X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

Started May 12, 2013 | Discussions
Lakeview Man Regular Member • Posts: 370
X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

Straight out of camera jpg.

The JPG settings for the above X100s picture were as follows:

- Standard color (provia), DR 100, auto white balance, noise reduction -2, H tone and S tone 0, color 0, sharpen +1.

Here's the JPG exported from the RAW processed file Lightroom 4.4:

RAW file processed in Lightroom 4.4, export output full size JPG.

No sliders in Lightroom 4.4 were adjusted except for the sharpening sliders:

- Sharpening amount 60, Radius 1.0, Detail 25, Masking 40

So, here's what I got by doing my sharpening in Nik's Pro sharpener 3.0 output sharping:

RAW file exported as TIF 16 bit Pro Photo RGB space to Nik's output sharpener 3.0, then exported as full size JPG output from Lightroom 4.4

So, the above result is what I got from Nik's Pro sharpener 3 output sharpener. The program was set to Display sharpening. Only slider I adjusted there was the first one from the top, Adaptive sharpening which I moved from 50% (default) to 70%.

My thoughts:

Lightroom 4.4 +  Niks prosharpener output program. I got the Nik program a while ago, but haven't really been using it, I try not to leave Lightroom 4.4 that much. But really, I think it's worth it. Anyway, the TIFF file made by Nik's software is automaticly put back into Lightroom for any final adjustments and exporting/printing. For these experiments I did not use NIK's pre sharpener program, not sure if it's nescessary. Also, before opening the raw file in Nik sharpener, it adjustet LR sharpening default amount down from 25 to 0. This is important so that you don't take any LR sharpening artifacts tendencies over to Nik.

Lightroom 4.4 raw file sharpening make artifacts very easily with the X-trans files. So it's important not to overdo it if one choose to stick just with Lightroom. Usually, for my Canon 7D and 600Dfiles, I like to raise the detail slider from default 25 to maybe 40 or 50 to bring out some extra textures (depening on the picture). But if I do that with my X100s or X-pro1 files, even more artifacts turn up. So, and especially for this portrait, I only increased sharpening amount from default 25 to 60.

SOOC JPG - obviouisly less detail. The skin look like plastic, even with NR in camera set to -2 and sharpening set to +1. More contrast and color though in the SOOC JPG, but for this experiement I did NO other adjustements to the RAW files in Lightroom. Any contrast and color corrections in Lightroom would give the raw file/nik sharpening an even more pleasing result than the SOOC. I did not try to remove any noise from the raw files either, only color noise which defaults to 25 anyway, so I left it there.

When I exported these three images from Lightroom, I exported them as full size JPG's, sRGB, but no further sharpening were done to any of these files from the export module.

I apologize for my English, hope you guys understand it.

edit: Oh I forgot the camera settings: f/2.0, 1/35 sec, ISO 6400. Flash forced to fire, -1 ev.

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vkphoto
vkphoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,632
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

Interesting comparison. Did you try Aperture? I am getting very good results with it.

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Lakeview Man OP Regular Member • Posts: 370
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

vkphoto wrote:

Interesting comparison. Did you try Aperture? I am getting very good results with it.

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Never tried Aperture. Read good things about it though. But isn't that Apple only? I have a windows PC.

More about the above pictures; Now, I chose LR sharpening set to 60, radius 1, detail 25, masking 40. That was as sharp as I could get it without too much artifacts. Some are still clearly visible even with those settings. I even had use masking 40 to reduce the watercolor artifacts from the face.

With Nik sharpener I could have easly sharpened quite more without any of the artifacts that Lightroom makes, the watercolor effect that is so much discussed here on this forum. Too much sharpening in Nik would of course make artifacts, but not the water color issues.

So, for any landscape shooters, that get files with lots of textures and details - set Lightroom sharpening to 0, open in Nik Sharpener Pro 3.0 - this is done from within Lightroom, and do your sharpening in Nik! Then you'll go free from the watercolor effect, and still get nice and sharp pictures.

Nik sharpener also has lots of adjustments and tweaking possibilities that I even didn't try to use!

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FWTOQA Regular Member • Posts: 268
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

Lakeview Man wrote:

The JPG settings for the above X100s picture were as follows:

- Standard color (provia), DR 100, auto white balance, noise reduction -2, H tone and S tone 0, color 0, sharpen +1.

