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Archive 2012 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?
  
 
rabbitmountain
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p.1 #1 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


Part 1
While noise is becoming less of a problem, many of us still use older cameras and some need to shoot in very dark conditions. As I haven't seen this discussed for quite some time, I thought we'd have a poll.

Part 2
If you have a winning image that has too much noise and needs better treatment than your basic workflow provides, what do you use? For example, think of a wedding image that the couple wants as a big spread in the album.

Let's have 'm!



Aug 01, 2012 at 07:11 AM
stanj
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p.1 #2 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


LR. While I admit that there are more sophisticated tools, I have found the price of entry (not just dollars, but also workflow disruption, etc) to be too high. If I need to print a picture that has too much noise, that's the way it is. As long as it's monochromatic it doesn't bother me. As a matter of fact I prefer a nice picture with monochromatic noise to a plastic-y looking image that most people produce with sophisticated tools. Just like HDR - not my cup of tea.


Aug 01, 2012 at 07:14 AM
KiboOst
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p.1 #3 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


+1000 with stanj ! Everyone cry against noise, but sometimes I even add some. Creative noise is a reality ;-) Full Lightroom workflow, printing in photoshop. I must say I shoot only low iso.


Aug 01, 2012 at 07:19 AM
Sami Ruusunen
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p.1 #4 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


For a basic noise removal I just use Lightroom.

For more special cases I use the method I call "area noise removal" and this is how it works:

I export 2 or 3 TIFF files from Lightroom with different noise reduction settings, forexample with noise reduction set to 0, 25 and 50.

Then I combine these 2 or 3 files in Photoshop using layers and masks. With this (bit time comsuming) method I can maintain the high detail in areas like eyebrows, hair and cloth and same time remove the noise from the areas where it bothers the most like shadows, sky etc.



Aug 01, 2012 at 07:43 AM
rabbitmountain
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p.1 #5 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


^ ^

I agree mostly, but sometimes you don't want the noise to be much apparent, like in my example (album viewing, large print from close reading range).

3rd party noise applications as a LR plugin combine easy workflow and advanced noise removal.




Aug 01, 2012 at 07:44 AM
Breitling65
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p.1 #6 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


LR seems doing job good, PS as well. I use to do it in Noise Ninja but this tool does extra sharpening lot which I don't like.


Aug 01, 2012 at 10:03 AM
WebDog
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p.1 #7 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


Uses the tools built-in in C1... Enough for me


Aug 01, 2012 at 10:38 AM
dhphoto
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p.1 #8 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


If I have a noisy image that really needs cleaning up I use the PS plugin for NeatImage on a separate layer, remove all the noise and then paint back in the detailed areas on a mask.

You can safely remove all digital noise from say, a sky without issue and then just paint back in the detailed areas as needed.



Aug 01, 2012 at 11:04 AM
LCPete
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p.1 #9 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


dhphoto wrote:
If I have a noisy image that really needs cleaning up I use the PS plugin for NeatImage on a separate layer, remove all the noise and then paint back in the detailed areas on a mask.

You can safely remove all digital noise from say, a sky without issue and then just paint back in the detailed areas as needed.


thats what I do, except my version of neat image is not a plug in but still works well



Aug 01, 2012 at 11:25 AM
Stoffer
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p.1 #10 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


stanj wrote:
LR. While I admit that there are more sophisticated tools, I have found the price of entry (not just dollars, but also workflow disruption, etc) to be too high. If I need to print a picture that has too much noise, that's the way it is. As long as it's monochromatic it doesn't bother me. As a matter of fact I prefer a nice picture with monochromatic noise to a plastic-y looking image that most people produce with sophisticated tools.


+1, especially regarding workflow disruption.

Lightrooms noise reduction is pretty darn good in my book. Color Noise is just gone, and I find it very easy to reduce luminance noise to the point where you still have some decent amount of details left. That obviously got even easier with the 1D X, but that is another story. Anyway, it is also worth noting that with LR4 you can paint in more NR on the areas that need that with the Adjustment Brush.



Aug 01, 2012 at 11:50 AM
 

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Monito
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p.1 #11 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


Canon DPP for basic adjustments --> 16 bits --> Photoshop for post-processing.

I do edge-detected sharpening in Photoshop for noisy photos combined with relatively strong noise reduction in non-edge areas. DPP noise reduction is pretty good too and sometimes I use it.




Aug 01, 2012 at 12:18 PM
AGeoJO
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p.1 #12 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


Approximately 99%, the noise reduction built into LR is more than enough for my workflow. I do have Dfine from Nik and use it sparingly for selected files. It came as a bundle with Viveza, Color Efex Pro, etc. I would not buy that separately. For those special files, I normally scale down the LR noise reduction level significantly and sometimes I turn it off completely.


