About Thomas Fitzgerald

Thomas is a professional fine art photographer and writer specialising in photography related instructional books as well as travel writing and street photography. 

Experimental Capture One 10 Sharpening Settings for X-Trans

Experimental Capture One 10 Sharpening Settings for X-Trans

When Capture One 10 was announced just before Christmas, I was very excited by the initial results that I saw with X-Pro 2 files, but I’ve realised now that my enthusiasm may have been over-rated. Since that time, I’ve been trying to lock down some base settings to use as the basis for some recommendations for my guide and to be honest I’ve had difficulty coming up with results that work for everything. It’s been a process of discovery, and I've learned some interesting things along the way. I’ve come up with some experimental settings, and I wanted to put them out there for people to try.

One of the things that I noticed is that it’s hard to get a clean image that doesn’t have some kind of issue. I know that I’m being way too picky here, and will be accused of being a dirty pixel peeper, but if you’re going to find the best possible solution, then you have to go down the rabbit hole for a while. One of the things that I’ve noticed is that while Capture One doesn’t have the edge artefacts that you sometimes get with Lightroom, it does have issues of its own. You still get a degree of smeariness in fine detail, but it’s not as bad. You also get a kind of scales like pattern in dark, out of focus areas, that is easy to exaggerate depending on the sharpening settings.

One of the things that I’ve noticed, which I hadn’t previously realised is that the detail slider in the noise reduction setting acts as a second layer of sharpening. Even if you have noise reduction turned off, it’s still doing its thing if you have it turned up, or even at the default. Adjusting this lower allowed me to get cleaner results.

The new halo reduction slider in the sharpening panel does interesting things. Apart from what it’s intended to do, it actually cleans up edges nicely. If you have issues with over-sharpened edges, or artefacts on edges, which you can sometimes get with X-Trans files, turning this up seems to work to clean up the edges. It’s a nice addition to the toolset.

With all that in mind, I’ve saved off some various settings as “styles”, and you can try them out below. I don’t have install instructions for these, so you’ll need to figure it out yourself. I don’t have detailed descriptions of these either, so try them and see what they do.

These are experimental (think beta), and so they’re not what I would consider “finished” Some of them may have spurious other adjustments in there (apologies) so use these as an experiment and don’t try them on images that you’ve already adjusted and are happy with. There’s no support with these either but would appreciate feedback as to how well they work for you.

Note, these are supplied “as-is”. There is no support, and you use them at your own risk. You should have a reasonable working Knowledge of Capture One woking with zip files and so on.

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If you're a Fuji X-Trans shooter and Lightroom user, check out my guide to post processing X-Trans files in Lightroom. I also have a guides for processing X-Trans files in Capture One and Iridient Developer.

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