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Lightroom: LR5.2 Noise reduction not working if image is cropped and export size small

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 26, 2013 Oct 26, 2013

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Hello, some problems with NR not applied if image size < 1/3 of original were apparently solved in 5.2, but in some cases NR is still not applied. Please have a look at attached images, they are both exported with exactly same settings, the only difference is, that there is a crop applied on cropped.jpg version. Please notice the difference in overall noise. Please solve this problem as soon as possible, this has a big impact on image quality if higher ISO is used.
Please contact me, if original NEF or XMP is needed. I can reproduce the problem. It seems, that it appears only if some specific crops are used.
Thank you.
cropped.jpg:


not_cropped.jpg:
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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Employee , Nov 04, 2013 Nov 04, 2013
Thanks Martin. The files helped us repro. Engineering is looking into this.

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 30, 2013 Oct 30, 2013

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Hi Martin,

would it be possible to share the original files (on dropbox or another sharing service) and document the export settings you're using so we can try and reproduce this issue in house?

Thanks!

Senior Product Manager - Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 01, 2013 Nov 01, 2013

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Hi, please find sample catalog together with source nef and exported files here: http://dubovsky.changenet.sk/lr_nr_ex...
The catalog contains 1 source photo with 2 virtual copies. I tried to isolate parameter which causes the problem - it seems, that if there are more extreme sharpening settings and there is some level of crop, exported image is lighter and contains a lot of noise. 3 copies of the same source image are exported with same settings (only sharpening, NR, and crop applied - all other modules are disabled) except of crop. Please note, that if there is only slight crop - export is correct (see exported jpegs or try export by your own).
Thank you.
MD.

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 02, 2013 Nov 02, 2013

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Thanks. We'll try that out and let you know if we need any more information.

Senior Product Manager - Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 04, 2013 Nov 04, 2013

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Thanks Martin. The files helped us repro. Engineering is looking into this.

Senior Product Manager - Customer Advocacy - Digital Imaging

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 09, 2013 Nov 09, 2013

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Hi, I have just downloaded and installed 5.3 RC, and I can see, that correction for this problem was not included. Jeffrey, do you think, that there is some chance, that it will be in the final 5.3? Thank you.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 12, 2013 Dec 12, 2013

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I've just tried 5.3 final. It seems, that the correction didn't make it to this release, still same issues as described.

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 13, 2013 Dec 13, 2013

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What is the size of your original NEF, and what is the size of your exported image? (in pixels)

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 13, 2013 Dec 13, 2013

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Hi Eric, the problem is visible if Detail in Sharpening section is on a higher value (use 100 for best demonstration). Original image is 6016x4016. I used 950x750 as export dimensions. The result depends on crop amount. I do not know exact border when the processing starts to be different. I used 5757x3843 - the exported image is as it should be - nr and sharpening applied correctly. If I slightly change crop to 5628x3757, the exported image is very noisy and slightly brighter. In some kind of images also strong banding is visible. The problem is somewhere between these 2 dimensions.
However, the easiest way how to reproduce this issue, would be to download a sample catalog, with original NEF and virtual copies, together with export dialog screenshot from here: http://dubovsky.changenet.sk/lr_nr_ex...
Just open the catalog and use export as seen in the screenshot, then evaluate exported jpegs.

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Adobe Employee ,
Dec 13, 2013 Dec 13, 2013

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Thanks for the details Martin.  I've downloaded the zip (feel free to remove from your site, if you wish).  We'll look into it and follow up in this thread if we have any questions.  

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 09, 2014 Apr 09, 2014

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Hi, I have just installed LR 5.4. It is true, that output is now consistent and it doesn't depend on output size or crop.

It is now bad at all sizes.... :-(

I will be happy to provide more information, but I think it will be enough if you just use the sample files I already provided. If you set sharpening amount and detail to max and export the image it is very noisy and different to the preview you see in develop module. This is also the case for preview seen in library module.
To replicate the problem, you need to do this:
1.set sharpening amount and details to max
2. Set preview size to 1:2
3. compare preview image in develop and library modules (noise amount, sharpening and even colors are slightly different)
4. Export image is same as the preview in library module (I think it is worse as in develop module)

Please let me know if you need more information, I will try to do my best to help you to troubleshoot and to correct this. Thank you.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 09, 2014 Apr 09, 2014

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I don't work for Adobe, but I was going through posts that Eric Chan replied to and saw this one and tried to duplicate what you're seeing, but cannot.

