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Thread: Sharpening and noise reduction

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    Member Graeme Buckland's Avatar
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    Sharpening and noise reduction

    Just a quick question, should you use your noise reduction ie noise ninja before sharpening or after sharpening?
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    White balance/raw conversion, then noise reduce, then other PP, then sharpen last.

    See: http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...444#post232444
    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Depends.

    Odd answer I know. But recently I have found that some sharpening processes at the pixel level, introduce some noise. So what I am starting to do is sharpen and do noise reduction on layers. Then selectively mask each layer to get the result I want.

    So my answer..do it all at once, on layers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricktas View Post
    Depends.

    Odd answer I know. But recently I have found that some sharpening processes at the pixel level, introduce some noise. So what I am starting to do is sharpen and do noise reduction on layers. Then selectively mask each layer to get the result I want.

    So my answer..do it all at once, on layers.
    Ditto...it depends on the image as to what I do. I also often apply sharpen { Smart Sharpen} to just the area I want to sharpen either using the magic wand tool or the lasso too, then select the area... ie; background and apply neat image, or blur filter to that area alone.

    Sharpening the whole image first often results in some graininess appearing in places, and if you then apply noise reduction to the whole image you mend up defeating the purpose of sharpening in the first place.

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    I've always sharpened last, last thing you want is sharp noise, not a good look
    Darren
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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    I have spent far too long lately experimenting with exactly this and the best results I seem to be able to get are the following steps. This is Capture NX specific but ----

    Convert NEF to TIFF after any "in camera settings" are changed if needed.
    Noise reduction as needed and a low overall sharpen in Neat Image.
    Levels etc. or the normal processing I normally do in Capture NX and then a final overall or selective sharpen ( depending on subject matter ) with high pass sharpen varying the strength and opacity to suit.
    I cannot see any noise brought back in the final image due to sharpening, This of course relates to the D200 and D50 files which are guaranteed to have noise even at base ISO levels straight out of the camera.
    Andrew
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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    I have been experimenting with Nik Software's sharpen and noise reduction software of late. Certainly I have seen their sharpening software create noise in areas of plain colour (say nice blue sky).

    I think both sharpening and noise reduction are ongoing tools for experimentation. Always worth checking out the latest versions and ideas on it, to see if something better has come along

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    Member kRock's Avatar
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    Is there any difference in sharpening when processing the raw file (eg in Capture One) for further PP in Photoshop or would you recommend setting the sharpen value to 0 with the intention of sharpening in Photoshop?
    Canon 5D Mk2 + EF 24-105 f/4 L IS + EF 85mm f/1.8 USM + Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash Unit + expanding....

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kRock View Post
    Is there any difference in sharpening when processing the raw file (eg in Capture One) for further PP in Photoshop or would you recommend setting the sharpen value to 0 with the intention of sharpening in Photoshop?
    Standard Operating Procedure is that sharpening should be done at the end of processing, just before saving the file

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Pictorial examples of the way I am doing it.

    ISO 1250 on a D200 is NOT the ideal setting.

    From the top ---

    Original NEF image and then a crop. In this case all I did to the original was alter white balance from direct sun to cloudy because it was --- cloudy.




    The original converted to a TIFF and given 60% noise reduction and 50% "conservative setting" sharpen in Neat Image.




    The TIFF then edited, levels etc. and a 60% high pass sharpen on luminence and 0% chrominance.
    Yes, looking closely in the crop, in this one there is noise that has been brought back slightly with the final sharpen but on the overall picture it isn't all that bad IMHO.



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