9 Replies Latest reply on Oct 24, 2015 7:28 AM by trshaner

    Export sharpness


      I have seen a number of forum posts on this but nothing suggested seems to change the outcome - unless I am misunderstanding?


      I get my Lightroom images to how sharp I want them to look (to the naked eye) and then when I export, they lose their sharpness/clarity & I cannot work out why.


      Please help!

        • 1. Re: Export sharpness
          rpandita Adobe Employee (Admin)




          • Are you exporting images as Jpeg ?
          • After exporting in in which application do you open those images ?
          • By the way make sure that the quality is set to 100

          LR export quality 100.PNG




          • 2. Re: Export sharpness
            kiksy13 Level 1

            Hi, thank you!


            Yes - shooting in RAW and then exporting in JPEG. My file settings are what you have posted. I have not checked anything in Image sizing


            I open them in Preview but have also tried ColorSync Utility to test

            • 3. Re: Export sharpness
              rpandita Adobe Employee (Admin)

              Hi again,


              • Try opening the exported image in PS as see how it appears.
              • Also please post a screen shot of the image
              1. Screen shot of how image looks in Lightroom
              2. Screen shot of image exported.



              • 4. Re: Export sharpness
                kiksy13 Level 1

                Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 5.36.31 PM.png

                Apologies, I do not have PS so cannot try that option

                • 6. Re: Export sharpness
                  kiksy13 Level 1

                  Thank you - what I am understanding is that I need to resize it down & then it displays the sharpness? I resized as they suggested & included output sharpening and the sharpness is much more clear in that image but obviously more pixelated. I simply don't understand how this is an issue, why can I not see the same sharpness at full size?

                  • 7. Re: Export sharpness
                    trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    kiksy13 wrote:


                    I simply don't understand how this is an issue, why can I not see the same sharpness at full size?


                    I noticed in the posted screenshot that you have LR's Detail panel Sharpening Amount set to 103, which is  a very high setting. This increases noise in the image, which can cause a "softening" of the image when viewed at less than 1:1 Zoom view in the Library module or in the Export file.



                    Open the image file in the LR Develop module at 1:1 Zoom view and increase the Luminance Noise Reduction slider to lower any visible noise. You will also need to lower the Sharpening Amount, which generally does not need to be higher than ~50, especially with high ISO images (800 and higher ISO). What ISO setting was used for the posted image file? It's a fine balance between lowering noise and maintaining Sharpening. It's better to err on the side of slightly less sharpening when noise is present in the image.  Full-size JPEG exports are not required for most printing and screen viewing. When resizing images (Resize to Fit) in the Export module the Output Sharpening panel determines the sharpening (Low, Standard, High) based on the target media (Screen viewing, Glossy paper, Matte paper).

                    • 8. Re: Export sharpness
                      kiksy13 Level 1

                      Thank you, my luminance is 50 for that image but I will do some wriggling with that & the sharpening - my ISO is ridiculously high for this shot (3200) as we were losing light very fast (after sunset) so that could very well explain the 'softening' if that happens when sharpening at high ISO. So are we basically saying that the images will look better when resized down & I should no longer export at full size as it is affecting the final outcome? And then only use full size images for canvas printing, etc? Apologies for being such an amateur..!

                      • 9. Re: Export sharpness
                        trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        What camera model and file format (raw, JPEG) are you using? Most current DSLRs can shoot at ISO 3200 with good results in LR. What you are seeing is due to differences in how previews are rendered in the Library and Develop modules. For more info as to why this is happening:


                        Lightroom: Low Quality Downscaled Views in the Develop Module – Part II


                        Make sure you are in 1:1 Zoom view when adjusting any of the controls in the Detail panel.


                        Start with the default settings and slowly increase Sharpening Amount until edge detail is just revealed in the image and then stop. Next adjust the Color Noise Reduction slider by setting it to 0 and then slowly increasing until all color noise is gone. Then adjust the Luminance slider the same way until the remaining noise is barely visible. You can go back to the Sharpening module and increase the Amount slightly and perhaps add some Masking to reduce noise in even tones areas. The Sharpening and Noise Reduction controls "interact" so you may need to go back and forth between them to get the best settings "balance." You can then Copy&Paste or use Sync in the Develop module with just these settings (Sharpening & Noise Reduction) checked across a series of images shot at the same ISO setting.


                        With high ISO images that have visible noise you should limit the Sharpening Amount to ~50 maximum for best results. Since images are not normally viewed full-size at 100% magnification there's little need to make the LR 1:1 Zoom view "tack-sharp." It's a small trade-off that has very little impact on actual usage, including large prints.


                        The Develop module's Sharpening panel settings have less effect on the resized output file than the Output Sharpening setting. When resizing images in the Export module Output Sharpening (Sharpen for: checked) must be applied. Without it the reduced size image will appear soft due to resizing interpolation. Use the Low, Standard, and high settings to establish the desired sharpening in the output file. For full-size Exports (i.e. no Resize to fit) do NOT need Output Sharpening. It will simply increase noise and over-sharpen the full-size output file.


                        Here are some articles with more info: