Output sharpening in Aperture (considering escaping to Lightroom)

Started Apr 5, 2013 | Discussions thread
Alpha Doug Veteran Member • Posts: 9,222
Re: Output sharpening in Aperture (considering escaping to Lightroom)

First, could you explain a little more about your need for "output" sharpening.  Mainly, in the past, this has primarily related to saving your sharpening for the last stage in your workflow, not necessarily adding it to your actual output "step".  It is primarily the act of the final preparation for printing, since inkjet printing tends to "blend" the pixels a little, so "over" sharpening tends to offset this a bit.  I find that I can get my images adequately sharp for printing, by using a combination of Camera RAW Fine Tuning (as a RAW presharpen step - a lot of people don't know how to use this), and then use only Edge Sharpening only as the last sharpening step (the older "Sharpen" tool is more related to "Unsharp Mask" in Photoshop, and is considered inferior to Edge Sharpen, which is more of a frequency related sharpening filter).  Try using the combination of the Intensity, Edges and Falloff controls to achieve the sharpening you want prior to output.  If this still doesn't accomplish what you want, Aperture also has a Print Sharpening feature if you are printing at home.  (Never use this as I find I can achieve what I want without it).  Aperture does not have a feature to apply some sort of sharpening upon export (although I fail to see the utility of a "blind" final sharpening).  If using the above does not get exactly what you want, then you must move to a more sophisticated sharpening algorithm.  I suggest that you will get an even better, more accurate and adjustable result from a third party sharpener such as nik Sharpener Pro.  It is way more sophisticated than even the sharpening step in LR.  And, in the package, you also get HDR Efex Pro, which is my favorite HDR program, and Silver Efex pro, likewise my favorite B&W conversion program.  Not to mention the dFine is probably the best noise reduction program available.  While it does add another step to your process, it achieves better results.  And it eliminates the problem of having to either move one image at a time to LR, or having to "reprocess" all your existing images.

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