Here's the JPG exported from the RAW processed file Lightroom 4.4:

No sliders in Lightroom 4.4 were adjusted except for the sharpening sliders:

- Sharpening amount 60, Radius 1.0, Detail 25, Masking 40

So, here's what I got by doing my sharpening in Nik's Pro sharpener 3.0 output sharping:

So, the above result is what I got from Nik's Pro sharpener 3 output sharpener. The program was set to Display sharpening. Only slider I adjusted there was the first one from the top, Adaptive sharpening which I moved from 50% (default) to 70%.

My thoughts:

Lightroom 4.4 +  Niks prosharpener output program. I got the Nik program a while ago, but haven't really been using it, I try not to leave Lightroom 4.4 that much. But really, I think it's worth it. Anyway, the TIFF file made by Nik's software is automaticly put back into Lightroom for any final adjustments and exporting/printing. For these experiments I did not use NIK's pre sharpener program, not sure if it's nescessary. Also, before opening the raw file in Nik sharpener, it adjustet LR sharpening default amount down from 25 to 0. This is important so that you don't take any LR sharpening artifacts tendencies over to Nik.

Lightroom 4.4 raw file sharpening make artifacts very easily with the X-trans files. So it's important not to overdo it if one choose to stick just with Lightroom. Usually, for my Canon 7D and 600Dfiles, I like to raise the detail slider from default 25 to maybe 40 or 50 to bring out some extra textures (depening on the picture). But if I do that with my X100s or X-pro1 files, even more artifacts turn up. So, and especially for this portrait, I only increased sharpening amount from default 25 to 60.

SOOC JPG - obviouisly less detail. The skin look like plastic, even with NR in camera set to -2 and sharpening set to +1. More contrast and color though in the SOOC JPG, but for this experiement I did NO other adjustements to the RAW files in Lightroom. Any contrast and color corrections in Lightroom would give the raw file/nik sharpening an even more pleasing result than the SOOC. I did not try to remove any noise from the raw files either, only color noise which defaults to 25 anyway, so I left it there.

When I exported these three images from Lightroom, I exported them as full size JPG's, sRGB, but no further sharpening were done to any of these files from the export module.

I apologize for my English, hope you guys understand it.

edit: Oh I forgot the camera settings: f/2.0, 1/35 sec, ISO 6400. Flash forced to fire, -1 ev.

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I prefer the SOOC version.

Lakeview Man OP Regular Member • Posts: 370
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

http://lakeviewman.blogspot.no

I prefer the SOOC version.

Interesting! We're all different. What do you find more pleasing about the SOOC version?

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Lakeview Man OP Regular Member • Posts: 370
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

A few more samples and some more information over in my post at my blog:

http://lakeviewman.blogspot.no/2013/05/fujifilm-x100s-low-light-iso-6400.html

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ArtByLukeBennett
ArtByLukeBennett Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

The colours are warmer in the OOC version, but the other two are way more detailed. Weird. I'm wondering if it's the noise reduction setting that smudges away the details? (I don't own the camera).

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Lakeview Man OP Regular Member • Posts: 370
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

ArtByLukeBennett wrote:

The colours are warmer in the OOC version, but the other two are way more detailed. Weird. I'm wondering if it's the noise reduction setting that smudges away the details? (I don't own the camera).

Yes, this was intentional, all color and contrast settings are zeroed out in the raw file versions, so it's the JPG wil look better when it comes to color

Colors and contrast must always be tweaked in all rawfiles or else they will look dull - like in this comparison. But the subject for this comparison was sharpness, and not color/contrast.

So, let's forget about colors for now

All noise reduction was switched off in the camera for the SOOC version! That was also my intention. Still it lacks detail and makes the skin look like plastic.

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jaxwired Forum Member • Posts: 97
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

Hmmm...that's a tough one for me.  I shoot my x100s in jpg.  I do like the jpg version but the raw pics are clearly more detailed.  I might switch to raw.  The jpg version has better colors and tones for sure IMO but the detail is reduced.  I suspect the detail could be boosted in PP, but the RAW colors could also be warmed up in PP.

thank you for posting this.

FWTOQA Regular Member • Posts: 268
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

Lakeview Man wrote:

http://lakeviewman.blogspot.no

I prefer the SOOC version.

Interesting! We're all different. What do you find more pleasing about the SOOC version?

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less noise, better colour, more pleasing, and less "artificial" detail. I'm sure the model would prefer it as well. But yes, we're all different, it's just my view.

I do prefer OOC on principle, I prefer not to tinker too much myself.

Lakeview Man OP Regular Member • Posts: 370
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

FWTOQA wrote:

Lakeview Man wrote:

http://lakeviewman.blogspot.no

I prefer the SOOC version.

