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Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed
  
 
chuck77
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


Because I shoot mainly portraiture, I found that the skin detail and texture on the Fuji XT2 files out of Lightroom are far lower than with my Sony A7 - to the point where I no longer have to carefully do skin retouching like I did before.

I know the X-trans sensors are capable of alot more, but I don't know a good way to convert these raw files for maximum detail and least noise. In fact, I am seeing alot of worms/artifacts in the low light areas of most of these photos - even in the darker areas of daylight shots. Is this just a limitation of the APS-C sensor, or will Iridient Developer help leaps and bounds to resolve this? Currently I am using Lightroom.

This problem is bad enough that some days I feel the need to buy a full frame system as an addition to my kit. Do I have unrealistic expectations out of these files, or is there more potential to the X-trans files?

Sample photo I took and closeup of skin detail, after Lightroom processing.
Overcast day, no flash. Fuji 35f/2 WR @ f/4. 1/640s, ISO 200







Fuji 35f/2 WR @ f/4, 1/640s, ISO 200







Close Up #1 - 100%




Oct 09, 2017 at 06:34 PM
Ian Boys
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


It looks fine to me, just quite underexposed. I also don't see any anomalies at all, just skin texture and light hairs on her face..


Oct 09, 2017 at 06:54 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


They actually tend to have rather low noise levels...


Oct 09, 2017 at 08:24 PM
ediblestarfish
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


Unless you would like to use high frequency masking to blur out all that skin detail for that weirdly perfect skin look, I don't see any noise. All I see is skin detail, which is... normal.

Do you have a specific look you are going for? If you have the raw file somewhere for d/l I can mess with it and see if anything is wrong.



Oct 09, 2017 at 08:48 PM
rdeloe
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


Iridient X Transformer helps a lot up to ISO 6400. After that LR and IXT are about the same.

You can easily try it out for yourself before buying (assuming Windows, which is where it runs). The files will be watermarked until you buy a license, but they're fine for before and after comparisons.

There are lots of opinions out there on which IXT settings to use, and how to use it. For my X-T2 files, I use it with these settings in IXT (first screenshot) and then I apply these settings with an import preset in Lightroom (second screenshot). For each image I then check whether or not it needs more or less of anything. For the way I shoot this combination provides a solid starting point.

Note that I have tried it with the More Detailed RAW Process in IXT, and I found that the worminess was objectionable. I prefer the smoother tones I get this way.








IXT settings







Lightroom sharpness and noise




Oct 09, 2017 at 08:50 PM
chuck77
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


rdeloe wrote:
Iridient X Transformer helps a lot up to ISO 6400. After that LR and IXT are about the same.

You can easily try it out for yourself before buying (assuming Windows, which is where it runs). The files will be watermarked until you buy a license, but they're fine for before and after comparisons.

There are lots of opinions out there on which IXT settings to use, and how to use it. For my X-T2 files, I use it with these settings in IXT (first screenshot) and then I apply these settings with an import preset in Lightroom (second screenshot).
...Show more

Thank you! I'll try to re-convert one of my older files using this method and compare the differences.

Have you tried Iridient Developer on MacOS? I am curious if the conversions are better there because of all the extra options available.



Oct 09, 2017 at 09:45 PM
chuck77
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


Ian Boys wrote:
It looks fine to me, just quite underexposed. I also don't see any anomalies at all, just skin texture and light hairs on her face..


---------------------------------------------

gdanmitchell wrote:
They actually tend to have rather low noise levels...


---------------------------------------------

The photo was properly exposed to start, but I made it darker and more constrasty in photoshop to fit the mood. I know the closeup 100% view looks like textures on her face, but I don't actually believe her face looks that way. If I play with the sliders any more, worms will start to form from what appears to be textures on her face.

To illustrate my point, this photo here was taken with my Sony A7 with an adapted Zeiss lens, shot indoor with mostly available light. 1/100s, f/2.8, ISO 320. If you look closely, you can see the there is less noise in each of the shadow areas and in the solid colours throughout as well. I didn't apply any noise reduction here. The photo isn't tack sharp, but I hope this shows what I mean.

