ACR creating strange artifacts

Started Dec 26, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Anthony Curcione
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ACR creating strange artifacts
Dec 26, 2011

I'm mostly an Aperture user, but have been giving Lightroom/ACR a bit of love these days to see if I wanted to make a switch. I love the DAM with Aperture, but it's lack of lens distortion correction keeps pushing me into Photoshop.

Anyway, I took a photo the other day (Canon 60D) and needed to remove a light pole that was seemingly growing out of my head in the picture so I figured I'd just process it in ACR and move right into PS. While inside ACR I could see some strangeness in the background, kind of a stair-stepping pattern so I zoomed into 100% and it faded, but I saw more pixelation than expected. So I zoomed in even more (400%) and the background was just a mess. I continued on, though, and did what I needed in PS so I could get the photo out.

Today I looked at the photo that PS generated and the original inside Aperture and the differences in what I am seeing in the background are huge and I'm not positive what's going on.

Below are 400x crops from screenshots of the same area of the background, one from directly in ACR (Lightroom looks exactly the same as does a TIFF export from the CR2) and the other from inside Aperture.

The only way I can get rid of this in ACR is to turn sharpening to zero so even the default is too much. I still don't see this in Aperture if I do Edge sharpening, but I know they are different beasts.

So I'm guessing that if I'm going to use ACR I'm going to have to do sharpening in PS instead using other techniques so I can avoid this, yes? Or is this more a noise problem generated by the sharpening?

From ACR:

From Aperture:

 Anthony Curcione's gear list:Anthony Curcione's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8
Canon EOS 60D
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