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Switch off Sharpening by default

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29 comments

  • Robert Farhi

    Hi Rob,

    Do you refer to the output sharpening, or the default sharpening for a camera at import (or both) ?

    The output sharpening depends upon the recipe, and stays at the last chosen value (display or print or nothing). The default sharpening at import can be defined and set at zero for a given camera. Output and import sharpenings are independent.

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  • Rob Schut

    That is exactly what I wrote so there is not much news in your comment !

    What I want is :

    1.   As I look to my Photo I don't want to see ANY sharpening !!

    SO NOT THE OUTPUT  SHARPENING CAUSE THAT IS ALREADY SET TO OFF (see 1. in my original message)

    2. By default I WANT IT OFF - ALWAYS

    So not by applying a default setting EVERY TIME (see 2 in my original message)

    I have set the default sharpening setting for my camera at off but stuff I have already imported with that camera still shows sharpening

    I WANT AN ON OFF SWITCH (of some sorts) like in other RAW editors !!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Claude CAUWE

    Hi Rob,

    This is a user community.

    I don't see why you leash out at Robert, who is trying to help you.

    Please moderate your tone and don't use Caps letters that in the Netiquette are equivalent to shouting. We will all appreciate that, and you will receive more help.

    Thanks in advance.

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  • Markus Stamm

    Rob,

    first of all: writing in CAPITALS is generally considered YELLING at most places of the net. While your intention might have been to emphasize certain parts of your question, many will probably feel shouted at. Which considerably reduces your chances to get a helpful answer.

    On the topic: images you have imported have sharpening settings already saved with them. If you want the defaults applied to them, you need to select them (all of them) and then click on "Apply defaults" for those images. Of course, that is easiest if you use one or several catalogues. If your images are spread in many sessions, that's unfortunately a lot more work.

    A side note though: there is a reason while a certain amount of sharpening is the default in any RAW workflow. The bayer pattern of an image sensor and the interpolation to fill the gaps happening at sensor readout causes a noticeable amount of image blur. So, RAW images with no sharpening applied at all do not show the native image the lens delivered, as you may expect or hope for, but a considerably softer version. Only after applying some sharpening, the digital images represent what the lens actually projected on the sensor.

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  • Rob Schut

    Well Markus,

    I use Capitals to avoid the obvious answers that I already covered in my story, whose deed.
    That people can't read is not my fault or just look into the specs copy and paste to say the obvious. If he would have read my issue right, he would have noticed that all his "tips" were already covered, so what's the help ?

    Back to my issue:

    I don't like application that sharpen things for me without notice cause :

    1. I like to have control .

    2. The sharpening is not good  (not as bad as LR and the like, cause that is the worst of all). There are more than one application who perform much better in that field. NIK's for example. 

    I use Capture One for years, take the good parts out of it, never mind the gadgets which they put more effort in than the quality of editing. Way back when C1 was in its early development they made great effort in professionalizing the editing. Nowadays it's only needless gadgets they add. I have a bunch of ideas to improve the basic editing and what does it take to make switch to switch it on and off with button.

    E.g. They make all the effort to put in a feature to select it per camera but what about the lenses, that's not there, You see this is typical a gadget that is useless and not complete.

    The rest of your story you have probably copied from somewhere cause my camera and lenses don't need that kind of sharpening. Most of the time I use no sharpening at all. 

    But thanks for the reaction.

    Have a nice weekend

     

     

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  • SFA

    Rob,

    After so many years of using C1, which as afar as I know has not changed the concept of sharpening a RAW file to a small extent as part of its base processing, why has this become a significant question for you right now?

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  • Markus Stamm

    Rob,

    seriously: you should work on your attitude. And don't expect any more helpful answers from me, now that you accused me of copying things "from somewhere". Feel free to believe about your camera and lenses whatever you like, but just for the record: the "story", as you call it, was meant as an advice from someone in the business for around two decades now, most of which I also spent on writing lens reviews. Which, as you might imagine, requires a bit of knowledge about the whole workflow from the rays entering first glass element to the last step in the software conversion. If you use RAW files and do not apply any sharpening at all, you're wasting a good part of the resolution potential of both your cameras and lenses. That's not a "story", it's a fact.

