Still need 'sharpen' module after D&S ?

I have been testing it with a very cheap Lumix FZ80. I am sure my Canon 80D will need less, but the FZ80 needs a good bit of sharpening. The default presets you mention have a small effect, and more is needed.

I have forced myself to start understanding the sliders. Probably a good thing long term.

Hence I am only using 3rd and 4th order speed controls - they act on the fine detail.

Not a bad idea. I do that to set things like the edge sensitivity control.

Doesn’t downscaling itself result in improved sharpness when viewed at the same pixel scale? Same as standing back further away from the screen or a print.

My 2 cents worth. I use ds sharpen aa filter preset. That is my initial sharpening. For portraits that is often enough. But landsczpes and some images benefit from the sharpen module default values as well as ds. I find fast sharpen in ds underwhelming.

I still use sharpen, but at 50-75% strength

Try dehaze. I use that preset and usually that is enough or even too much. sometimes I add the local contrast instance. I suspect you could use a default instance and just use sharpness slider if you are happy with the old module. When I first experimented with the module it was suggested to help sharpen blurs not for sharpening but it works fine IMO at least likely as well as the old module

These are tough decisions/discussions. For example. I watched videos by @Andy_Astbury1 on capture sharpening etc in RT. During his edits he would comment how sharp it was at some point and to me it didn’t look sharp enough. But likely he made the right call. Often things are over sharpened. Many JPGs end up oversharpened or with artifacts… My point is unless we are using some math to model it and provide a metric for “sharpness”. It’s highly subjective and as you and others mention will vary from camera to camera and image to image…

Don’t forget that any rescaling will change the impression of “sharpness” (edge contrast). That’s perhaps why you didn’t agree with the assessment of the editor when watching the video.

And what’s most usually called “sharpness” is ‘edge contrast’ (acuity), not separation between details. An image with a lot of fine, but low contrast, details can appear less sharp than an image with coarser details with higher contrast.

Then, the ideal amount of sharpening is also a matter of taste…

To get back to the original question: the sharpen module implements unsharp masking, which is a fast method to increase acuity. The downside of this method is that it can give halos at strong settings (high radius/high amount).

No, 'in theory ’ it produces blur, even if you account for the new pixel density by adjusting viewing distance. That’s why something like 'output sharpening ’ exists.

Now, a filter like lanczos or stronger bicubic settings will have a sharpening effects , including all the usual artifacts that can appear (haloing , ringing , etc …).

And what i mean by it all is that you don’t really have to adjust your sharpness because your FINAL output file is not sharp enough for your liking . It’s normal to sharpen after resizing as well. So judge darktable output while still in Darktable. I that’s good enough but the resized output isn’t , sharpen the output , not in Darktable . Isn’t a question that was asked , but I warn against doing this (since you seem to like what is to me an extreme amount of sharpening , but again everyone has different taste . Nothing wrong with that).

Sharpen small to ‘fix’ your capture device , then sharpen creatively in the edit to what you think your image needs (local contrast for example , but also extra sharpening of eyes and or eye lashes as an example ).
Then export , size down to your target output , and sharpen that so it gives the same sharpness feel as your original 100% had.
You’ll see that this differs on things like dpi , printing method , papers, inks , but also screens and pixel resolution and processing from 3rd parties, etc …

It’s a rabbit hole you can dive in :wink: .

Yes, you don’t need as much. The sharpening effect sort of multiplies between D&S and sharpen

I have. I consider it to be a helpful module, and has sharpening effects maybe a bit like local contrast. But local contrast, I think I have seen it called clarity?, is not the type of sharpness I mean. I am after the sharp fine detail you need for macro and also bird photography.

Yes, I know I am targetting more sharpness than many seem to want, however, I find critique of some styles of photography, like macro and bird photography, demands razor sharpness on the important in-focus part of the image (for example the bird’s eye). You often get told that an image is too soft.

So can D&S. I have had to decrease edge awareness to remove halo.

That’s interesting, and seems to fit what I am dealing with.

So, it’s a blur , but also creates the impression of sharpness?

That’s an approach I will try. It will mean reloading the image in a different image editor, so quite a few more steps in a workflow, but then, I don’t see it being needed every time. Hopefully only occasionally.

Ah yes, I also worry about what a printing lab will do to it before printing it for me.

Phew. So much help, so I’ll say a collective thank you to all. Meanwhile I can now get D&S to do all the sharpening I need from nearly any image, and I still have the old sharpen module in hand just in case.

I meant the dehaze preset in D&S sorry… I find it a nice way to crisp up images and its not an effect at all like you get with the dehaze module… sorry if I was unclear…

Oh I see. I just took a quick look at it’s setup. An interesting combination of settings. I will experiment.

On its own it is often nice but can be a bit strong also…but when denoise is added and there is a bit of softening of the image I find this is a good match to recover that back…

For sure any translation of an effect demonstrated on YT would be prone to not actually appearing as it might to the user but I think Andy might also just be quite measured and justifiably so when he was demonstrating sharpening.

it’s very easy to over do contrast and sharpening… and it is also very subjective and must be managed around issues with scaling and display media printing etc etc…

and that makes it hard when a photo is to be judged. You basically need to know what the judge, or your audience prefers and cater to that.

1 Like

I must say that I am still puzzled that quite a few people say that one of the sharpening presets of D&S are enough to give them a sharp image. Are you perhaps starting with a jpg out of the camera? I ask because, a RAW image from my Canon 80D, or a RAW from my Lumix FZ80 for that matter, needs quite a bit more sharpening than that. I now have a preset for D&S that approximates what sharpen used to do, but does much more intensive sharpening than those default presets supplied.