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Input sharpening and resizing

Christian Balslev van Randwijk , Oct 19, 2008; 11:18 a.m.

Hello again, I recently posted a similar question here, but maybe I'm a bit slow :-) I apologize in advance if I am repeating myself. I have just begun using a Canon 1D mark II N. On the whitepaper to this camera, Canon suggests input sharpening, with USM settings of 300%/0,3/0 to counter the effects of the anti-aliasing filter. Would you apply this input sharpening as a standard first step, before resizing and further PP, or would you wait till after resizing, but before further PP? I know the common wisdom is to apply sharpening as a final point before printing, but I suppose that would be the output sharpening, right? I just want to minimize any artifacts or "digtial look" to my images while retaining sharp images.

Responses

Edmond Desbiens , Oct 19, 2008; 12:04 p.m.

The newer philosophy and I believe the right one is to separate sharpening into 3 steps.

First a little about sharpening - Sharpening is a trick to increase perceived edge contrast lost due to the digitization process. You camera, when it digitizes the image, loses some of the initial edge contrast. Then when you print, the digitization to the printer will again cause lost edge contrast. If you do some heavy post processing, again you may loose some edge contrast.

So First step is to sharpen to compensate for the camera digitization. This will get the right look while editing your images. You need to do this only for Raw images this is done for you in jpg images.

Second step. If you do some heavy manipulation (e.g. resize for web) or want some special effect you sharpen again.

third step When you want to print, you sharpen for the printer. Remember, a correctly sharpened image for the printer looks bad on screen (the 2 output sources require different sharpening because of different digitization)

If you want a better explanation, check out pixel genius's web site they have a nice tutorial. I also use their software to make all of this really easy.

Good Luck

Edmond

Colin Mattson , Oct 19, 2008; 01:34 p.m.

Yes, do your capture (or input) sharpening before doing anything else.

The first thing you want to do is knock off the effects of the anti-aliasing filter as much as possible -- which is what your capture sharpen does. That first sharpen affects everything down the line.

Patrick Lavoie , Oct 19, 2008; 01:58 p.m.

if you shoot raw it doestn matter what settign you put in camera..only good for jpeg.

I also suggest you do it in 3 pass;

1_ Capture Sharpening is applied early in the image-editing process, and just aims to restore any sharpness that was lost in the capture process.

2_ Creative Sharpening is usually applied locally to accentuate specific features in an image-for example, we often give eyes a little extra sharpness in head shots.

3_ Output Sharpening is applied to files that have already had capture and creative sharpening applied, after they've been sized to final output resolution, and is tailored to a specific type of output process.

I have writen a kind of small tutorial for a photo magazine, in french and english, feel free to ask it by email..its free : )

Patrick Lavoie , Oct 19, 2008; 02:00 p.m.

sorry, i think i saw you where talking about in camera setting? my mistake : )

Anyway, USM filter is probably the worst method of sharpening compare to many other...its time they supplied better info in there manual.

Robert J. Denton , Nov 16, 2008; 11:52 a.m.

Pixelgenius.com is the answer. The sharpening plug-in they have for Photoshop is amazing. Especially if you plan to make big prints from cropped images. They rate a 10+ in my book.

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