    As others pointed out already: this is a user forum, where users help each other. On a voluntary basis. If you want to request features and you want C1 to implement them, this is the wrong place to ask for that. And the wrong way on top of it.

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  • Claude CAUWE

    Rob,

    I second Markus.

    He kindly tried to help, and to say the least, you are not of the grateful kind.

    If you are frustrated with some behaviors of C1P (we almost all are, especially since the release of C1P21), send them a message by using the "submit a request" button.

    Here is the link: Submit a request

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  • Rob Schut

    Now SFA that is a good question.

    Cause I am a bit fed up with always adjusting it. And, while they add all kind of needles gadgets I wonder if they could do something about it , or if there was a hidden feature.

    Allow me to give you another example:

    In 2019 I asked if the could change the BG color of the workspace by right click and make a choice between white , black and different kind of greys/grays. Yes you could do that by going to the preference and adjust it but that is a hassle every time. E.g. PS has that too and it is, among others,  very handy cause colors look more vibrant against a dark BG so switching to White before you finish, is a good idea.

    Guess what, they made it happen 2 months later. Now I will not take any credit for that but I have mentioned it and probably others too.

    Other thing:

    I asked for a Red Yellow Orange and Blue filter as option under B/W editing 
    Yes you can do that via another way but what is easier than just click instead of moving slider.
    Uptill now it is not possible. Other Apps have it and most of my shots are in B/W or I change to B/W so very useful to me and many others that do a color to b/w conversion.
    Get my point ?

    And there are many more gestures I could come up with to make editing so much easier and perform so much better.

    But now I get pop ups when I hover over a tool (rolling eyes) 

    Thanks for your submission.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Rob Schut

    Claude,

    Yes I will do that.

    But I hoped ... that there was a hidden way to turn it off, totally !!

    Well frustrated is a big word but, as I wrote before, since they put more effort in useless features than in professionalizing the editing, I wonder who has control over the new versions, Marketing or Editing Improvement.

    Have you ever worked with Phocus ?? 
    It's from Hasselblad, their competitors, but maybe they should try that Application, there is so much to learn !! 

     Thanks !!

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  • Marco Hyman

    Import an image.   Select the image.   Set sharpening to the desired level -- 0 if that is what you like.  Click on the 3 dots of the sharpening panel.   Select "Save as Default for xxx" where xxx is the camera type.   From that point on all imports from that type of camera should get your desired settings.   Repeat for other cameras you use.

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  • Rob Schut

    Marco

    We already covered that, as I stated in my issue, and people mentioned it cause they didn't read it.

    Here is the copy of that line of my original message:

    Now, You can turn off sharpening and set that as a default (which is also good, and even set it by camera)

    I want to switch it off, forever , for all cameras, lenses etc.

    Sharpening is done at the end of the workflow, preferable by an application that does the right sharpening and is specialized in that filed which C1 is not !!

    RAW converter and editing for Global Editing, then (when needed) Photoshop (or the like), for Local Editing, then Sharpening and/or Noise Reduction (if needed) in the end !

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • ---

    ..but you know that you have to switch of lumNR too because it also applies sharpening on the sly 

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  • Rob Schut

    Smart observation !

    Yes  indeed, I know,  and I also turn that dow/off by default, however for looking for an (maybe hidden) OFF switch I didn't want to make it too complicated. As you can see, people only read half.

    I thought if there there was an ALWAYS OFF option hidden somewhere, it would also work for other option one would not use.

    Every time there is an update I hope they add some basic useful functions instead of all the glitter and shine, but in vain hehehe

    Just like in Phocus, you can OPT IN and OPT OUT whatever you need by ticking a small square box.
    Download it for yourself, it is free, although some features are  not available for non 3FR files (which is Hasselblads Native RAW) but you can always download a H5 of H6 image from the net to fiddle with.

    I can hardly imagine that this product still comes from the same company that make Phase One camera's

    Anyways , thanks for the heads up !

