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Topaz InFocus sharpening
(minimum settings)

Sharpening with Topaz InFocus

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.

My preferred tool for sharpening after downsampling is Topaz InFocus, which uses a form of deconvolution sharpening. The differences are often subtle, but I like the edge acutance it produces versus using Photoshop Smart Sharpen. Both are good choices.

Unless the image has inherent sharpness issues, one should generally prefer the minimal Sharpness = 0.01 as shown below, at least for the purposes of edge acutance of fine details.

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Diglloyd Making Sharp Images articulates years of best practices and how-to, painstakingly learned over a decade of camera and lens evaluation.

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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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