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Old Jun 13, 2010, 8:03 PM   #1
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Default How Much Sharpening is Enough?

I'm newish to the DSLR community and have quite a bit to learn. I put pics on the web and in posts here too. My old p&s pics were fine after cropping. My new Sony a550 needs a little pp. I'm using Irfanview right now for any pp I do. I batch convert and bump the contrast, saturation and sharpness.

Is there a suggested amount to increase each parameter?

I'm pretty ok with contrast and saturation but I'm unsure about how much sharpness to apply. In Irfanview, I hit [shift] S and I can see after 2 hits, it's too much. But I want to batch this task. In the advanced options I get a range for sharpness of 1 - 99.

Huh?

It looks like I have a much finer control of the applied change. Any suggestions?

Or, is Irfanview not the best choice for pp? I don't mind buying a product if I have too but it won't be Photoshop. My computers are old and slow and I'm not made of money.
tia...
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Old Jun 13, 2010, 8:40 PM   #2
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The way that software (in the camera and in post processing) increases sharpness is by increasing the contrast in border areas. It doesn't actually make the image any sharper; it just draws more attention to the edges. Since you're increasing the contrast AND the sharpness, you may be doing too much. Try doing one or the other first, and see what happens.
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Old Jun 13, 2010, 9:45 PM   #3
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Sharpening is so much a matter of taste and intended use, that I wouldn't attempt to advise on parameters. Experiment and find something that works for you. In general, I find that a lot of photos get oversharpened, and would look better if left alone.

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Old Jun 14, 2010, 7:06 AM   #4
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Just for fun post a sample pic here without any processing and with your processing so we can see how far you go with your sharpening. Also when posting here if your file is too large the site will reduce it more and make it blurry.
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Old Jun 14, 2010, 8:20 AM   #5
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OK.
Original. Resized and jpeg quality set to 80 to shrink it. Visually the same as 100 anyway.

Processed had Sharpness, Contrast and Saturation all set to 25 in Irfanview v4.10. resized as part of the batch conversion. I have no idea offhand which order Irfanview does things in.

Original:


Processed:



The original ooc is available at
http://www.holdingsteady.com/shared/test/Original.jpg
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Old Jun 14, 2010, 10:02 AM   #6
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Pretty good result.
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Old Jun 14, 2010, 11:01 AM   #7
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I agree with Ordo. That is a good result, without any halos. Irfanview is not my favorite software, but in this case it did a reasonable job. I prefer Adobe Photoshop Elements.

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Old Jun 14, 2010, 3:56 PM   #8
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Brian has the right idea: experiment and find out what works for your intended use.

I look at the image after sharpening at about twice the magnification of the final size. In particular, looking at high contrast edges. If it looks OK, it will be just fine at the intended size.

I think your image is oversharpened: look a the lines (ropes/cables) running from the stack towards the aft and at the ones running from the flagpole toward the bow. Those lines look like they have a string of beads on them - typical oversharpening effect
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Old Jun 14, 2010, 4:56 PM   #9
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Default good tip

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillDrew View Post
Brian has the right idea: experiment and find out what works for your intended use.

I look at the image after sharpening at about twice the magnification of the final size. In particular, looking at high contrast edges. If it looks OK, it will be just fine at the intended size.

I think your image is oversharpened: look a the lines (ropes/cables) running from the stack towards the aft and at the ones running from the flagpole toward the bow. Those lines look like they have a string of beads on them - typical oversharpening effect
That's the tip I'm looking for. I'll readjust and examine those points.

Another question: given the same camera settings, would applying the same sharpening etc be apropo? or would it depend on lens, aperture, whatever? I will not be adjusting each pic individually so i'm looking for a batch solution.
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Old Jun 14, 2010, 7:23 PM   #10
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billdrew said: "look at the lines (ropes/cables) running from the stack towards the aft and at the ones running from the flagpole toward the bow. Those lines look like they have a string of beads on them"

they have lights on them. maybe looks nice at night. attached is crop from original. just resized.
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