Hi Mark, how are you doing the "export to JPEG" step? Do you use the Export dialog, a custom Export preset, print to jpeg, etc.?
I am using the export Dialogue - I have tried using a custom preset and changing setting. I use jpeg sRGB, quality set to 100 and am just exporting to the desktop. No output sharpening or anything- I have also tried exporting as a psd using adobeRGB, that seemed to make a little difference,but i am still not getting the same quality as i get in the viewing window in Lightroom.
Maybe it is just me wishing for perfection... I'm not sure.
Sent - Thank you
Mark, just FYI. When you are in Develop, you do not get any preview of the noise reduction (and sharpening) when you are zoomed out as you appear to be here. They are simply not applied at all to make the display faster. This can lead to an image appearing far less (or far more in some cases) noisy than they actually are. You can only get to see noise reduction's effect when you zoom into 1:1 or higher in Develop. To optimize your noise reduction and sharpening, you HAVE to zoom in to 1:1 or higher. You will also see a preview of the noise reduction when you go the Library, but of course you don't get the develop controls there. Library shows the image from a jpeg preview generated using all your Develop settings including noise reduction. So, interestingly, the preview in Library is more accurate than that in Develop in some ways. Check what happens when you zoom in and when you go to Library. My bet is that it looks very similar to your jpeg export.
Hope this helps.
P.S. LR 3 beta (2) now shows a preview of the sharpening and noise reduction also in zoomed out views.
Also, you probably should be using color noise reduction on an image like that even if you go to black and white.
I do notice a difference between the image quality in the Library vs. Develop and noticed that shortly after i had posted the most recent response. I am just a little confused by your post when you say that the effects are only displayed on a 1:1 or higher scale. When i apply any form of NR the previewer - even at FIT - still shows adjustments happening. Is it simply rendering what it thinks may be adjusting or can it not comprehend the larger scale so it just smooths out some details?
And even at that, if i am able to achieve a desired effect in the previewer of Develop - shouldn't Lightroom be able to export that image that is it showing me? I am confident that i am able to reproduce the desired look in photoshop - basically through some smoothing - but the ability to create that in LR would save a lot of time.
I digress i am not very confident in my use of Lightroom as i have only been using it for a brief time - switching primarily from aperture i find lightroom a lot easier and more efficent.
No you cannot trust the effects of sharpening and noise reduction at
all when zoomed out to fit or fill. You can only trust it at 1:1 or
higher in LR 2. You should not see any effect at all zoomed out. If
you do see an effect, it is an artefact and Lightroom is lying to you.
You should optimize the noise reduction and sharpening at 1:1 and
ignore the noise and sharpness you see zoomed out in LR 2. This is a
little silly but the root cause is the fact that your display is a low
resolution device that simply cannot show you the effects zoomed out.
So Lightroom doesn't even bother applying the effect in the zoomed-out
"You can only trust it at 1:1 or higher in LR 2." - Understandable however I am using LR 3 - Beta 2. Sorry for the confusion there.
I do understand the need for optimization at 1:1 which I typically do - however when i want to view the image in its entirety to see if i am fully satisfied with it - I get a false preview as displayed above. That is where my problem is. Having to jump back to develop seems like an unnecessary step to me. If this is simply an issue with my display then it's settled. I am running a 13" Macbook unibody Intel Core 2 Duo w/ 4g ddr3 graphics NVIDIA GeForce 9400M
I apologize if I am coming off argumentative - that's not my intention. I am just trying to fully understand this situation.
I understand the confusion. It is a shortcoming of low resolution
displays which necessitates that a lower resolution image needs to be
generated to show you a preview. Lightroom 3 tries to give you a
preview that is quite accurate by using subpixel rendering, but
Lightroom 2 gives you a particularly wrong preview in Develop which is
a side effect of how the preview is generated. It uses a much lower
resolution interpolated to the display resolution version of the image
for speed reasons in the zoomed-out view. Often this shows you far
more noise than is actually there because you do not get the averaging
of pixels that you should get when you zoom out. Sometimes however, as
in your case, it actually shows you less noise than is really there.
Both are artefacts of the rendering choices made. Only when you zoom
1:1 will you actually get a correct rendering of the image taking all
the develop settings into account.
That - is exactly what i was looking for. It makes sense now - I pretty much understood from your previous posts - but it's clear now. I appreciate all the help!