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Author Topic: Photoshop Camera Raw -- "Clarify"  (Read 10572 times)

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« on: June 29, 2009, 14:20 »
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I have a question about the "Clarify" adjustment in camera raw. 

Do y'll think it may cause artifacting?

I like the effect it creates and tend to use it quite a bit.  But I've been wondering lately if maybe I shouldn't use it as much as I do.  My monitor is not the greatest, and I have a hard time seeing the artifacts that reviewers see.  I also have a hard time picking out the examples of artifacting that have been posted on this forum.  Therefore I'm kinda in the dark, so to speak, on this so I'm hoping some of you can help me.


ShadySue

« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2009, 14:49 »
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I have a question about the "Clarify" adjustment in camera raw. 

Do y'll think it may cause artifacting?

I like the effect it creates and tend to use it quite a bit.  But I've been wondering lately if maybe I shouldn't use it as much as I do.  My monitor is not the greatest, and I have a hard time seeing the artifacts that reviewers see.  I also have a hard time picking out the examples of artifacting that have been posted on this forum.  Therefore I'm kinda in the dark, so to speak, on this so I'm hoping some of you can help me.
Funny thing is I hve to use it much more with the 5DMk2 than with the 40D or the 350D. So far haven't had artifacting problems, but I did wonder if it could potentially be an issue. It's my New Best Friend  :D

WarrenPrice

« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2009, 15:07 »
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Is clarify accessible in PSE 5??

« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2009, 15:16 »
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I read an interview with the guy who developed "Clarity" for PS (camera raw), its intent is to increase mid tone contrast and he suggested a value of  around 25 on most images . . . . I also use that sucker alot.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2009, 16:16 by etienjones »

« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2009, 15:52 »
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to my knowledge (and I havent gone into it a lot) it is unsharp mask with clarify is amount, radius is somewhere around 80 and threshold 0 and it has the equivalent of the blend if sliders in photoshop set so that it reduces in strength in the dark and light areas.  So by that thinking it would introduce artifacts but if it makes your image look better and they are being accepted then its good :)

« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2009, 16:16 »
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Just curious - why do you guys feel you need clarify with 5DII images?

I use a 5DII and L lenses and images are sharp and contrasty without any extra sharpening necessary...

ShadySue

« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2009, 16:51 »
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Just curious - why do you guys feel you need clarify with 5DII images?

I use a 5DII and L lenses and images are sharp and contrasty without any extra sharpening necessary...
My experience is different, with the 'kit' L lens, and even more with my 100-400 IS, sadly.

« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2009, 16:57 »
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It increases local (midtone) contrast. I don't use it, but sometimes I use similar thing in another software. It works much much better than clarity option in Camera Raw ;)

« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2009, 16:59 »
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@ ShadySue:

Weird.  I am using the L "kit" lens too with crazy-sharp results.  

Is it possible you got a camera with a front or back focus issue?  

Spending that kind of money you should not have to put up with inferior results.  Might be worth sending to Canon service and having the lenses and camera checked out and maybe calibrated...

« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2009, 17:10 »
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@ ShadySue:

Weird.  I am using the L "kit" lens too with crazy-sharp results. 

Is it possible you got a camera with a front or back focus issue? 

Spending that kind of money you should not have to put up with inferior results.  Might be worth sending to Canon service and having the lenses and camera checked out and maybe calibrated...

Sue, it's not about sharpening, it's about contrast. You can have the sharpest lens in the world, but it won't increase natural contrast.

« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2009, 17:35 »
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Sue, it's not about sharpening, it's about contrast. You can have the sharpest lens in the world, but it won't increase natural contrast.


Actually, most sharpening algorithms work by increasing edge contrast.  Of course you can't make a picture "sharper" than it was at capture,  just increase contrast so they appear sharper.

Also, FWIW, the 5DII with the 24-105 L IS produces images that are both sharp and also "contrasty".   Some lenses are very definitely more contrasty than others.  It's one of the reasons people pay 1k and up for good L glass.  Here's a very informative article you can read about it:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/lens-contrast.shtml

If she is getting consistently unsatisfactory results there is something wrong with her kit.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2009, 17:36 by PixelBytes »

« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2009, 20:36 »
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I am definitely hooked on using "clarify", but I would steer away from sliding it to very high values. Depending on the image and composition of light sometimes you can get away with it. However, I've noticed when it comes to backlit subjects, a darker halo appears around the edges when "clarify" values are nearing maximum.

« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2009, 03:38 »
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Sue, it's not about sharpening, it's about contrast. You can have the sharpest lens in the world, but it won't increase natural contrast.


Actually, most sharpening algorithms work by increasing edge contrast.  Of course you can't make a picture "sharper" than it was at capture,  just increase contrast so they appear sharper.

Also, FWIW, the 5DII with the 24-105 L IS produces images that are both sharp and also "contrasty".   Some lenses are very definitely more contrasty than others.  It's one of the reasons people pay 1k and up for good L glass.  Here's a very informative article you can read about it:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/lens-contrast.shtml

If she is getting consistently unsatisfactory results there is something wrong with her kit.


