When to Sharpen


I am wondering when is the best time to sharpen the images, either in TIFF after re-sizing or after being saved to JPEG.

I am fairly new to DeNoise & Sharpen. I shoot NEF, my workflow nowadays is to bring the pictures in Lightroom do some basic adjustments, export to TIFF, run them through DeNoise and save them as TIFF. After that I bring them into Photoshop, finish them up, either crop of re-size then save as JPEG.

I read conflicting information, some say save as TIFF after re-working and re-sizing, run them through Sharpen, and save them as JPEG from Sharpen, other sites say save them as JPEG then run them through Sharpen.

I will greatly appreciate your feedback, I am enjoying working with both products and would like to get the best result out of them.


Sharpen should be applied as the last step to clean up the image and get it ready for export. If you use Lightroom you can export the TIF/TIFF, sharpen and return to LR where you can export to JPG without any Lightroom sharpening applied.

If you use Sharpen, run the TIF/TIFF through Sharpen and then Save as JPG. The reason for this is that the TIF/TIFF is lossless and you have less chance of getting artifacts in the JPG output.

Thank you Don.

Do you think the size of the image matters as far as when to sharpen? Would it make sense to crop it before sharpening?

Yes crop before using Sharpena AI as it is the part of the general processing steps.

Does this apply to any mode of Sharpen AI (i.e., sharpen, stabilize, or focus)?

Yes, any mode … but you can still do it at any step … just ‘should’ be last.

Right, sometimes it might make sense to do it earlier in the workflow especially to see if it’s able to be saved from focus or stability issues and worth working on. It should be run again one last time as a final step to sharpen. Which I’m assuming is separate from output sharpening.

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