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Posts: 173
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2006 12:39 pm

About Grain/noise Reduction

Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:48 pm

I had gotten some rejections for "grain", and sometimes, I can see it, others I really don't, but have taken to shifting my workflow to first:

open the image RAW file in Sony's Image Data Converter SR ver 2. There, I can set the exposure if necessary, and use the "noise reduction" feature on "auto" It despeckles very nicely when I have taken low-light photos (nonaviation), and now do this routinely. I also use this program for color balance.

I then save as a jpg, and continue other edits (sharpening, level) in photoshop. I was wondering about others' experiences with noise reduction with vendor-provided products, like Sony's. I found that noise reduction in Photoshop results in soft photos, and sharpening after that is less than satisfactory. Maybe it's just me though.

It's better to be a little behind than a big ass
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RE: About Grain/noise Reduction

Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:54 pm


Try using Lightroom 3 or DXO or some other workflow product. They tend to have better NR algorithms than manufactuer provided applications.
From the Mind of Minolta
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Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:17 am

RE: About Grain/noise Reduction

Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:15 pm

Hello Michael.

The issue of grain has been the subject of discussion recently, and I feel there is still some way to go in getting that issue fully debated here. I used to use noise reduction on all my photos uploaded here when I started out, but stopped that a long time ago now. These days my view is simple - if the photo is taken in good lighting, with good quality camera and lens, then there should be no reason for any noise reduction. I think we can go way over the top about this, which is a shame.

Sure, there is a place for noise reduction in certain lighting situations, but I would question its use generally. My opinion may be increasingly out of line with how people are thinking these days here (and I am sure I will be told!), but the less editing of a photo the better in my opinion. Once again - assuming good quality original and good lighting - it should just be a case of resizing, checking for level/dirt, adjust the histogram, bit of sharpening etc and Bob's your uncle. Okay, maybe a bit more than that (especially when it comes to sharpening), but not more than a few minutes work.

All the best.

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Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 5:09 am

RE: About Grain/noise Reduction

Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:07 am

Grain shouldn't be a rejection issue on a correctly exposed image in daylight conditions; not with any DSLR produced in the last ten years. That's just silly.

Most RAW converters like the Adobe tools have subtle noise reduction anyway, but in truth this should only be an issue if you've got the exposure wrong in the first place, and have to push it with your converter of choice, or photoshop; increased noise is the unavoidable cost of doing this.

It's really not something to lose sleep over.

It takes a big man to admit they are wrong, and I am not a big man.
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Joined: Tue May 31, 2005 5:17 pm

RE: About Grain/noise Reduction

Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:37 pm

I never use noise reduction. I have never seen the need to do so.
Nikon D700, Nikkor 80-400, Fuji X Pro 1, Fujinon 35 f/1.4, Fujinon 18 f/2

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