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 Post subject: Genuine Fractals 5
PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 3:39 pm 
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Hi folks,

In his post Part of Owl butterfly wing - macrophotograph cybermystic mentioned that fractal sharpening was used. It's a foul day here so it seemed a good opportunity to download the Demo of Genuine Fractals 5 and have a play. As it is a Photoshop plug-in I compared GF5 with the regular tools in Photoshop CS2.

The first test was sharpening. I used the GF5 plug-in and, with help from the manual, tweaked an image until I achieved the best level of sharpening I could without introducing any artefacts I considered too obtrusive. Then I opened a second window with the original file and tried to replicate the effect using Photoshop's Smart Sharpen tool. Here's the result with 100% crops from the original and the two sharpened images combined as an animation:

      Image
You can form your own opinion but, for this particular shot, I don't think that GF5 adds anything, apart from the Demo version watermarks. To be fair, the website says "Genuine Fractals 5 is a revolutionary step forward for image enlargements" so they aren't selling it primarily as a sharpening tool.

The second test was enlargement. I took a crop of the original image and enlarged it by a factor of four using PhotoShop's Bicubic Sharper algorithm followed by a little extra Smart Sharpen. Genuine Fractals 5 enlarged the image and applied some sharpening in a single step. Here are the resultant 100% crops from the enlarged images:

      Image

To my eye GF5 really earns it's keep here though at $159.95 it's not exactly a casual purchase. I'd be hard pressed to spot the fact the the GF5 crop was actually an enlargement. Maybe it's time to downsize to a 6MP sensor. :twisted: 8)

Bob.

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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 11:52 pm 
Thanks for sharing Bob! Was this done with the fractal sharpening plugin cybermystic mentioned here? Or just the standard Genuine Fractals?

I remember trying this a while ago..didn't turn out so good. :?


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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 12:24 am 
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grahamnp wrote:
Thanks for sharing Bob! Was this done with the fractal sharpening plugin cybermystic mentioned here? Or just the standard Genuine Fractals?

I remember trying this a while ago..didn't turn out so good. :?

Yes, it's the same software. Genuine Fractals 5 is a Photoshop plug-in with, as far as I am aware, no standalone functionality. I haven't tried Noel Carboni's "Action" as there seemed little point until I decided to purchase GF5. Unfortunately at $160 I don't think I can justify that purchase; at least not until I need prints at A2 or larger. :roll:

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 8:33 am 
Thanks Bob, yea $160 is little steep.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 8:39 am 
Thanks for the reply Bob. $160 does seem steep for a plugin!


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