How to see what you’ll get

for a web gallery.
Normally, Lightroom will only let you preview sharpening and noise reduction at 100% view. This is a good thing™ in my opinion, since it is capture sharpening, meant to negate the effects of an anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor. You’d get all kinds of moiré without an AA filter, as can be seen in the hilarious story Eamon Hickey wrote about the NC2000.
Since the AA filter softens the image a bit, you need to sharpen it. This is input sharpening. So it should be judged at 100%. Unlike output sharpening, which is better judged at reduced size, at least: For print. For web view at 100% and WYSIWYG.
Or is it?

A workaround

I recently was processing a few ISO 6400 images, which had severe noise in them. Here I ran into the problem that the NR isn’t shown at “fit window” view. So I had no way to judge what the images would look like online.
(all images can be clicked for a larger version)
This is the image as shown in the develop module:
Develop Module fit to screen
This is part of the image at 100%:
100 percent view

Clearly, no NR is shown in the “Fit screen” view.
What works however, is to create a 1:1 preview (In LightRoom > Library Module > Library > Previews > Render 1:1 previews), then look at your image in “Loupe” view (shortcut: “E”) at fit to screen. Bingo. Both input sharpening and NR are applied. There is no way to get LR to preview output sharpening.
This is the image at fit screen in the Loupe view before and after creating a 1:1 preview:

Loupe view before creating 1:1 preview
Loupe view after creating 1:1 preview

Web Gallery

The beauty of this is, that it also works for the web gallery: If you preview it in LR after making 1:1 previews, you will see the image as it goes online (minus the output sharpening that is)

The image in the web gallery preview in LR, before and after creating a 1:1 preview: An even bigger difference:
Web Gallery before creating 1:1 preview
Web Gallery after creating 1:1 preview

This is the final image as it was exported by LightRoom. Inclusive output sharpening.
Exported image

Pretty neat, huh?

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One Response to “Lightroom”

  1. Get Colormanaged » Blog Archive » Sharpening in Lightroom 2 Says:
    August 20th, 2009 at 10:16

    […] Output sharpening in Lightroom is simple: You get 4 options when you export the image: Off, low, standard or high. All else is taken care of by Lightroom. Ease of use for sure. Drawback is that you cannot preview it, so you’ll need to experiment a bit. After that, it’s “set and forget”. Capture sharpening on the other hand, requires a bit more user interaction. The settings will depend on camera used, subject and personal preference. You can preview it, but only at 100% or higher magnification. So you either need to zoom in, or you can view sharpening in the microscopic small “preview window” Lightroom 2 has for this purpose. (There is off course the workaround I mentioned in an earlier blog post) […]

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