I am not a pixel peeper, and I have seen less noisy versions of the X-trans files (even from the X-T1), this is why it bugs me a bit. Maybe I am making the wrong comparison putting the files next to full-frame ones, but the ISO is low (base 200 ISO) and there should be nowhere near this much noise or difficult in processing.

ediblestarfish wrote:
Unless you would like to use high frequency masking to blur out all that skin detail for that weirdly perfect skin look, I don't see any noise. All I see is skin detail, which is... normal.

Do you have a specific look you are going for? If you have the raw file somewhere for d/l I can mess with it and see if anything is wrong.


I used to do frequency separation for face touchups with my Sony A7 files because they revealed more detail and less noise. If I tried to just use a clone tool there, I would end up with a distinct loss of detail that made the photo look unusual. Now, with the XT2 files, I can hardly tell a difference if I used the clone tool on the skin vs. doing frequency separation. I find the Fuji is able to show more micro-contrast in the photos than the Sony, but the noise is both higher and more difficult to process for me. I'll PM you with the original file.







Red Violet, with Sony A7, 1/100s, f/2.8, ISO 320







Close-Up Crop #1 at 100%







Close-Up Crop #2 at 100%




Oct 09, 2017 at 10:10 PM
TheEmrys
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


The thing about ISO is that it is a standard. ISO 100 is usually cleaner than 200. And Fuji does tend to be a bit "generous" with their ISO ratings. Just look at what a true ISO 64 does for landscapes on the D810.

Also, the 35/2 is quite a good lens, but the 35/1.4 tends to have much more bite to it. At f/2, except in the very center of the frame, the 35/2 is a bit better. But from f/2.8 on, the 35/1.4 is much sharper. I think the fujivsfuji site did a comparison.

They did. www.fujivsfuji.com/35mm-f1pt4-vs-35mm-f2-wr/



Oct 09, 2017 at 11:02 PM
ediblestarfish
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


Ok, I did edit this photo in the style I am used to working with, and made some notes. I tend to go for a lower contrast look with more warmth overall, mild split tone to emphasize skin tones further. Some masking for face and eye adjustment in the absence of controlled lighting.


  1. Slightly underexposed via histogram, +1/3 exposure compensation would clean up the noise a bit, assuming same ISO, general ETTR guidelines, yadda yadda yadda... Lightened up the image with various methods to get it to my preferred level. Maybe use a flex-fill if you have assistance to bounce some light up.
  2. There is some noticeable noise when the shadows get pushed in the 'ear' closeup in the shadows and hair. Detail seems okay. This is where we see the limitation of APS-C; m4/3 and of course smaller would be even more noticeable. Sony FF is going to be more detailed and have more dynamic range; there's no replacement for a bigger sensor.
  3. The biggest difference I see is how I personally apply the sharpening in the last picture with the eye. I hit a wall at 40 for the sharpening amount, Radius 1, Detail 25. Masking is the big thing--this clears out the worminess in most of the image--I set it at 50 after some testing, and found this to be the best balance. The eyelashes look sharp, but the skin doesn't have this unnecessary roughness from over-sharpening.


I am not a fan of Irridient's sharpening in X Transformer. It doesn't mask, so you get a lot of noise in places that should be smooth. X Transformer sharpening is better at high levels, and doesn't leave artifacts as quickly as LR, but at low levels, the sharpening between the two are very similar. X Transformer also seems to have poor CA correction, which I hate. Personally I stick with LR.

Overall, I hit some limits with the file (some subtle clipping), but nothing too egregious. FF would offer some better quality, but a modest amount in my experience, depends how much you like to push your edits.






















Oct 10, 2017 at 01:44 AM
TheEmrys
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


For what its worth, I really like your result. I use Irident a lot for landscapes. I don't think I have ever used it for portraits. I might have to, though.


Oct 10, 2017 at 01:46 AM
 

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rdeloe
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


I'm not a portrait photographer so no comment form me on whether IXT or LR does better with skin! It's interesting though how we can use the same tools and come to quite different conclusions. Not wrong or right -- just different.

For instance, for the kind of work I do, I'm usually trying to get as much detail as possible out of my RAFs. And I simply can't get Lightroom to come close to IXT in that respect. I think the problem is in the raw development rather than the sharpening. It's not that the Lightroom-processed images are bad. I just find you're throwing away a lot of detail when you do the raw development in Lightroom -- and that's detail I can use in my printing workflow.

