8 Replies Latest reply: Apr 10, 2014 6:04 AM by Billtimepilot RSS

    Sharpness of Photos in Lightroom 5.3

    Billtimepilot Community Member

      Can anyone please provide an explanation as to why my pictures when edited in Lightroom 5.3 appear soft and seem to require too much sharpening for an acceptable screen view.    When pictures are subsequently made ready for printing from Lightoom 5.3, they then appear over-sharpened when previewed.          Lightroom 5.3 does not seem to show screen images at the same level of sharpness as the supplied RAW processing software supplied by Sony for my A7r camera.      Images loaded directly into Sony's own Raw processor (IMAGE DATA CONVERTER) look tack-sharp having been auto-edited with basic default presets within the programme.    

       

      I have invested in a high resolution monitor and this is kept regularly calibrated.       LR 5.3 knows it is dealing with RAW files from my Sony A7r because the Metadata transfers efficiently on import.          

       

      If I do any other photo work on my computer (WIN 8.1 64bit), all my pictures look acceptably sharp.     When loaded into LR 5.3, they always seem to require more sharpening to look the same.     Often the sharpness slider requires to be pushed to 100-120 in order for the picture to look correct........

       

      Have I missed some important set-up procedure when installing LR 5.3?         How can I ensure that Sony RAW files look presentably sharp following basic standard preset importation (with the sharpness slider settling to about 25)

       

      Some help with this vexing issue would be appreciated.

       

      Many thanks in advance.

        • 1. Re: Sharpness of Photos in Lightroom 5.3
          trshaner CommunityMVP

          The most accurate view is in the Develop module at 1:1 Zoom, which is what you should be using when adjusting the Sharpening sliders. When viewing at less than 1:1 Zoom view the Library module is the most accurate using preview pyramid image settings of 1:16, 1:8, 1:4, etc. and NOT Fit of Fill.  The Develop module will look slightly sharper at less than 1:1 Zoom settings due to use of less accurate (but faster) interpolation algorithms required to maintain reasonable "real-time previews" when adjusting sliders.

          Billtimepilot wrote:

          When pictures are subsequently made ready for printing from Lightoom 5.3, they then appear over-sharpened when previewed.   

          Please provide the exact procedure and settings you are using for making your images ready for printing. I assume these are additional steps beyond the Develop module adjustments.

          • 2. Re: Sharpness of Photos in Lightroom 5.3
            Billtimepilot Community Member

            Very many thanks for your suggestions.      I have now also re-read the section of Martin Evening's Lightroom Book covering sharpening of images and conclude that this is a much more complicated procedure that might have been thought originally.     Forgive my naivety but I feel I must make beg the question, 'why isn't the sharpening facility within LR 5.3 as efficient, effective and straightforward as it is in RAW processors such as SILKYPIX and SONY IMAGE DATA CONVERTER?           Within these programmes, the sharpening added to RAW files by basic default.......which I understand to be known as 'capture sharpening......is usually just right.        I'm not giving up, however.      I am determined to fully understand the co-relationship between sharpening by amount and the synergy effect of incorporating radius, detail and masking.

             

            Apropos your question......      Printing photographs seems to be another minefield.       I'm so far getting just about acceptable results by using settings which allow the printer to manage colour and other attributes.       This is with my DELL MONITOR calibrated profile addressed.      Previously, without the benefit of a profiled display, my prints always looked nothing like my screen images.

             

            Your further comments greatly appreciated.

            trshaner wrote:

             

            The most accurate view is in the Develop module at 1:1 Zoom, which is what you should be using when adjusting the Sharpening sliders. When viewing at less than 1:1 Zoom view the Library module is the most accurate using preview pyramid image settings of 1:16, 1:8, 1:4, etc. and NOT Fit of Fill.  The Develop module will look slightly sharper at less than 1:1 Zoom settings due to use of less accurate (but faster) interpolation algorithms required to maintain reasonable "real-time previews" when adjusting sliders.

            Billtimepilot wrote:

            When pictures are subsequently made ready for printing from Lightoom 5.3, they then appear over-sharpened when previewed.   

            Please provide the exact procedure and settings you are using for making your images ready for printing. I assume these are additional steps beyond the Develop module adjustments.

            • 3. Re: Sharpness of Photos in Lightroom 5.3
              trshaner CommunityMVP

              Billtimepilot wrote:

              Forgive my naivety but I feel I must make beg the question, 'why isn't the sharpening facility within LR 5.3 as efficient, effective and straightforward as it is in RAW processors such as SILKYPIX and SONY IMAGE DATA CONVERTER?           Within these programmes, the sharpening added to RAW files by basic default.......which I understand to be known as 'capture sharpening......is usually just right.     

