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Old May 28, 2007, 6:31 AM   #1
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I would like to know the view on this from others with detailed testing and experience.

I've tested a lot of the best apps in the RAW editing field and I've found that SilkyPix is by far the best out of the ones I've tested.

Other fixes like chromatic aberration is another issue and there I find Adobe best, but that's another issue. This time I'm only interested in the ability of the sharpening feature.

My tested apps are all the Adobe photo tools, Nikons, DxO, SilkyPix (ofcourse), and some others less impressive ones.
Please share with me your experiences.

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Old May 28, 2007, 8:40 AM   #2
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I have found the best to be the the Photokit Sharpener toolset plugin for Photoshop.


It divides sharpening into 3 stages:
1. Capture
2. Creative
3. Output

And each stage can be optimised for the effect you are looking for. I particularly like the sharpening brushes in the "Creative" phase, so you can selectively sharpen a section of the picture. The eyes in a portrait for example, whilst leaving the rest of the picture unsharpened.


So much for the best.

But what about "Good Enough"?

I personally find that a combination of DXO lens corrections and automatic adjustments for contrast and colour, then combined with sharpening and output sharpening in Lightroom is good enough so that I almost never need anything more. I would say though that this is since I started using the Canon 5D and better lenses; the 5D has very good resolution and the AA filter is quite weak, combined with L lenses or primes the basic results are pretty sharp. Certainly sharper than I used to get with no work from my 20D.

I also find that I am somewhat less fussy about sharpening that I was when I first started out with my 20D. I think I used to over-sharpen a bit, now I'm more conscious that not every image needs to be very sharp to be effective, sometimes sharpness isn't relevant.

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Old May 28, 2007, 8:44 AM   #3
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Silkypix is my raw developer of choice, too, but I rarely sharpen much, if any, at that stage, since I usually don't know yet how I'll be using the file. For example, if I'm going to make a print, I may sharpen it just a bit in Silky, but then allow Qimage to do its automatic sharpening during print processing. Or if I'm resizing for the web, I use an action in PS that simultaneously imprints my logo and adds a standard bit of sharpening.
If someone were resizing in Silky and using that output directly for the web, however, I could understand doing a bit of sharpening then.
I like just about everything in Silky except for the handling of high-ISO noise in my Olympus files; particularly shots taken under artificial lighting in dim surroundings (the only place I use high ISO, anyway), tend to turn out with excessive yellow noise that can't be removed, so I use different techniques for those.

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Old May 29, 2007, 8:28 AM   #4
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NIK sharpener here,

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Old May 29, 2007, 3:02 PM   #5
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Thank you all. I will test both NIK and Photokit and compare it to SP. But Photokit can't sharpen prior to converting it in PS right? And, does NIK sharpen straight from the RAW file?

I don't bother sharpening that many photos either. 98% in my database remain unsharpened. I have an album for my best shots and those are about the only ones I've sharpened. All I do with all is to enbed them into DNG.

DxO is great when I've used a lens they support (addon).
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