|Quoting Silver1SWA (Reply 5):|
Since I use Adobe Camera Raw, there is a default setting in the sharpness tab. I believe it's automatically set to 20 or 25. I change this on every photo, due to personal preference, to 50 to give me a nice crisp high res photo before the rest of my process in CS6.
Interesting - do you know there is a preference option (somewhere!) so you can make 50 your default?
You can also set the sharpening to appear only on the preview in ACR, but not apply it to the processed image.
That's my preferred set up - I think sharpening should be the last thing you do to an image. My reasoning is as follows - the unprocessed image will have smooth tonal gradations. If you need to make any changes to the tone curve, colour balance etc, in PS6, these changes will retain the smooth gradation.
Sharpening can break the smoothness by introducing higher levels of contrast between adjacent pixels - if you sharpen before adjusting the tone curve this can have effects on how those enhanced edges appear ie. I think you'll find that image adjustments will be more likely to produce ugly artifacts if applied after sharpening.
On the other hand, it is possible to do all your curve and color adjustments within ACR and not need to do much (if anything in PS6). In theory, I would have thought that if you could set up all your image adjustments in ACR and then convert this would provide the best quality (because the changes would be applied directly to the RAW data instead of a processed file) - indeed I've seen a number of people advocating this. But I haven't been able to find much if any difference and I find tools in ACR are harder to use.
So now I use a mix ...
In ACR - colour balance, noise supression (if required) and sometimes colour adjustments (as ACR offers a different adjustment palette to PS6)
- tone curve, any local editing then sharpening.
Colin K. Work, Pixstel