Am researching Topaz AI Sharpening for perhaps my use

Latest Posts Photography Forums General Photo Chit Chat Am researching Topaz AI Sharpening for perhaps my use

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    • #436010
      Mistyisle
      Participant

      Over a number of years I have noticed the number of people recommending Topaz as a plug-in for various reasons.  Today I was grabbed by a post saying that Topaz AI Sharpening is very good.

      To put this in context, I have been impressed with AI Image Enlarger, so am somewhat pre-disposed to think of AI positively.  I did, look at two reviews of Topaz AI Sharpener – and was suitably impressed, though I did look also at the comments, which seem to be of the persuasion of  “I have never trusted such claims”  +  “this is how it has been in the past, so won’t work”.  Am I being naive, or is there as sea-change here with AI?

    • #436013
      Rob Eyers
      Participant

      Topaz has a free trial Jim. I gave it a try a while ago and found that it did have some usefulness. If I remember correctly the motion function was pretty interesting.

      For me it wasn’t a click and it’s perfect kind of thing but I have used it as part of the arsenal. I did buy it after the trial BTW.

    • #436028
      Graham Hart
      Participant

      I’ve tried the free demo version but was a little underwhelmed. I must admit that I am no expert in setting up plugins etc so was probably not even using it correctly in the first place…don’t know. I have read nothing but positive things about it however.

      I found a ‘free or donation’ sharpening plugin I came across by accident one day and now use it exclusively. Very simple, very effective and very intuitive to use.
      My copy is called Web Sharpener (Extension Panel V1.1). It is from http://www.andreasresch.at and he asks for a donation to help him develop it further. Worth a look if you want to try it out.

    • #436042

      Why not compare it?

      Sharpen a raw with Topaz.

      Sharpen the same raw with the high pass filter in Photoshop.

      Show us the difference. Genuinely curious.

    • #436095
      John Thompson
      Moderator

      Like Rob I like the high pass filter for sharpening.  I have Topaz AI Sharpening.  I bought it to help my film shots.  It is ok but not great.  I also bought Topaz AI Gigapixel for the same reason, to use on my slide scans.  The first iteration of both change the color of the images!  I had to wait for new releases to fix that problem.

    • #436151
      bucweeet
      Participant

      Here’s some images to compare. I’ve cropped Jim’s original (https://lightstalking.us/forums/topic/help-with-technical-analysis-please/) and then performed what I call ‘basic’ LR adjustments, the I sharpened the image. Please note, no noise reduction has been performed.

      For this particular image, I’ve found that Sharpen AI – Focus and Topaz Labs 2 sharpen the most. If one is to perform additional processing (de-noise, levels, dodge/burn, etc), quite a bit more can be pulled out of the image.

      Original Image:

    • #436152
      bucweeet
      Participant

      With basic LR adjustments:

    • #436153
      bucweeet
      Participant

      PS High Pass filter at 6.8:

    • #436154
      bucweeet
      Participant

      Topaz Sharpen AI — Sharpen:

    • #436155
      bucweeet
      Participant

      Topaz Sharpen AI — Stabilize:

    • #436156
      bucweeet
      Participant

      Topaz Sharpen AI — Focus:

    • #436157
      bucweeet
      Participant

      Topaz Labs 2 – Precision Contrast and Precision Detail:

    • #436282
      Graham Hart
      Participant

      using Web Sharperner V1.1

    • #436575
      Tobie
      Moderator

      Personally – had this been my shot – I would not even have tried to get anything more out of it (I actually did and decided it was not worth it). Perhaps if it had been in RAW format but .jpg’s are horrible when you were already pushing the limits at the moment when you released the shutter.

      The results above are interesting but I’m afraid none of them turns it into a usable image other than to prove that you (we) have seen the bird. It just proves again that it’s not a simple matter of ‘the photographer makes the shot’. When you start pushing limits then technology (hardware as well as software) plays a massive part.

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