Lightroom-only development does seem to be better than IXT for areas of smooth tone, where it produces much less "worminess". Hopefully this is something that will get better with successive updates to IXT (which is still in Beta by the way).

Here are a few examples that show what I mean when I say that Lightroom-only development throws away detail.

The first image is the full one from which I pulled out some comparisons. This is the riverfront in Chicago, so lots of fine detail and texture. (Incidentally, this was made on my X-T2 using the Fuji XF 60/2.4, which is a really nice lens despite its quirks!)

There are four comparison sets here. In each pair, the image on the left was developed in IXT and then processed in Lightroom, while the image on the right was developed and processed in Lightroom. All settings are the same except sharpening is boosted for the Lightroom image.

The 100% comparison shot shows the top of that interesting building that's in full sunlight in the background. You can already see that the Lightroom-only verison (Right) is softer. There's noticeably more detail in the IXT-developed version.

Next up, at 300%, you can really see how much detail IXT pulls out of the RAF. Yes, 300% is ridiculous enlargement! But it does show that Lightroom development throws away detail.

It's particularly bad with vegetation. The third comparison is from the shadows near the pier. The Lightroom-only version looks out of focus in comparison to the left-hand image.

Where Lightroom-only development pulls ahead is in the way it handles noise. In the final comparison set, you can see the dreaded worminess in the left-hand version (IXT + Lightroom). This is after masking of 50, and it would be much worse if I had used the "More detailed" raw development setting in IXT. Keep in mind though that this is 300% so I won't see any of this worminess even in 16"x24 prints.

So it's a trade-off -- some unevenness in smooth tones as the price for vastly more fine detail.


ediblestarfish wrote:
I am not a fan of Irridient's sharpening in X Transformer. It doesn't mask, so you get a lot of noise in places that should be smooth. X Transformer sharpening is better at high levels, and doesn't leave artifacts as quickly as LR, but at low levels, the sharpening between the two are very similar. X Transformer also seems to have poor CA correction, which I hate. Personally I stick with LR.








Full image for context, "Lila at the dock". This image processed with my IXT-LR workflow







Comparison IXT to LR 100%







Comparison IXT to LR 1 300%







Comparison IXT to LR 2 300%







Comparison IXT to LR 3 300%




Oct 10, 2017 at 02:21 PM
jrscls
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


A bit of fill flash may have helped with the portrait shot as it seems bit underexposed on her face.


Oct 10, 2017 at 02:25 PM
chuck77
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


ediblestarfish wrote:
Ok, I did edit this photo in the style I am used to working with, and made some notes. I tend to go for a lower contrast look with more warmth overall, mild split tone to emphasize skin tones further. Some masking for face and eye adjustment in the absence of controlled lighting.


  1. Slightly underexposed via histogram, +1/3 exposure compensation would clean up the noise a bit, assuming same ISO, general ETTR guidelines, yadda yadda yadda... Lightened up the image with various methods to get it to my preferred level. Maybe use a flex-fill if you have assistance to bounce
  2. There is some noticeable noise when the shadows get pushed in the 'ear' closeup in the shadows and hair. Detail seems okay. This is where we see the limitation of APS-C; m4/3 and of course smaller would be even more noticeable. Sony FF is going to be more detailed and have more dynamic range; there's no replacement for a bigger sensor.
  3. The biggest difference I see is how I personally apply the sharpening in the last picture with the eye. I hit a wall at 40 for the sharpening amount, Radius 1, Detail 25. Masking is the big thing--this clears out the worminess in most of the image--I set it at 50 after some testing, and found this to be the best balance. The eyelashes look sharp, but the skin doesn't have this unnecessary roughness from over-sharpening.


I am not a fan of Irridient's sharpening in X Transformer. It doesn't mask, so you get a lot of noise in places that should be smooth. X Transformer sharpening is better at high levels, and doesn't leave artifacts as quickly as LR, but at low levels, the sharpening between the two are very similar. X Transformer also seems to have poor CA correction, which I hate. Personally I stick with LR.

