Viewer 2 question about sharpening

Dec 5, 2010
Chapel Hill, North Carolina ISA
Greetings. I am a new forum member and Olympus DSLR (E-3, E-5) and PEN E-P2 user. My Olympus images can be found at my photo web site Steve Brantley Photography | SmugMug

I 'd like to get some advice from Olympus Viewer 2 software users regarding your sharpness procedures and settings.

When I double click a RAW or JPEG photo in the Browse window and it opens in the Image Edit screen, the right side of the screen shows an "Edit" tab as well as a "Raw" tab adjacent to it. Now within the "Edit" tab, there is a "Sharpness & Blur" feature, and below it is an "Unsharp Mask" feature. The adjacent "Raw" tab has its own "Sharpness" adjustment feature.

Given these options, what do you do to add some sharpness to an JPEG image, as well as a RAW image? Do you utilize all of these choices, or some combination? This is quite confusing, and not explained to any extent in Viewer 2's on-line help.

Also, considering the "Unsharp Mask" feature, what rule-of-thumb settings do you recommend for the Strength, Radius and Threshold sliders?

Thanks for any and all comments.


Mu-43 Top Veteran
Dec 5, 2010
Berkshire, UK.
I'm new too.

Personally I have sharpness set to 2 (on my EPL1) for JPEGS. This seems to impart the same level of sharpening as I used to apply to the images from my previous camera (ie. I don't need any further sharpening applied to my EPL1 images).
I shoot JPEG + RAW so I don't worry about doing something permanent like that to the JPEG

I leave any processing of images (necessary for RAW) for when I get the images on to my computer and use Bibble or Photoshop on them.

From what I can gather an unsharp mask is in fact a way of sharpening.

From Wiki:
Typically three settings control digital unsharp masking:

Amount (strength) is listed as a percentage, and controls the magnitude of each overshoot (how much darker and how much lighter the edge borders become). This can also be thought of as how much contrast is added at the edges. It does not affect the width of the edge rims.
Radius affects the size of the edges to be enhanced or how wide the edge rims become, so a smaller radius enhances smaller-scale detail. Higher Radius values can cause halos at the edges, a detectable faint light rim around objects. Fine detail needs a smaller Radius. Radius and Amount interact; reducing one allows more of the other.
Threshold controls the minimum brightness change that will be sharpened or how far apart adjacent tonal values have to be before the filter does anything. This lack of action is important to prevent smooth areas from becoming speckled. The threshold setting can be used to sharpen more-pronounced edges, while leaving subtler edges untouched. Low values should sharpen more because fewer areas are excluded. Higher threshold values exclude areas of lower contrast.


Mu-43 Regular
Feb 12, 2010
I like to do two light passes of unsharp mask. Roughly, the first is 5% to 20% amount, radius 30, threshold 0 or some other low number. The second is anywhere from 30% to 150%, radius 1, threshold 0.

Just a guess, but I think the first pass is very similar to what LightRoom calls "clarity".

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