Lightroom 2 Clarity

OK, I mentioned that I would post about the clarity slider and what the new negative clarity can do, and this is it.

There’s not much I can say that a photo can’t say. The slider goes from -100 to +100 rather than 0 to +100 as in Lightroom 1. The negative clarity manifests itself as softness and blurriness. I find using negative clarity awesome for portraits, to give them a very nice glow and smoothness.

This image uses clarity applied to the entire photo. Another way to do it in LR2 would be to use the adjustment brush to have localized softness in a sharp photo. And, of course, the opposite is true. The adjustment brush is awesome.

First major disappointment with Nikon

In the D300 (and perhaps others), third-party lenses such as Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina will only recognize one lens for the AutoFocus Fine-Tune adjustments. I am so bummed.

Most of the time, the Nikkor lens for a given focal length or function will perform at least as well as any comparable third-party lens, but the cost is higher. Sometimes, there is no competition and the Nikkor lens is the only way to go, but other times there is a lower cost alternative that is at least as good as the Nikkor lens. For example, The Nikkor 105mm VR Micro is a great macro and portrait lens. The Tamron 90mm Macro and the Tokina 100mm Macro are just awesome at half the cost of the Nikkor or less, just without VR, so you’re paying double to do the job handheld that a tripod can do. To me, the Tokina would be perfect for me, but not if I can’t fine-tune the AF just like any Nikkor lens. If I had one Sigma, one Tamron, and one Tokina it would be fine, but the Tokina 100mm Macro would be my fourth Tokina. I find it funny that the body will write the correct lens info into the EXIF information, but this one feature is broken.

I blame Nikon. It seems Tokina had to reverse engineer the CPU process just to be able to talk to the D300. This kind of proprietary selfishness is a real turn-off. Nikon could make this work if they choose to. The proprietary RAW format (NEF) is bad enough, and the NRW RAW format that only can be read on Windows is insulting. This isn’t as bad (I can manually focus, if my eyes aren’t lying to me as I get older) but it is still at least a bad oversight if not an outright bad decision.

Lightroom 2

Another notch! The improvements over the 1.x line are amazing.

camera profile + Center Stage preset camera profile + Center Stage preset
camera profile + Mad Max 3200 preset camera profile + Mad Max 3200 preset
camera profile + Silver Sand preset camera profile + Silver Sand preset
camera profile + New Mexico Road presetcamera profile + New Mexico Road preset

What amazing colors! But, that’s just the beginning. 🙂

camera profile + Hanne Split-Tone preset camera profile + Hanne Split-Tone preset
camera profile + Center Stage preset camera profile + Center Stage preset
camera profile + Silver Sand preset camera profile + Silver Sand preset

This is fun. Just wait to see what the negative clarity can do for portraits!