Interesting! We're all different. What do you find more pleasing about the SOOC version?

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less noise, better colour, more pleasing, and less "artificial" detail. I'm sure the model would prefer it as well. But yes, we're all different, it's just my view.

I do prefer OOC on principle, I prefer not to tinker too much myself.

Less noise, I agree, but at cost of detail. But again, that's your preference. And perhaps my wife too, which is in the picture.

About color, that's a given, it's better in the JPG because it's a processed file from the camera. The raw files was intentionally not processed at all! And rawfiles are meant to be processed  outside of camera. So it's more work, yes. Here they were only sharpened because only sharpening was to goal of this comparison.

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Lakeview Man OP Regular Member • Posts: 370
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

jaxwired wrote:

Hmmm...that's a tough one for me.  I shoot my x100s in jpg.  I do like the jpg version but the raw pics are clearly more detailed.  I might switch to raw.  The jpg version has better colors and tones for sure IMO but the detail is reduced.  I suspect the detail could be boosted in PP, but the RAW colors could also be warmed up in PP.

thank you for posting this.

About color, that's a given, it's better in the JPG because it's a processed file by the camera! The raw files was intentionally not processed at all! And rawfiles are meant to be processed  outside of camera. So it's more work, yes. Here they were only sharpened because only sharpening was to goal of this comparison.

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Lakeview Man OP Regular Member • Posts: 370
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

jaxwired wrote:

Hmmm...that's a tough one for me.  I shoot my x100s in jpg.  I do like the jpg version but the raw pics are clearly more detailed.  I might switch to raw.  The jpg version has better colors and tones for sure IMO but the detail is reduced.  I suspect the detail could be boosted in PP, but the RAW colors could also be warmed up in PP.

thank you for posting this.

Since many people got confused by the topic -  which purely was about detail, sharpening and noise reduction and NOT  about more pleasing colors and contrast.... I've made a new sample of this picture. In this I processed the raw file in Lightroom 4.4, added about 40 in contrast, added some saturation of the colors, set sharpening to 0, but did sharpening again with Nik's software.  Here's that more color processed version. Again, it is about what kind of detail I can get out of the files, but ok,, some more contrast/colors for ye:

Raw files, processed in LR 4.4, added contrast and color saturation, sharpened in Nik Pro Sharpener 3.0

Also, check out my post in my blog here:

http://lakeviewman.blogspot.no/2013/05/fujifilm-x100s-low-light-iso-6400.html

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Lakeview Man OP Regular Member • Posts: 370
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

Ok, the above examples were done with files where the ISO was high, ISO 6400. So how about a bit lower ISO, and nature shots with som foilage? For this I use an example from Fujifilm X-pro1 that uses the X-trans sensor like X100s. XF 18mm f/2.0 lens is used.

Here's a straight out of camera JPG, ISO 800, f/11, 1/750. I could have done this shot in ISO 200 (native for X-pro1). But I guess I was experimenting with the dynamic range extended. Not sure because this was last autumn. But the camera jpg is shot with Velvia color, standard noise reduction, sharpening standard. Ok, here's the jpg:

Fujifilm X-pro1 SOOC JPG, Velvia, standard NR, Standard sharpening in camera.

Ok, below the same shot, processed in Lightroom 4.4, contrast and color increased somewhat so not to make the picture look too dull. But really, this comparison is about sharpening, not about pleasing color.

Fujifilm X-pro1 Jpg from RAW file processed in Lightroom 4.4. Color saturation and contrast increased somewhat. Sharpening done in Lightroom 4.4.

The sharpening settings in Lightroom for the above shot is as follows:

- Amount 65, radius 1.3, detail 40, masking 0.

Ok, the final example, this is the same RAW file procesed in Lightroom 4.4, but all sharpening were done in Nik Software Pro Sharpener:

JPG from a RAW file, processed in Lightroom 4.4, satuartion and contrast increased, but all sharpening is done in Nik Pro sharpener.

I still like the result I get from Nik sharpener. Also please note, I did not use any time to perfect to colors and contrast, this was all done really fast. There's less detail in the SOOC JPG. Of course, I could have sharpened that file too, but then again, the point with a JPG from the camera is to use it as it is. If one is to do adjustments in Lightroom anyway, you might as well use the rawfile and get more information available in the highlights and shadows. That's my opinion anyway.

Also, I might have over sharpened a bit. But my point was to show the artifacts that are made, the water color effect, that show up on a raw file sharpened in Lightroom.

