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D2X Sharpening...Your Work flow?

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by jfenton, Oct 23, 2005.

  1. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    As I typically shoot RAW and many of my shots are at ISO 400 / 500 for moving wildlife, I turn all sharpening to OF in the advanced tab of NC and then apply Ron's standards accordingly to overcome the anti aliasing filter.

    I've tried leaving it off and running PHOTOKIT Sharpener in PSCS..and it always worked perfectly for my D2H...but I find it really increasing noise with my D2X files.

    Has anyone found anything that they are truly happy with? Has anyone been using the CS2 Smart Sharpening with any great results?

    Thanks in advance :) 
  2. Jim
    I have been using Fred Miranda's CSpro designed for the D2X it is very customizable allowing you to control the amount of sharpening the amount of halo wether you want to use color noise reduction and setting for both high and low ISO it lets you saves sets just like capture. after you apply the filter you can use the opacity slider to adjust the final result very nice and customizable. PM me if you are interested in trying it out.
  3. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Yup, I'm using the FM CS Pro for D2x too. Very customizable. Save as a layer in setup dialog and do final tweaks.
  4. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    FM CS D2X Question

    Does this program sharpen EVERYTING? Most of the time, I don't want backgrounds sharpened...I simply want the main subject and edge details sharpened.
  5. Jim,

    I use this: http://atncentral.com/download.htm#TLR_Pro_Sharpening

    It's free, very customizable (even more so when run in expert mode), has a good manual/instructions and has tools for the 3 phases of sharpening: capture, creativity and output. :biggrin:

    I have a D2H, but I believe these scripts adjust to the pixels resolution automatically, once the main choice (High, Medium Low Resolution) has been made: the D2X would definitely be considered High-Resolution whereas the D2H is considered Medium-Resolution, so give it a try.
  6. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Philippe,Glad you are following Mitches TLR series.

    He is really great.
    The Lights Right.. Don't have his web site handy. Can search google for it though. He does some fantastic stuff and has marvelous tutorials.

    Another great place is Lunimous Lanscape.
  7. general


    Apr 30, 2005
    PhotoKit Sharpener

    I use PK Sharpener, usually minimum settings, with my D2X exposures without any difficulty.
  8. Jim
    It doesn't allow you to "paint" the parts of a shot that you want but I believe it uses and edge sharpening algorithm to do its sharpening.
  9. Jim

    I have taken a different path. I do not believe there is one "fits all" sharpener. I use USM and smart sharpen (CS2) combined with layer masks. I sharpen the whole image, mask to hide all and paint in the sharpening as required.

    With the D2X I find I can recover quite a bit using the smart sharpen and the motion blur option.

    I set my camera to normal sharpening in-camera. I do not think it really matters much if you shoot RAW, as we do. I use ACR most of the time and it ignores any in-camera settings anyway.

    I am about to post a couple of photos I took today that meet your criteria - 700mm - 1/100 sec and ISO 400.
  10. Jim, I have had some really great success with Smart Sharpen and I also turn up the sharpening on the X and find that gives me some really nice results too. One more thing I use with great results and that is Nik Sharpener Pro.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 23, 2005
  11. JeffKohn


    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    I've tried Photokit after hearing so many raves about it, but I really wasn't happy with the results.

    The sharpener I find myself using 90% of the time is FocalBlade. You can use it in easy, advanced, or expert modes and it gives you a lot of flexibility if you want (if not, the easy mode is pretty darned easy). Like Photokit, it uses an edge mask to try to avoid sharpening noise/grain in even areas. Unlike Photokit however, you actually have control over not only the edge mask but also the radius/amount for sharpening of both the edges and surface. (IMHO the narrow/medium/wide edge selection in Photokit just doesn't give you enough control and hides too much info).

    Since I shoot RAW with no sharpening during RAW conversion, I use a post-capture sharpening step as the first thing in my workflow (unless an image needs noise reduction, in which case I'll run that first). This is to overcome softness introduced by AA and Bayer interpolation. I've also taken to doing the sharpening on a duplicate of the background layer for two reasons: 1) I can use the "Luminosity" blend mode for the sharpening layer to minimize color artifacts; and 2) I can use a layer mask to preven sharpning in areas of the image where I don't want it.
  12. FWIW, I simply use USM in PS. Depending on the image, I'll either sharpen the entire image or apply a layer mask and paint in what I want sharpened (especially for higher ISO shots) or mask off what I don't want sharpened. On some shots, if noise is noticeable, I'll create another layer mask and do a Gaussian Blur then paint that in to blur out the noise. Can be some extra effort but gives you lots of control.
  13. jgrove


    Apr 13, 2005
    Hi Jim,

    If you want to paint the sharpener part in then i would recommend Nik Sharpener Pro 2 this allows you to paint the part of the image.

  14. I just use USM in Photoshop. Occasionally, I'll find that different parts of the image require different levels of sharpening so I simply do those on separate layers.

  15. mcampos


    Apr 14, 2005
    Norwalk, CA

    Nik Sharpener Pro allows you to "paint" in the sharpening. I believe there is a free demo in their web site.
  16. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Hi Folks...

    Interesting tyo see the different approaches that folks are using here.

    I guess I've got some reading / studying and trying as I'm just not happy with PhotoKit recently.
  17. jfenton


    Jan 26, 2005
    Haverhill, MA
    Re: Nick Pro2

    Something tells me that for $329 I can learn to do this alllll by myself a bit more economically?????????????????????????????????????????
  18. Precisely.... I've found I get better results by mastering PS tools, and I save a ton of money too. I guess this has a lot to do with the fact that I started this before computers.

    I get the impression that folks today believe that you can buy your way to great photography. I still think it takes hard work and gray matter.

  19. You bet, Jim! Take a look at TLR: the second set of sharpening tools (creative) allows just that: paint sharpening (and blurring) where you like it. All the features that everyone has mentioned are included in that free set of scripts, courtesy or Dr. Mitchell, from the The Light's Right studio.

    However, that particular technique (paint to reveal sharpening) is pretty easy to do without any external aid, actually: apply USM to the whole picture (and go a little bit overboard), then add a black layer mask (which removes the effect totally) and with a white brush, paint and reval sharpening: if you use a low opacity and flow on the brush, you can use multiple strokes and control the strenght of the sharpening applied.

    Russell Brown, of Photoshop fame, does this even better by using two masks, one to control the dark halos and one to control the light ones (the advanced sharpening technique). Russell Brown's web site is a gold mine of tutorials (some advanced) for Photoshop: have a look here: http://www.russellbrown.com/tips/photoshop.html
  20. hamsey


    Mar 9, 2005
    Nik Sharpener Pro 2

    Get's my vote also!

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