Sharpen by numbers

Started Mar 15, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Sharpen by numbers
Mar 15, 2011

I am frequently annoyed at my photos not being tack sharp even if the input is as good as it gets (optimal aperture, mirror lock, low ISO, tripod).

Sometimes I get lucky and using multiple High Pass/overlay layers yield the expected result, but finding the right Radius settings or Amount/Threshold values for Unsharp Mask seems like too much of a guessing game. Isn't there some "sharpen by numbers" approach to get optimal sharpness ?

Given the image dimensions (say a 12MP file), the output dimensions (5" x 7"), output resolution (say 150 lpi), and some defining criteria (e.g. "eyelash is 5 pixels wide", "tree in the distance is 50 pixels tall") - what should the radius/amount/threshold values be ?

It probably doesn't work that way but it sure would be nice to have some algorithm rather than endless trial & error to do input sharpening and then doing the whole thing again for printing.

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