Can the images be sharpened sufficiently? Your Nikon software is capable of reading all of the in-camera settings. Lightroom doesn't do that. So it's up to you to create your own default settings or presets to obtain the results you are seeking. And it won't do you any good to download a later version of Camera Raw because Lightroom does not use the Camera Raw plug-in. All of the raw technology is part of the Lightroom program.
Could you please confirm the version of Lightroom , and also which Operating System are you working on ?
Did you also calibrate your Monitor, How do I change my monitor profile to check whether it’s corrupted?
I'm using windows 8 and lightroom 5. My monitor should be calibrated correctly, when I print the photos look right, so I didn't think it was that. The issue is that the photos are sharp on other programs. But if I open them with lightroom or open them in Adobe bridge they are soft and blurry. I thought I had the issue when taking photos, but NIkon's Capture NX did show the photo is sharp. It's not a new camera so I thought there would be some upgrade already for them to read properly in lightroom. Any advice?
I didn't know that, so my upgrade for Camera Raw was pointless, but wouldn't that at least fit the issue with Adobe bridge when I bring it into photoshop as a raw file? Right now it's the same between both applications with NEF files, blurry and soft. It doesn't happen with my Nikon D810.
The camera and any Nikon-licensed product is applying the sharpening settings you have set in the camera using proprietary algorithms developed by Nikon. It’s up to you to determine what sharpening settings you want to use in Adobe products and apply those. Neither Nikon nor Adobe know what the other is doing when converting raw sensor data to images, so it’s not surprising the look is different.
With my Canon DSLR I see the same thing, the camera significantly oversharpens things in the camera JPGs, and I prefer what I can do in Lightroom which generally has finer detail and less haloing along the edges. Keep in mind that the final sharpening, after the image is resized down to whatever media or display device resolution will have the most effect.
It will take some time to get things set up the way you want in Lightroom but keep at it.
Here is the first part of a three part tutorial about the various kinds of sharpening and when to use them:
Thank you, I applied one of the sharpen presets to see and it did sharpen it a bit. The color seems a bit off at times so still confused on this. One concern is, I have photos that I took that are extremely sharp and in RAW format that rendered properly in lightroom and display with accurate sharpness and color. Do I have a faulty camera body? Or am I missing a setting on lightroom? It's really tricky, I'm not super advanced to it and this was first time I'm using a more advanced camera but there seems to just be something off between the two
The D3S is 12 megapixels, while the D810 is 36 megapixels, so images from the D810 are higher resolution. The D3S is four years older so there may have been technology differences or improvements that make the D810 images sharpen in raw format. Examples would be the use or lack of an anti-aliasing filter and whether there is a median pass on the images before writing to the raw format.
When judging sharpness, are you looking at the LR Fit view or zoomed in at 100%/1:1? What are you photographing? Do you have an example from each camera, screenshots?