Edit: there's noise in the sky of the sharpened raw files. This could have been fixed easily in Lightroom sharpening by using the masking slider, or controlled in Nik sharpener. I did not do this for these files.

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FWTOQA Regular Member • Posts: 268
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

For me it's always OOC jpgs, I just haven't the time or inclination for raw or, what I consider, too much PP. It's one of the reasons I got the X100. For me it's the overall look/feel of the picture, viewed at full image, rather than how many individual leaves I can see on a tree.

I've got the full suite of Nik plugins for LR, but have never felt the need to sharpen or reduce noise on any of my OOC jpgs from the X100.

vkphoto
vkphoto Senior Member • Posts: 1,632
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

Lakeview Man wrote:

vkphoto wrote:

Interesting comparison. Did you try Aperture? I am getting very good results with it.

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Never tried Aperture. Read good things about it though. But isn't that Apple only? I have a windows PC.

More about the above pictures; Now, I chose LR sharpening set to 60, radius 1, detail 25, masking 40. That was as sharp as I could get it without too much artifacts. Some are still clearly visible even with those settings. I even had use masking 40 to reduce the watercolor artifacts from the face.

With Nik sharpener I could have easly sharpened quite more without any of the artifacts that Lightroom makes, the watercolor effect that is so much discussed here on this forum. Too much sharpening in Nik would of course make artifacts, but not the water color issues.

So, for any landscape shooters, that get files with lots of textures and details - set Lightroom sharpening to 0, open in Nik Sharpener Pro 3.0 - this is done from within Lightroom, and do your sharpening in Nik! Then you'll go free from the watercolor effect, and still get nice and sharp pictures.

Nik sharpener also has lots of adjustments and tweaking possibilities that I even didn't try to use!

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Yes, Aperture is OSX only, but results are very good.

After reading your post I am planning to play with NIK sharpener a bit more.

Cheers!

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Lakeview Man OP Regular Member • Posts: 370
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

FWTOQA wrote:

For me it's always OOC jpgs, I just haven't the time or inclination for raw or, what I consider, too much PP. It's one of the reasons I got the X100. For me it's the overall look/feel of the picture, viewed at full image, rather than how many individual leaves I can see on a tree.

I've got the full suite of Nik plugins for LR, but have never felt the need to sharpen or reduce noise on any of my OOC jpgs from the X100.

The X100 sensor is different, and the raw files are probably not so easily filled with artifacts when sharpened in Lightroom 4.4. And if you use JPG's from the camera, I guess my comparison between Nik's sharpening and Lightroom sharpening doesn't interest you that much anyway. That is understandable

I'm used to using rawfiles and Lightroom from my Canon 7D/600D workflow, so I guess I'll continue to do so anyway. It's just that the sharpening results from Lightroom is not that pleasing, so I'm happy to have found Nik's software.

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Peter Gabriel Contributing Member • Posts: 571
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

Would be interesting to see the same image processed by Aperture.

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Randy Benter
Randy Benter Veteran Member • Posts: 3,148
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

The detail slider in LR/ACR just makes a mess of X-Trans files by adding ugly artifacts. I find it much better to leave the detail slider at zero. If you leave it at 0, then you can increase sharpening.

It is also a good idea to increase the masking slider (around 50 is good). This limits the sharpening to areas of detail instead of sharpening the whole image. Sharpening with the masking slider at zero will add noise to smooth areas like skin or skies. You can hold the "alt" key to see where the sharpening will be applied.

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Lakeview Man OP Regular Member • Posts: 370
Re: X100s SOOC jpg vs LR raw sharpened vs NIK sharpened

Randy Benter wrote:

The detail slider in LR/ACR just makes a mess of X-Trans files by adding ugly artifacts. I find it much better to leave the detail slider at zero. If you leave it at 0, then you can increase sharpening.

It is also a good idea to increase the masking slider (around 50 is good). This limits the sharpening to areas of detail instead of sharpening the whole image. Sharpening with the masking slider at zero will add noise to smooth areas like skin or skies. You can hold the "alt" key to see where the sharpening will be applied.

Thank you Randy. It's a good tip.

I know this, but I've been trying out Nik's  sharpener and applying sharpening to the whole picture. For the sake of comparison I set the masking to 0 in the nature shot in LR. In the portrait shot in my first post I used masking at 40 in LR, so I didn't mess up my wife's skin too much

Detail at 25 or 0? Well, I find that 25 is maximum. But not sure if zero is needed. But I will check it out.

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