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Sharpening using Filter => Sharpen => Smart Sharpen

Sharpening with Photoshop Smart Sharpen

After downsampling (or upsampling) with Bicubic, sharpening is advised to restore acutance (edge sharpness) for fine details. It is also appropriate after RAW conversion (depending on the converter) and also prior to printing.

To sharpen, use the Filter => Sharpen => Smart Sharpen… command in Photoshop.

Season to taste as for the Amount of sharpening, avoiding harsh edges and that “crunchy” look.

A small radius of 0.3 pixels works well for a downsampled image. The Amount will vary depending on the image, but values from 30-100 work well, with lower values for inherently sharper images.

Alternatives include many programs, such as Topaz InFocus.

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  • Eases into photographic challenges with an introductory section.
  • Covers aspects of digital sensor technology that relate to getting the best image quality.
  • Technique section discusses every aspect of making a sharp image handheld or on a tripod.
  • Depth of field and how to bypass depth of field limitations via focus stacking.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • MTF, field curvature, focus shift: insight into the limitations of lab tests and why imaging performance is far more complex than it appears.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • How to test a lens for a “bad sample”.

Intrigued? See Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance, PART ONE: The Challenges, or (one topic of many) field curvature.

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