|Quoting Aussie18 (Reply 2):|
My method is to resize to 1600pixels and add 100% @ 0.2 USM than resize to final size ie 1024pixels and add the final amount of USM @ 0.2,touch up soft areas with some selective sharpening and erase noticable jaggies.
I remember a book by Martin Evening (Photoshop CS3) who advocated using different radius settings for different MP
class cameras. For 12mp, he advocated 0.4 radius (on the 100% size image - not the scaled down version), but otherwise mirrored your process.
What he also did - which I also have adopted is using masks on the sharpen layer (created using find-edges feature) to make sure that only edges were sharpened and nothing else. This is a superb method that can be very useful on images with complicated backgrounds, it is a speedy way to avoid needing to mask out the plane itself. You can use a similar idea and create a noise-reduction layer that avoids losing edge detail.
He also advocated setting the sharpen layer as a smart layer. This means that filters like the smart sharpen work more like layer adjustments and can be readily changed as needed. This I don't feel is so critical, but someone might consider it useful.
He also mentioned the high-pass filter / soft-light layer sharpening method too. I would actually suggest that all the methods are useful in different circumstances, and you use whichever method is most suitable for the image you have.
I personally don't like multi-pass sharpening - I've tended to use a similar method to Clickhappy and others, but sometimes in bad conditions there is no other way - you need to sharpen the image in stages to get the desired results.
PS: The book referenced is the CS3 version of this one:
[Edited 2009-08-24 23:15:52]