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Thread: Best SW for sharpening less than ideal lens?

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    Best SW for sharpening less than ideal lens?

    Hello guys, I bought a Sony E 55-210 OSS zoom lens for its low price and small size. However, I am very disappointed at the results despite I was aware of its "almost" mediocre IQ. Just perhaps I particularly got a bad copy. Since I've been planning to purchase a sharpening software for a while now, I decided I would be better served if I find the best tool for sharpening a zoom lens like this one. I understand there are no such tool specialized per lens. My other lenses are just fine.

    I understand there are great tools out there for sharpening like Topaz Detail, Nik Sharpener, Focus Magic, etc.

    Any comment and advice will be greatly appreciated. TIA

    Eduardo

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    Senior Member MikeEvangelist's Avatar
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    Re: Best SW for sharpening less than ideal lens?

    Pretty much every photo editing/cataloging application has sharpening capabilities. There's really no need to buy a special tool. Lightroom, Aperture and Capture One all do an excellent job. That said, they will not make a bad lens into a good one, but they might improve it a bit.
    Last edited by MikeEvangelist; 25th July 2015 at 14:09.

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    Re: Best SW for sharpening less than ideal lens?

    Like Mike says-I agree. Perhaps the best SW is new HW.

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    Re: Best SW for sharpening less than ideal lens?

    If the other lenses are fine then my conclusion would be to get rid of the poor lens.
    When developing with ACR I relied mainly on Nik for sharpening.
    I like Nik's visualization tools to make the effects of sharpening visible before committing.
    Now that I mainly develop with the latest version of Capture One Pro I pretty much rely on its sharpening.
    With best regards, K-H.
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    Re: Best SW for sharpening less than ideal lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    If the other lenses are fine then my conclusion would be to get rid of the poor lens.
    When developing with ACR I relied mainly on Nik for sharpening.
    I like Nik's visualization tools to make the effects of sharpening visible before committing.
    Now that I mainly develop with the latest version of Capture One Pro I pretty much rely on its sharpening.
    Capture One Pro 8, DXO Optics 10, Photoshop, and LR6 both do fine. DXO Optics 10 has the edge over LR6 and Capture One Pro 8 IMO if you don't want to invest in additional plug-ins...

    Actually I'd give the edge to a DXO/LR6 workflow over Capture One in most cases when it comes to look for most types of pictures since LR6 was released. I prefer to use Capture One for tethered shooting or portraits as it gives a bit more "warmth" to images in rendering for skin tones. Either is great though and comes down to preference.
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    Subscriber Member Chuck Jones's Avatar
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    Re: Best SW for sharpening less than ideal lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by HiredArm View Post
    Capture One Pro 8, DXO Optics 10, Photoshop, and LR6 both do fine. DXO Optics 10 has the edge over LR6 and Capture One Pro 8 IMO if you don't want to invest in additional plug-ins...

    Actually I'd give the edge to a DXO/LR6 workflow over Capture One in most cases when it comes to look for most types of pictures since LR6 was released. I prefer to use Capture One for tethered shooting or portraits as it gives a bit more "warmth" to images in rendering for skin tones. Either is great though and comes down to preference.
    I agree, all of these are decent, but the best I have found is http://www.iridientdigital.com Brian has some kind of a custom sharpening algorithm that I can't beat in anything else.
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    Re: Best SW for sharpening less than ideal lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Jones View Post
    I agree, all of these are decent, but the best I have found is http://www.iridientdigital.com Brian has some kind of a custom sharpening algorithm that I can't beat in anything else.

    I agree that Iridient is also great. I just can't get with the interface.
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    Re: Best SW for sharpening less than ideal lens?

    Quote Originally Posted by k-hawinkler View Post
    If the other lenses are fine then my conclusion would be to get rid of the poor lens.
    When developing with ACR I relied mainly on Nik for sharpening.
    I like Nik's visualization tools to make the effects of sharpening visible before committing.
    Now that I mainly develop with the latest version of Capture One Pro I pretty much rely on its sharpening.
    I am amazed by the C1 sharpening feature as well. I also typically ran my pictures through Nik Sharpener via LR, but I found my custom recipe was just a tad better compared to the default C1 sharpening. I'm seriously thinking of getting the C1 Pro version.
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    Re: Best SW for sharpening less than ideal lens?

    There are virtually infinite ways a lens can be "unsharp". Depending on the kind and degree of defocus or lack of microcontrast different algorithms yield different results.

    Why don't you post a crop of a sample image where you want to sharpen, and give people here a shot at improving it? Then you can compare the results yourself.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com
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    Re: Best SW for sharpening less than ideal lens?

    I think it also depends upon what you want to do with your image in the end. If it is for web viewing then as everyone has said almost any application is good enough, you should probably go with the one you have and learn its ways a bit. If your original image is soft because of a poorly performing lens, nothing will change that substantially.

    If you want to print though, may I humbly submit that the best by far is QImage. It is the only reason why I run a Windows shell under Fusion on my Mac.

    I've run comparisons between QImage, LR, Aperture, Photoshop and even at 4x6 size (I am not kidding here), you can see the difference. Hate to use a cliche` but the image just 'pops' off the paper. Michael Chaney uses a proprietary sharpening algorithm during the printing process and not only is the image sharper, there is improved contrast and color rendition. You have to try it yourself. The program does a lot of other things too and is the best $60 I've ever spent.

    This perhaps is irrelevant to the OP's question though.
    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........

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