Every once in a while Adobe tosses some really cool stuff into their routine updates. There is a new "Flat Field" feature which used to be an after market plug-in but is now a part of the software and should be in yours if you have the latest version. It's a tool that perfects vignette reduction and a thing the folks at Reid Reviews calls, "Color Shift." You can read all about it in the article: https://www.reidreviews.com/examples/flatfieldnew.html Reid reviews is usually a paid site but this article was requested by Adobe and it exists outside the paid firewall. It's worth a read and it's very well written.
I was interested in two different approaches to making sharpening from raw files more effective. The first tool I want to discuss is called "Enhance Details" and it represents (I think...) the first application of A.I. or machine learning for Lightroom. It only works with Raw files from cameras. Once you've selected a photo to use it on you go up to the menu > photo > enhance details. A window opens (see below) and lets you know that your crappy machine with the lame video card is going to be slow at doing the function and it will give you an estimated time for the process. You can scroll around the image and see (at what appears to be 200 or 300 %) what effect the enhancement will have by looking at the preview. Once you hit enhance there is a progress bar in the window and once the process is complete LR writes a separate .DNG file with the enhancements. You get to keep your original raw file intact.
It seems to work best with scenes that have lots of fine detail combined with smoother areas but so far the effect, to my eyes, is very subtle.
Try it and report back. Some of you are better at this trial and error stuff than me, and your results and comments might be more enlightening than mine. So share.
There are several more additions to LR but what I am mostly interested in today is a methodology I just read about that helps with sharpening Fuji raw files to match or exceed those produced by Iridient Developer or Capture One. And it's been under my nose the whole time.
I've been using PhotoShop since year two and Lightroom since beta but I've been a Neanderthal when it comes to using the sharpening tools in Adobe software. In the sharpening menus I've always understood "amount" and "radius" but I rarely touch masking and I never had a real clue as to what "Detail" did for, or to, the files. But I've been reading about deconvolution of raw files and it seems that I've been overlooking a subtle but powerful tool in the "detail" slider. Setting it to 100% causes the program to do a total deconvolution of the file. It more or less cancels out the effects of the color filter grid over a color digital sensor. I've been experimenting with moving the "detail" slider all the way to 100% and then adjusting any added noise with the next menu down the line. Interestingly, the "detail" slider at 100% can also affect the saturation in a file so you might want to finesse that as well.
I don't understand all the technical reasons why the 100% detail slider works as it does but it can just shovel a new level of detail into some of your files with very few consequences in terms of added noise. And with Fuji raw files it does a great job of enhancing sharpness and detail without introducing the artifacts that people constantly complain about in Lightroom conversions.
Give it a shot and see if it adds to your Lightroom enjoyment.
That's all. Bye now.