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Thread: What Program Do You Use For Unsharp Masking?

  1. #1
    Scott Rosenberg's Avatar
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    What Program Do You Use For Unsharp Masking?

    hey everyone...

    i've been reading the review of the Epson 4990 over at Vincent Oliver's site, and he mentions using a program called focal blade to do his USM.

    is there significant enough a benefit over simply using the usm in photoshop to justify the $50 purchase price?

    have any of you used both?

    thanks,
    scott

  2. #2
    Moderator Ralph Barker's Avatar
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    What Program Do You Use For Unsharp Masking?

    FWIW, I just use the USM tool in Photoshop CS, taking care to set the parameters appropriately. For $50, a stand-alone USM tool had better load my film holders, too. ;-)

  3. #3

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    What Program Do You Use For Unsharp Masking?

    Scott,

    Some work O.K., but I've found out that: 1) some don't work with 16 bit images, some don't work with CMYK images (check FocalBlade); and 2) Most don't actually do anything that an intelligent use of the Photoshop USM tool doesn't do.

    If the 3rd party tool works on the colorspace and bit depth you want and speeds your workflow, consider it. I've tried several and end up going back to the Photoshop USM.

    The Luminous Landscape reviews sharpening software fairly often, but none seem worth the price to me.

    Steve

  4. #4

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    What Program Do You Use For Unsharp Masking?

    I use Photokit Expert Sharpener from http://www.pixelgenius.com

    It works on 16bit images

    It does the sharpening in layers so you cn fine tune the sharpening for the qualities of a specific image.

    You use it in stages:

    1) Capture Sharpening based onthe resolution and type (Camera or film scan - - selectable to the type and size of capture or film)

    2) Custom -- do you want or need to do sharpening to just one area , and maybe also different degrees of sharpening for different areas? This where you do it

    3.) Output sharpening. This is targeted final sharpenign based o nthe final image size and method & resolution of output: inkjet, offset press, web, continuous tone, etc.)

  5. #5
    tim atherton's Avatar
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    What Program Do You Use For Unsharp Masking?

    Good freebies here - especially for LF film

    I use the Deadman Sharpener - it just selects all the edges to sharpen - which you can then run at 100 or 125 to bring back that LF crispness

    Just install in the Photoshop Actions and run in button mode

    the other three sharpening tools are good for different circumstances too - but I run the Deadman Sharpener to some degree on most of the scans I do from 4x5 and 8x10

    you need to experiment a bit to find how they work for you


    http://www.pinkheadedbug.com/gear/digital.html

    (bottom of the page - you can install them on mac or pc)
    You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn

    www.photo-muse.blogspot.com blog

  6. #6
    Dave Karp
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    What Program Do You Use For Unsharp Masking?

    I don't do much Photoshopping yet, but you might want to check out this article from Luminous Landscape to see Michael Reicmann's opinion:


    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/software/must-have.shtml

  7. #7

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    What Program Do You Use For Unsharp Masking?

    RTFM and learn how and why:
    Real World Adobe Photoshop CS
    by David Blatner and Bruce Fraser


    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0321245784/qid=1108418291/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/102-3980594-6244154?v=glance&s=books&n=507846


    It will save you time and money buying expensive and often problematic plug-ins that only work for one version of the software...

  8. #8

    What Program Do You Use For Unsharp Masking?

    Just to add another option... I've been using Fred Miranda's Intellisharpen II for a few months and I'm quite happy with the results on 4x5 and 645 flatbed scans.

  9. #9
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    What Program Do You Use For Unsharp Masking?

    I use the Optipix plugins from Reindeer graphic which were recomended to me be George DeWolf and Mark Nelson. It has a similar workflow as the programs that Ellis mentioned above. It also gives you some interesting additional plugins. One is for blending exposures which enables me to do two scans from a color neg. one light and one dark and blend them into one exposure with the best of both scans. It is pretty sweet.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

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  10. #10

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    What Program Do You Use For Unsharp Masking?

    Scott, I use Photoshop's own USM filter. I won't use automated software to make sharpening decisions that are best seen and handled individually, according to what you see happening on the screen. With the careful use of masks, partial opacity and other PS tools, it's really all that's needed. I won't use auto exposure, auto color, auto focus, or other "auto stuff"...why use auto sharpening and let a software program make decisions instead of doing it myself with 100% control?

    Regards,
    Danny www.dannyburk.com
    Visit www.dannyburk.com for fine photography galleries, drum scanning, instructional workshops and Photoshop tutorial, tips and more

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