Upload & Sell: On
+1 @ real pencil ... I've got an 8B that is lethal, will shred paper if you're not careful.
People often mistake contrast and sharpness. My Oly lenses are very sharp, but lower contrast than some of my Nikon lenses. So, my Oly glass needs a bit more sharpening than do my Nikon lenses. But, that doesn't make the Nikon sharper, and in some portions of the image, the Oly is actually sharper, albeit lower contrast.
Acutance, resolving power, contrast, sharpness, etc. are all interrelated toward controlling the amount of difference between pixels and the transition rate (be it slow vs. rapid). The more rapid the change, the more contrast, the sharper it appears. Of course, pure B&W makes for the maximum contrast potential ... and as we use sharpening to change neighboring pixel values farther apart, this is what creates the sharpening perception. Drive them too far apart and you get halos and cruchies.
And ... as you are well aware of, the contrast of the light illuminating your subject plays a significant role in determining the contrast being captured. So ... with the variables of the lens contrast, sensor AA filter blur variation and lighting variance ... sharpening strategies are not universally formulaic, imo.
Very true, but what I attempt to do is reduce the variables so I can use a formula. I do this because I know I can't trust my eyes to do variable changes.
That last is only partly true of course. Another part is because the only audience that cares is other photographers and when you allow them to judge your work, you will get an infinite number of judgments all negative. Or if they are honest like you and some others here, they will say its subjective (as it is) which leaves those who feel like some negative comment are required or at least some change other than what you have done.
But this is a will o the wisp. Like a cat chasing a flashlight beam. I have been doing that for a long time.
So anyway, I use the same few lenses and reject images with poor contrast, exposure or focus. I know what parts of the image don't stand sharpening. I do have several variances to my formulas mostly for dynamic range. But at the saved PSD file sharpening is not one of them.
If you consider it, the only one who actually views the full size PSD is myself and anyone setting by my computer. If it gets printed, Qimage does some print sharpening geared to the print size and paper.
If it is a screensaver, it gets downsized and sharpened like my web formula. If it is for web, it also gets sharpened. So my 100% crop is not normally seen without some additional work.
Fact is, other photographers only see my web versions which are the worst of all versions. I suppose I ought to work harder on them if I want respect.