Aug 01, 2012 at 01:14 PM
n0b0
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p.1 #13 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


AGeoJO wrote:
Approximately 99%, the noise reduction built into LR is more than enough for my workflow. I do have Dfine from Nik and use it sparingly for selected files. It came as a bundle with Viveza, Color Efex Pro, etc. I would not buy that separately. For those special files, I normally scale down the LR noise reduction level significantly and sometimes I turn it off completely.


I really like using Nik Soft's Dfine. With the CP feature, I only use it on areas with very little to no details, eg. blurred background.



Aug 01, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Gunzorro
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p.1 #14 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


I use LR, but hardly ever us NR. When I do, it is in the range of Masking 10, and Luminance 10-20. More than that, and I see fine detail softening in normal use. I recently shot at ISO 1600 with 5D2 and left the NR at zero, keeping the fine detail and accepting some noise. I avoid shooting above 1600, so noise isn't much concern.

I like the idea of no noise, and the suggestion of multiple image variations merged via PS is great. In the evolving Digital Age, I'm sure a camera will do "noise mapping" in-body very soon, as an advanced variation of long exposure NR, but without the long second exposure. In the next few years, I expect noise to be a thing of the past, or an affectation used intentionally.



Aug 01, 2012 at 02:06 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #15 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


It is extremely rare for me to have to do any noise reduction in post. Perhaps the only times it might be necessary are when I shoot at a very high ISO, perhaps underexpose and then have to push exposure a bit in post.

The NR is ACR is especially effective for reducing noise in areas of consistent color/luminosity or smooth gradients, with the mask tool to keep sharpening confined to higher contrast edges. I'm more likely to use the ACR NR than to do it in Photoshop CS6. (Lightroom's NR is essentially the same as that in ACR.)

Dan



Aug 01, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Bsmooth
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p.1 #16 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


I'm still using a 20D and 1DMk2, and I would say just about every single shot needs some noise reduction. I mostly use Neat Image as well, although I must admit the newer version doesn't seem as versatile as the old one, which seemed to have more options, even using the advance mode.
I have also been experimenting with doing the noise reduction using the lab mode, and only applying it to I think its the lightness layer, but I have to drop to 8 bit mode as its what my version of Neat Image has. I think you need to upgrade to Pro, and so far I'm not impressed enough with the newer version to do that.
I don't understand how using 3 variations of noise removal would help with an image, to me it would seem to get rid of more details than anything. Can someone explain?



Aug 01, 2012 at 04:38 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #17 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


Sami Ruusunen wrote:
For a basic noise removal I just use Lightroom.

For more special cases I use the method I call "area noise removal" and this is how it works:

I export 2 or 3 TIFF files from Lightroom with different noise reduction settings, forexample with noise reduction set to 0, 25 and 50.

Then I combine these 2 or 3 files in Photoshop using layers and masks. With this (bit time comsuming) method I can maintain the high detail in areas like eyebrows, hair and cloth and same time remove the noise from the areas where it bothers the most like shadows, sky
...Show more

Very clever. For High ISO images with shallow DOF, I'll typically turn LR NR completely off and then export the image into CS5 and use the noise reduction filter on the OOF areas, but I like your idea since it benefits from better NR offered at the raw pipeline level. I was hoping Adobe would add masking features to its controls in LR4; it's just a matter of time before they do.



Aug 01, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #18 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


For light noise I just monkey with the sliders in Aperture 3 (or DPP for a rare troublesome conversation). For heavy noise, I use CS5 and apply Topaz Denoise 5 in separate layer, sometimes masking extra noisy areas like the low mids or twilight clouds and blending to taste with other layers. I also selectively sharpen in another layer to avoid bring out noise in skies or out of focus backgrounds.


Aug 01, 2012 at 05:27 PM
msalvetti
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p.1 #19 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


I shoot high school ice hockey at ISO4000 all the time with my 7D. I shoot jpg, Neutral picture style, in-camera noise reduction on standard.

Once I've selected the keepers, I'll batch-process them (around 200 images at a time) using Neat Image and default settings.

My version of Neat Image is 32-bit, so I can't use it as a plug-in to CS5.

Sometimes it bothers me that I can't do better shooting RAW and using ACR NR. I think I should get better results, but I don't, and I haven't spent a lot of time trying to figure out how.

I guess my jpg method is good enough for me right now.

Mark



Aug 01, 2012 at 05:28 PM
abqnmusa
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p.1 #20 · Basic/Advanced noise workflow?


best noise reduction option for me was changing from crop camera to full frame
2nd best option was then adding faster lenses
3rd best option was to use a tripod whenever possible to allow use of low iso

software noise reduction is a last resort

Edited on Aug 01, 2012 at 09:59 PM · View previous versions



Aug 01, 2012 at 06:46 PM
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