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Help with denoising?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by flamingfish, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    771
    Nov 16, 2012
    Emily
    I have a bunch of travel photos that I was forced to shoot at high ISOs. I'm a noob at Lightroom, and would appreciate any tips on how to use the noise reduction function effectively. I know where the slider is, and I know how to push it from one side to the other, but that's about it. I have several LR books, but they tend to tell you how to use every function but not how to use them all well, so that the image comes out looking good. (In particular, I find it hard to know when to stop.) I'm a bit crippled by working on a 13" MacBook screen, which makes it hard to judge by eye (and my eye is still very untrained).

    I browsed through the high ISO image thread and found a lot of mentions of DxO Pro. When I get back to my home computer, I'll download the free version of DxO Pro. I have no experience at all with DxO Pro, so any tips on making most effective use of its NR would be much appreciated.

    If there's another inexpensive program that you think does a better job of noise reduction, feel free to recommend it.

    Many thanks!
     
  2. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    In Lightroom make sure you have the main image and the little preview window in the sharpening/noise reduction panel both set to 100% or even 200% for noise reduction. I set the main image to 100% and the preview image to 200%. Hold down the Option key while moving the slider and both images will be in monochrome. As you increase noise reduction you will start to see the image look "smoother". Basically I increase the setting until it just starts to look smooth, or even pull back a hair from that point. If you keep increasing the setting too far things end up looking unnaturally smooth and you lose detail.

    With the E-M1/E-M5 I rarely take luminance noise reduction over 15. I also never touch the colour noise reduction at all unless I'm using higher ISO settings (1600 or higher). I rarely touch any of the other noise reduction sliders.

    Others can probably explain it better,
     
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  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I've been using Imagenomic Noiseware: https://www.imagenomic.com/nw.aspx for years now and in my view is the best around. I did use Noise Ninja and another one that I can't remember, but Noiseware just seemed to work better. LR is only able to improve on the noise a small amount and you really do need extra once the image is converted. If you're using Olympus cameras, you could try Olympus Viewer 3, as it uses the same algorithms as the in-camera noise reduction, which might work reasonably well.
     
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  4. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    The Dfine app that is part of the Nik Collection can do a better job than LR. The same goes for the noise reduction filter in Perfect Photo Suite. Both the Nik Collection and Perfect Photo Suite can be set up as LR plugins. With the release of Perfect Photo Suite 9 by the end of this week I will drop Nik for PPS9.
     
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  5. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    367
    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    Kevin
    I got DxO8 for the Prime Noise reduction. I found that I could get pretty similar results by tweaking LR5 sliders. Using the Option Key at 200% helps a lot.

    How about posting one of your noisy ORFs?
     
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  6. Brian Beezley

    Brian Beezley Mu-43 All-Pro

    Great idea. I'd love to see how my free programs compare with those you must pay for.

    Incidentally, does DXO 8 work with Windows XP? I can't find system requirements on the DXO website. I'd like to know before I commit to a 200MB download.

    Brian
     
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  7. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    367
    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    Kevin
    the box says vista, 7 or 8 =(
     
  8. Brian Beezley

    Brian Beezley Mu-43 All-Pro

    I just located the system requirements in the DxO Optics Pro 8 User Guide you can download. It says it works with XP. I think I'll give it a try.

    Brian
     
  9. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Veteran

    Full disclosure, I have Topaz DeNoise, which I do use for problem noise issues. But I have found that for ACDSee Pro and Lightroom, you can get much better noise control if you adopt a 2 stage noise control process.

    When I am ready for noise control, this is what I do:

    Stage 1 - Luminosity noise

    1) Desaturate the photo.
    2) Adjust the luminosity control slider.

    Stage 2 - Color noise
    1) RE-Saturate the photo
    2) adjust the color noise control sliders.

    I think this works so well because it is easier to see the luminosity noise when you aren't distracted by the color noise. Then, when you re-saturate the color, The only noise that is left is color noise or the Luminosity noise you have chosen not to address. It's easier to find that balance between the two.
     
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  10. biza48

    biza48 Mu-43 Regular

    42
    Jul 31, 2014
    Portugal
    Get Jeff Schewe's "The Digital Negative" book, it is invaluable for those using Lightroom.
     
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  11. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    +1. My other indispensable book is Martin Evening's "Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Book". Both have good information on sharpening and noise reduction.
     
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  12. Dr. Electronics

    Dr. Electronics New to Mu-43

    4
    Jul 14, 2013
    I agree that DFine is great. It also lets you limit noise in some portions of a picture and not others. Very useful.

    Dr. Electronics
     
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  13. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    771
    Nov 16, 2012
    Emily
    I admit I don't understand the difference between luminosity noise and color noise. I'll try this and see it if helps me understand. Thanks!

    I'll try to post an example when I get home -- no photos on this computer, and none of the ones that really made me wince are on my Flickr.
     
  14. DennisC

    DennisC Mu-43 Regular

    76
    Jan 24, 2010
    Cheshire UK
    Me too. I could always trust it to improve things.

    I actually hate denoising in LR5 as it doesn't do a good job and rapidly degrades the image.
    The best used to be ( still is IMO ) Noise Ninja which is now part of PhotoNinja .
     
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  15. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I'm a TopaZ Denoise user as well and use it whenever I have a really pressing noise issue. I find it softens the edges less than Lightroom/PS. With that being said, I rarely shoot to a point that noise is there so bad that Lightroom denoising cannot handle it.

    Just how I approach it.

    When using Adobe products, I tend to use a ratio of 1.0 for my Nikon D700/D300/Df cameras and a ratio of 0.5 for the Fuji/m43 cameras.

    Also, be careful of the sharpening. I notice that even a little bit too much sharpening can ramp up noise . For that, it is a lens to lens and camera to camera type thing. as a generalization, I notice that I need to use a little more sharpening with the Nikons (around 50-55) and less on the EM5 (20-35).
     
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  16. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    Quoting from Martin Evening's Lightroom 5 book:

    "…luminance noise, which is the specked noise that is always present to some degree but is more noticeable in high ISO captures"

    "Color noise occurs due to the inability of the sensor in low light levels to differentiate any color because the luminance is so low. As a result of this we see errors in the way color is recorded and hence the appearance of color blobs in the demosaiced image"

    Note that luminance noise is "always present to some degree" and color noise occurs in areas where "…luminance is so low…". The key to minimising noise of both types is good exposure and the justification often given for ETTR (expose to the right) is minimising noise but I think clipped highlights are a much more objectionable fault than noise. You can reduce noise, you can't recover detail and gradation in clipped highlights.

    Both the Schewe and Evening book mentioned in earlier posts have good coverage of noise reduction and sharpening.
     
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