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P: Improved sharpness adjustments and base algorithm

Explorer ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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Coming from CaptureOne I'm a bit dismayed by the way sharpness works in Lightroom (or rather doesn't work).

The images look very mushy in comparison and when I increase the sharpness it quickly turns into artifacts that look like tiny worms.

 

I get better results when reducing sharpness in Lightroom and then sharpening again in Photoshop (Smart Sharpen, small radius, high percentage).

 

Wouldn't it make sense to improve this setting and / or implement sharpening algorithms from Adobe Photoshop? The additional processing time is miniscule (if there's one at all) and it would save a lot of time and the images would look much better right from the start. 

 

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8 Comments
LEGEND ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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You're assuming that what you're seeing is ubiquitous, but - as is evidencecd by the lack of posts similar to yours - your results don't reflect those of the majority of us (indeed, as a long-term user of both Capture One - right back to v.3 - and Lr, I can say that in my experience Lr's sharpening results embarrass Capture One's).

 

So: which camera are you using?

 

Let's see some example images of your problem.

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Explorer ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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Sure thing:

Screenshot 2023-02-21 at 22.19.05.pngScreenshot 2023-02-21 at 22.14.58.png

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Explorer ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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As you can see the fine details are much more defined in CaptureOne while in Lightroom the tiny dots are barely visible and quite mushy. Increasing sharpness intruduces artifacts ("worms"/"snakes") and that ruins the overall image. 

But when I reduce the sharpness and then export it to Photoshop for some sharpening it looks much better. 

 

(P.S: Aren't you the same person who always comes to CaptureOnes defense in their forums? )

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Explorer ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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The results are the same with all cameras I use and used. 

That includes Fuji GFX 50s, GFX100, Canon 300D, Canon 20D, Canon 5D II, Canon 5D III, PhaseOne P65+, Sony A6000.

All shot in RAW.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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  1. How much are you allowing LrC to sharpen at opening of RAW?
  2. When are you adding additional sharpening? At initial edit, midway, last step?
  3. How much total sharpening?

 

  • FujiX users have complained about the worms. So much that they do not use LrC for RAF convert, but instead use Iridient X Transformer to convert RAF to DNG, Then continue in LrC.
  • Many FujiX users go overboard on sharpening, duhh, worms/artifacts.
  • Have not noticed non FujiX complaining about worms.

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Explorer ,
Feb 21, 2023 Feb 21, 2023

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@GoldingD the image next to the one from CaptureOne set to standard (40 amount, 1 Radius, 25 Detail)
The one with the increased sharpness has the amount set to 80 - surely too high but that' just to see what it "could" do.

As I said it's not just on Fuji files, the worms appear with all cameras - albeit at different settings. But you're right, it's worse with Fuji files.

I'm pretty sure I don't oversharpen the images, there are no halos present at all. It's just that Lightroom seems to produce textures in areas where there are none to give the illusion of detail - when all it should do is increase "micro-conrast".
Of course I'm applying that to the RAW files, not the exported TIF or JPEG. 

However when applying it to TIF or JPEG it looks much better.

 

So if other users are complaining as well - maybe the Lightroom devs need to fix that? Surely not all Fuji users are guilt of over-sharpening and thereby creating worms all the time, while everyone else doesn't - that would be very strange indeed.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 22, 2023 Feb 22, 2023

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quoteSo if other users are complaining as well - maybe the Lightroom devs need to fix that?
By @CMB_photosnapper

 

Not really - because (now that we know we're talking about Fuji), the number that complained were always matched - and then some, usually - by the number of Fuji users who attested that there was no great problem - eg:

 

https://www.kevinkleitches.com/blog/is-lightroom-really-that-bad-with-fuji-raw-files

https://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1792251

 

Not to say that Lr's initial efforts didn't leave room for improvment, but apparently using the "Enhance" tool is a popular way to deal with Fuji files.

 

Other than that, it really just seems like a matter of properly developing suitable sharpening settings (pay close attention to the effect of the Detail slider) - or staying with Capture One, if it really is that much better in your experience: no converters go everything well, and if Lr's results really don't hack it for you, you make life easier for yourself if you choose not to wrestle that particular bear...

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Explorer ,
Feb 22, 2023 Feb 22, 2023

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@Keith Reeder I don't think the "Enhance" tool is a way to really fix that. I tried it and the improvement isn't really that big, worming still happens. And it creates an additional file and takes a considerable amount of time to do that and it has to be done manually every time. I often work with stacks of hundreds of photos for one focus stacked image - that's just not feasible to always convert and delete stuff just to "fix" something that doesn't work properly.
I'd be better off using another application altogehter which is a pity, after all I'm paying for Lightroom so I'd like to find a decent way to use it without too many obstacles and get decent results. Yes, I could stay with CaptureOne, but their recent pricing schemes and lackuster customer service is a good reason to avoid it in the future.

 

As @GoldingD said, many Fuji-users seem to use other applications and I've since found numerous people mentioning it in other forums as well - just google "worming Lightroom Fuji" - so it's really not a matter of just me being inept, even is that would be the most comforting reason.

But at least I've now discovered that the "worming" appears with low-ISO images but not high-ISO images... It just seems like it wasn't correctly implemented and those who don't like it have given up on it and turned to other applications for developing - and those who don't care...well.. don't care.


Personally I like to get the best results with the gear I have and it's just sad that the weak spot seems to be Lightroom.

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