Using the new LR 5.4 on Windows 7 64-bit on a calibrated monitor, I am not seeing what I interpret you're saying you're seeing switching between Library and Develop.

Specifically I see no pixels change going from Develop to Library once I've done it a couple times and the preview has been updated, and going from Library to Develop I see a slightly worse image for less than a second and then Develop renders a full preview and things look identical to the Library version--this is at 1:2 Zoom as I interpret "set preview size to 1:2" to mean.

If I set the Zoom to 1:1 then I see no change in the pixels going from Develop to Library or Library to Develop once I have done it a couple times so the Library preview has been updated with the Develop settings.

The overly-noisy view I see for less than one second going from Library to Develop at 1:2 zoom is, I believe, due to LR using a very fast resample algorithm, initially, maybe nearest-neighbor which at 1:2 would throws away every other pixel without interpolation, so you have something to see other than a gray area while it is doing the more careful and time-consuming accurate preview, after which the Develop preview looks normal. I say this because at 1:1 zoom there is no momentary too-sharp image, so that must be due to something LR does only for non-1:1 zoom levels.

Maybe your issue is that the Develop preview never snaps back into the accurate view and you always see the quickly-resampled one? I'm not sure why that would be. Maybe rebuilding the previews or purging the camera-raw cache in LR preferences would make things work differently, since your images didn't exist in the camera-raw cache until I downloaded them, so my cache is different than yours.
--
As far as Exported output looking different than the Develop module look, in the screenshot of your Export settings, I notice you have Export sharpening set to Screen-High. This will accentuate any unevenness in the original image once it has been resized smaller, and it probably will look more noisy given the micro-detail caused by the maxed-out the Detail Sharpening slider in these test images.

Maybe you're export settings are different than the screenshot shows, and if so, what are they?
--
To summarize, I see Library and Develop previews that look the same, at various zoom levels, once I let Develop finish its more time-consuming preview computation and after I have clicked back and forth between Develop and Library a couple times so they're both using the freshly-computed preview from Develop.

And I would expect any Export sharpening to make an exported image look more noisy than it looks in Develop and Library, especially if it has been resized smaller during Export.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 09, 2014 Apr 09, 2014

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I deleted my previous reply because I played with things a bit more, so while what I said in that reply was true for a constant zoom level, it isn't if one zooms in and out on the same image.

There seem to be two versions of a preview image, one that has smoother and one that is sharper. The smooth one shows up, initially, and may be a video-driver resize of the previous preview, whatever size that was, then the sharper one shows up after LR has recomputed it from scratch.

I am not sure I see the same things you do at 1:2 zoom when switching back and forth between Library and Develop--the two images appear the same to me, pixel-for-pixel, once I have clicked back and forth between Library and Develop a couple times so that the preview is being retrieved from something computed accurate at that size rather than inaccurately resized from another size as seems to occur the first time I click into Library or Develop at a new zoom level for a particular image.

The sharper one at 1:1 zoom seems to match the Exported one, now, and so that is the accurate one. I think you're calling this accurate one the worse one because it is lighter and shows more noise. I think this is just because Adobe is actually applying all the noise-reduction and sharpening to the Exported image before resizing it smaller and sharpening it with the Export sharpening of Screen-High that you have specified, now.

Before what was happening when you first produced your example JPGs that are in the ZIP using an earlier version of LR that had a bug, was is that LR wasn't applying the sharpening to the image if it was smaller than a certain ratio compared to the original, and the first two of your three images were larger, and were being resized down smaller than that ratio and didn't have sharpening applied and looked smoother and darker, but this was inaccurate. Only the last image where the original was cropped the smallest was resized down still large enough to have the sharpening applied, so it appeared lighter and has more noise. In other words what I'm seeing with your original JPGs was two darker-smoother exports and one lighter-rougher one that is more accurate.

Then Adobe fixed this ignoring of sharpening in LR 5.3, but the Develop preview, when resized smaller than 1:1, especially non-whole-number-zoom amounts used with Fit and Fill, seemed to accentuate noise by using a simple, fast, and somewhat inaccurate resampling algorithm. This caused confusion because the now correct Exports were smoother than the overly-noisy Develop image if resized smaller than 1:1.

With LR 5.4 I think the Exports are all the same brightness because the Detail and Sharpening settings are being applied consistently starting in 5.3, and Adobe has made the Develop previews more accurate, with a more time-consuming re-render of them at a smaller-than 1:1 zoom. Or at least this is what I'm seeing, because for me the Develop previews don't change in noise and brightness between Library and Develop other than momentarily in Develop before things become the same as in Library.

