Lightroom - more agressive sharpening?


hmm I recognise this place! And some of you!
Staff member
Supporting Member
May 1, 2008
Reaction score
UK - England
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
So here's a comparison between Lightroom 4 and Camera RAW 5.6:


From what I can tell there shouldn't be a difference, but if you look the lightroom shot is clearly sharper and the noise has been sharpened as well, giving a much harsher view than the Camera RAW 5.6 (even though it should be similar/the same software).

I'm thus confused, Lightroom has even read this shots defaults and the sharpening and noise control settings are set the same:
Amount 25
Radius 1
Detail 25
Masking 0

Noise Reduction
Luminescence 0
Colour noise 25

(lightroom also has greyed out detail and contrast in these, I assume by greyed out they are currently not enabled - esp since the detail ones are both set to 50).

I'm not opposed to a sharper sharpening code overall, but the background has been rendered what I would consider in an ugly manner, esp compared to the much smoother versions that I'm more used to seeing. Is there some setting adjustment I can make to get a more similar appearance or have I got to tweak the values because lightroom has stronger codes?
I took a screenshot, and layered the right on top of the left, lined them up, and compared them that way.

I couldn't see any difference whatsoever aside from slight differences in jpeg compression.
Grr I'm finding it hard to see a difference ---- either that means I'm going mad or the contrast background difference of Camera RAW and Lightroom is throwing my eyes - or photobucket compression has killed the difference. I'll try and get a better example....
I'm certain there's a difference in that last one!!
If there isn't I'm just going to blame it all on me going insane and on this terribly quality LCD screen....
Actually, now that I look at it again, it does look a little like the contrast is less in the background on the right. The sharpening doesn't look much different to me though.
I believe that LR4 is using ACR 6.3...which is obviously newer than the 5.6 your using. That might account for the difference.

Have you tried playing with the masking slider?
Lightroom 4 uses ACR 7.

ACR 5 was used in CS4 Camera Raw/Lightroom 2.

The sharpening application in ACR 6 (CS5 Camera Raw/Lightroom 3) got a significant improvement over what ACR 5 had to offer.

I also wondered if you are using the 2012 rendering in Lightroom 4, and ProPhotoRGB as the color space in Camera Raw 5.
Great thread. Lightroom is amazing.
KmH - yep I'm using the 2012 rendering in Lightroom 4, this also appears to be its default if I take a RAW edited in Elements and then "convert" it in lightroom 4.

In Elements I'm not sure what colourspace the RAWs are being processed in (I can't seem to find a colourspace option in the RAW processing part) though because elements never does much with anything that isn't 8bit I am working in 8bit RAW there (mostly because otherwise its the first step I have to make in elements to enable any editing).

Reading around it does seem that this difference is apparently from ACR 6 where they did change the focus for the processing software to a more detailed, and thus noisy appearing image as opposed to the smoother displays show in ACR5 that I have with Elements 6.
It reads that if I'm to keep using Lightroom I'll have to get used to this new way it displays my RAWs and then make the shift toward applying a bit more noise control *by default* in RAW processing.

I do like what the lightroom software is capable of though I also prefer the somewhat finer controls that Neat Image offers me for noise and sharpening - so its going to be a toss up between quick and easy in lightroom through to more detailed control in elements (plus learning how to properly use neat image's various custom controls more effectively).
Elements lacks a lot of ACR features CS5 has.

I don't believe you can choose the working color space of Elements ACR but IIRC you can set the bit depth to 16 bits for working in Elements ACR.
Aye I can, but setting it to 16bit is mostly a waste since I have to convert it to 8bit to do anything more than save it in elements - sadly working on higher bit photos is one of those features they stripped out. For most of my stuff its not a major problem, though it is one thing that I hope to get once I can oneday upgrade to CS5

Most reactions