Sharpening or Not..............??

Darren Turner

Do you sharpen your images during processing?? I have a bit of an addiction to pressing the sharpen button in CS4.

Here is a quick shot of Cader Idris in snowdonia 1 sharpened and one not.



which version of this image do you prefer & why.


I think I prefer number one, it looks more crisp (if you know what I mean). The mountain in the second has a slight haze, if that's the right word for it:confused:, but looks clear in the first shot:).
no1 for me too as its a lot crisper and has more detail especially in the mountain,grass and gravel on the pathway, the second version appears to me to be lacking the details and texture which you would expect to find on them areas and appears quite flat,also the tree pops from background in no1 its more blended into the image in version 2.

I always sharpen in editing using USM and just mess about with the sliders until I get it to how I think I saw it
Pretty sure that if you use RAW you are expected to sharpen the image in post processing - as the anti aliasing filters in DSLRs leave the image looking 'soft'.

I used to use USM on the luminance channel of an LAB version of the image to avoid colour fringing - ( ) - but I've recently found that the sharpening tool in the Photoshop RAW converter does a better job on my images.

For the 5D MKII I use Sharpening 99 at 1.5, and get a consistently crisp result, without any edging.
I prefer the first one, the grass in the second one looks soft, like something from my fuji compacts.

Somwhere in between might be better, maybe slightly too sharp on the first one, depends on its use though.
thanks folks for your coments & opinions.........!!