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  • ---

    ...was a hasselblad user so I know phocus :-)

    Every time there is an update I hope they add some basic useful functions instead of all the glitter and shine, but in vain hehehe

    YES WE ALL DO !  but I very much have the feeling that phaseone´s main business now is to stage a show for their investor,  the rest is rather unimportant and in decline.  they should feel totally ashamed for all the unsolved issues in c21 and the quality level of their new dehaze tool, even their own YouTube presenter could not hold back his disappointment.... 

     

     

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  • Rob Schut

    CSP

    Well then you know what I mean as a Hasselblad user. Divinity by Simplicity.

    I watched those YT video's and that David guy is IMO a stand-up guy, he admits their still flaws and a good ambassador for C1.

    Biggest laugh I had about a year ago when they changed the A (automatic) icon for a Magic Wand icon ... talking about priorities hehehehehehe.

    Where you from ?

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  • ---

    austria,  I ended up buying a h3 over a phaseone because I was so pi..ed by the arrogant attitude of their dealer, here in austria and in germany, not to speak from the garbage they sold as overpriced high end camera at this time.

    I was thinking about mr reiffer when he live broke the nda, talking about how bad their first version of the dehaze filter was and when he expressed his hope that things will improve before release...what a shock moment for poor mr. grover !  you also forgot one of the biggest improvements - color bars for the WB tool ! when I saw this in the beta release notes I immidiatly knew how things will turn out....

     

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  • Rob Schut

    Those Hasselblads are great. 

    I would rather buy a used H5DC over a Fuji wannabee MF 

    The only time I would go for a Phase One product, is as a used Digital Back for a 500CM like a P25 or P30

    Okay nice talking to you and thanks for the heads up

    Great holidays and stay safe

    Greetings from Amsterdam

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  • ---

    thanks, the same for you !

    ps.: it makes me sad to think how great it would be right now to visit Amsterdam without tourist masses !  i live in a city also suffering from being over run by visitors but  we are locked :-(

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  • SFA

    Rob,

    One thing about which I agree with you is the addition of what I consider to be unnecessary features and functions that distract from the man purpose of a RAW converter to the possible detriment of things that matter. Things like performance matter. Demands for specialist functionality that are already well provided for in sophisticated applications elsewhere are just distraction. The majority of RAW conversion processor users seem to disagree. The congregation comes from a broad church that worships different belief needs.

    Sadly things like performance, especially across multiple platforms, may have development constrained by external influences and technology thus affecting the speed of any results becoming evident..

    Combine that with existing an potential users clamouring for ever more functionality that other applications have and the developers are left with a tricky balance between keeping the masses happy and the cash flowing (presumably, although that is not always guaranteed to make things viable) or staying with core functionality, rarely having anything highly visible to present and being challenged to find any cash to flow.

     

    But all of that is probably a discussion for another place. I think that you and I are probably out of step with the demands of the majority market  - such as it is at the moment.

    I think you might be ignoring something about the use of at least some sharpening deep in the initial conversion process but, putting that aside, the best way I can see to get the least possible sharpening during the edit and output process seems to be to use Output Proofing and set all output recipes that you may use (possible not very many in your case?) to "Disable All" for sharpening.

    Having checked my theory on a couple of images that have enough sharpness to make the differences visible at 100% there is clearly a difference between "No sharpening" and "Disable all" with Disable All being softer than No Sharpening.

    As I do my final sharpening in C1 and do not use PS I am not in a position to do an end to end test but I would guess you can in a couple of minutes or less.

    If you have already looked into that and still want to eliminate any form of sharpening right at the start f the RAW conversion process ... I suggest that is likely to be such an edge case that it will not happen. Unless you can find someone in the Capture One Management team who shares you desire and might enact it or advise about ways to hack a value somewhere in order to make it possible.

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  • ---

    If you have already looked into that and still want to eliminate any form of sharpening right at the start f the RAW conversion process ... I suggest that is likely to be such an edge case that it will not happen.

    hm, no it is not an edge case at least not for pro user.  when all images are retouched later exporting without sharpening is often preferred c1 sharpening is not bad but it is not really good either.  i would like to have an option to apply sharpening for previews only and maybe a checkbox to add it during output.  

