Are you viewing the image at 1:1? Sharpening (and noise reduction) must be applied at 1:1 - any other view will be inaccurate and misleading because of image scaling.
Of course I view the picture in at least 1:1.
I expect that when I drag a slider all the way to the right, the image will be almost "destroyed", because this should be more than I usually need. There should be something left in reserve for those times when I really need the extra power. I see this clearly with the other sliders. But with the Sharpness, I often wish I could drag it even more, to achieve the desired effect.
I never use local sharpening, but had a go at it now.
I agree that the effect isn't very strong, but even so, you get sharpening artifacts at 100 (on an image that has first been sharpened globally), and higher sharpening would cause even worse artifacts.
I often make use of selective focus in my images, with shallow depth of field. When I want to sharpen up the focused area, I like to use the adjustment brush to keep the rest of the image untouched.
Instead of adding local sharpening to the focused area, you could try to use the masking slider when doing regular sharpening.
This will reduce (or eliminate completely) the sharpening of smooth, out of focus areas, and can let you sharpen more with little or no effect on the out of focus areas.
Hold down the Alt key while dragging the masking slider to see which areas are affected by the mask.
White areas will be sharpened, black areas will be masked out, and not be sharpened.
When sharping with the brush, make sure Auto Mask is turned off.
Yes, I turn off the Auto Mask.
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Unlike most other Local Adjustment settings, Sharpness does not work independently from the global setting in the Detail panel. In fact, it applies the same sharpening as is set there (in the four Detail/Sharpening parameters) by increasing the value of the Amount parameter by a percentage of the original. Thus +100 on the Sharpness slider doubles whatever is set globally; if only Amount = 25 is set, the result is only 50, and if there is no Sharpening set, well 100% of 0 is.....
A better tool for keeping the sharpening away from the background is to set Detail/Sharpening/Masking while holding down Alt/Opt, as described by Per.
Thank you! I was not aware of the connection to the global settings. But I've noticed that the slider sometimes seemed to have greater effect, without knowing why.
I have explored the ordinary Detail/Sharpening/Masking tool together with the Alt/Option keys, and find it more and more useful. But even with proper masking, there are sometimes parts of an image that wasn't intended to be in focus that also is affected by the sharpening. For example if I have focused on the eyes in a portrait with shallow depth of field, maybe a zipper on the jacket lays on the same focus plane as the eyes. The extra sharpening here wouldn't be nice.
However, maybe the best solution is to sharpen as much as needed this way, and then eventually un-sharpen unwanted areas with the Adjustment brush?