Question about the effects of post processing on resulting image quality

Discussion in 'Nikon Cameras' started by Submariner1, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. Submariner1

    Submariner1 TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    I'm using a Nikon D610 with average lenses, tripod mounted, shutter release chord etc. in order to capture sharp images. If I want to post-process a picture in Lightroom then produce a 16x20 print how does one keep the image sharp and unaffected by post-processing? Is there anyway to determine how sharp an image is to make sure the print is sharp enough for printing?

    Thanks


     
  2. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Quite the contrary -- you rely on post processing to sharpen the photo ideally for print output.

    Are you using LR to process NEF files or are you working with the JPEGs created by the camera? If you're processing the camera JPEGs then they've already been sharpened by the camera processing software. You may or may not want to sharpen them further.

    Best practice is to apply input sharpening when converting the NEF file and then output sharpening that is tailored to the output media and size.

    Joe

    EDIT: Sharpening is a complex subject and there are many different sharpening methods and practices. LR provides fairly rudimentary sharpening via the Details panel along with the option to apply local sharpening using the Adjustment Brush. Lots of additional options exist using other software.
     
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  3. TammyCampbell

    TammyCampbell No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If anything it should reduce noise and make it sharper as long as you don't edit it to an extreme version of itself.. that is why you have the histogram. You keep the ranges wnl. For realism
     
  4. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    Yes.
    The process is known as 'soft proofing'.
    See the In Practice section of the following tutorials:
    Tutorials on Color Management & Printing

    Image sharpening is best done as a 3 stage process:
    • Global sharpening done to the entire photograph, and preferably while the photograph is still a 16-bit depth Raw file.
    • Local sharpening, done to only some areas in the photograph
    Output sharpening, dictated by the final use of the photograph. Photos destined for print can usually be sharpened a bit more than photos destined for electronic display.
    Real World Image Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop, Camera Raw, and Lightroom (2nd Edition)
     
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  5. Submariner1

    Submariner1 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for your responses! I have never shot is Raw before and all my images have been jpegs so I think my issue was that I might have been over doing the enhancements in LR. From now on I will shoot in Raw. Since there are tons of suggestions on the net about LR, can anyone here suggest a typical workflow? Also, how does one know if they are "over doing" the different settings in LR?
     
  6. Ysarex

    Ysarex Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Your camera will save NEF files. Import those into LR. LR has an option to import and convert to DNG: NO! Just import the NEFs. Process the image in LR. The Detail panel provides input sharpening which you should apply to all images. Input sharpening is generally done conservatively. Adobe will apply a default amount of input sharpening based on your camera type. When you look at the Detail panel you'll see values already set for Amount, Radius and Detail. Adobe's defaults are conservative -- accept them or increase them if you feel it's needed.

    The Adjustment brush will allow you to mask a local area in the photo and add additional sharpening. It's a bad idea for example to increase sharpening for a blue sky but maybe very appropriate to sharpen the details in a stone wall.

    At this point you have done input and local sharpening. NOTE: These should still be conservative. The reason: Different output targets benefit from different levels of sharpening. For example sharpen more for print output and less for screen output. A one size fits all does not exist. When you export a JPEG from LR you will have an opportunity to apply output sharpening and LR again provides some default options for you to select from.

    Joe

    EDIT: How do you know if you're over doing it? That's what your eyes are for.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    One of the things I like about LR, is that most adjustments are controlled via sliders and only the final position of hte slider matters.

    In other words, you can move the slider back and forth, watch the image change, and then end up in the slider position that makes the image look best.

    I would say that you seldom end up all the way left or right, but by pushing a slider all the way, you can often get a good sense of 'how far is too far'. So a typical thing to do, is to drag a slider all the way in either direction, then just zero in to the where you want it.

    Also, it's a good idea to view your images at different zoom levels. You will see things at 1:1 that you won't see when viewing the whole image....but you don't want to become a 'pixel peeper' and only pay attention to the fine details....you should remember to view the image as a whole so get a sense of what your edits are doing.
     
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  8. KmH

    KmH In memoriam Supporting Member

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    JPEG is a lossy 8-bit color depth file type intended as a Ready-To-Print file type that will not be edited outside the camera.
    JPEGs made in your camera were edited by the camera according to user or default settings in the camera. The user settings available in the camera are crude settings that get applied to the entire photograph.
    Consequently, JPEG files have limited, if any, post production editing headroom because of the limited color bit depth, the file size reduction accomplished by the lossy file compression, and the editing already done in the camera.

    Raw files have a 16-bit color depth and the maximum amount of editing headroom we can get.
    Not being edited in the camera, Raw files seen in your Raw converter application (LR's Develop module in your case) tend to not look as nice as JPEGs made in the camera.

    Photo Editing Tutorials
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
  9. Submariner1

    Submariner1 TPF Noob!

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    Very interesting. I had no idea that JPEGs are kind of useless for post processing and are "auto-post processed" by the camera. I'll shoot some in RAW then experiment in LR.
    Thanks!
     

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