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  • Rob Schut

    SFA

    Exactly, keep the people happy, couldn't say it better, but if you follow the webinars on YT and see what "the people" are commenting, that would probably say enough.

    As I stated in earlier answers, Development has been overruled by Marketing !!

    Performance will not get any better with those fancy tools so another reason to leave it away.

    I would not advice sharpening in Photoshop either cause that is terrible too.
    Global editing LR/C1/Phocus - Local Editing PS - sharpening and noise reduction when needed (3th party). 
    If you sharpen before and then go to Local editing you are asking for trouble.

    There are applications/plugins like Nik's output sharpener that do a much better job and I use NIK for years and years now.
    Older version are good and available for free. Try it .

    Sharpening is highly overrated and only useful for people who do not know how to shoot properly or have bad equipment.
    Most of the shot from the past I really like are not even sharp at all.

    Do you shoot to pixel peep at 1 foot before a 27 inch or bigger screen ???
    There is this fat guy from Kentucky (can't stand him with all his bragging) but on that matter he is right, it's all Sharp Sharp Sharp and then he makes this parrot sound ;-)

    My shots are razor sharp where and when they need to be sharp and that is in the area where they need to be sharp (focus area which is sometimes cm's)

    As I said before, have a look at Phocus, the Hasselblad RAW editor, you can switch off and on what you want to use, how hard can it be. Phocus has no fancy colors and pop ups but quality editing strength.
    There is so much to learn for the C1 developers but it will be probably not be interesting for "the people"

    But as I shared with the other guy called CSP, we had quite a laugh about all the features and priorities to bring up every new release to please "the people"

    Just give me that button people , and  some B/W filters hehehehe

     

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  • Markus Stamm

    I can only repeat myself: sharpening in the RAW conversion process is required (!) to counterbalance the softening introduced by the demosaicing of the bayer pattern sensor data. Around 1/2 to 2/3 of your image data is "made up", it is created by interpolation. The sharpening right after demosaicing (as denoising) is one of the first steps in any image pipeline. This is the camera specific sharpening in C1, and because the effects of demosaicing depend on the sensor properties (and maybe an AA filter mounted to it), so are camera specific, it makes perfect sense that C1 applies camera dependent sharpening in the early stages of the RAW processing. You may argue that the defaults in C1 are a bit too high (definitely agree to that), but applying no sharpening at all would lead to terrible results. To my knowledge, the only RAW converter that allows to completely eliminate sharpening after demosaicing is dcraw (and possibly commercial software that uses dcraw, like Iridient Developer for example). All other RAW converters (and that includes C1 and ACR/LR) still apply some sharpening, even if all the sliders are set to zero. If you want to see how RAW files look without that step, do yourself a favour and process them in dcraw.

    Not wanting any sharpening as part of the RAW conversion definitely IS an edge case.

    The sharpening you, Rob and CSP, talk about is the one after postprocessing, which is the output sharpening in C1 (and almost any other RAW converter), specifically applied for the intended output target. The switch you're asking for is already there.

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  • ---

    Markus,

    first I did read the great book of Bruce Fraser about sharpening  which had a big influence on how photographers and even the giant adobe thinks about sharpening and I also understand your arguments but as i shoot and retouch my own work I do not agree with this concept.  going from sensors with aa filters to cameras without made already a big difference and newer sensors seem to produce even shaper result because of improved micro lenses, this combined with extrem sharp lenses reduces the need of sharpening further.  not to forget demosaicing algorithms have also much improved over the years. 

    c1 is in no way a substitute for a real image editor and doing selective sharpening is not only done better with ps but also much faster.  and then the options available via plugins for shaping are superior to what most converter offer so there is a very good reason to turn sharpening off. 

     

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  • Markus Stamm

    CSP,

    fully with you regarding sharpening in external tools. That's what I do, too, I primarily use C1 as DAM, for preselection and for very basic editing (exposure, cropping, white balance).