Overall, I hit some limits with the file (some subtle clipping), but nothing too egregious. FF would offer some better quality, but a modest amount in my experience, depends how much you like to push your edits.
...Show more



Maybe part of the noise has to do with how the XT2 metered the scene. It chose a relatively fast shutter speed of 1/640s, and the ISO was only 200. Yet, I do agree that it looks a bit underexposed even though I had exposure compensation at -1/3 EV only. On the other hand, my style tends to be a bit darker like this too. I could use some speedlites or bring my strobes, but ultimately I've past that phase. Portraits with artificial lighting outdoors is just too unnatural for me, requires lugging around lots of equipment, and just makes things not so practical. Not to mention the stands, modifiers, etc, that are necessary.

I push my photos quite a bit in terms of colour mostly, and contrast. After I processed this file via Iridient Transformer again, and then also with Iridient+Lightroom, there was more detail indeed.

But, as soon as I apply my colour and contrast adjustments, the file starts to fall apart and the noise looks alot more apparent. Maybe this isn't the absolute best example photo to pick, but the noise seems high for such modest exposure settings.

I like that the skin tones in your version look smoother with fewer artifacts. It is more natural looking, but alot of the skin texture has gone missing. Maybe that's a good thing, for the naturally retouched look I suppose. When viewing any of these photos at less than 100% size, everything looks fine, but working on the files in Photoshop revealed quite a bit of limitations.

There are some studio portraits I took with the XT2 that also has this issue in the shadows, hair, etc. I'll try to dig one out. Anyway, here are the ones I processed using Iridient Transformer, and also with Iridient Transformer and Lightroom, both at 100%. Which one looks better?

There is some fuzziness around the top edge of her lips that I can't seem to fix.

Note: theses crops have not had my normal colour and contrast processing applied. I'll show that in the next post.













#1







#2




Oct 10, 2017 at 11:24 PM
chuck77
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


rdeloe wrote:
I'm not a portrait photographer so no comment form me on whether IXT or LR does better with skin! It's interesting though how we can use the same tools and come to quite different conclusions. Not wrong or right -- just different.

For instance, for the kind of work I do, I'm usually trying to get as much detail as possible out of my RAFs. And I simply can't get Lightroom to come close to IXT in that respect. I think the problem is in the raw development rather than the sharpening. It's not that the Lightroom-processed images are bad.
...Show more

I agree with your findings on Iridient Transformer vs. Lightroom. There is more detail in Iridient, but what appears to be a smoother/blurred out detail when using Lightroom.

It's been a long time since I used the XT1, but I seem to recall that it had less noise. Pretty sure the small pixels on the XT2 is contributing quite a bit to this too.

Black and white conversions look superb though, even in Lightroom. The colour version of this photo I took is completely unusable due to lack of saturation, tones, etc., yet the black and white looks pretty good to me. X100F shot, but same sensor really.

By the way, I checked your website. Exquisite work Was it all shot with Fuji, or something else?











Oct 11, 2017 at 01:00 AM
ediblestarfish
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


chuck77 wrote:
Maybe part of the noise has to do with how the XT2 metered the scene. It chose a relatively fast shutter speed of 1/640s, and the ISO was only 200. Yet, I do agree that it looks a bit underexposed even though I had exposure compensation at -1/3 EV only. On the other hand, my style tends to be a bit darker like this too. I could use some speedlites or bring my strobes, but ultimately I've past that phase. Portraits with artificial lighting outdoors is just too unnatural for me, requires lugging around lots of equipment, and just makes
...Show more

Personal preference so YMMV; I don't really like either, since the sharpening seems too high in both, but prefer #2 more than #1. The problem that I've had with X-Transformer again, is that it can not mask, and thus applies sharpening to everything, which adds additional noise to spots that should not have noise.

My image isn't actually less sharp or less noisy if I set the masking to 0, I simply elected to not to do that and to be very selective about sharpening the higher contrast areas that are in focus only. I didn't take away any detail, I just chose not to pull them out.

Honestly if you like to pick apart files, a larger sensor camera is going to be your best friend. You will have less noise when pushing in post, since there will be greater dynamic range (unless you shoot Canon--not much difference). Posterization will not be as quick to appear.

Base noise unfortunately, at similar DoF will not be very different. You'll have to stop aperture down more on FF, and then raise the ISO to compensate--which adds noise. There is still a slight advantage still, but frustratingly small. One of the reasons I left FF behind was this.

