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If this were my image, I would change the settings to be quite different from what you have. I would try:
Sharpening amount 80 or higher
Detail I would experiment
Then I would just move things around to see if I could see some improvement. Others may have different ideas. But just looking at the image, those are some settings that I would start with.
I'm afraid I don't have any other ideas. The settings that I suggested were based on my experience with Lightroom. The image seems to have quite a bit of noise for ISO 500. What camera were you using. Maybe someone else will have better ideas.
Thank you, I still appreciate your help! I was shooting on a Canon 60D with a Canon 18 to 200 EF lens
If the photo is blurry with default Lightroom settings, then the problem isn't Lightroom, and changing the settings may help a little, but it won't fix the problem. The problem is that the camera didn't focus properly. Some lenses and some cameras will back-focus slightly (or more than slightly) causing the problem you have. Please read Jeffrey Friedl's Blog » Jeffrey’s Autofocus Test Chart By the way, it really doesn't matter that the photos look great in your camera, as the view is too small to judge focus problems.
Another possibility is simply poor technique, if the camera isn't being held properly, you could get slight motion blur as well. The correct way to hold a DSLR camera (Great tips!)
As I look through more images, I see that the one I used was a bad example - I think that one is simply out of focus. However, others that are more in focus are still looking grainy. Here's an example:
And thank you for the links you've provided! I will be checking the auto focus on my lens, your blog is very helpful.
The 18-200 is NOT a super sharp lens. A lot of compromises were made to get that zoom range in a consumer (inexpensive) lens. For a zoomed in screen clip the last one you posted looks pretty good for that lens.
What Detail section Sharpen / Noise-Reduction settings are you using with this image? I'd guess you are sharpening the high-ISO noise significantly, so of course it looks grainy.
Sharpen - Detail should be used very sparingly, not close to 100, more in the single-digits, usually.
I usually use a Sharpen - Mask slider above 80, sometimes 100, where I want just the grain along high-contrast edges to be sharpened not everywhere.
If you're using a full-frame camera that's not too high megapixel and have a very sharp lens then maybe no NR and not much sharpening need be applied. I'd guess your case is more the opposite so your optics will never lead to a pixel sharp image and the ISO noise will be visible especially for high-ISO images, so the only sharp image will be one that is resized down quite a bit and then has Export sharpening applied, so the details that are being sharpened are at the resolution of the lens.
If you want more specific advice please provide an actual raw file, via dropbox or similar and a public share link in a reply, here.
Look in the BASIC tools section in Development. In the GRAIN area it might say that it's set to Grain-Heavy as a fixed Preset. Click on the arrow next to it and choose Default. You can also click on RESET in the same area at the bottom. You will need to do this for every picture. I haven't been able to figure out how to change the setting across the board, yet. I'm new to Lightroom, too.