    Regarding sensor improvements: yes, there have been a lot for sure, but they have only been possible because RAW converters and especially the demosaicing (explicitely including sharpening and denoising) have improved in parallel. Sensors without AA filters wouldn't find any buyers, if there weren't RAW converters that managed the challenges they come with (like Moiree for example). Still, the basic concept of the bayer pattern is still there, not matter if there are AA filter or micro lenses on top of it. The only different approach has been Fuji's X-Trans (a challenge for RAW converters, too) and Foveon... which could be a sensor that wouldn't need sharpening, but Foveon (or now Sigma as the owner) decided to interpolate the sensor output, too.

    The only exception to all this are native monochrome sensors.

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  • ---

    so, now I need to focus on my weekend work and develop a lot of images without sharpening.... and as a last word I have not really seen many printed images lacking sharpness but too often the really disgusting opposite  ;-)  

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  • SFA

    Rob,

    Phocus is of no interest to me. I do not have a Hasselblad camera and very much doubt I ever will.

    Much of the volume shooting I undertake does not have the sort of output requirement that demand anything like the finesseing you hint at. That, for my volume work, would be a monumental waste of time and I suspect that is also true for the majority of images taken and processed by the majority of people creating photos. Especially if you include the cell phone using communities.

    If you shoot film you shots on the film will be as sharp as the lens resolution and the film grain (as processed) allows as far as the film stock appearance is concerned.

    If you dump the digital data unprocessed to some sort of visual output the result will be very different.

    But you know that of course.

    More to the point about the broader comments on software development priorities - people, all of us ultimately, "buy" (or, more broadly, select) based on  wants rather than needs. It's just how most humans respond to things. Many animals too.

     

    As for the results of a photographers work ... in the Instagram age I would suggest that 99.999% of people who look at photos anywhere, even printed extremely large on a huge wall display, have little or no appreciation of the art that went into its production. They will "like" it or not like it for their own reasons. Some may notice extreme levels of detail, if they care about such things and are wearing the correct spectacles, and then move on.

    Unless you are going to develop your own software you need the masses with all of their limitations to be supporting the developers so that you can use the bits of whatever software you choose to use without having to fund a highly exclusive product.

    As to your observation about the comments on YT and other places - it has always been like that. Commenters who have negative views vent them, people with positive views don't see the need to comment, mostly. Humans tend to need to feel they know better than those around them. It's just how we are but with varying degrees of self appreciation.

     

    Some people only see negative sides to everything which allows them to always comment and feel justified.

    It's a very old and overused observation but ..." You can keep some of the people happy all of the time and all of the people happy some of the time. But you can't keep all of the people happy all of the time."

     

    This has never been more true than it is in the internet age.

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  • ---

    Markus,

    when you look at files taken with a camera offering 4 shot pixel shift and compare this un-interpolated images to regular interpolated raws you will not find much improved sharpness or more detail in the pixel shift image but reduced artefacts and better color reproduction, this tells how good demosaicing has become. I also think that we have developed a culture of over sharpening because in the beginning of digital capture a lot of usm was need just to make low res images somehow printable, c1 was the king of this approach.  this is unnatural sharpness is probably also a aspect for the renascence of film.  

     

    digital sharpening is what  MSG is for food

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  • Markus Stamm

    CSP,

    not quite. There are two goals why to use pixel-shift: to increase the total resolution of the output, in which case the pixel-shift image goes through the same demosaicing algorithms as a regular shot. And then, of course, there is no noticeable difference in sharpness at the pixel level. The other option (implemented for example in the latest Sony A7R cameras, possibly Hasselblad, too) is to use the sensor shift to increase general image quality. Output image size is not increased, but every pixel in the final image is now matched to a physical pixel on the sensor. The increase in resolution (and reduction of noise) is very obvious in these cases (on pixel level). Just as it is with monochrome sensors, where by design every pixel in the final image has been captured by a physical photodiode.

    I didn't claim demosaicing is a bad thing, nor would I disagree that it has improved tremendously since the early days of Kodak and Contax DSLRs. My point was simply that sharpening and denoising was (and still is) an essential part of it ;) The amount of USM required back then, btw, was a necessity due to the quite strong AA filters used by early generation cameras, introducing some additional blur.

    I fully agree with you that there seems to be a culture of oversharpening. And that C1 default sharpening does qualify as that.

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