Sharpness on the other hand, is greatly boosted, as long as your lenses are decent. With similar lenses, no crop sensor is going to beat out FF of similar vintage. If you like that super crisp bite, I would suggest going FF. It's less noticeable in smaller prints, but still subtlety noticeable if you have a good printer. By the time you get to a full page of A4, it's pretty noticeable. If you tend to print larger a lot and produce few, but good images like landscape, I'd go FF. For me it's a minority of uses, and didn't make sense to keep that FF capability.



Oct 11, 2017 at 07:09 AM
rdeloe
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


You can turn sharpening off completely in IXT and do it all in Lightroom (or whatever you're using). That would allow you to mask out areas you don't want to sharpen. It's been a while since I tried that, so I might go back and see if I get better results. From what I recall, though, a light overall sharpening in IXT with touch up plus masking in LR was better for me.

Regarding the X-T1, I owned one briefly (just long enough to figure out I liked Fuji and wanted an X-T2!) I can't say I noticed a big difference in terms of noise between the two.

Thanks for checking out my website. Glad you enjoyed the images. What you saw is currently a mix of Fuji X-T2, Sony A7/A7R and some Ricoh GR. For instance, these ones are all the Ricoh GR: http://www.robdeloephotography.com/Image-Galleries/Usually-unnoticed/ It's a great little camera, but you have to like that focal length. The Sony A7R was also a terrific camera. I was using it with dual Mirex tilt-shift adapters and SMC Pentax-A medium format lenses. The weight was a problem though. It's prone to brutal shutter shake, which I managed to correct by adding a lot of weight. After a while I found it all too awkward and limiting. I'm all Fuji now -- but I still have tilt-shift capability with a t/s adapter and Olympus OM lenses. Figuring out which OMs work well with tilt/shift was a bit of an odyssey; I wrote up my experiences here in case anyone else wants to go down this rabbit hole: http://www.robdeloephotography.com/Pages/Tiltshift-on-APSC

Interestingly, I can't say that I miss the benefits of full frame. When I was in the transition period, just before moving completely to Fuji and APS-C, I did a lot of careful testing with comparable lenses on my A7R and my X-T2. Based on comparison prints of the same real world subjects, at the largest size I'll probably ever print (24"x36"), I concluded that the benefits of my full frame outfit did not outweigh the costs. One of these days, when I win the lottery , I would love to try a Fuji GFX 50S. In the meantime, the X-T2 with some excellent Fuji XF lenses and my Olympus OM kit is an excellent system.



chuck77 wrote:
I agree with your findings on Iridient Transformer vs. Lightroom. There is more detail in Iridient, but what appears to be a smoother/blurred out detail when using Lightroom.

It's been a long time since I used the XT1, but I seem to recall that it had less noise. Pretty sure the small pixels on the XT2 is contributing quite a bit to this too.

Black and white conversions look superb though, even in Lightroom. The colour version of this photo I took is completely unusable due to lack of saturation, tones, etc., yet the black and white looks pretty good to
...Show more




Oct 11, 2017 at 01:35 PM
drewmey
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


My work flow sort of follows what rdeloe is stating about sharpening. I almost never "sharpen" with X-Transformer, I have that setting on "None". Maybe once in a blue moon I set it to "Low" if it is a landscape scene with almost everything in focus. I am interested solely in the way that X-Transformer interprets the RAF file (X-Trans sensor information) and renders it (aka takes that data and makes it into an actual displayable image, not sure the "scientific" phrase for this). I then take that DNG into Lightroom or Photoshop before I process. In fact, I don't even sharpen in Lightroom unless it is a snapshot. I prefer to sharpen on a separate layer (sometimes with more complex methods) and then brush in sharpening with either low opacity or some form of a luminosity or color mask depending on the scene.

As far as the examples of the portrait shots, I would personally prefer the Fuji one in this scenario. I would say there is far MORE skin detail in the X-T2 file that you showed vs the Sony A7. Now this could be processing, different lighting, etc. and have nothing to do with the sensors. I guess I am just saying that I see more skin detail which is now at your disposal as to whether you show in some areas or blur with a frequency separation.



Oct 11, 2017 at 03:36 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


My workflow might be a bit more involved than some, though it is pretty straightforward and automatic for me at this point. I'm primarily a Photoshop/ACR person.