              There could be a number of things going on that are affecting what you are seeing.The onscreen preview image inside the editing application may be using different scaling algorithms to make the image "fit" in the loupe window. If they are using the simpler and faster nearest-neighbor or bilinear algorithms they will appear sharper (i.e. LR Develop module preview), but on closer examination will also exhibit interpolation "jaggies." along straight edges. I also believe the editing applications you mentioned do not apply noise reduction to the preview image, which may also make the image look a bit sharper.

               

              Run a quick test by applying Sharpening to a raw image at 1:1 view so that it appears cirtically sharp when viewed at 1:4 Zoom in the Library module. Next Export the image to 16bit TIFF, ProPhoto RGB profile with NO Image Sizing and NO Output Sharpening. Using the same raw file Export the image to 16bit TIFF, ProPhoto RGB profile, but with 1:4 Image Sizing (i.e. Long Edge = 1/4 raw file long edge in pixels) with Output Sharpening = Screen Standard. Next Compare the 1:4 resized TIFF export image at 1:1 view to the other two images at 1:4 view so they are equally sized. Let me know what you see.

              • 4. Re: Sharpness of Photos in Lightroom 5.3
                areohbee Community Member

                Also, consider whether there is any difference with Lr5.4. There were some changes which influence sharpening.

                 

                Sorry I didn't read carefully - forgive and forget if my comment is not fitting..

                • 5. Re: Sharpness of Photos in Lightroom 5.3
                  trshaner CommunityMVP

                  Rob, do you know what was done to LR5.4 that affects (or corrects) sharpening?

                  • 6. Re: Sharpness of Photos in Lightroom 5.3
                    Geoff the kiwi CommunityMVP

                    There was a bug fix for sharpening which related to crops, etc but certainly worth the OP checking to see if it does affect him. Bugs can be very weird!!

                    • 7. Re: Sharpness of Photos in Lightroom 5.3
                      areohbee Community Member

                      trshaner wrote:

                       

                      Rob, do you know what was done to LR5.4 that affects (or corrects) sharpening?

                      Not really - sorry. Everything I do "know" about it you'll find here:

                       

                      http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1446612?tstart=0

                      • 8. Re: Sharpness of Photos in Lightroom 5.3
                        Billtimepilot Community Member

                        Your comments and those of others appreciated.

                         

                        2 things to report since my last communication.

                         

                        a)    I am now reasonably sure that the rendering of sharpened screen images within LR 5.3 do not display correctly when referenced with the amount of overall detail applied.       This is because images exported out of LR 5.3 and then viewed in a different photo viewer look so much better.

                        b)    By fortunate coincidence, I have now downloaded and installed LR 5.4 and my very first impression is that some improvement in the sharpening (detailing) facility has been incorporated.      I will work with this new version of the programme further before considering a further judgement.

                         

                        Very best regards and thanks to all.

                        trshaner wrote:

                         

                        Billtimepilot wrote:

                        Forgive my naivety but I feel I must make beg the question, 'why isn't the sharpening facility within LR 5.3 as efficient, effective and straightforward as it is in RAW processors such as SILKYPIX and SONY IMAGE DATA CONVERTER?           Within these programmes, the sharpening added to RAW files by basic default.......which I understand to be known as 'capture sharpening......is usually just right.     

                        There could be a number of things going on that are affecting what you are seeing.The onscreen preview image inside the editing application may be using different scaling algorithms to make the image "fit" in the loupe window. If they are using the simpler and faster nearest-neighbor or bilinear algorithms they will appear sharper (i.e. LR Develop module preview), but on closer examination will also exhibit interpolation "jaggies." along straight edges. I also believe the editing applications you mentioned do not apply noise reduction to the preview image, which may also make the image look a bit sharper.

                         

                        Run a quick test by applying Sharpening to a raw image at 1:1 view so that it appears cirtically sharp when viewed at 1:4 Zoom in the Library module. Next Export the image to 16bit TIFF, ProPhoto RGB profile with NO Image Sizing and NO Output Sharpening. Using the same raw file Export the image to 16bit TIFF, ProPhoto RGB profile, but with 1:4 Image Sizing (i.e. Long Edge = 1/4 raw file long edge in pixels) with Output Sharpening = Screen Standard. Next Compare the 1:4 resized TIFF export image at 1:1 view to the other two images at 1:4 view so they are equally sized. Let me know what you see.