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Thread: Topaz Labs

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    Default Topaz Labs

    I use Topaz Denoise on most, if not all of my shots.
    I have just downloaded their entire suite of filters for a 30 day free trial and at first glance some of them seem gimmicky, but some are, presumably, very useful.
    I was wondering if there was any of their filters that any of you use a lot.

    Thanks

    Guy

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    Default Re: Topaz Labs

    I like Detail, though I think it needs to be used judiciously. Black and White Effects is very good. I actually use the layering in FotoFXlab. Adjust can be useful, I typically reset everything and then work a little with the adaptive exposure. I generally the presets in Adjust too strong and gimmicky. And DeNoise is very good.

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    Default Re: Topaz Labs

    I picked up Simplify last year on sale and use it a lot for painterly effects; it's one of the best filters for that I have found. Last week I picked up Detail as it was on sale and have found that one to be very good, though it needs to be used judiciously.
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    Default Re: Topaz Labs

    The only two I really find useful are Denoise and Detail, but I find that I often get better results straight out of LR.

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    Default Re: Topaz Labs

    So far I have looked at Simplify, which as Ken says, is for making a paint effect, which I doubt I would use much.
    Detail looks to be quite interesting for sharpening. I use high pass filter with soft light at the moment and like the results but I'll give detail a try.

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    Default Re: Topaz Labs

    I have Detail, InFocus and B&W Effects from Topaz and just installed Perfect Effects 8 from OnOne. I rarely use any of them because, like Daniel, I can get the same, or better, results straight from LR. That's not to say that the products have no value, I do turn to them when I need something different or to help me visualize a final product.
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    Default Re: Topaz Labs

    The Topaz filters I use most are Detail, Adjust, Clarify, and DeNoise.

    I find that I use Detail the most. I see that other responders also use Detail.

    Detail has other abilities. For example, it can increase contrast, brighten just shadow areas (or darken light areas), increase "exposure", etc. In other words, it shares some of capabilities of Adjust, Clarify, and others.

    Detail also has pretty nice masking capabilities, where you paint over an area to exclude it (or include it) in the modification. It has an "edge aware" option which works REALLY well.

    Detail can also soften, so if you do 2 iterations: sharpen with a mask, invert the mask, and then soften, you can get some really nice results. Only problem (and I conplained about this) - you lose the mask after the first iteration, so you have to redo it again. But still, it works great. You could, of course, use a selection in your image editor before entering Detail and work it that way.

    Adjust is a jack-of-all-trades and I find it useful sometimes, although I find myself using Detail where I used to use Adjust nowadays. However, you one nice thing about Adjust is that it has noise reduction, and if you have DeNoise installed, it will use that (although you don't have all the fancy options that you would have going into DeNoise itself).

    Clarify is a contrast tool which I like better than Adjust for certain contrast tweaks, although it is kind of a one-trick pony, I think.

    One final thing - they just put out a new version of Detail which screws up the order of its presets (they appear in a random order). They are promising to fix this (I opened a "ticket" on it).
    Rich
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    Default Re: Topaz Labs

    Its funny, I could have written Rich's post, except reverse the order somewhat.

    Without a doubt, they are amazing filters. For heavy photographer of landscape/scenic shots, choose in this order:

    Denoise
    Clarity and Adjust (tie)
    Detail


    Also consider:

    Star Effects
    Lens Effects


    The rest of the filter effects you can get just as well from PS. Note that Adjust is due to be updated (I presume with HSL filters) - updates are free

    Every filter has a specific set of photo-specific circumstances where it works best. You eventually just get to know them.

    Denoise is the best noise reducer out there, and by a country mile
    Clarity is amazing on clouds
    Adjust has some one click effects that no other filter can match, plus a smoothing filter for skies, just exercise some restraint
    Detail can add targeted detail well, but I still like to use high pass sharpening in PS
    Star effects are great for sun rings, and light points
    Lens effects recreates the adaptive wide angle filter in PS6

    Leigh
    zippski

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    Default Re: Topaz Labs

    That reminds me - Lens Effects has one capability that is dynamite - it simulates the darkening of a graduated neutral density filter. You can pick the amount, where it does (top, bottom, left, right), how gradual, etc. VERY useful. Yes, you can do this with gradient masking in imageveditors, but this plugin makes it easy. If I remember correctly Lens Effects is pretty inexpensive too.

    Only reason I didn'tvput DeNoise higher, Leigh, is because with improved noise control in modern cameras, I find I don't need it all that often. But yes, it is essential. Glad to hear you like Adjust - I think it was their first plugin (or close to it), and it still does great work, as long as I restrain myself.
    Rich
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    Default Re: Topaz Labs

    Rich,
    Are you shooting jpgs or raw?

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    Default Re: Topaz Labs

    I almost always shot jpg only. I know, shame on me! I guess if I shot raw, then I would need to use DeNoise on more (all?) images?
    Rich
    Olympus E-M10; Panasonic GM5
    m4/3 lenses: Oly 75-300; Oly 14-42 f3.5-5.6 II R; Oly 17 f1.8; Oly 40-150 f4.0-5.6 R; Oly WCON-P01 adapter; Rokinon f7.5 fisheye; Sigma 19 f2.8; Pan 20 f1.7; Pan 12-35 f2.8; Pan 12-32

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    Default Re: Topaz Labs

    I use deNoise on ALL my images.
    When I process, all dark areas can benefit with a bit of NR.

    As Leigh says, nothing I found works better for NR.

    But, other than that, I don't use other ones much. I did try adjust but I find Nik color FX being the most used filter of mine.
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    Default Re: Topaz Labs

    Rich,
    No need to be ashamed. If the camera gets the job done, who is to complain?

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