So what I'm seeing is that the Develop previews and Library previews are the same, and the Exported versions are similar brightness and noise to the 1:1 Zoom Previews in both Library and Develop. All that seems correct to me. What is still different is that less-than 1:1 zoom images are not entirely accurate since the interpolation in Library and Develop isn't as time-consuming as what happens during an Export and there isn't any Export sharpening being applied in Develop and Library, which is also expected.

Is something else happening for you in LR 5.4?

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 10, 2014 Apr 10, 2014

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Hello Steve, thank you for your extensive testing and explanation, I read through it but I still think, that LR output is not correct.
I was always in the impression, that preview image seen in develope module is supposed to be the most accurate. That is the look we all base our editing decisions on. This is not the case in LR54. Exported image is different to the one seen in develope module in noise level, brightnes and even color (subtle, you need good monitor to see this).
Exported image is more similar (if not same) to library module. Please see also output and screenshot from Camera RAW 7.2 which I still have installed (older version, but same process), which is far better that current LR output and I think it is "correct". Please notice also color shifts between develop ui and library ui screenshots (very visible in navigator preview). These screenshots vere taken after image was "stable" - few seconds after module switch.
To sumarize similar/same looks:
Correct look: LR develop UI = CameraRaw UI = CameraRaw export
Incorrect look: LR library UI = LR export
Please download sample images here:
http://dubovsky.changenet.sk/lr54_nr_...

Looking forward LR5.5.... :-)
Martin Dubovsky.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 10, 2014 Apr 10, 2014

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Library and Develop look the same for me, which seems different for you.

Develop is not the same as Export if you resize or sharpen during Export.

Export sharpening (Screen-High, Matte-Standard, etc) is never shown in Develop because it changes on a per-Export basis.

What sharpening are you applying in the ACR workflow options? Because your ACR version is darker I'd guess you aren't applying any sharpening, whereas in LR you are.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 10, 2014 Apr 10, 2014

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I'm sorry, I forgot to mention, that output sharpening was disabled in both LR export dialog and CR.

Creative sharpening (details section) was set to extreme values as seen in screenshots (both develop ui and CR ui). If you disable creative sharpening, differences between develop and library/export are barely visible (but are there).

Maybe I should mention a bit of history of this problem:
LR50 introduced a bug, which caused unsharpen + not noise reduced images if your export was smaller than 50% of original. This problem was addresed also by Rob Cole's plugin which exported original size and resized later using Imagemagick utility (http://www.robcole.com/Rob/ProductsAn...)

It was supposed to be corrected in 5.2 (see changelog), but still in some cases the output wasn't ok - this was the original subject of this report and acknowledged by Adobe. Now, in 5.4, all exports seem same as the wrong ones in 5.0-5.3.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 10, 2014 Apr 10, 2014

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Another thing I notice between the CR and LR created images is that their size is different, so either the images started with a different source original/virtual-copy that had different crops or the resizing parameters in CR were different than in LR, which could result in different handling of the micro detail with an exact 1/2 resizing ratio looking different than something slightly different than that.

We need to be comparing exactly the same things in ACR vs LR, not slightly different variations that could result in the look being different.

I also see more JPG artifacts in the CR export so either it started out smoother (a lack of sharpening applied in the CR Save Image settings) or the quality setting is lower than in LR, which might result in a different look.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 10, 2014 Apr 10, 2014

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Yes, you are right. This was caused by the fact that I exported image from LR at exactly half the linear resolution and than I found out in CR, that there are only preset values and 1:2 is missing. And I was lazy to reexport LR versions.

So please download new comparisons here:
http://dubovsky.changenet.sk/lr54_vs_...
There are:
3072x2051 exports with output sharpening disabled both from CR72 and LR54
1534x1024 exports with output sharpening set to screen/high both from CR72 and LR54

Other parameters including creative sharpening are same (settings transferred by xmp file from LR to CR).

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LEGEND ,
Apr 10, 2014 Apr 10, 2014

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Is there a reason you're not using ACR 8.4 in CS6? Are you on an older OS that won't support it? The sharpening and resizing options in ACR 8.x are the same as in LR5, now.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 10, 2014 Apr 10, 2014

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My Library and Develop versions of your image are the same. There may be a problem with how things are working in this regard on your computer. We can investigate this more.
--
HOWEVER, regarding the CR vs LR differences, this has been a wild-goose-chase as we say in the US:

You are using Camera Raw 7.2. The D600 was first fully supported in CR 7.3!

