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Posted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:08 am
Piccure+ software contains two modules, Lens+, which corrects lens aberrations, and Motion+, which corrects blurring due to motion. I've been using the lens correction module for several weeks and think it's fantastic. It doesn't "sharpen" the image, but analyzes and reconstructs it using deconvolution, and other, algorithms (that's about the extent of my technical knowledge). There are two versions available: a filter plug-in for Photoshop and Lightroom, and stand-alone with its own RAW converter. Based on my admittedly limited experience, the former is more effective.
Piccure+ is easy to use. It works best with 16-bit TIFFs. I use it, as suggested on the website, immediately after RAW conversion, as follows: open RAW file in Adobe Camera RAW; I use default sharpening only (sharpen=25, radius=1, detail=25, masking=0) and noise reduction set to 0. Make adjustments such as shadow and highlight retrieval as needed. Open file in PS and save as 16-bit TIFF. Open Piccure+. Click on the LENS+ module. Set the "Speed vs Quality" slider to Quality+, the Optical Aberrations slider to Normal, Sharpen to 0, and uncheck Denoise. Click 1-1 to see image at 100% with double pane viewing option and select an area for preview. Click Preview. If satisfied with the result click "Process". Now you have time for a cup of tea, ale, broth, veggie burger, whatever, because, depending on the speed of your processor it can take several minutes or more to do its thing. I've attached a test I ran using a Canon S120 compact camera. These are 100% crops of a portion of the image; first image straight from ACR before Piccure+, second after. To my eyes, the result looks nothing like sharpening. A trial version is available. There's also a 30% discount on the list price (see website).
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:12 am
Thanks Art. I'm using Focus Magic (http://www.focusmagic.com/), a program Zog is using. Is it similar? One of the programs I use constantly as a first step of editing on almost all my images. Just make image look sharper, even when using a cheaper lens.
Topaz has a similar one called InFocus, but Focus Magic is far superior. I'll have a look at piccureplus
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:56 am
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/55126808 Art, here's an interesting discussion about piccure+
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:57 am
I had heard of but not used Focus Magic -- I just downloaded it and am comparing to Piccure+.
First tests show not a great deal of difference between the two with Piccure+ settings as I listed in my original post. However, if I change the Optical Abberations setting in Piccure+ to Strong (CA), the difference is substantial (maybe too much, depending on the lens). I'm going to do more comparisons and post a comparison set in a while. I'm very interested in what you'll find.
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 7:27 am
After tinkering with both programs, I'd say it's a toss-up. FM is better in some respects in some images and P+ similarly in others. Certainly FM is quite a bit faster! I think I prefer P+ insofar as it seems to look a bit more natural, with less of a sharpened appearance. This of course is quite subjective, and in any event I doubt the differences would be noticeable except at 100%. I did notice that P+ does a better job with sharpening not set to 0, up to 25 for a blurry lens, but this is getting into the realm of output sharpening which perhaps should be applied at the end of the workflow. Still exploring this.
If you're comparing them, I'm wondering what you'll conclude.
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:09 am
Art, I intend to do the comparison over the weekend. I send an Email to piccure+ and am pasting the question and reply below:
Good day, I am Martin Kirstein. I am using Focus Magic and a friend recommended Piccure+. What is the difference between the two programs and how do they compare?
Lui (Intelligent Imaging Solutions GmbH)
Apr 17, 12:57
Hello Dr. Kirstein,
thank you very much for your email. I think generally speaking: piccure+ complements existing tools. It can help when other tools can't - but tradeoff is processing time. It currently is the only solution in the market that can reverse varying degrees of image degradation by the means of blind deconvolution.
Unlike Focus Magic, the errors are detected automatically (point spread function is not found by trial and error by user, but by the software). However, in the end what matters is how you like the results of the programs and how they fit your workflow.
Some more information can be found here:
Intelligent Imaging Solutions GmbH - Hintere Grabenstr. 30 - 72070 Tuebingen - Germany
CEO: Prof. Dr. Hanns Ruder
Amtsgericht Stuttgart, HRB 740303
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:34 am
Good questions and some informative and ...diplomatic answers from Lui.
I'm finding that with P+ the Strong CA setting sometimes introduces artifacts, or smears areas of the image, which I intend to ask Lui about. So far, I'm obtaining the best results with the Quality+ setting and sharpen at 25 and denoise at 0. I did notice that with FM the borders can have a 4 pixel blur width and the center a 2 pixel blur width and I wondered how to reconcile this. Lui is claiming that P+ will apply the appropriate, and different, correction to every part of the image -- but I agree that the result of this is certainly a matter of the observer's judgement!
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:18 pm
Art, just played with one image and I'm quite impressed. My shutter speed was a tad slow for the image; thus movement blur. (See comparison below)
Seems the FM can do some focus blur repairs; PC+ can't.
Will have to play more. I already have FM and PC+ is not very cheap; I'm itching seriously though (Don't tell my wife please :-) )
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:30 pm
That looks really good -- Did you use Motion+ or Lens+? What settings did you use?
In my experience wives are very pleased when their husband's photos are less blurry. I mean that's the only sensible way to interpret "you've bought what!!". ;-)
Posted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:21 pm
Art, I used Motion+ and the default settings. Played a bit more. When there's motion blur, PC+ is by far better. Must say, I don't know PC+, so to be fair one must play quite a bit to get used to it. As far as my general images are, there's not much of a difference between FM and PC+. As you know FM is Quick and PC+ of the snail family.
In general, I don't think it's worth purchasing PC+ as well. At the time we changed over to 64bit computers, FM was only available in 32bit and would not work in Lr64 or PS64.
Acclaim Software Ltd could not say how long it would take to release the 64bit software. I then purchased Topaz InFocus but was very disappointed. Great was my surprize when at the end of 2013 Zog told me the 64bit one was out. They upgraded me without any extra cost and I was smiling, the 64bit one was even beteer then the previous. I do use a couple of the Topaz plugins and find all of them very good, except for InFocus. Even in discussions on their website, it's general knowledge that this one is not that great.
Thanks for listening to my babble