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what settings for USM in PS?

Discussion in 'Photography Forums' started by dood, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. dood

    dood
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    I know that many dSLR users routinely use a bit of unsharp mask on their images. I've messed about with this but haven't really had good results. Like most things in life, I know that the key is not to overdo it. I use PS elements 2 (bundled with my 300D) and was wondering if anyone could indicate what settings they use, assuming a pretty good image straight out of the camera to start with. Also would this vary depending on the subject eg portrait sv macro vs aircraft?
     
  2. kenlynch

    kenlynch
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    Canon recommend using the following:

    Amount: 300
    Radius: 0.3
    Threshold: 0

    This is the setting recommended for removing the effects of Canon's in-camera anti-aliasing filter and I find they are a good starting point. Use the preview to adjust the values to taste, but I generally find this works for most images.

    It is actually recommended to use more sharpening if you are going to print your image compared to viewing on the screen due to the nature of print. Images sharpened for print will look over-sharpened but will print out fine, you just need to experiment to find out what produces the best results for your method of printing.

    When sharpening, always view your image at 100% to see the results.

    ALWAYS sharpen last, USM works by increasing contrast on edges which leads to the image being perceived as sharper. Any other manipulations you do will affect this.

    Also, make sure that you are not using any in-camera sharpening (the default on the 300D is +1) if you intend to use Photoshop as it is never a good idea to sharpen more than once.
     
  3. Johndm

    Johndm
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    Good advice there, but I disagree with the last bit.. :D

    There is no reason to only use just one pass. Every picture will be siightly differant, requiring varying amounts of USM. If I get a tricky one, I try passes at differant levels, saving each under a new filename into a spare folder, so I can click through them in succession to compare easily.

    My settings (as used by many on Anet) are 500 .2 0 for pass number 1.
    Sometimes another pass anywhere between 100 and 400.
    I always leave radius and threshold at .2 and 0

    :hiya:
     
  4. longleyc

    longleyc
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    You can try Filters/Other/High Pass.
    Copy the layer.
    Set the value where you can see edges/colour coming through.
    Then set the Blend Mode of the copy layer to Soft Light.

    It works well. Avoids haloing of USM filter.
     
  5. dood

    dood
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    .


    Does this imply that if I use the default setting of +1 then I should not use any sharpening in PS?
     
  6. mattym

    mattym
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    i convert the image to LAB mode and sharpen the lightness layer, much more sharpening becomes available that way
     
  7. Johndm

    Johndm
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    The default setting in camera is just a 'hint' of sharpening as the camera processes the image into a jpeg.

    Unsharp mask use in PS will still be required to some degree, or your pictures will look soft.

    Don't confuse 'sharpening' and 'Unsharp mask', they are totally differant tools

    :hiya:
     
  8. kenlynch

    kenlynch
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    Unsharp mask is one of many sharpening algorithms, so it is not incorrect to refer to it as sharpening (as that is what it does even though it is called 'Unsharp' mask). In Photoshop there are four tools; sharpen, sharpen edges, sharpen more and unsharp mask - unsharp mask is the best tool to use because it is the only one that offers any level of control. They may work differently internally, but they are all part of the sharpening toolset, so they are not totally different.
     
  9. seany

    seany
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