people for me these days, i.e. events and performances at my kid's school and such. The OP also mentioned events that's why I recommended those settings. For landscapes I agree I would dial in a lower masking.
Jon, I agree you won't see the difference at web sizes, and I may be a bit picky. But I like my shadows to be smooth, and at masking of 10 I did see issues. Or to look at it from the other side, sharpening only strong edges serves to emphasize the subject (which is typically in focus and has a lot of those edges), while the background stays smooth.
Wed 02-Oct-13 04:44 AM | edited Wed 02-Oct-13 05:12 AM by richardd300
Low ISO amount max 70, radius 0.9, detail 15-20 and mask 10. Much depends on output sharpening for web also, where my amount is reduced to around 10, radius .4, detail 5 and mask about 3. More recently I have been using, if any at all, lower sharpening on my D7100 such is the sharpness straight out of camera. However, with both my D7100 and D800 as a final process I use Nik Dfine plugin just to gently reduce any resultant noise, especially on cropped images.
BTW, a reasonable guideline for sharpening D800e images rather than D800 images is to use approximately 10 points less intensity. I also find that a D800 benefits from a touch more clarity than a D800e.