Of course Sue, I know that. I'm talking about amount of contrast that you cannot make with lens.

« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2009, 08:08 »
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Thank you all for your input.  I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one that uses it.  I usually go about 1/2 way from the default mid-point towards the right hand side (maximum)

« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2009, 11:52 »
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Of course Sue, I know that. I'm talking about amount of contrast that you cannot make with lens.

I'm confused now.  I thought you were responding to my post, not Sue's. ???
« Last Edit: June 30, 2009, 11:54 by PixelBytes »

« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2009, 11:53 »
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Ooops.  Double post.

« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2009, 05:13 »
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Of course Sue, I know that. I'm talking about amount of contrast that you cannot make with lens.


I'm confused now.  I thought you were responding to my post, not Sue's. ???
Oh HAHA :D Sorry! :) Looks like I am the one who was confused. :) I am a bit distracted these days...
« Last Edit: July 01, 2009, 15:10 by Whitechild »

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« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2009, 11:14 »
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Just curious - why do you guys feel you need clarify with 5DII images?

I use a 5DII and L lenses and images are sharp and contrasty without any extra sharpening necessary...

my thoughts exactly, PixelBytes. If you need in camera post processing with a good camera and good lense, you are probably doing something wrong, ie. poor focusing, aperture/speed combo, not using critical aperture (sweet spot),etc.. to take advantage of the inherent quality you pay for.
I also strongly disregard the need for in camera post processing as it is final. I prefer suggesting to do it in Photoshop and shooting RAW. This way you can experiment without losing the original image.
My opinion only , of course  ;)

« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2009, 15:30 »
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Just curious - why do you guys feel you need clarify with 5DII images?

I use a 5DII and L lenses and images are sharp and contrasty without any extra sharpening necessary...

my thoughts exactly, PixelBytes. If you need in camera post processing with a good camera and good lense, you are probably doing something wrong, ie. poor focusing, aperture/speed combo, not using critical aperture (sweet spot),etc.. to take advantage of the inherent quality you pay for.
I also strongly disregard the need for in camera post processing as it is final. I prefer suggesting to do it in Photoshop and shooting RAW. This way you can experiment without losing the original image.
My opinion only , of course  ;)

Again...It's about contrast that you can never achieve without post processing. For example, this image was taken with Nikkor 60mm Micro lens, which is known as pretty sharp lens, and the same image after increasing local contrast (It's not sharpened, it just has increased local contrast)

ShadySue

« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2009, 15:55 »
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Just curious - why do you guys feel you need clarify with 5DII images?

I use a 5DII and L lenses and images are sharp and contrasty without any extra sharpening necessary...

my thoughts exactly, PixelBytes. If you need in camera post processing with a good camera and good lense, you are probably doing something wrong, ie. poor focusing, aperture/speed combo, not using critical aperture (sweet spot),etc.. to take advantage of the inherent quality you pay for.
I also strongly disregard the need for in camera post processing as it is final. I prefer suggesting to do it in Photoshop and shooting RAW. This way you can experiment without losing the original image.
My opinion only , of course  ;)
Who said anything about in camera processing?

« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2009, 17:37 »
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(It's not sharpened, it just has increased local contrast)

Pardon my ignorance, but what is "local contrast"?

« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2009, 17:53 »
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Again...It's about contrast that you can never achieve without post processing. For example, this image was taken with Nikkor 60mm Micro lens, which is known as pretty sharp lens, and the same image after increasing local contrast (It's not sharpened, it just has increased local contrast)

I see what you mean, Whitechild.  Your example speaks volumes.  I usually do my contrast adjustments with curves or levels. 

My few attempts with clarify have left my people looking cartoonish.  Maybe I used too much or haven't figured out how to use it to optimal effect on people.

« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2009, 18:51 »
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(It's not sharpened, it just has increased local contrast)


Pardon my ignorance, but what is "local contrast"?

Adelaide,
Perhaps this link helps:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/contrast-enhancement.shtml


« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2009, 19:41 »
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I have been using USM for years, is it different from sharpening then? I thought that the difference was only that "sharpen" and "sharpen more" were preset values of amount-radius-threshold.

« Reply #24 on: July 01, 2009, 23:32 »
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Adelaide, I don't believe there is a difference except in the ratios of radius, threshold, and amount.  The ratios determine whether the effect will look more like sharpening or increased local contrast.

This link, especially section "In Practice" gives some useful values and more details:
http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/local-contrast-enhancement.htm
« Last Edit: July 01, 2009, 23:37 by goldenangel »

« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2009, 16:46 »
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Thanks, GA.  It seems I have been using USM wrongly, as they say amount is typically 5-20% and I often use something in the 50-65% range.  In fact, I've been using amount and radius connected - 55%-55, for instance.


 

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