I do an initial sharpening operation in ACR, with a starting point of
- amount: 15
- radius: 1.0
- detail: 25
- masking: variable depending on the nature of the image.

The "masking" slider is very powerful and straightforward. If you hold down the option key (on a Mac, or the equivalent on a PC) while moving it you can see which areas are subject to sharpening, and you use it to avoid sharpening areas of smooth gradients (where sharpening would only enhance any noise) and constrain it to higher contrast edges, where you likely want sharpness and any noise will be less visible.

Note that you can also control NR rather well from the same ACR screen where you adjust sharpening.

Then, in Photoshop, I apply another couple of rounds of sharpening as needed.

1. One operation is designed to increase the apparent detail though edge sharpening. The amount is larger than the above settings and the radius is typically less than 1.0. I customize these settings depending on the image an image full of smooth gradients and not having a ton of super-fine detail might get a larger radius, for example. Or an image with tons of fine details might get a higher amount plus a smaller radius. (Note that Photoshop now also includes a useful noise slider in the smart sharpening control window also. Oh, and yes, smart sharpening is the way to go, for a number of reasons, including that it is a non-destructive form of editing that can be changed later if necessary.)

2. I'll spare you the details, but I also apply a print sharpening operation after resizing and flattening the image file to be printed. This compensates for "dot gain."

Settings that might have worked for you with one brand/model of camera are not necessarily ideal with a different brand/model.



Oct 11, 2017 at 04:46 PM
rdeloe
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


This has been a really useful conversation for me. I'm grateful that people have been willing to share their sharpening techniques and the various "secret sauces" they're using.

Not to drag this out too much more... but drewmey's post inspired me to try some different combinations of settings in IXT and LR. For what it's worth, I first tried all these IXT settings on my Chicago river front image (above) -- which is ISO 200, with lots of very fine detail in the buildings, and open sky:
* Smoother RAW process, none sharpening, default luminance noise reduction, default color noise reduction
* Smoother RAW process, low sharpening, default luminance noise reduction, default color noise reduction
* More Detailed RAW process, none sharpening, default luminance noise reduction, default color noise reduction
* More Detailed RAW process, low sharpening, default luminance noise reduction, default color noise reduction

Using "none" for IXT sharpening and then sharpening in LR wasn't an improvement. Smoother RAW process, none sharpening, default luminance noise reduction and default color noise reduction produced the most detailed images, but it's apparent to me now that this puts you on the crunchy side, especially if you add more sharpening in LR. And, as I showed in an earlier post above, there's the mottling (worminess) in areas of smooth tone because IXT doesn't mask. Using "more detailed" RAW processing was not an improvement.

I was prepared to live with the mottling to get the detail. But on a whim I tried smoother RAW process, default sharpening, none luminance noise reduction, and default color noise reduction in IXT. Then in Lightroom I used some sharpening (10), bumped Radius to 1.1, bumped Detail to 30, applied masking of 50 and set noise to 75. That's a lot of noise reduction, but remember that the image had no noise reduction from IXT. I also tried no sharpening at all in LR (so just "default" sharpening from IXT); the image I worked on is still vastly more detailed than what LR could produce even with sharpening. The tiny bit of extra LR sharpening (10) adds just a bit more detail without getting crunchy, and works well in my printing workflow (Quadtone RIP on an Epson 3880 with Eboni Variable tone ink).

I re-processed several ISO 200 images I was previously happy with, and these settings seem to be a nice balance: lots of fine detail without being too crunchy, and a dramatic reduction in the mottling (worminess) in areas of smooth tones. In fact, smooth tones are now better than what LR raw development could do with the images I tested. I also tried this approach on an ISO 1600 images (which for me is "high" ISO). The result was also good.

We all seem to be finding our own ways to get to what we want, and personal taste is definitely part of the equation. Nonetheless, this thread led to a useful improvement in my workflow. So thanks all.




Oct 12, 2017 at 01:42 AM
AFphotography
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Are the X-trans Files too Noisy? Tips Needed


Oh man!! You nailed it with your sharpening technique! It works so good.. I did change the NR to 50 instead of 75 for my personal preference but its amazing. Thank you!


Oct 20, 2017 at 07:40 PM
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