Your D600 camera profile in CR 7.2 is a beta profile. The EXIF information as extracted by EXIFtool indicates this for the CR 7.2 saved image versions:

Camera Profile : Beta
Camera Profile Digest : 7233B3A6834D6E88D096D1024C469217

That is why your CR versions are different lightness and colors compared to your LR versions.

If you don't want to update your ACR beyond 7.2 then that is your choice, but your LR and CR versions will never be the same with regard to things that change with camera and lens profiles, since CR and LR keep these profiles in separate locations and updating one product won't affect the other. As you have also seen CR 7.x doesn't have the same resizing options that LR 5.x has, so your Export sharpening won't likely match, either, unless you use the specific sizes CR 7.x gives you.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 10, 2014 Apr 10, 2014

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Hi Steve, thank you for your inputs and your time! I didn't update camera raw until now, because I do not use it at all. I will do it to test this issue.
However, my main problem is, that, as you can see in screenshots, develop and export do not match in LR54. I also tried to delete preview and smart previews but it is same as before.
Could you please send me screenshots of your library and develop screens at 1:2?
Please let the preview image stabilise (it takes up to 5 seconds on my quad core intel cpu to render final preview in library module).
When I will have time, I will try to do some more tests.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 10, 2014 Apr 10, 2014

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I do plan to confirm if my LR acts like your LR, and so far I haven't seen a difference between my Develop and Library. I do understand about letting the preview settle for a few seconds, and why I click back and forth between Develop and Library until there doesn't seem to be a delay in the rendering.

The reason I was investigating the EXIF information using EXIFtool, and noticed the Beta indication that took CR comparisons off the table, was to see if I could discern the settings you had used for sharpening and noise-reduction in the LR Detail area, because there were inconsistencies between the zipped up LR database settings and the screenshots the next day.

Could you send along an XMP file from LR that has been updated with all the panel sections turned on so there is more chance more information gets written.

Your LR/ACR defaults may be different than mine so I'm trying to get as many things the same to what you're doing before I do screenshots.

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LEGEND ,
May 21, 2014 May 21, 2014

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I do get a brightening in Library at 1:2 zoom:


And if I Export from LR at 50% (3008x2008) and Save Image from ACR 8.4.1 at 50% (3008x2008) without any Export/Save sharpening, then the result I get is lighter like Library. At least LR and ACR are producing identical results.

Develop also shows lighter at 100% zoom.

So Develop when zoomed to less than 1:1 is darker than Library or Exported or Develop at 1:1.

This means that for an image with high-frequency detail that is also very sharpened, as the images are in this example, Develop has to be used at 1:1 Zoom to judge TONING, not just Detail, which can be difficult if the image is large.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 03, 2014 Jul 03, 2014

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This appears to be the same (or similar) issue I reported 2 years ago:

http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

The workaround then (and now) is to use moderate Sharpening settings in the Develop module and make sure that Luminance NR is set high enough to reduce most of the noise visible at 1:1 view. In addition it is necessary to use the pyramid Zoom View settings (1:16, 1:8, 1:4, etc.) and NOT Fit or Fill, which introduces a 2nd interpolation without sharpening applied. Following these suggestions my Develop and Library previews at less than 1:1 Zoom view look virtually identical in LR5.5. I've observed similar issues inside PS at less than 100% view magnification.

When Exporting with resizing of 1/3 or less most all of the image "sharpness" is determined by the Output Sharpening controls, so it's not necessary to use high settings on any of the Develop module Sharpening controls (such as 100 Detail or Amount). This is most especially important with noisy high ISO images!

It would be great if Adobe can "fix" this issue so that Fit and FIll Zoom view along with the Develop module loupe are always accurate, but only if it doesn't impact LR's performance. For now the workaround I outlined is working fine with my LR processing of Canon 5D MKII raw images.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 06, 2015 Feb 06, 2015

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they look a little green to me

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 27, 2015 Apr 27, 2015

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LATEST
The problem described here is still not solved in LR6. If "Detail" in "Sharpening" is >0 and there is some noise in the image, preview in develop module doesn't correspond to the exported image. Noise in (smaller) develop preview is averaged out and the picture is sharper (I think, that this is correct). In library preview and exported version, noise is exaggerated (I think this is a bug). LR 4 did it correctly.

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